In Singapore during that week of December 2011, dominating the media were reports of how the global economy affects our lives. It was exactly the time of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis, and the International Herald Tribunal, the Straits Times, CNN and BBC news spoke of little else. These economic realities were in defiant contrast to the charm, and optimism, of the 160 life-sized baby elephants occupying the public spaces of Singapore. But on further investigation it soon became apparent that there were links between the economic realities of the eurozone and the art event, in that both were relevant to the apparatus and forces of globalization. It was becoming startlingly clear that globalization -economic, cultural and ecological – is the interdependent system in which everyone is implicated and ultimately affected. To think that the eurozone crisis was an economic situation exclusive to Europe would be as foolhardy as thinking that deforestation would affect only those local areas where forests had once stood. One of the characteristics of globalization is that what happens in one part of the world is more than likely to have global impacts.
Hard on the heels of the 9-10 December, 2011, European Union (EU) Summit, the local and global media reports were predicting that once-booming economies would soon be feeling the effects of the eurozone crisis, that fiscal austerity would put nations and banks in jeopardy, and that the global, economic outlook for 2012 was grim indeed. Reports were predicting an economic recession as government leaders and policy-makers ran out of options, and this account by Nouriel Roubini drew attention to the global, domino effects:4
The outlook for the global economy in 2012 is clear, but it isn’t pretty: recession in Europe, anaemic growth at best in the United States, and a sharp slowdown in China and in most emerging-market economies. Asian economies are exposed to China. Latin America is exposed to lower commodity prices (as both China and the advanced economies slow). Central and Eastern Europe are exposed to the euro zone. And turmoil in the Middle East is causing serious economic risks – both there and elsewhere – as geopolitical risk remains high and thus high oil prices will constrain global growth. At this point, a euro zone recession is certain.
An estimated 67 percent of Haitian youngsters are enrolled in primary Singapore Map Tourist Attractions schools, but less than 30 percent of the students who begin their schooling ever reach the sixth Singapore Map Tourist Attractions grade. The figure is even worse for secondary education, with only about 20 percent of eligible-age children enrolled. About 90 percent of students at all levels attend church-run schools. The percentage of youngsters attending school drops sharply in the countryside. Education is further hindered by a chronic shortage of qualified teachers and a lack of adequate educational facilities and supplies. Haiti has several colleges and universities, but few Haitians can afford to attend them.