The World Social Forum Will Be Naked

A week from the opening of the Sixth World Social Forum, the Venezuelan blogosphere is not paying much attention to the event.

Pro-government Aporrea blog is the only weblog publishing news about the WSF everyday. Most of such entries are quotations from the government news agency ABN. Meanwhile, the anarchist blog, Colectivo La Libertad is covering news about the Alternative Social Forum, that will be hosted by anarchist collectives in Venezuela the very same week of the WSF. Reste@dos is publishing notes about both the WSF and the Alternative Forum agendas.

The feeling among Venezuelan bloggers is that sixth WSF may not be authentically representative of the Porto Alegre spirit since military officers and presidential bodyguards are expected to take control of all the Forum facilities. Thus, the humble Alternative gathering is seen as more suitable for social-minded people to share ideas without “pledging fidelity” to the Venezuelan president.

The only activity related to the WSF that is catching the attention of Venezuelan bloggers is the open invite to be part of a naked crowd standing to be photographed by Spencer Tunick. At least twelve Venezuelan bloggers swear they will be there.



  • […] Colombian ecologists are riding their bikes from Pamplona (Colombia) to Caracas (Venezuela) to attend the WSF. The 8-days tour aims to promote environmentally friendly transportation. […]

  • Iria,

    I’m sorry that you saw the same problems that I did. You know… I like to think I am open, and willing to participate in a lot of things. I don’t mind listening to the perspectives of others – even if I disagree with them. It’s OK to disagree. Eventually, it has to happen; without disagreement there can be no progress (paraphrasing Gandhi).

    When I leave a list, I view it as an ‘unhealthy relationship’. When you free yourself of an unhealthy relationship, you feel good deep down inside… and if you continue the unhealthy relationship, you don’t. Why not feel good? :-)

    On the flip side, NGOs really don’t get it in the region. Really. They actually wonder why they don’t get participation from people, why people won’t do things for them… and yet, they don’t (1) allow people to participate, or (2) pay them for things which they themselves are getting paid for. I’ve got a few horror stories collected, but it’s in poor taste to make them public – at least without context.

    Anyways… I’ll be keeping tabs on the World Social Forum. I might even blog about it, though if I have nothing to add I will not. :-)

  • […] Muchas ONGs participantes se cierran en su círculo de organizaciones aliadas con las cuales intercambian información, tanto en las actividades del encuentro como a través de boletines y listas cerradas de correo electrónico. No se arriesgan a abrir el diálogo hacia otros grupos y ciudadanos que no son miembros de esas organizaciones, pero están interesados en participar en el debate sobre los problemas sociales y colaborar para construir propuestas alternativas para superar la desigualdad. […]

  • […] About 100,000 leftwing activists will arrive in Caracas for the World Social Forum next week. With numbers that great, there will be sane, thinking people among them, even if they are on the far left. And maybe, some will be in moderate and democratic left, it’s pretty sure. That’s why Venezuelan bloggers are doing their utmost to communicate with the attendees about the militarism they will see on the streets, some of which has given some of the WSF attendees cause for concern. As Iria explained to me on Global Voices the other day: I really don’t know whether or not military officers will take control of the WSF facilities. I doubt it would happen. Simply, social-minded people in Caracas are afraid militarization would happen due to the government tendency to militarize anything they handle, and that concern is enough to dissuade then from attending the event. You may know that lefty people and human rights activists do not like to be surrounded by military; bring bad memories. Anyway, I think that like the U.S. Embassy they are overreacting. […]

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