Citizen video and networked politics in Southeast Asia; Power in Our Hands

November 28, 2012

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Remember to load images if you have trouble seeing parts of this email. Or click here to view the web version of this newsletter. Below you will find upcoming Berkman Center events, interesting digital media we have produced, and other events of note.

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berkman luncheon series

Citizen video and networked politics in Southeast Asia

Tuesday, December 4, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.

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Citizen video in Southeast Asia has exploded in recent times, and has come to play a significant role in national and regional politics. As in other contexts it has documented spectacular events, spearheaded campaigns and uncovered scandals. More broadly citizen media and networked publics are shifting the balance of power both in the media and the political landscape. Like China and India, ASEAN nations are experiencing rapid growth and the online and citizen media space is only set to grow in media production, audience and importance. Whilst broadband access in the region is still often constrained to urban areas, citizen video is also being taken up as a political tool from those on the economic and political fringes. Initiatives such as Citizen Journalists Malaysia and EngageMedia are working to develop strategic networks of new citizen video producers. In this discussion, Andrew Lowenthal, co-founder and Executive Director of EngageMedia, will outline their approach to video4change and their work in the region, in particular looking at West Papua, (a remote region of Indonesia that has been waging an independence campaign for more than 40 years), the development of regional, cross-border and multilingual video networks, and the effect and possibility of the internet and online media to generate new post-national political configurations and collaborations. Andrew Lowenthal is Co-Founder and Executive Director of EngageMedia, an Asia-Pacific human rights and environmental video project begun in 2005. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

berkman luncheon series

Power in Our Hands

Tuesday, December 11, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor. This event will be webcast live.

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Armed with little more than a modest smartphone (mostly even ordinary phones) and an Internet subscription that will permit only a fair access to the mobile GPRS/EDGE, Nigerian young people went into the 2011 elections with a new wave of enthusiasm and interest. This was the fourth consecutive elections since the reemergence of democratic governance in 1999. And until then [2011], none of the previous elections received positive review in the aspect of credibility – or freeness, or fairness. Now, with the appointment of a new leadership and growing influence of technology in fostering more accountable processes, Nigerians optimistically anticipated a marked improvement in the April 2011 elections over past discredited experiences. It is even more significant that more attention were paid to the 2011 elections as it portended to be the most expensive electoral experience for Nigerians. A leadership change had recently been effected in a tensed political climate and the elections management body (EMB) had set a plan for the costliest elections ever. In light of the renewed hope and confidence, and the desire to get things right, several civil society organizations established election monitoring platforms via SMS, twitter, websites, blogs, facebook, telephone lines etc. One particular organization recruited volunteers and got itself embedded within the INEC systems to promote a “two-way communication between INEC and its stakeholders”. What evolved was a media-tracking centre established to assess the robust blend of traditional and new media during the election period. It was an interesting trend to see how social media, for the first time, was adopted and, quite interestingly, adapted, to ensure credibility of the electoral process. During this presentation, I intend to showcase the Nigeria experience, highlight what worked and what didn’t; specific instances of how social media interventions prevented rigging; how the elections has helped the growth of use of social media, the patterns of usage during and after the elections; and, how traditional media has adjusted to social media practice. I hope the audience will share their experiences and proffer recommendations to revamp the innovation for a more institutionalized adaptation in promoting good governance in Nigeria, as I continue to explore this in my present research work. Oluwaseun Odewale is male, Nigerian with degrees in Chemistry (Medicinal Chemistry) and Chemical Engineering Technology. He has worked variously with regional institutions like the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), the West African Bar Association (WABA) and recently, the Economic Community of West African States as Programme Officer (Youth), Programme Officer (Governance and Human Rights) and Research Assistant (Disaster Risks Reduction) respectively. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

video/audio

RB209: Crisis Spotting (Drone Humanitarianism II)

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What if you could witness a crime taking place from space, and even step in to prevent it? A group of researchers at Harvard’s Humanitarian Initiative are trying to do exactly that. video/audio on our website>

Other Events of Note

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Last updated November 28, 2012