For: Women: The Oppressed Majority (radio documentary 2016):
The series Women, the Oppressed Majority, is an epic pass through millennia of ignored history, grasping patterns that still pertain to women’s struggles today.
—-Frieda Werden, co-founder and executive producer of the weekly radio series WINGS: Women’s International News Gathering Service, which has been in weekly syndication for more than twenty-seven years.
For: Capitalism is the Crisis (radio documentary 2013)
1. “I highly recommend ‘Capitalism is the Crisis’. This is a thoughtful and informative four- episode series that exposes the consequences of capitalism. At a time when war, poverty, environmental devastation and global crisis is ever-present, this series is a solid reminder that our relationship with capitalism is forefront. I especially appreciate the final episode where Schwartz and Ismi highlight a few instances where people are moving beyond capitalist principles, bringing hope and the possibility of change to their audience.”
—– Robin Eriksson, Program Director, CKUW 95.9 FM—University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB.
2. “Researcher and writer Asad Ismi and community journalist Kristin Schwartz have teamed up again, this time producing a timely look at the destructive record of capitalism. ‘Capitalism is the Crisis’ speaks to the historical and contemporary experiences of capitalist exploitation that has resulted in war, poverty, and environmental destruction. More than just a radio documentary, ‘Capitalism is the Crisis’ is an educational tool for communities experiencing financial crisis to better understand the root causes of economic disasters and know that there are alternatives to capitalism.”
–—Gretchen King, Community News Coordinator, CKUT Radio 90.3 FM–McGill University, Montreal, QC.
3. ” ‘Capitalism is the Crisis’ is one of the most straightforward critical analyses of the deleterious nature of capitalism, in recent years. It is a well-produced and extremely well-written radio documentary that should be used as an education tool globally. I highly recommend this documentary to anyone wanting to gain a vastly different perspective of capitalism—-one that is often suppressed by those who benefit from this economic system’s exploitative nature.”
—— Solomon Comissiong, Founder and Executive Director of Your World News Radio (www.yourworldnews.org) , Washington, D.C., U.S.
For: Profiting from Repression: Canadian Investment in and Trade with Colombia (Book—Third Edition, 2012)
1. Asad Ismi’s research is an extraordinary tool for us in the struggle to defend the natural resources of humanity and to construct a nation with social justice.
—-Francisco Ramirez Cuellar, Former President of the Colombian Mineworkers Union. (State death squads in Colombia have tried to assassinate Francisco seven times).
2. In a seminal piece of research titled Profiting from Repression: Canadian Investment in and Trade with Colombia, award-winning writer and international affairs expert Asad Ismi provides a 180-page breakdown of corporatist neocolonialism in South America. The report “links ten Canadian companies in Colombia to the genocide of indigenous Colombians, to complicity in eight murders and one attempted murder, to other significant military/paramilitary repression [and] to labour union-busting, strike-breaking and worker exploitation.” To date, it is the only document of its kind. Ismi’s research outlines the interconnectedness of the Colombian state and its various paramilitary outfits but importantly emphasizes the impact of foreign capital on the Colombian economy. The “paramilitarization of Colombian society,” as Ismi calls it, stems from arms supplying by the U.S. government to fight FARC – $6 billion during Uribe’s eight-year presidency – and a deregulated national economy favoring heavy foreign investment.
—–Harrison Samphir is a Winnipeg-based writer and editorial assistant at Canadian Dimension Magazine.
3. The definitive account of corporate-driven Canadian neocolonialism in Colombia and the most comprehensive book on the subject. A superb analysis of how Canada’s corporations and government benefit from and exacerbate Colombia’s decades-old social and armed conflict. Unencumbered by academic jargon, this book presents a clear and damning portrait of the corporate pillage of Colombia and the resulting violence, impoverishment and mass displacement impacting its people as well as their courageous resistance. Must reading for activists, unionists and all those concerned about social and economic justice in Latin America.
—–Ilian Burbano, Colombia Action Solidarity Alliance (CASA), Toronto.
