Total Pageviews

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bid Closed

Dominica like many ACP countries is a beneficiary of EU funding. Its also the beneficiary of EU sponsored corruption. I say corruption because any system which is run by the criteria of lowest price is open to corruption in small Caribbean countries where everyone has a friend on the inside. The state of EU projects is a reflection of the selection process.

The creative agency I am part of is no longer bidding for any EU jobs. The problem with these bids is that the competent is often used as a stalking horse for incompetent people to be leaked your info, and then to simply underprice your offering. This is not some vacuous accusation. It happens. And the basic fact is we dont pitch in the open market based on price so its pointless. The last bid process had them stipulating a press sheet size larger than any press available in the Caribbean. Luckily we corrected them since the only tendering parties were all Caribbean presses :-)

One real ironic situation was that our national investment body, the now defunct NDC fought hard to make ACP countries ineligible for the rebranding of the Dominican identity (meaning FSI and no Caribbean agency could partake). Defy the Everyday from US agency GreenTeam (who actually were second in the bidding process, but won through because of pricing issues), was the result. Can you imagine that. The actual creative signature is here Dominica HomePage.

As the London Olympics proved, winning the bid isnt the hard part. Producing is. Whilst we wont pass comment on Dominica's rebrand, the Olympics logo for 2012 (as close to the swastika as you can get) is horrible, especially considering it cost 800k GBP to produce.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A sad state

Whether you believe in native rights or not, the state of the native people in Dominica is sad. Like the Aboriginals in Australia the state of our kalinago people is nothing to be proud about. They are the poorest of the poor, and in the social order of things that is as low as it gets.

Passing through the Carib reserve (there is no PC way to say it, they have their own reserve 'territory') you get to see an environment which just screams 'leave'. There is nothing for the average young person to do, the assimilation in mainstream Dominica is still difficult because of an inbuilt bias towards them, especially ironic given the chain of racism black people have had to shake off.

The level of abuse of young Kalinago women is something else as well, a byproduct of poverty meeting limited ambition. The amount of Carib children sent off into adoption or to work and live with some benefactor in the city who can do what they want with them is of course another situation.

They have so much to offer Dominica, yet Dominica cannot see fit to help elevate the Kalinago. The Government reflects the general populace with a disregard for them except when their votes are needed. In the meantime we do not see how this reflects on ourselves.

The Carib Chief can be over the top but he is technically correct when he refers to the neglect of the Kalinago people, even while we try to wrap their identity into the brand that is Dominica. Its not fair. We are working on a client communications project which actually ties in Kalinago products so hopefully we will give them some well needed support.

Of course many believe having their own plot of land to subsist on as a community is enough to be grateful for. Maybe those who think deep and far back can see the irony.