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Justification from ethecon - Foundation for Ethics & Economy for the honouring of the human rights and peace activist Tomo Križnar (Slovenia) with the International ethecon Blue Planet Award 2014
Since 2006, the ethecon Foundation for Ethics & Economy has annually awarded two international prizes - the International ethecon Blue Planet Award and the International ethecon Black Planet Award.
With the Blue Planet Award, ethecon honours individuals who have shown outstanding commitment to the conservation and preservation of our Blue Planet.
With the International ethecon Black Planet Award, ethecon exposes and condemns individuals who have contributed to the destruction and downfall of our Blue Planet in an outrageous way.
The International ethecon Blue Planet Award and the International ethecon Black Planet Award are one unit, two sides of the same medal. Both together reflect the state of our world, honour the commitment to solidarity for environmental protection, justice and peace, scorn ruthlessness, greed and exploitation and are calling for resistance, change and commitment. In both cases, the Blue Planet covers the entire animate and inanimate world.
After completion of the search and selection process for the two international Awards 2014, the trustees and board of the ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economy announce:
The Foundation awards the International Blue Planet Award to people who are brave, consistent, incorruptible and of proven integrity. People who are ready to contribute civil resistance in the name of to the defence of peace, justice and ecology to put themselves in contrast to prevailing norms and laws and to experience penalties and danger to life and limb in extreme cases. Such people show what is commonly called moral courage; namely the courage to stand without regard to personal disadvantage for morality and ethics and for the ideals and interests of humanity. Such people are the ones who guard, maintain and defend the sensitive plants of human ethics. They are the ones which humanity thanks for peace, human rights, social security and environmental protection.
In a world that increasingly chooses profit as the sole criterion of any decision and development, people honoured with the International ethecon Blue Planet Award oppose, like David against Goliath, the forces which disregard the interests of the mass of humanity in justice, peace and an intact environment and ruin life and existence conditions. They are widely discriminated against, persecuted and marginalised; yes, often threatened by attacks on their existence, their health and their lives. They need all of our support, assistance and solidarity.
Accordingly, the annual International ethecon Blue Planet Award is understood as mobilisation for commitment to peace, justice and environmental protection. In connection with the condemnation of the Price Black Planet Award it should raise public awareness in this sense and draw attention to uncovering the relationships and those responsible, as well as strengthening resistance to environmental destruction, war and injustice.
Every year in February, there is an internationally widespread call to submit proposals for the two awards. In a thorough selection process, the prize-winners will be determined by the Foundation by August of the respective year.
The Slovenian activist Tomo Križnar is declared winner of the International ethecon Blue Planet Award 2014
The trustees and board of ethecon summarise their decision as follows:
The peace activist, filmmaker and journalist Tomo Križnar is honoured with the International ethecon Blue Planet Award 2014 for his exemplary commitment to solidarity and ethics; for his courageous commitment to the rescue and preservation of our Blue Planet. In summary, the following activities and operations should be mentioned:
With his early realisation that today‚s consumer society is based on exploitation, he began to travel the world with the aim of learning and strengthening other ways of life. He noted that ethnic groups that do not participate in capitalist consumerism are existentially threatened by hunger for resources in our greed-dominated world. At the beginning of the Eighties, he abandoned a promising career in the biggest electronics firm in the then-still Yugoslavia and began to oppose inhuman predators with his journalistic talent as a writer, filmmaker and photographer.
Since 1979 Tomo Križnar has been travelling to Sudan in an effort to contribute to ending the civil war there. He shared the life of the ethnic groups there and learned from them how to live differently in this world. He thus developed a great admiration for the wisdom and peacefulness of these people and in 2006 he was sent as a special envoy to Darfur (Sudan) by the Slovenian President Janez Drnovšekto report on conditions there. Arriving on site, he was thrown into prison.
It was no less than six times that he was detained during his operations in Sudan. It did not stop him from travelling to the war-torn regions of Sudan and from applying his commitment to peace and the fundamental rights of the population.
He contacted human rights organisations, the EU, U.S. government agencies and other organisations. In the 2008 finished documentary “Darfur - War for Water”, he showed that in many cases, so-called helpfulness is actually hypocritical, being in reality more about power as well as access to oil, land and water. The film is part of project „Safe-Keeping Darfur“, co-sponsored by the Berlin foundation „Cinema for Peace“ and Tomo Križnar‘s own Humanitarian Foundation, H.O.P.E. Donations for the project allowed Tomo Križnar to buy mini cameras, in order to at least give the threatened Nuba hope in their helpless situation: Thus he made it possible for them to now document even how they were attacked, shot at, raped, murdered; he gave them the opportunity to address the world themselves with image documents.
The documentary “Eyes And Ears Of God”(2012) was created from the shocking footage. When he was not allowed to show this film as part of “Cinema for Peace”, Tomo Križnar protested with leaflets and projected a trailer of his film live onto the sidewall of a truck while the celebrities, including Angelina Jolie, all arrived on the red carpet.
Currently Tomo Križnar has loaded a truck with equipment for drilling wells and will drive this to the crisis area, so that people who are constantly on the run have access to water. He also wants to use observation drones in the hope of decreasing attacks on the civilian population. At the same time, he opposes the use of combat drones for the targeted killing of people by Western states.
His commitment to humanity follows the conviction of peace. He calls for a comprehensive program to protect endangered ethnicities. With generation of awareness of the situation from photos and videos made by the victims themselves, he gives them opportunities for action, sovereignty, identity – a name, a face and dignity. He fights against the deadly threats and the genocide in Sudan by their own government. Those involved pursue their ruthless greed for land, water and oil reserves, and justify it with racist slogans. While the great powers supply weapons, tolerate genocide and trade with those responsible, Tomo Križnar gives a face to the wretched losers as well as to the perpetrators. His activities and the cameras raise them from the crowd of unknowns in the public eye. He makes the perpetrators vulnerable in just such an unequal fight as David against Goliath.
“Why do you are distribute cameras instead of guns?”, he was asked. “Because violence is not a solution”. Violence begets violence and does not change the underlying problem. With his vision and support of the resistance through education, through solidarity and respect for people across borders, Tomo Križnar directly strengthens the power of action of the affected civilians in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and on the Blue Nile. Tomo Križnar’s solidarity and activities apply to those who cannot defend themselves. His conviction follows the idea of “change instead of charity”. He does not just fight for charities, but clarifies the consequences of the profit system despite danger to life and limb, while actively combating hunger, war and hardship. He puts his finger on the wound and complains relentlessly about the greed of the rich and powerful, who – in their endless fight for land and resources ruthlessly cause the suffering and death of people, as well as the destruction and ruin of the environment.
The trustees and board of ethecon explain:
Regardless of his own safety, Tomo Križnar defends , human life and opposes environmental destruction, exploitation and war. He not only defends peace and human rights, but also the self-determination of peoples. He acts for the benefit of the human community and the environment. He holds morals and ethics high and stands up to the demise of the Black Planet.
In a world that increasingly seeks profit as the sole criterion of any decision and development, ethecon sees the actions of Tomo Križnar as an outstanding contribution towards the rescue and preservation of our Blue Planet. For this exemplary support and development of human values, ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economy honours Tomo Križnar with the International ethecon Blue Planet Award 2014.
The International ethecon Blue Planet Award 2014 to the peace and human rights activist Tomo Križnar and the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2014 to Andrew N. Liveris (CEO), James M. Ringler (Board Member) and the major shareholders of the chemicals group DOW CHEMICAL will be awarded at a public ceremony in Berlin. The date will be announced in due course.
Berlin, International Day of Peace, September 21, 2014