Video Highlights: Culture, Human Rights, Online Activism and Crowdfunding

This series of highlights aims to showcase interesting and recent posts in Global Voices that show the many ways in which videos are helping people tell stories all around the world. You can follow the activity by regions in our YouTube channel.
The Earth, image by Esparta Palma CCBy on Flickr

The Earth, image by Esparta Palma CCBy on Flickr


India: The Last Handwritten Newspaper in the World

The earliest forms of newspaper were handwritten and now ‘The Musalman‘ probably is the last handwritten newspaper in the world. This Urdu language newspaper was established in 1927 by Chenab Syed Asmadullah Sahi and has been published daily in the Chennai city of India ever since.

Azerbaijan: Novruz Bayram

Alongside Iran and elsewhere, Azerbaijan once again celebrated Novruz, the Zoroastrian or Persian New Year. Usually celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox, Novruz marks the first day of Spring, and is one of the most important dates in the Azerbaijani calendar.

This next promotional video prepared for Eurovision shows how the holiday is celebrated in Azerbaijan.

Human rights and videos

Ethiopia: Child Abuse Caught on Mobile Phone Camera

Ethiopian Facebook users have reacted to a mobile phone recorded YouTube video which shows a little girl constantly being abused by her mother. Shortly after the upload of the video, netizens on Facebook organized an online campaign for justice by starting a Facebook group called “Ethiopians Against Child Abuse”:

Warning: the video shows situations of child abuse.

This month also saw other reactions in Ethiopia regarding human rights abuses, in the next case, an Ethiopian domestic worker was beaten by her employers in front of the Ethiopian Embassy in Lebanon, and it was captured on video. Sadly, she committed suicide shortly after.

Ethiopia: Outrage Over Abuse of Ethiopian Domestic Worker in Lebanon

Ethiopia Lebanon: Online Outrage Over Death of Domestic Worker Turns into Activism

The graphic nature of the video together with the tragic end of the plot left Ethiopians netizens outraged. Ethiopians have been using Facebook and online petition sites to mourn her death and campaign for justice for domestic workers in the Middle East.

Online activism

Kony 2012 Special Coverage Page

With the Kony 2012 campaign, discussions increased online on the topics of online activism, its efficiency and how media portrays the conflicts and situations lived in different African countries. A Special Coverage page was created to follow the reactions on the polemic video with Ugandans weighing in on the topic:

Uganda: Kony 2012 Video Response from Ugandan Prime Minister

On the YouTube comments for the previous video, Ugacentricity gives credit to the intentions behind the Invisible Children's video, but defends the need for an accurate portrayal:

No doubt, Jason's intentions MAY have been good, but he threw truth and fact out in favour of drama and innuendo. True, he may not have got the 100 million+ viewers, but the end doesn't always justify the means. As a Ugandan who was affected by Kony, I'd rather have had 100 people listening to the truth in my story than 100 million believing the untruths in it.

A series of video responses made by people inspired by the original Kony 2012 video can be found in the post Uganda: Yes We Kony!.

Other examples of online activism:

Online activism continues in the following examples of stories posted during the month of March 2012:

In Puerto Rico, an organization is seeking to raise awareness on the dangers and risks of planning unnecessary C-sections on women expecting babies through a music video.

In Russia, sex and videos were used as a means for political support by Putin supporters and detractors during the Election season, and this article walks us through some different examples.

In Latin America, women who had breast surgery with faulty implants are taking to the web to get their stories out and gather support. Through blogs, online forums, Facebook groups and online videos [es], women are talking about the high incidence of cosmetic breast enhancements, on financial responsibility for the removal of faulty implants and on the legal aspects of dealing with medical procedures that go wrong.


Nicaragua: Film on the Consequences of a Leaked Sex Video Seeks Crowdfunding

An award-winning team of producers and actors is coming together in rural Nicaragua to make a movie based on actual events exploring the consequences of a couple of young people in love who make an intimate video of themselves which then becomes public by mistake, and how they deal with the backlash of their actions. They are looking for extra funding to cover costs on location in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, and all the money raised will be spent locally.


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