Video Highlights: Syrian Activism, Children's Issues and Dolphin Deaths

This section 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.

Middle East, North Africa:

As part of the special coverage on the Syria Protest 2011/12, these two posts sadly deal with the detention of yet more bloggers and activists.

Syria: Ali Mahmoud Othman, the “Eyes of Baba Amr”, Detained

Video activist Ali Mahmoud Othman, was seized by the Syrian Government. Othman, the head of the media office of Baba Amr, used to be a vegetable vendor who started documenting unrest in Homs when the revolution started, and continued assisting those covering the conflict. His detention is seen as a huge blow to citizen journalism in Syria, and the activists from the Baba Amr office are possibly at risk.

The following video [ar] shows Othman, fondly known as the “eyes of Baba Amr,” telling the world about the suffering of the population of Baba Amr. He talks to the camera without concerns for his identity. He believed his message would be more reliable and reach a wider audience if he showed his face:

Syria: Activist Rima Dali Arrested in Damascus for Calling for End to Killing

From Sunday 8 April, 2012 to Tuesday 10 April, 2012, Rima Dali was detained,  Saffana Baqle and Assem Hamsho, who were with her at the time of the arrest, are still missing.

“Stop the killing. We want to build a country for all Syrians.” These were the words on the banner that Rima Dali held in front of the Syrian Parliament in Damascus on Sunday, April 8. Activists say she was arrested right after that. The following video shows Rima bravely holding the banner in front of cars while a group of women applaude [sic] her gesture.

Two other activists, Ali Dahna and Hussam Zein, were arrested 10 April, 2012 for holding the same banner during a sit-in near Qasr el-Adli, in Damascus.

South Asia and East Asia

Videos: Female Gendercide and Infanticide in India and China

In China and India, the strong cultural preference for male children instead of female children has resulted in a gender imbalance, brought on by female infanticide and selective abortions of female fetuses. A wide sample of videos, documentaries and even songs show the different implications of this problem: for the female children who are abandoned, for the women pregnant with female fetuses forced to abort or give the child for adoption, for those women who decide to raise daughters in spite of the cultural and economic hardships attached and for the people and organizations trying to change this phenomenon.

With the tagline of “The three deadliest words in the world”, the “It's a Girl” documentary is one which through interviews and on-location filming is figuring out why 200 million girls are “missing” in India and China, and why there has been no effective actions to this problem.

Latin America

Mexico: Children in Viral Video Shake Up Presidential Campaign

In the presidential race in Mexico, the Uncomfortable Children became viral through a video [es] showing young children inhabiting a city full of crime, violence, corruption, kidnapping and other problems that have become issues for Mexicans while asking for candidates to actually do something to change the situation and guarantee a better future for the children.

Reactions have been varied, between citizens who agree that the situation is unacceptable and is more like reality than people would comfortably admit, to others who would like to know who is behind the making of this video, and who criticize the use of children for this type of political message.

Si éste es el futuro que me espera, no lo quiero. Basta de trabajar para sus partidos y no para nosotros. Basta de arreglar el país “por encimita”. Doña Josefina, don Andrés Manuel, don Enrique, don Gabriel, se acabó el tiempo, México ya tocó fondo. ¿Sólo van a ir por la silla o van a cambiar el futuro de nuestro país?

If that is the future that is waiting for me, I don't want it. Stop working for your parties and not for us. Stop fixing the country superficially. Ms. Josefina, Mr. Andrés Manuel, Mr. Enrique, Mr. Gabriel, time has run out, Mexico has already hit bottom. Are you only gunning for the seat of the presidency or are you going to change the future of our country?

Peru: What Is Killing the Dolphins?

The death of more than 625 dolphins in 135 Km of beach to the North of Peru has made the headlines and has the international community concerned. Evidence seems to link the Sísmica 3D underwater exploration for oil and natural gas to the death of dolphins, due to the damage evidenced in the dead marine mammals which match with acoustic decompression. Dr Newborns, calves, juveniles, lactating females, pregnant females, adult males and female dolphins have all been affected. Links in this post lead to Spanish articles unless otherwise noted.

Dolphin and baby by Vincent Teeuwen CCBy

Dolphin and baby by Vincent Teeuwen CCBy

Hardy Jones, the founder of [en], filmmaker and activist for the conservation of marine life, went to Peru to experience Dr. Yaipén-Llanos’ primary reports of the 25th March. Already on Peru's northern coast, he tweeted [en] on the 27th March:

Found 615 dead #dolphins on 135 kilometers of beach N of San Jose, Peru. Tragedy unspeakable. Please retweet. This must be investigated.


Meanwhile, environment and fishing ministers met on the 10th April to report on the link between oil exploration and the deaths of the dolphins. They also had to report on the measures being taken to avoid greater environmental impact on marine fauna, now that a report has shown that approximately 20,000 dolphins, as well as other species, are in mortal danger. Inquiries into the use of Sísmica 3d have been planned along the entire Peruvian coastline.

The producer of this video, Hardy Jones, has just returned from video taping the tragic die-off of dolphins along the coast of Peru. BlueVoice, working with the marine mammal rescue team of ORCA Peru, ran 135 kilometers of coast from San Jose north. We counted 615 dead dolphins. Dr. Carlos Yaipen Llanos, director of ORCA, conducted necropsies of several of the dead animals.

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