openDemocracy https://www.opendemocracy.net/ en Job advert: Head of Finance & Risk https://www.opendemocracy.net/opendemocracy/job-advert-head-of-finance-risk <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Seeking an experienced Head of Finance &amp; Risk to be solely responsible for day-to-day financial control and reporting, to monitor and report on organisational risk, and to provide strategic support to the CEO/Editor-in-Chief.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/2_1.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/2_1.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="229" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Shutterstock/erce. All rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><ul><li><strong>Hours:</strong><span>&nbsp;28-35 hours a week, five days a week.</span></li><li><strong>Pay:</strong>&nbsp;Competitive for non-profit sector, matched to hours and experience</li><li><strong>Contract:</strong>&nbsp;Permanent</li><li><strong>Location:</strong>&nbsp;London office</li><li><strong>Application deadline:</strong>&nbsp;Noon on&nbsp;19th February 2018</li></ul><h2><strong>About openDemocracy</strong></h2> <p>openDemocracy (established in 2001) is a global, non-profit media platform that seeks to challenge power and inspire change through tenacious reporting, thoughtful analysis and democratic debate. We run <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/dup-dark-money">deep investigations</a>; we partner with <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/protest">NGOs</a>, think tanks, <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openmovements">activists and academics</a> across the world; and we have an <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/node/add/submission">open submissions policy</a> committed to diversity of voice and perspective. We publish in <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia">Russian</a>, <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia">Arabic</a>, <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta">Spanish and Portuguese</a> as well as English, with an ambition to bring on more languages. We also partner on <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/wfd">major global conferences</a>, and occasionally run specialist <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/teamsyntegrity">on-the-ground events</a> ourselves, bringing together innovative activists and thinkers from across the globe to try and solve some of the world’s most entrenched problems.&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>The role</strong></h2> <p>We are a small, dynamic and global organisation with big ambitions – over the last three years our gross income has almost doubled to £1.6m – and this is a key role within our senior management team. As a not-for-profit media organisation we receive funding through institutional grants, partnerships with universities and other third-sector organisations, as well as individual and community fundraising. We have a flat, federal structure with a number of self-financing projects, and in the last year we have managed over 25 grants and delivered on more than 10 partnerships – in addition to running crowdfunding campaigns and securing funds from major donors.&nbsp;</p> <p>We are looking for someone who will excel at managing the day-to-day finances, producing monthly management accounts &amp; reporting on performance – but who will also develop and innovate our systems in order create efficiencies and help us grow.&nbsp;</p> <p>During the first year of the role we will be transferring to a new publishing platform and engaging in an ambitious fundraising campaign to grow our organisation. As lead on risk and compliance, your input will be essential to ensure that this growth is sustainable and that we have the right systems and structures in place to make the most of these new opportunities.</p> <p>You will be a self motivated, experienced manager with a strong accountancy and compliance background, who is happy to get stuck in with the day-to-day management of openDemocracy’s finances but equally comfortable with budget setting and planning, monitoring risk, providing financial advice to project managers and strategic support to the Editor-In-Chief.</p> <p>It will be a challenging and exciting time to be here, and we are looking for someone who will share our excitement, and will approach all of this with wisdom, spirit and enthusiasm. </p> <p>The key responsibilities of the role are:</p><ul><li>- Day to day financial management of openDemocracy, including annual audit and quarterly re-forecast</li><li>- Preparing monthly management accounts, providing financial analysis and information to the senior leadership team, Finance &amp; Risk Committee and openDemocracy Board to inform decision making</li><li>- Providing strategic support to the organisation and managing organisational risk</li><li>- Supporting funding applications, partnership bids and other fundraising activity as appropriate, as well as financial reporting to funders and partners</li><li>- Line management of the Operations Manager</li><li>- Setting an example for financial transparency and integrity across the organisation and the independent media sector as a whole.