Category Archives: Video Blogging

Buffer Zone Bloggers Website: http://www.digime.org.cy/en/

Buffer Zone Bloggers is delighted to announce the launch of the DigiMe project website featuring Buffer Zone Bloggers:

http://www.digime.org.cy/en/

All information you might need on the Buffer Zone Bloggers weekend can be found on it, in English, Greek and Turkish; plus lots of interesting extras! Journalists’ resources are available under the section Press and Media / MME / Basın & Medya. In case more details are necessary, Sarah from Cyprus Community Media Centre and Stelios from NGO Support Centre will be happy to assist you respectively on sarah@cypruscommunitymedia.orgor stelios@ngo-sc.org.

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Buffer Zone Bloggers Press Release

 
Buffer Zone Bloggers English Press Release

Buffer Zone Bloggers English Press Release

Buffer Zone Bloggers Δελτίο Τύπου

Buffer Zone Bloggers Greek Press Release

Buffer Zone Bloggers Greek Press Release

Yonkis: Colombia’s First Gay Webshow

Nineteen year old blogger Jhoncito Arango has caught the eye of the local media in his native Colombia, with an online project centering on a very delicate issue in Latin America: homosexuality. The name of the project is Yonkis: Arango’s gay teen web series, which fans and youtubers have embraced quite warmly.

Arango had been meditating on the project for a year before its launch. His aim was to use his passion for videoblogging to create the first LGBT webshow in Columbia. “This will help us establish a new image about us, about the LGBT community, we will take down some stereotypes and maybe we will confirm others, but we will always try to give the best of us and show that as young people we can be part of the change and become peaceful and positive activists for the collective we belong to and which makes us proud,” he writes in his blog.

Remarkably, Arango writes, directs, produces and edits the series. He also launched a strong promotional campaign in anticipation of the webshow’s premiere, on 11 April 2011,  which included teasers, trailers and character profiles, all made public through blogs and social media. With more than 6,700 views on the first video only eight days after release and significant mention in the mainstream media, Arago can boast of a job well done.

Comments and ratings tend to be positive, but of course there has been some criticism, alleging mainly that the show’s characters are shallow and effeminate. Jhoncito explains that the characters are faithful reflections of the actors portraying them.  He goes on to add that in order to fight homophobia, members of LGBT communities have to accept diversity within their own ranks.  He further challenges members of any gay group who do not feel adequately represented by Yonkis, to produce their own show documenting their way of life in the gay community, and pledges to give them his full support.

For more information and links on this topic please click here for the extensive article posted on http://globalvoicesonline.org/

Ai Weiwei: Where Art Meets Activism

Chinese global art phenomenon Ai Weiwei is nearing the second week of detention for speaking out against alleged corruption and human rights abuses within the Chinese government. On 3 April, Ai was arrested just before catching a flight to Hong Kong and has been detained since. His family has yet to be informed of his whereabouts and state of health. The public outcry has been of enormous, with international governments, human rights groups and art institutions, among others, calling for Ai’s release.

Ai Weiwei’s human rights activism has become inexorably linked with his art work and fame. Exhibitions such as Fuck Off (2000), So Sorry (2009) and Sunflower Seeds (2010) share the element of protest against authority, government irresponsibility towards the people and mass industrialization. Supporting an investigation into student casualties in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, aiming to expose an alleged corruption scandal in the construction of the collapsed schools, Ai has been beaten by the police and hospitalized for a cerebral hemorrhage believed to be linked to the attack. The investigation aimed to compile a list of students killed in the earthquake by 12 May 2009, the earthquake’s first anniversary. As of 14 April 2009, the list had accumulated 5,385 names. Ai published the collected names as well as numerous articles documenting the investigation on his blog which has been shut down in May 2009.

The 53-year-old artist has found an effective way of making a statement for freedom of expression through the use of social media. An extraordinary number of tweets has earned him cult status on the web and has facilitated the involvement in his cause of a vast like-minded audience coming from all walks of life. Obsessively documenting his surroundings, he has turned invasive objects such as surveillance cameras, installed by the authorities to keep an eye on him, into positive statements against oppression through contemporary art. He retaliated by turning his own cameras to observe the police and has even turned the tearing down of his studio complex by the authorities into a victory of the creative spirit by documenting the demolition and putting the pictures online.

