So Long, Development, and Thanks for All the Fish.

litbonanza.jpgAid: Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day.

Development: Teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.

Modernization: If we could teach that man to be just like us I bet he’d fish great.

Women In Development: Teach a man to fish, he’ll foolishly drink the profits away. Teach a woman to fish, her and the kids will eat too. Women will be liberated by the fishing industry. Millions of fish escape us each year because women’s labour is not sufficiently exploited as a resource.

Gender And Development: The cultural and gender roles of women and men are complex and interrelated with their manner of fishing, and thus an important consideration in planning a fishing trip. Women should fish in the main part of the stream.

Post-Colonial Development: The First World stole all our fish in the first place, and they continue to invent new and imaginative ways to purloin our fish, so please just lay off about our so-called fishing failures.

Neo-Colonial Development: Europe has stolen our fish for generations and we the People’s Liberators will no longer submit to this humiliation! Now will each peasant please fork over 20 fish…the People’s Liberators need to repopulate their goldfish pool on the French Riviera.

Sustainable Development: Where are all these fish supposed to come from anyways? According to David Suzuki, if everyone fished like North Americans we’d need 700 oceans!

Economic Trade and Development: If you give me 3 trout and I give you 2 salmon, we’ll each end up with a boatful of caviar.

Post-Development: Just who the hell are you to tell these people how to fish? They have been fishing for generations upon generations and now you come along and tell them what to do? Who says they want your big trollers anyways when their hand-nets seem to work just fine? …What do you mean, “high rate of infant mortality?”. Don’t impose your Western bias on their lifestyle!

Development as Freedom: Maybe…we should try…asking these fishers what they want?

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Kerrie Thornhill Hop Wo grew up on Vancouver Island and graduated from UBC's International Relations program. Although she is currently a Program Coordinator for Calgary Immigrant Women's Association in Calgary, her heart remains in West Africa where she volunteered and worked in the field of gender and development. She finds her nine-to-five job easy and is worried about re-adjusting to graduate school next year.