4. This report is a gold mine of information! Thank you, really thank you for doing this research. I think it will be very useful for our new campaign “Targeting Canadian Profiteers of the War in Colombia”, because we are focusing on some of the companies you’re talking about in this report. This is really the kind of work we need and never have the time to do. I also think it is very relevant to highlight the role of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in Colombia and how the Canadian government supports the companies. I think it’s also very good to put relations between Canada and Colombia in a global context of colonialism and imperialism.
–—Mélissa Leblanc, Projet Accompagnement Solidarité Colombie (PASC), Montreal.
5. Most Canadians are unaware that some of this country’s largest corporations are profiting from the Colombian government’s brutal repression of dissent and democracy. Asad Ismi’s shocking exposé of this corporate collaboration with Colombia’s ruthless dictatorship is recommended reading for everyone concerned about social and economic justice.
—–Ed Finn, Editor Emeritus, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Ottawa.
For: The Latin American Revolution (radio documentary 2010):
1. “A remarkable achievement. I was moved and informed by the care and truth telling in this revolutionary radio documentary. This is journalism which has entered the revolutionary movement in a significant way. Not muzzled by the imperialist assault on the truth or the enfrenzied propaganda of the capitalist corporate press, it provides clear, concise, necessary and accessible information to millions of people about the origins and significance of the on-going Latin American Revolution and the principle of the integration of states and peoples for the common good of all. I will certainly recommend this to my students, friends and readers.”
—–Dr. Arnold Itwaru. Dr. Itwaru created and developed the anti-imperialist and anti-racist Caribbean Studies Program at New College, University of Toronto. He is the author of 15 books, and has edited the recently published work of activist scholarship, “The White Supremacist State.”
2. “A wonderful and richly produced series. A wide array of recorded voices, music, and analysis tell the story of political developments in South America, offering us North Americans a thorough introduction. I was fascinated.”
—–Ursula Ruedenberg, Pacifica Affiliates Coordinator, Executive Producer of “Sprouts: Radio from the Grassroots”,Pacifica Radio Network, U.S.
3. “Schwartz and Ismi’s documentary is a solid piece of independent journalism that captures the stunning revolution in politics, education, health care and the economy sweeping across Latin America. The episode on Cuba, Nicaragua and El Salvador is a valuable primer that grounds the Bolivarian Revolution in those historic struggles. Informative and inspiring, this series is definitely worth a close listen!”
—–Lorraine Chisholm, Redeye Collective, Vancouver Cooperative Radio–CFRO 102.7 FM, Vancouver, BC.
For: Path of Destruction: Canadian Mining Companies Around the World (radio documentary 2008):
1. “This audio documentary successfully manages to bridge many little-heard perspectives on the Canadian mining industry. First, we hear from indigenous peoples in Canada and beyond as to how mining companies threaten their very existence as peoples; in other words, how the industry is complicit in an ongoing global genocide. We hear from working people around the world on how the industry has devastated their health, livelihoods and environment. Finally, we look at how Canadian mining is intricately connected to, complicit in and profiting off of wars being waged around the world. Ismi and Schwartz provide us with a horrific but solid introduction on how Canadian and international laws, trade agreements and the power of wealth protect mining corporations from answering to any justice system for their crimes. At the same time, the program provides us with hope as it questions the very need for mining and takes an introductory look at alternatives to this devastating resource extraction industry. ‘Path of Destruction’ is an outstanding educational tool addressing the issues of colonialism, resource extraction economies, corporate power, free trade agreements, the military industrial complex and many other issues.”
—–Zainab Amadahy is an indigenous writer, community worker and activist based in Toronto. She is a founding member of the Coalition in Support of Indigenous Sovereignty, member of the Board of the Association of Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts, and the Executive Director of Community Arts Ontario.
2. “Canadian imperialism’s best-kept secret is undoubtedly the inconvenient truth about Canadian mining capital’s genocidal path of destruction. Ismi and Schwartz’s audio documentary illustrates how at home and abroad Canadian mining companies are poisoning the environment, propping up brutal dictatorships, and violently repressing any dissent to their exploits. ‘Path of Destruction’ is a bold exposé of Canadian imperialism, thoroughly dispelling any illusions that Canadians may have about the Canadian state as a positive force in the world.”
