Stories from February, 2012
International Mother Language Day in Francophone Regions
February 21st is International Mother Language Day. Discussion of the origins of this celebration, and a brief review of current developments in French language and new technologies.
Russia: An Overview of the Pre-Election Anglophone Blogging
Below is a quick overview of what some of the Anglophone Russia bloggers have been writing during the busy pre-election month of February.
Uruguay: Scenes From the Longest Carnival in the World
Every year, Uruguayans celebrate the longest carnival in the world. Percussionists, dancers and musical and theatrical performers take center stage for over 40 days. Sites and blogs dedicated to the event keep netizens around the world informed on the different aspects of carnival, while bloggers share photos, videos, and thoughts on this celebration of culture and heritage.
Cuba, USA: Blogger Perspectives on the Embargo's 50th Anniversary (Part 1)
The United States' economic embargo against Cuba has been in existence for 50 years. To mark the occasion, Global Voices interviews two bloggers about the blockade and what it has (or hasn't) accomplished. This is Part 1, in which Cuban diaspora blogger Alberto de la Cruz shares his views.
Sri Lanka: Abductions On The Rise In Sri Lanka
Groundviews reports that there has been a disturbing rise in the number of abductions in Sri Lanka, especially in and around the capital, Colombo.
Pakistan: Congratulating Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Hina Safdar At Chowrangi celebrates the Oscar award winner, the internationally renowned Pakistani documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. She won the award for her documentary ‘Saving Face, which is based on the story of acid attack survivors.
India: Cheap Tablet, Unaffordable Mistake
Nitin Pai at The Acorn posts an in-depth analysis on the controversies related to the $35 Aakash tablet PC.
Trinidad & Tobago: Carnival is My Time
“In an attempt to imitate art…culture in T&T seems to have perverted itself and in trying to become something else, may have succeeded all too well; the business model of Tribe and the other new ‘Rio’ styled bands seems to be built on encouraging excess for profit”: Plain Talk suggests...
Video Highlights: Defending Human Rights
A selection of Global Voices' recent and interesting stories on video advocacy including indigenous rights and recent news from Latin America, East Asia, Western Europe and Sub Saharan Africa selected by Juliana Rincón Parra.
Palestine: “Diwan Ghazza” and the Gaza Book Club
Yasmeen El Khoudary introduces an initiative by young bloggers in Gaza called Diwan Ghazza, and the Gaza Book Club.
Cuba: Dialogue with the Opposition?
“It might be paranoia. In totalitarian states, suspicion and the absurd become habit. But it isn’t insane to think that to give the dissidents a space if circumstances force their hand, could become a part of the island’s mandarin’s calculus”: Iván's File Cabinet puts forward a compelling theory.
Jamaica: Inmate Beatings
Following reports that several high-profile inmates are being beaten, Active Voice wants to know “what’s going down at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre”, which seems to be “a virtual Guantanamo Bay.”
St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago: Priestly Poetry & A New Literature Partnership
Caribbean Book Blog interviews priest and poet Fr. Lambert St Rose, while Bocas Lit Fest announces “a new partnership that will work towards enhancing the Caribbean literary scene and help kick-start an infrastructure to support writers, writing, and publishing.”
Syria: Injured French Journalist Edith Bouvier Still Trapped in Besieged Homs
Le Figaro's Edith Bouvier and British photographer Paul Conroy, managed to survive the attack that killed two journalists in Homs, Syria. Conroy has since made it out but Bouvier remains in the country injured. Ahmed Medien takes a look at how word got out about the attack as well as netizens' reactions.
Pakistan: Fighting the Great Firewall
The recent blow to the internet freedom in Pakistan has been the announcement of a request for proposal (RFP) for national “URL filtering and blocking system” by the ICT R&D Fund under the Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT). The $10 million system is required to be able to ”handle a block list of up to 50 million URLs".
Syria: Homage to American Journalist Marie Colvin Killed in Homs
Marie Colvin and Rémi Olchik were killed last week, when the makeshift media centre they were at in Baba Amr, in Homs, Syria, was attacked by the Syrian regime. Netizens from around the world pay homage to their courage.
Africa: Vote for the Most Influential African Thinker Alive
Africa is a Country blog wants readers to vote for one influential African thinker from a list of 12 candidates. The list includes Chinua Achebe (Nigeria), Mahmood Mamdani (Uganda), Mamdouh Habashi, (Egypt), Kwame Anthony Appiah (Ghana/United States), J M Coetzee (South Africa/Australia) and Issa Shivji (Tanzania). Voting is open until 5 March, 2012.
Brazil: Visually Impaired Dancers Become Ballet Professionals
Pierre Larose, on his blog Discovering São Paulo, shares a video report on ‘a ballet school in São Paulo which has developed a method of “teaching by touch” in order to develop professional ballet dancers who are blind or visually impaired’. He adds that in 12 years approximately 300 dancers...
Egypt: Mahliat, popular initiative to improve local councils
This short video highlights the role of local councils in the community. It is made by mahliat [Ar] or “local councils” – an Egyptian movement founded by Moustafa Shoman. You can also follow the movement on Twitter and Facebook.
Haiti: Joining the African Union
Mackendie Toupuissant writes [fr]: “The news went almost unnoticed. Until now, Haiti was a mere “observer” in the African Union. Since early February, the first black republic in history became a” full associate member “of the African Union (AU). This decision, the first of its kind for a country of the African Diaspora...
El Salvador: Hunnapuh, a Pioneer of the Salvadoran Blogosphere
We talk with Omar Nieto, a pioneer in the Salvadoran blogosphere. His blog Hunnapuh is one of the oldest and longest-lived in this Central American country. In this interview, Omar talks to us about his blog and about the Salvadoran blogosphere. He also shares some advice about maintaining consistency and quality in a blog.