Touching Down to the Pain of Sudan/降落在蘇丹人的痛苦之上

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讀紐時學英文
2015/08/28 第87期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
 
 

紐時周報精選 Touching Down to the Pain of Sudan/降落在蘇丹人的痛苦之上
Chinese Textiles, Made in America/中國紡織品生產地是美國

紐時周報精選
 

Touching Down to the Pain of Sudan/降落在蘇丹人的痛苦之上
By Nicolas Rapold/王麗娟譯
There’s no shortage of jaw-dropping moments inHubert Sauper’s new film, “We Come as Friends,” an illustrated essay on contemporary colonialism.

于貝.索培赫(Hubert Sauper)的新電影《我們作為朋友而來》(We Come as Friends)是一部探討當代殖民主義、非劇情片的散文式電影,片中不乏令人瞠目結舌的片段。

But the most haunting may be a lightning-streaked nighttime visit to a South Sudanese tribal leader. Mr. Sauper brandishes a copy of a contract to confirm a terrible truth, and the leader’s moistening eyes and dejected bearing say everything. The old man has signed away thousands of hectares of land to a Texas firm.

然而這其中最令人過目難忘的,應該是在雷電交加中,夜訪南蘇丹部落首領的一幕。索培赫揮舞著手中的一份合約,準備證實一項可怕的事實,部落首領濕潤的兩眼和一臉的頹喪道盡了一切。這個老人將數千公頃土地簽約賣給了美國德州的一家公司。

“This was history unfolding in its best and most sarcastic form in front of my camera. And then the storm came,” Mr. Sauper said from Paris. “As a filmmaker, it’s too good to be true. And it’s terrifying.”

索培赫在巴黎說:「這是一頁歷史在我的鏡頭前展開,以它最好的、最諷刺的形式。身為製片,這是好到無法置信的一刻,但也是最令人毛骨悚然的一刻。」

It’s one example of how Mr. Sauper, the Austrian-born director of “We Come as Friends,” portrays complicated contemporary realities through vivid and industrious reportage. Ten years ago his Academy Award-nominated documentary,“Darwin’s Nightmare,”sifted through the wreckage of globalization by way of the fishing export industry in Lake Victoria, the impact on local Tanzanians, and a fast-and-loose subculture of Russian cargo-plane pilots.

出生於奧地利的索培赫是《我們作為朋友而來》一片的導演,這是他如何透過生動報導描繪複雜當代現實的一個例子。10年前,他的紀錄片《達爾文的夢魘》(Darwin’s Nightmare)獲得奧斯卡金像獎提名,該片透過維多利亞湖的漁業出口、對坦尚尼亞當地人的衝擊、俄羅斯貨機機師的快速與寬鬆次文化等角度,檢視全球化的殘骸。

Mr. Sauper’s nonfiction films are an elegant hybrid of voracious, colorful portraiture and nervy investigation. “We Come as Friends” was ranked among the best of nonfiction in 2014 by the British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound magazine.

索培赫的非劇情片電影是貪婪、多彩人像和挑動神經真相調查的優雅混合物。《我們作為朋友而來》被英國電影學院的《畫面與音響》雜誌,評選為2014年最佳非劇情片之一。

Flying a “tin-can” plane he built himself, the filmmaker flew across Sudan for two and a half years. “The starting point of the film was to track the psychology or pathology of colonialism,” Mr. Sauper said. “I didn’t know how much of it I would find in our days, in real life.”

這位製片人駕駛他親手打造的「白鐵罐頭」飛機,花了兩年半的時間飛遍蘇丹全境。索培赫說:「電影以追蹤殖民主義的心理或病理為起點。我並不知道,在我們的年頭,在現實生活中,我能有多少發現。」

He visited a cross-section of people, all part of history unfolding for better and worse: Sudanese losing their homes to rapacious development and war, confident Chinese engineers affirming their country’s superpower destiny, Texas missionaries working to clothe villagers, and a warlord turned politician who can’t remember the national anthem.

索培赫訪問了一些具有代表性的人物,呈現出來的歷史發展面向有好也有壞:蘇丹人因為貪婪的開發和戰爭而失去他們的家園;信心滿滿的中國大陸工程師斷言大陸終將成為超級強權的國運;德州傳教士努力讓村民能有衣服穿,還有一個軍頭成了政治人物,卻不會唱國歌。

The plane afforded a rapid means of exit from all this when necessary, as well as being a potent metaphor for all-access Western influence. (He keeps the craft at his farm in France.) Far from a superficial travelogue, Mr. Sauper’s film gives a rare sense of human beings bearing the brunt of greater historical forces and powerful interests. He depicts a clash between indigenous cultures and wildcatting foreigners that has a long history in Africa.