—–Steve da Silva, Co-producer of ‘Radio BASICS’ on CHRY Radio 105.5 FM–York University, Toronto; Editor, BASICS Community Newsletter.
3. “‘Path of Destruction’ is the best radio documentary I’ve come across in a long time. It combines an oft-neglected analysis of colonialism in Canada with a radical critique of the mining industry and the other institutions and processes that support it. A very important series which has a powerful impact.”
—-Matt Soltys, Producer of ‘Healing the Earth Radio’ on CFRU Radio 93.3 FM–University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, www.resistanceisfertile.ca.
4. “Ismi and Schwartz have the fearlessness and integrity to report the truth and hold Canadian mining companies accountable. Canadians need to know what’s happening in Africa, for example in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where the slaughter of 4 to 5 million people has occurred for the sake of Canadian (and foreign) profits. We can no longer claim ignorance after listening to this documentary. Essential for all Canadians.”
—–David Parker, Spoken Word Coordinator, CKDU Radio 88.1 FM–Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
5. “I have just heard your excellent radio program ‘Path of Destruction’. Great job and thank you for it. I think it is a daring program to take on the Industry with facts of history and it is damaging to them and their high moral claims.”
—–Xavier Dias, Spokesperson for Jharkhand Mines Area Coordination Committee [JMACC], [An indigenous organization resisting mining and displacement in Jharkand State, India]; Editor of the Hindi monthly ‘Khan Kanij aur ADHIKAR’ [Mines,Minerals & Rights], India’s only community newspaper focused on the effects of mining, www.adhikar.in/
6. “Thank you for ‘Path of Destruction’. The concept of a radio project for a wider information and education campaign is brilliant. This is very helpful information to us in the Cordillera, Philippines, where Canadian mining companies are beefing up their applications (Olympus,Terra Nova,Ivanhoe,Golden Valley).”
—–Abigail T. Bengwayan, Public Information Commission, Cordillera Peoples Alliance, The Philippines, www.cpaphils.org/
7. “The new audio documentary, ‘Path of Destruction’ is an important contribution to the growing chorus of resistance to Canadian mining. Through careful analysis of Canadian corporate and government polices, the documentary’s producers expose how mining has devastated communities around the globe and who has benefited from that devastation. Mining policies are carefully situated within the broader context of Canadian colonialism. Most compellingly, the documentary features the voices of those directly affected by those policies. Their urgent stories are a call to action for change that will restore and protect the health of their communities and the rights of its peoples. This documentary can and should be used as a tool to create that change.”
—–Alison Brown, Producer of ‘Redeye’ on Vancouver Cooperative Radio, CFRO 102.7 FM, Vancouver BC.
For: The Ravaging of Africa (radio documentary 2007):
1. “A must-listen documentary, especially for those entities (both in and outside Africa) whose role it is to chart a sustainable course for the continent’s future. It’s also a powerful tool for those individuals and groups that are actively involved in challenging the Western bastardization of the African continent. This well-researched documentary provides credible evidence of how the Western European nations and the United States have for many years been devastating the African continent through the plundering of its precious resources, as well as by their continuing support for and instigations of military wars. The documentary successfully highlights some of the serious problems that nations in Africa continue to face as they struggle against the United States’ selfish determination to dominate their turf. This documentary cannot be ignored by anyone who cares about Africa’s economic, social, and political emancipation from the bondage of neo-colonialism.”
–—Maria Mboono Nghidinwa, Ex-combatant of South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO), the former liberation movement of Namibia. Ph.D., Mass Communication and Media Studies, Howard University, Washington D.C. [SWAPO is presently the ruling political party in Namibia].
2. “A great project. ‘The Ravaging of Africa’ can be of enormous educational importance in reinforcing African perceptions of the sources of their current predicaments, and in educating those searching for ways out of their present desperate straits. Warm thanks for your efforts.”
