Actor committed to fight against third-world poverty

Colin Firth is Oxfam’s ambassador for trade. He’s been to Brussels to lobby the European Commission and to Geneva to speak to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

“I’d rather be doing that than talking to the general public as an actor,” he says. “I have to keep challenging my own understanding of things.”

He’s committed to the cause of fair trade as a weapon in fight against third-world poverty. “There’s a lot of argument about whether aid can work, and I certainly don’t think it can work on its own,” he says. “The only way an economy can pull itself out of poverty is through trade.

“I’m an actor, so my credibility as such is pretty low. But it’s my basic right as a voter and a citizen to get involved and do what I would have done anyway.”

He’s also a backer of Brightwide, a website launched this year to connect the best of social and political cinema with activism.

“Film has an immense power to put people at the heart of someone else’s narrative, but that effect is easily dissipated,” Firth explains. “Then there are these worthy campaign groups relying on slogans and T-shirts and posters that don’t have much impact, so it’s good to bring these two together.”

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Firth talks up fair trade for Oxfam

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