&nbsp;</li></ul><p>For more details, <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/12iuVnyK8vaq3xGEV5jxUgL5ZtU6c-dZ8/view?usp=sharing">click here</a>&nbsp;to see job description and person specification.&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong><span>How to apply</span></strong></h2> <p>Candidates must be able to provide evidence they have the skills, knowledge and experience detailed in the person specification section of the <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/12iuVnyK8vaq3xGEV5jxUgL5ZtU6c-dZ8/view?usp=sharing">job description</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>To apply please <a href="https://opendemocracy60862.recruiterbox.com/jobs/fk0fcus">click here</a> to submit your CV and a letter outlining how you fit the criteria for the role as detailed in the <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/12iuVnyK8vaq3xGEV5jxUgL5ZtU6c-dZ8/view?usp=sharing">job description</a>. Please also include details of two referees (we will request permission before contacting any referees), whether you are applying for the role on a full-time, part-time or flexible basis and what your salary expectations are.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Application deadline</strong>: Noon on Monday 19th February 2018.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>We particularly encourage those from groups who tend to be under-represented in the media to apply. We are also open to family-friendly working hours, and/or to accommodating other caring responsibilities.</em></strong></p><div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> Opportunities at openDemocracy openDemocracy Fri, 02 Feb 2018 12:45:24 +0000 openDemocracy 115936 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The Guardian view on... cultural genocide https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/adam-ramsay/guardian-view-on-cultural-genocide <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>When Britain's liberal newspaper parrots the lines of hardline nationalists opposing diversity, something interesting is going on.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553846/Irish language act.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553846/Irish language act.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="259" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Grafitti calling for an Irish Language Act. Image, BBC, fair use.</span></span></span></p><p>Sometimes, the best way to understand the shape of a specific nationalism is to look at its more liberal adherents. The bellicose blusertings of flag-wavers are roughly similar in each country: you can try to distinguish between your Nigel Farages, Donald Trumps, Modis and Erdogans, but the heat at the surface can make it harder to delve into the depths of national meaning. </p> <p>What’s often more interesting is the bits of a hegemonic nationalism that are so embedded that even those who blush at words like ‘nationalist’ will repeat them in what they think is a calm, ‘rational’ tone. And it’s with that in mind that we should turn to the Guardian’s editorial page.</p> <p>For context, the Northern Irish Assembly collapsed more than a year ago under the pressure of a DUP financial scandal and the broad crisis of Brexit. This week, Theresa May and Leo Varadkar, the Irish Taoiseach, went to Belfast hoping to secure a deal to reassemble the Assembly. One of the key stumbling blocks was that the DUP was unwilling to sign up to an Irish Language Act. </p> <p>There is much more to be said about what’s really going on in this process, and the various motivations of the many parties to the negotiations. But set those aside for a moment. Because it was in this context that the Guardian published an editorial under the headline: “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/15/the-guardian-view-on-northern-ireland-talks-collapsing-the-lost-language-of-power-sharing#comment-112305281">The Guardian view on Northern Ireland talks collapsing: the lost language of power-sharing</a>”, which included this paragraph:&nbsp; </p><blockquote><p>“The darker truth here is that Sinn Féin has chosen to weaponise the language question for political ends, less to protect a minority than to antagonise unionists. Unionists have duly been antagonised. The Gaelic language is the main tongue of a mere 0.2% of the Northern Ireland population. Around 10% claim to understand it to some degree (perhaps just a few phrases). But Sinn Féin does not do things accidentally. Its proposals have become a weapon of tribalism in communities where identity politics always looms large and divisively. Fears that Irish may be made compulsory in schools, that a language qualification might become a job requirement and that street signs would be made bilingual are not all well grounded. But some are. Bilingual road signs, for instance, would take the issue into every street in Northern Ireland, with pointless provocative effect.”