–—Professor Dennis Brutus, Honorary Professor, Centre for Civil Society, University of Kwazulu-Natal Durban, South Africa.
Professor Emeritus, Department of Africana Studies, University of Pittsburgh (U.S.).
3. ” ‘The Ravaging of Africa’ must count as one of the very best set of podcasts available about the way in which Africa has been looted by multinational corporations and U.S. imperialism. The recordings of the voices of African militants were prepared during the Nairobi World Social Forum. What is remarkable is that there is a coherent political analysis that enables the listener to have a clear context for the perspectives provided by African activists. We can only hope that the producers will continue to publish further series of these outstanding podcasts. These are vital listening for all those committed to social justice in Africa.”
–—Firoze Manji, Editor, Pambazuka News; Director, Fahamu – Networks for Social Justice. www.pambazuka.org
[Pambazuka News is a leading African electronic newsletter and website focused on social justice].
—-Bruce A. Dixon, Managing Editor, Black Agenda Report, (U.S.) https://www.blackagendareport.com/
Black Agenda Report is the leading United States website for analysis about the destructive impact of U.S. imperialism on Africa.
5. “An excellent series that really gets to the heart of the matter and lets you listen to those radical African voices you won’t hear anywhere else.”
–—Roberto Nieto, Media activist and radio-host, CKUT Radio 90.3 fm at McGill University, Montreal.
6. “A fantastic series. We air tons of good programming, but ‘The Ravaging of Africa’ really stood out, because it tied together the various ways Africa is impacted by the imperial project, something you usually don’t get in a single program or news report. I really appreciated the rich production as well.”
–—Leigh Robartes, News Director, KRFP / Radio Free Moscow 92.5 fm, Moscow, Idaho (U.S.) [Pacifica Radio Affiliate].
7. “Thanks for the excellent programming. So many Americans are unaware of how people live and struggle in other parts of the world. This program provides vital information about Africa and its people.”
–—Cathy Murillo, News and Public Affairs Director, KCSB 91.9 FM at University of California-Santa Barbara, California, U.S. [Pacifica Radio Affiliate].
8. “A true work of broadcasting art! Thank you so much to the entire crew who worked on this special! The Ravaging of Africa was one of the most insightful and intriguing documentaries that the station has had the pleasure of playing. It not only received phone calls with reactions like, ‘I had no idea this was all going on! Thank you for making me aware!’ or ‘The program was so well done! Thank you for letting people know about what is going on in Africa!’ from listeners, it also garnered great praise from our programmers as well. Some of our programmers sit on either side of the fence politically but they all agreed that the program was very well produced and very informative and intelligent.”
–—Jason Wellwood, Program Manager, CILU 102.7FM at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
9. “‘The Ravaging of Africa’ is a compelling and timely new media presentation of the over 500 years of the West’s pillaging of Africa. The body of work is firmly ensconced in the tradition of Walter Rodney’s ‘How Europe Underdeveloped Africa’ and Patrick Bond’s ‘The Looting of Africa’. ‘The Ravaging of Africa’ deserves the widest possible distribution as it does a tremendous job of sharing with the public a critical prism through which Africa’s relations with the West ought to be viewed and analysed.”
–—Maurice Carney, Executive Director, Friends of the Congo, Washington D.C. (U.S.), www.friendsofthecongo.org
10. “The unprecedented affluence we enjoy in the Global North is directly dependent on the violent plunder of resource-rich nations across the Global South — particularly the nations of Africa. ‘The Ravaging of Africa’ provides both the historical overview and the illuminating details we need to make sense of this crime-in-progress, and gives prominent place to the voices of front-line African activists leading the resistance.”
–—Dave Oswald Mitchell, Editor of Briarpatch Magazine, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
11. “I just came across and listened to ‘The Ravaging of Africa’ and wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can’t quite explain precisely how important your documentary has been to me as a person living in the African diaspora in the West and as someone who so often can’t find the words to express the frustration he feels at the forcible dispossession of the continent of his mother’s ancestors. But it’s been profoundly important, your documentary. So thank you.”
–—Dave Hudson, Listener