這架飛機成了必要時,從所有這一切退場的一個快速途徑,同時也是西方影響力全方位入口的一個有力隱喻。(他將飛機停放在他在法國的自家農場中。)索培赫的電影絕對不是膚淺的遊記,這部片子讓人們難得地感受到,人類正承受著更大的歷史力量與強大利益的衝擊。索培赫描述了原住民文化與盲目鑽井想要尋找石油的外國人之間的衝突,而這類的衝突在非洲已有一段相當長久的歷史。

“We Come as Friends” entailed no small amount of risk. Masked gunmen, malaria, a broken propeller and parasites that sidelined him to a wheelchair were among the hazards.

《我們作為朋友而來》一片拍攝期間危險萬狀。這些危險包括蒙面槍手、瘧疾、螺旋槳故障,以及害他坐上輪椅,只能作壁上觀的寄生蟲等等,可謂不一而足。

Told of a film textbook that divides the history of nonfiction filmmakers into explorers, reporters, painters and advocates, Mr. Sauper remembered the credit bestowed on a past collaborator, the writer Nick Flynn.

有人告訴索培赫,有一本電影教科書將非劇情片的製片人歷史區分為探險家、記者、畫家和倡導者等幾個類別時,索培赫記起有人曾賦予他過去的合作對象、作家尼克.弗林的一個美譽。

“There is a nice term called a ‘field poet,’ ” he said.

索培赫說:「有一個很好的名詞,它叫『現場詩人』。」

 

Chinese Textiles, Made in America/中國紡織品生產地是美國
By Hiroko Tabuchi/張佑生譯
INDIAN LAND, South Carolina – Twenty-five years ago, Ni Meijuan earned $19 a month working the spinning machines at a vast textile factory in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.

25年前,倪美娟(音譯)還在中國大陸杭州市的一家大型紡織廠裡操作紡紗機,月薪19美元。

Now at the Keer Group’s cotton mill in South Carolina, which opened in March, Ms. Ni is training American workers to do the job she used to do.

如今,倪美娟在科爾集團今年三月在美國南卡羅來納州開設的棉紡廠裡工作,培訓美國工人,教他們如何做自己以前做過的工作。

“They’re quick learners,” Ms. Ni said after showing two fresh recruits how to tease errant wisps of cotton from the machines’ grinding gears. “But they have to learn to be quicker.”

「他們學得很快,」向兩名新進員工展示完如何梳理紡織機研磨齒輪上殘留的棉絮後,倪美娟如此表示。「可是他們還得學得更快才行。」

Textile producers from formerly low-cost nations are starting to set up shop in America. It is part of a blurring of once seemingly clear-cut boundaries between high- and low-cost manufacturing nations that few would have predicted a decade ago.

來自先前成本低廉國家的紡織品生產商,已經開始在美國設廠。由此亦可見,高成本與低成本生產國之間曾經顯得十分清楚的界線已經開始泯滅,而這在十年前是少有人料想得到的。

Textile production inChinais becoming increasingly unprofitable after years of rising wages, higher energy bills and mounting logistical costs, as well as new government quotas on the import of cotton. At the same time, manufacturing costs in the United States are becoming more competitive. In Lancaster County, where Indian Land is located, Keer has found residents desperate for work, even at depressed wages, as well as access to cheap and abundant land and energy and heavily subsidized cotton.

工資、水電費、物流成本連年上漲,加上中國政府對棉花進口實行新的配額限制,紡織品生產在中國越來越不賺錢。在此同時,美國的製造成本卻越來越有競爭力。科爾集團在印第安蘭德所在的蘭開斯特郡發現,就算工資壓低,當地居民仍然渴望上工,此外,當地還有大量便宜的土地和能源,以及高額補貼的棉花。

Politicians, from the county to the state to the federal government, have raced to ply Keer with grants and tax breaks to bring back manufacturing jobs once thought to be lost forever.

從郡到州再到聯邦政府,美國各級政界人士不斷爭相提供科爾集團各種補貼和減稅優惠,希望贏回一度以為已經一去不回的製造業職缺。

The prospect of a sweeping Pacific trade agreement that is led by the United States, and excludes China, is also driving Chinese yarn companies to gain a foothold here, lest they be shut out of the lucrative American market.

