Nevermind Venice; in a decision that will prove practically momentous, Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo floated the idea of relocating the country’s capital, Jakarta from Java to Borneo. It seems, not only is the current capital polluted, corrupt, and holding top spot on the Human Misery Index of World cities, but at a mere 9 meters above sea level, the president thought it high time to move. But, will it be a case of jumping from the boiling pot into the burning fire? Climate changes and massive deforestation have brought dryer weather to Borneo, where mega-fires threatening air quality throughout the region have becoming an annual event.
Andre Vltchek is an itinerant journalist, filmmaker, philosopher, and playwright. He has covered wars and conflicts around the World, going to the places and talking to the people most directly effected by state violence. He’s been travelling to Borneo for the last few years, recording the destruction of the natural environment and civic life there. He says, the capital move to the island will, “…further erode the environment and rob millions of hectares from the island and its people.”
Vltchek is also a prolific author whose latest books include: ‘China Belt and Road Initiative: Connecting Countries, Saving Millions of Lives’. ‘Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism’, ‘The Great October Socialist Revolution’, ‘Fighting Against Western Imperialism’, and, with Noam Chomsky, ‘On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare’. I spoke to Andre Sunday.
Andre Vltchek from Hong Kong in the first half.