01
Nov 18

November 1st – Global Google Walkout to protest Sexual Harassment #GoogleWalkout

https://twitter.com/GoogleWalkout – Singapore Office

At 11.10 am in Tokyo, Google employees began standing up form their desks and leaving their office building in what was the start of a Global Walkout. People have walked out in Singapore, Zurich, London and Dublin. Continue reading →


01
Nov 18

Can Social Media Activism be Truly Grassroots?

In my last blog I wrote about how two young women had used the internet to campaign (successfully as it turns out) to get the New Zealand singer, Lorde, to cancel her concert in Tel Aviv because of Israel’s violence against Palestinian people and their occupation of Palestine. There are numerous examples of Social Media being used for progressive causes (#MeToo, BlackLivesMatter, Occupy, Resist to name a few), but can the social media really be used for grassroots organizing? Continue reading →


19
Oct 18

Are boots on the ground better than words in cyberspace? 

Activism may be enhanced by using social media platforms for awareness campaigns, virtual petitioning and fund-raising, but when it comes to the environment, it’s ‘boots on the ground’ that count.

It’s no big news to hear about the affordances that social media has offered the world of political and social activism. The ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011/12 and more recently, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations the hashtag #metoo campaign, are oft-cited examples of how social media is transforming the socio-political landscape on scales rarely seen before. However, can the same be said for environmental activism? Are the affordances offered by social media making strong headways in the world of environmental protection? Continue reading →


16
Oct 18

#MeToo in India

India is one of the most dangerous countries for women to live in. In recent studies it has ranked number one before countries like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. One of the most disturbing events that contributes to the image of India was the gangrape and murderer on a bus in 2012. An event that made protesters take to the streets and women speak up. And they had the ears and eyes of the world upon them.

But the MeToo-movement did not take off in India until a year after the time of the “global” break out in 2017. Just like in the US, and large parts of the world, it was the naming of powerful men in the entertainment and news business that made the movement expand. On October 4, Mahima Kukreja, tweeted that a named popular comedian had sent her an unwanted dickpic. Other women responded by sharing stories of similar behaviour from the comedian. Earlier the ex-Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta named a film veteran who she accused of sexual misconduct and the allegations helped launch the #MeToo movement further in India.

Continue reading →


15
Oct 18

The internet bites back

The Israeli government is trying to hold back the tide of protest against their occupation of Palestine but has discovered the internet is a powerful cyber-activism tool.

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10
Oct 18

The Kavanaugh Hearings

In 1991, President George H. W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. He was accused for sexual harassment by Anita Hill. When Hill testified before the Senate judiciary committee there was not a single woman on the 14-member panel. The African American Anita Hill was investigated and questioned by powerful middle-aged white men which today it is quite painful, especially considering the differing power relations and the intimate questions, to watch.

Clarence Thomas sits in the Supreme Court and three of the men Hill faced on the committee remain on the panel in 2018. However, this time a female prosecutor was chosen to question the woman, Christine Blasey Ford. The assault, according to Ford, took place at a party in 1982 when they both went to High School. The nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, denies. During the hearings both Kavanaugh and Ford where emotional and considered believable by the public. Moreover, two other women had made accusations about Kavanaugh.

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08
Oct 18

Activism without Facebook

Activist movements are on Facebook. That seems to be a given. And why shouldn’t they? In our culture of sharing a single post can reach millions. In addition, Facebook enables a bottom-up approach to activism. Everyone at the base of a movement can contribute. Without having to organize a physical meeting Facebook fans can obtain a feeling of togetherness.

Most of us would agree that social movements need Facebook to connect and communicate. I normally would agree to that, too. But recently I have been wondering if Facebook really is such an incremental part of today’s activism. Then I came across a statement in which the The Center for Artistic Activisms (C4AA) explains that it withdraws from Facebook. I think it’s worth having a closer look at the reasons why C4AA quit Facebook.

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08
Oct 18

LGBT+ Social media activism in Africa – When they dare not speak its name

In a period where homophobia and violence against the LGBT+ community is increasing across the continent, campaigning and networking to end discrimination can be dangerous. Social Media provides an outlet and a platform. According to LGBT+ activists in Ghana, their online campaigning is making inroads into people’s prejudices – in social media forums at least. Continue reading →


05
Oct 18

Drones and environmental activism in the developing world.

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Last week I wrote about the way drone technology was being adopted by environmental activists in Australia to facilitate the role of ‘environmental watchdog’, particularly in remote mining areas where monitoring environmental regulatory compliance is infrequent and difficult. Commercial availability and falling prices of drones have given activists an accessible way to scrutinise industrial activity from the air, allowing them to witness and record both environmental impacts and instances of environmental regulatory or procedural violations. Social media complements this by providing a mechanism for sharing and raising awareness of activities that might otherwise go unheeded.

Today I will examine how the use of drones for environmental activism is playing out in developing and emerging countries where poverty, technological infrastructure, and laxer regulatory regimes both help and hinder the effective deployment of drones. In a globalized but unequal world, I would like to explore whether ICTs provide the same opportunities for combatting environmental degradation in poorer, developing nations as they do in the West. Do drones help ensure better environmental practices everywhere, or are they merely helping to transfer dirty environmental practices from rich to poor countries as multinationals increasingly offshore their activities? Are drones serving to bridge or widen the digital divide?

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05
Oct 18

Congrats, you’re an Activist! (Maybe)

Have you ever been a member of a social movement? Yes? Good. If no, I’ll rephrase the question for you. Have you ever joined a social movement? Still no? Chances are that you’re wrong. Maybe you just don’t remember. Or maybe you joined a social movement without even knowing. But where are the boundaries of activism in these days?

Continue reading →