美國主導的《跨太平洋夥伴協定》範圍廣泛,中國卻被排除在外。這個前景同樣驅使中國紡織企業前往美國取得立足之地,以免被排除在獲利豐厚的美國市場之外。

Keer’s $218 million mill spins yarn from raw cotton to sell to textile makers across Asia. Keer still spins much of its yarn in China, importing the raw cotton from America, but that is changing.

科爾集團價值2.18億美元的棉紡廠將原棉加工成棉紗,賣給亞洲各國的紡織品生產商。雖然科爾集團繼續從美國進口原棉,在中國加工大部分棉紗,但這種情況正在改變。

“The reasons for Keer coming here? Incentives, land, the environment, the workers,” Zhu Shanqing, Keer’s chairman, said on a recent trip to the United States.

科爾集團董事長朱善慶日前訪問美國時說:「科爾到這裡來的理由是什麼?獎勵措施、土地、環境,還有工人。」

“In China, the whole yarn manufacturing industry is losing money,” he added. “In America, it’s very different.”

「在中國,整個棉紡業都在賠錢,」他又說,「在美國,情況大不相同。」

Since Beijing and Washington resumed trade relations in the early 1970s, the United States has mostly run a huge trade deficit, as Americans consumed billions of dollars in cheap electronics, apparel and other Chinese goods.

自從1970年代初期北京和華府恢復貿易關係以來,美國人消費了數十億美元的廉價電子產品、服裝以及其他中國商品,以致美方幾乎一直有高額的貿易逆差。

But surging labor and energy costs in China are eroding its competitiveness in manufacturing. According to the Boston Consulting Group, manufacturing wages adjusted for productivity almost tripled in China in a decade, to about $12.47 an hour last year from $4.35 an hour in 2004.

但中國的勞動和能源成本飆漲,侵蝕了製造業的競爭力。根據波士頓諮詢公司的資料,過去10年間,中國根據生產力調整後的製造業工資幾乎漲至3倍,2004年的時薪只有4.35美元,去年已漲到12.47美元。

In the United States, manufacturing wages adjusted for productivity have risen less than 30 percent since 2004, to $22.32 an hour, according to the consulting firm. And the higher wages for American workers are offset by lower natural gas prices, as well as inexpensive cotton and local tax breaks and subsidies.

根據波士頓諮詢公司的資料,生產力調整後的美國製造業工資,2004年以來漲不到30%,目前時薪為22.32美元。美國的天然氣價格更低,棉花也便宜,加上地方提供的減稅和補貼,這些都抵銷了美國工人工資高出的部分。

Today, for every $1 required to manufacture in the United States, Boston Consulting estimates that it costs 96 cents to manufacture in China. Yarn production costs in China are now 30 percent higher than in the United States, according to theInternational Textile Manufacturers Federation.

波士頓諮詢公司估算,在美國需要1美元的製造成本,在中國要0.96美元。根據國際紡織聯盟的資料,中國的棉紗生產成本比美國高出30%。

“Everybody believed that China would always be cheaper,” said Harold L. Sirkin, a senior partner at Boston Consulting. “But things are changing even faster than anyone imagined.”

「所有人都認定,中國的生產成本總是比較便宜,」波士頓諮詢公司資深合夥人哈樂德.L.塞金說,「但情況變化的速度比所有人想像的都快。」

Rising costs in China are causing a shift of some types of manufacturing to lower-cost countries like Bangladesh, India and Vietnam. In many cases, the exodus has been led by the Chinese themselves, who have aggressively moved to set up manufacturing bases elsewhere.

中國成本上升導致某些類型的製造業轉往孟加拉、印度以及越南等成本更低的國家。很多情況下,帶領製造業大出走的是中國企業,他們一直積極前往其他地區設立製造基地。

From 2000 to 2014, Chinese companies invested $46 billion on new projects and acquisitions in the United States. The Carolinas are now home to at least 20 Chinese manufacturers.

2000年至2014年間,中國企業在美國的新專案和併購的投資總額已達到460億美元。至少有20家中國製造業者在南、北卡羅來納州設立據點。

“I never thought the Chinese would be the ones bringing textile jobs back,” said Keith Tunnell, president of theLancaster County Economic Development Corporation.

蘭開斯特郡經濟發展公司總裁凱斯.童尼爾說:「我從沒想到把紡織業工作機會帶回來的,會是中國人。」

 

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