20
Oct 15

The DNA of Connective Action

by David Leeming

Here is a photo of my Dad, Peter Leeming. At age 83, he is very fit and well, currently participating in a meeting in Germany of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers.

Peter Leeming, 2014

Peter Leeming, 2014

The Quakers have been associated with the peace and anti-war movements since their foundation during the Enlightenment as one of the “historic peace churches” Their faith is built on principles of non-violence and pacifism. Continue reading →


26
Sep 15

Tweeting for West Papua during the Pacific Islands Leaders Forum

by David Leeming

Coverage by Radio New Zealand International

Coverage by Radio New Zealand International

West Papua, the western half of the island of New Guinea, is a disputed territory which was annexed by Indonesia from the Netherlands in 1968. West Papua is now a province of Indonesia, and its history parallels that of neighbouring Timor Leste which was also annexed by Indonesia a few years later, but which won independence in 2000 following an epic campaign of resistance during which at least 100,000 people were killed. For West Papua, the struggle continues with worrying incidents reported as recently as March 2015. Continue reading →


25
Sep 15

Social media activism and international diplomacy

by David Leeming

Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño with freedom technologist Julian Assange [1]

 It is certainly true that the new and social media have transformed our lives in many ways. Whether or not you agree that the new technology has been a net benefit for political movements and activists, or believe in a more complicated, nuanced outcome as Zeynep Tuekci argues, we can’t deny the spectacular way the  Occupy movement was able to mobilise tens of thousands of protesters to symbolically reclaim public spaces and creatively bypass authority. Another recent example of social media put to good use for political mobilisation was the use of the NationBuilder software in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Leadership campaign. Continue reading →


17
Sep 15

Indigenous media as a form of social change activism

by David Leeming

The Australian film Tanna, co-directed by Dean and Martin Butler and made in collaboration with the Yakel people of Tanna, Vanuatu, has won two major prizes at the Venice Film Festival, writes Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian.

I can’t wait to see this film which promises authentic representation of island life portrayed with rich and entertaining drama.The film joins ranks with a growing number of “indigenous” Pacific Islands films:

“Shot entirely in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu ..(the film).. is based on dramatic events that took place on the eponymous volcanic island in 1987 (and) weaves fascinating details of tribal life into a universally accessible and emotionally affecting romantic drama,”

Richard Kuipers, Variety 

Hearing about the film led me to reflect on a critical analysis of an other film in the same genre, Hereniko’s Rotuman film The Land Has Eyes, that I had conducted as part of my studies earlier this year, and to make connections with the subject of this blog; new media and activism. Continue reading →