Last month, Dr. Roy Maconachie from the University of Bath’s Centre for Development
Studies, and film-making colleague Simon Wharf launched a 30-minute documentary film
highlighting the harsh realities that artisanal diamond miners face in Sierra Leone, one of the
largest diamond producing countries in the world.
Despite the African country producing roughly $250 million (US) every year, only a
small fraction of this enormous wealth is dispersed back to the hard-working and exploited
workers who generated this fortune. Diamonds have become a universal symbol for luxury,
power, and wealth, but continue to carry an underlying message of poverty and corruption
outside of the Western world and its ideologies within the diamond industry.
The documentary explores the hardships within the country’s governance in the artisanal diamond mining sector,
as well as clear violations of basic human rights amongst the miners. The producers emphasize
that by implementing policy reform to ensure protection of workers, and addressing the
overwhelming poverty that plagues Sierra Leone, the country could produce “meaningful
change” that would ultimately transform the diamond industry on a universal level.