Diamonds that are commonly exchanged in black markets for weapons are referred as blood diamonds. This paper analyzes how blood diamonds were imaged in an unending contest over the meaning of these precious stones. On the other hand, governments and corporations transfigure rocks into gems through the illicit boundaries. At the same time, non-governmental organizations and retailers are promoting ethical consumerism with the objective of making people change their perceptions regarding clean stones. Conversely, this encourages the extant black markets through reproduction of exclusionary illicit channels. Examination of visual conversation between the concerned parties shows interplay, as well as ideological convergence between non-state and state participants who only advance parallel neoliberal agendas.
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According to the definition, diamond is an impressive bit of compressed carbon, with intense symbolic and monetary value. The diamond’s price depends from the microscopic descriptors: these are cut, clarity, carat and color. Advertisements attach notion of status, love and glamour to these diamonds. As far as blood diamonds are in demand, the industry itself, in many ways, echoes its quality (Svoray & Hammer, 2003). Consumers are bedazzled by the visual conversation, which is a reflection of a surprising convergence between NGOs, state and corporations with a goal of strengthening the existing of economic and political structures. Anthropologists have focused on supranational organizations and states as the primary elements in the neoliberal organizations. This is because they are self-constructed entities, which are effective and gain legitimacy through symbolic and imaginative practices. Similarly, industry can be understood as a set of actions, which shape communities, maintain sovereignty over territory, and define trade channels. Profit motive is the striking difference between industry and state; however, in the case of the diamond trade, an examination of how the state and industry interact to maintain legitimacy through visual discourse demonstrates how these interests work together purposefully to globalize the corporatocracy (Campbell, 2002).
The term blood diamonds arose through a series of visual discursive exchanges. An appeal for unity was transformed into a bloody massacre, and only later were reframed to suit various needs. During the critical times of the diamond industry, NGO visualizations have been used to inscribe capital hegemony. Critical analysis of such visualizations illustrates why the demand of diamond was so great even if they were persistently implicated in violent conflicts. Accounts of the diamond industry are contested, colorful and filled with legend. The systematic exploitation of black worker at the Sub-Saharan by white miners was mythologized by most biographies. In addition, these accounts suggest shadowy activities of mining outfits, financial institution, and states. Today, diamonds are readily available and heavily advertised with discount by stores, moreover selling them at bargain-basement prices (Svoray & Hammer, 2003). However, at one time, diamonds acquired from India by traders and explorers were the privilege of European royalty and the law ensure only male elites to wear them. An iron-fisted management style ironically created conditions for the development of black market, which suited smuggle of precious stones to Europe. In Africa, diamonds were discovered after the declining of Brazilian deposits. The industry repeatedly tells consumers that diamonds are valued, and rare, yet over five-hundred tones have been extracted in Africa alone. The supposed scarcity is part of the strategic valuation narration. Though mining of diamonds is tremendously costly and requires specialized skills, the profit margin is improved by the presence of cheap labor. Labor-intensive processes the industry outsourced to the third-world sweatshops in China and India. No expense is spared at the market as the industry has historically reported massive returns on investment.
Diamond is a perfect representation of romance, tradition, glamour and style, and this campaign is the most efficacious in the history of advertising. Such advertisment rely on powerful combination of the pliant visual nature of the stones and vague language, which is a reflection of consumer idiosyncratic aspirations and marketing clichés without conflict. The economic value and social meaning of diamonds are the result of a highly efficient and managed flow (Zoellner, 2006). High portability combined with policing of an authorized market and intensified global market has provided superior conditions for the black market to flourish. The black marker diamond trade with other goods perceived illicit by hegemonic power and frequently entangled with other network of trade such as weapons, cash and drugs. This is where the term blood diamond originated from, which connote violence and conflict. These are diamonds originated from areas that are controlled by factions or forces opposed to the internationally recognized and legitimate governments. Moreover, they are used to finance military actions in contravention of the Security Council’s decisions defined by the United Nation and in opposition to such governments (Campbell, 2002).
Various studies have noted a positive correlation between the risk of violent conflict and impoverished, weak states with minerals. The underbelly of an exclusionary illegal trade is the black market of diamonds. This trade is maintained by political and corporate conglomerates and aided by pop-culture and activism. Perceptions are resisted, performed and ultimately reinforced, by illustrating how public discourse targeted at education the people is the most active site, which the industry uses to maintain its legitimacy. Though the implications of these state/corporate alliances are not yet seen, it is like the world is going to be a global system, which is characterized by increasing of congruent interests and activities of corporate and state. The aim of these alliances is to provide significant income and expertise to party or state coffer. Moreover, to create friendly, conspicuous relationships with a goal of maintaining economic, political and social policies that are in support of mutual health between concerned parties (Zoellner, 2006).
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