March 17, 2013
For the past four years I have shared my views and interpretation of geopolitical and major international developments with you – the regular or occasional readers of Blogactiv. Time has come to branch out. Recently, I have decided that the best answer to the EUsterity affecting us all is to put some of the results of my research in audio-visual form. My first documentary project, Spotlight on the Arctic, is thus meant to reach out to larger audiences and to familiarise them with the leading environmental, geo-economic, geopolitical and IR issues at stake in this region.
I have not chosen the Arctic as the starting point of my new endeavour by accident. From an international relations point of view, the contribution of General George Pomut in the 19th century was indeed an exceptional one. A Romanian by origin, he was born in the Romanian enclave of Gyula (Hungary), studied in Vienna and, after 1850, immigrated to the United States where he fought in the American Civil War. His bravery earned him a promotion to the rank of general and, later on, a position as a diplomat to the tsarist court in St. Petersburg. In this capacity, he successfully negotiated the purchase of Alaska by the United States for a reported 7.2 million dollars – a state-to-state financial transaction that profoundly affected the balance of power in the Arctic region.
Equally important in my choice of subject is the fact that the Arctic region, although brimming with natural resources, is reasonably free of territorial disputes and conflicts, which is sadly not the rule for the rest of the world. As one observer of the area put it, extreme cold seems to be a very good teacher, that has determined the countries neighbouring the Arctic to cooperate instead of bicker. This is a far cry from the conflicts opposing China, ASEAN and Japan over a few small islands in the South China Sea, for example; the civil wars in the Middle East, or the religious strife affecting African countries like Sudan or Mali.
To finance my documentary, I have selected crowdfunding, which seems to be very well-suited for freelancers such as myself. Alas, I now need to find a crowd. I would therefore like to ask the readers of my blog to help me get this project off the ground financially. So, if you would like to lend me a hand, please click on my Indiegogo campaign here. Thank you for your support !Florian Pantazi