</p></blockquote> <p>There are a few details the Guardian seem to have forgotten here. An Act to protect the Irish language isn’t just some wheeze concocted by Sinn Fein to troll the Orange Order. The 2006 St Andrews Agreement required the British government to ensure such an Act was passed, and, as the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission <a href="http://www.peig.ie/images/Taighde/nihrc-briefing-paper-minority-language-rights-and-ecrml-june-2010.pdf">points out</a>, “the Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Act 2006 introduced a statutory duty on the Northern Ireland Executive to adopt strategies to ‘enhance and protect the development of the Irish language’ and to ‘enhance and develop the Ulster Scots language, heritage and culture’”.</p> <p>“All of these commitments are” the Commission notes “awaiting implementation.”</p> <p>As well as having the backing of the human rights commission, the proposed Irish Language Act is also supported by all three cross-community parties represented in the Assembly – the Greens, Alliance (the Northern Irish sister party of the Lib Dems) and People Before Profit. </p> <p>Then there’s the reason that this issue re-emerged: it flared up when DUP communities minister Paul Givan <a href="https://www.irishnews.com/news/2017/04/27/news/dup-minister-paul-givan-told-of-irish-language-scheme-advantages-before-he-axed-it-1008840/">slashed funding</a> for the Irish language in December 2016, in what looked like an effort to distract from the controversial Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. But, according to the Guardian, it’s Sinn Fein who are “weaponising the language for political ends”.&nbsp; </p><p>Then, of course, there’s the matter of the European Charter on Minority Languages, under which Britain is supposed to be protecting the Irish language in Northern Ireland. </p> <p>But all of that is detail. The real point here is this.&nbsp; </p><p>The lack of people speaking Irish in Northern Ireland isn’t just the result of the inevitable supremacy of English. It’s the product of brutality over centuries – from the plantations to Cromwell’s mass murder to the 1831 Education Act, with which British colonists forced Irish people to learn in English rather than their native tongue; to the violence of the famine and the vast exodus it triggered; to the oppression of Catholic communities which triggered the civil rights movement in the 1960s.</p> <p>Looked at over centuries, the decline of the Irish language is best understood as a product of what Tomás Mac Síomóin, among others, describe as the <a href="https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/cultural-genocide-the-broken-harp-identity-and-language-in-modern-ireland-by-tom%C3%A1s-mac-s%C3%ADom%C3%B3in-1.2299891">cultural genocide of Ireland</a>.&nbsp; </p><p>It is in this context that we should look again at that Guardian editorial: where it deplores moves to revive a language as divisive, because the elimination of it has been so successful that only a few thousand people in the North still speak it; where the victims of this oppression are dismissed as ‘tribal’, while the hatred of those who detest diversity goes unchallenged.</p> <p>Of course the Irish language is political: it’s always political for marginalised minorities to express themselves. It’s always political to defend diversity in the face of those who demand a monochrome society.</p> <p>But in its rush to parrot the lines of the DUP, what the Guardian misses is a fascinating trend: what we see now bubbling into the most precarious bit of Britain’s high politics is a long term, underlying trope deep within the psyche of Britishness. </p><p>We’ve become familiar with it in Scotland too, where increasingly panicked British nationalists are becoming ever more obsessed with laughing at or complaining about Gaelic and Scots tongues, moaning about the invented costs of adding place names in different languages to road signs, and endlessly claiming that “Gaelic was never spoken here” about places whose names are clearly derived from Gaelic words (for the record, Gaelic was spoken almost everywhere in Scotland at some time or another). While legislation defending Gaelic and Scots was brought in by the previous Labour/Lib Dem Executive, it’s often attacked as an SNP and nationalist project.</p> <p>And of course, it’s a trope with which many in Wales and Cornwall and among Britain’s Gypsy and traveller communities are familiar.&nbsp; </p><p>This tells us a number of vital things.</p> <p>Anglonormativity hasn’t gone anywhere. The fact that the Guardian allowed someone to write such nonsense under the paper’s own byline shows that even Britain’s most progressive mainstream newspaper is unwilling to do the deep work of decolonising its soul. Those who hoped Britain would be able to reinvent itself as a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plurinationalism">pluralinational</a> polity seem have been deluding themselves.