As the cloud of silence by the Chinese authorities continues to envelop Ai Weiwei, the world keeps a watchful eye. Missing since his arrest, is Ai’s assistant Wen Tao. His accountant, as well as studio partner Liu Zhenggang and driver Zhang Jingsong, have also disappeared since 9 April.

Please click the links below to sign a petition for Ai Weiwei’s release

http://www.change.org/petitions/call-for-the-release-of-ai-weiwei

 and to see the PBS special on upcoming documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, produced and directed by Alison Klayman:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/ai-wei-wei/

Video Activism: The Power Of Your Point Of View

Disillusioned with one-sided news coverage from mainstream media, activists during the past twenty years have been packing their video cameras as essential speaking-up gear. The medium of Video has proved to be a dramatic weapon in reporting a crisis. Video activism gives voice to how your every-day activist experiences the issues at hand and makes the cause more co-involving for like-minded audiences around the world.

Video activism has been present since the 1960’s. The power brought to the individual by the hand-held camera has proved detrimental to the democratization of audiovisual news-coverage. The increasing user-friendliness of video technology along with the increase in affordability has led to the explosion of the video activist phenomenon during the past couple of decades. Supported by organized networks, video sharing sites such as Youtube, as well as by the social media boom, it has become increasingly easier for dedicated activists as well as impromptu users moved to action, to get their message through.

Watch the video on Video Activism against torture in Egypt and against corruption in Tunisia by clicking the link: http://www.informationactivism.org/tactic10video

Some important features, particular to Video Activism make this an efficient way of speaking up. As stated on the network VideoActivism.org:

  • Video Activism deters police violence.
  • Video Activism helps to document what occurs at actions, for legal follow-up purposes.
  • Video Activism doesn’t water-down, or alter the message of the people.
  • Video Activism allows the people themselves to shape public debate about our world of multiple crises, articulating what is truly relevant news about the world we share. The huge number of people who have their own video cameras at demonstrations today is testament to the democratization of electronic communications.
  • Video Activism is a big feature of the growing world of independent media. More and more concerned people, all over the world, are actually making their own media and by-passing the established, corporate-owned press with their own stories and their unique visions of a better world.

For the past twenty years people around the world have been increasingly turning to the video camera, a tool classically used by police and authoritarian governments, in order to bring to light their own sense of truth and justice. Manolis Andriotakis and Onur Metin are both experienced video activists who will be sharing the tricks of their trade at the Buffer Zone Bloggers weekend.

#18DaysInEgypt: Crowd-sourcing History

As widely acknowledged, a significant part of the revolution in Egypt was both documented and encouraged by the use of social media. For more than three weeks, the Egyptians uploaded hundreds of videos and pictures and left a trail of an infinite number of tweets between the January 25 protests that invigorated the movement and the day Hosni Mubarak stepped down. Now all this inside information is in danger of being lost to oblivion. It is true that the web provides a chance for immediate publication of events anywhere and by anyone in the world, but it is also true that tweets, uploads and posts have a short life span, being quickly liquidated by the same networks that allowed them to exist.

18 Days in Egypt is a project launched by former New York Times video journalist and current Knight fellow at Stanford University, Jigar Mehta. It aims to be an interactive, crowd-sourced documentary about the events of the revolution. “We want to use the same tools to tell the story as the story was told to us,” Mehta says. The site wants to tackle the difficult task of providing the right context for the raw videos and news that others have posted and collected. The project calls on people around the world to tag media from Egypt by its date, place and type. The documentary itself will evolve as footage flows in over the coming months. Mehta and his team are mulling several different formats for the final product, including an interactive feature like Arcade Fire’s Wilderness Downtown, which would allow users to view any moment of the 18-day revolution.

Design, content and social media join forces with 18 Days in Egypt, in the struggle to preserve the very personal side of history, that has emerged with events in Northern Africa. 18 Days in Egypt intents to make history not only accessible but sharable for generations to come. Follow the story on their site http://18daysinegypt.com/