Ok, to the title is actually an attempt to summarize the three ideas I had. Here we go in a more detailed fashion 🙂
1. Online activism tool.
This actually nicely joins a suggestion that Portnoy made earlier. I am not sure whether this goes into the same direction as his idea though. What I thought about is having a wiki where to create something we can dub “a political memo tool”. As I am very interested in censorship and surveillance be it online, be it biometry, etc., I was thinking of creating this political memo as a database of all deputies and representatives who deal with these questions in countries where we have little knowledge about as the MENA region, for instance. So, in the EU and the US, we know who these people are in general, but not in countries from the MENA region or Asia or the CEE.
Since it is not enough just to have these guys/gals listed, my guess is it may be very interesting to have a crowdsourced tool to collect various things such as “inaccessible website for country X”. This already exist for some EU countries (respectmynet.eu, by the French citizen initiative La Quadrature du Net). A very useful resource as Telecomix does exist as well (e.g., Blue Cabinet), but RespectMyNet is different: it really aims at gathering factual data about internet censorship. We all know this happens, especially in the aformentioned countries. It would be very useful to gather this data and try to act against. This collection is also a way of educating people: “ah the site doesn’t work, too bad” or “ah, it doesn’t work, good, it is censored, I’ll use a circumvention tool and will access it anyway”. In the former case, people just obey to censorship in a passive way. In the latter case, people just skip the bigger issue: surveillance. And I think this is a crucial thing to work on.
Last but not least, all other surveillance technologies such as cameras in the streets, biometrical recognition when trying to enter your workplace, ID cards with RFID or other types of intrusive chips + extensive biometrical data collection, etc. are real things happening in the real life… And this is scary, but most of the people just find you (me, actually) slightly paranoid when I say this looks like “1984”.
I believe Global Voices can have a very thought-provoking word to say here. It will advantageously enrich Advox as well.
Ooops, too long. Will make the others much shorter 🙂
2. Aborigenous rights
I am sure you have already heard about this, but stuff has been happening for quite some time now in Australia and South America (e.g. Chiapas). This is a very interesting point, lives are in play, but very little coverage is ensured by the media. This is a point that could be a nice addition to Rising Voices, for instance.
3. Women’s place/rights in unknown cultures
By unknown I mean cultures very few media talk about in general. And women’s place… Well, I am kind of involved into such topics (women in science and research, women in ICT, etc. including work with UNESCO) and I like the topic 😉 And we know very little about how these social and cultural mindsets evolve. For instance, I read about a woman advocating more freedom to women in Madagascar for something like a decade now, she was telling about the fact that force-feeding shows decline. This is a very strong signal that rigid harmful misogynous traditions actually are subject to change as well as social structures. And my guess is these people need our support to keep on fighting 🙂
So, if you are down here, you courageously read all that prose! Thanks! And any comments & critics are welcome, of course.
I like a lot the idea of gender/women’s rights. But I don’t quite get what can we do about it. I was collecting some blogs that talk about gender and women’s rights to make a post, but then I thought this could be a bit reductive… I don’t know, just some posts on gender would not be enough to cover all those conversations. This reminds me of what I was saying in my post suggesting a space for culture. I think the main thing is to underline the fact that we should be covering and giving visibility to these subjects… More than the visibility we give them currently. Juan proposed in the “culture” suggestion to make a team to organize and to discuss more on these particular subjects, I guess the same can be done with gender and indigenous rights… On that last one: there’s a special coverage on Indigenous rights made mainly by the LatAm community. We could start from there… what do you think ?