</p> <p>In fact, it seems like Englishness and Britishness are, for many, merging more than ever as Anglo-British nationalism seems to be swallowing Unionism. To understand this distinction, it’s important to understand that the Unionist party manifesto in Scotland in 1951 spent much of its time making clear that it was the party which defended Scotland’s place as its own nation within a union of equals, where Labour was the party of the British state and the SNP the party of independence. </p> <p>Unionism in Scotland was represented by Tory lawyers defending Scotland’s separate legal system whilst happily waving a union flag, middle class teachers defending Scotland’s distinct education system within the UK, and the clergy defending the autonomy of the Church of Scotland under the broad umbrella of the British state. Historically, Welsh Tories and Welsh Labour were as happy to speak in Welsh as were Plaid Cymru members.</p> <p>In Northern Ireland, the arch unionist the Rev Dr Ian Paisley described himself as both <a href="https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/news-analysis/we-all-can-be-irish-british-or-both-31290843.html">Irish and British</a>: his unionism meant that for him, those were complementary identities.</p> <p>But as the deep crisis of the British state unfolds, it seems that the acceptance of national pluralism which has ebbed and flowed in the 300 year history of the UK is on the wain. Instead, it is being replaced by the reassertion of Englishness as Britishness; the demand for conformity around the dominant culture within the union, rather than the construction of each separate national identity as equally British.&nbsp; </p><p>Demands for linguistic conformity are, like all attacks on freedom of speech, a sign of fear. And if this is anything to go by, Anglo-British nationalists are very worried indeed.&nbsp; </p><p>When languages die, every poem ever written in them goes, every song sung in them loses its meaning, a whole understanding of the world is snuffed out. </p> <p>Whilst the Irish language – with its own state – is unlikely to disappear anytime soon, the existence of the language in the north represents a cultural diversity whose value can never be measured with the tools of a capitalist society: it’s no coincidence that across the world, there is a direct and close correlation between language diversity and biodiversity. And just as game-keepers kill wildlife because they fear competition, colonists always do what they can to purge indigenous languages, because diversity threatens their power.</p> <p>And when Britain’s most progressive newspaper joins in with that process, it tells us that Anglo-British nationalism feels like it’s facing deep threats. </p> <p>But perhaps we already knew that. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ourkingdom/adam-ramsay/many-languages-native-to-britain">The many languages native to Britain</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> uk uk Adam Ramsay Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:54:54 +0000 Adam Ramsay 116188 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Active interpretation: at the meeting place of research and creative practice https://www.opendemocracy.net/nelli-stavropoulou/active-interpretation-at-meeting-place-of-research-and-creative-practice <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The concept of hospitality was central, as audiences engaged with&nbsp;imagined and ‘real’ others, while the gallery space extended a welcoming invitation for public participation, creative re-interpretation and multi-vocality.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/500209/Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 18.20.25.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/500209/Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 18.20.25.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" width="460"/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Young participants engaging with ‘The New Union Flag’ installation shot: Photo: Marcia Chandra. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>In the time since the Brexit referendum, and in the midst of an alleged “refugee crisis”, when our social fabric is becoming increasingly divided and ‘protective’ against an imagined invasion of ‘others’, <a href="https://www.whoareweproject.com/">Who Are We? – A Tate Exchange project, which welcomed more than 5,000 visitors in its 6 day incarnation last March</a> – responded to processes of othering and division. It emerged as a collaborative exploration of notions of identity, belonging, migration, and citizenship.</p><p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr">Located on the fifth floor of Tate Exchange and at the periphery of <a href="http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern">Tate Modern</a>, the exhibition space became a civic landscape where viewers were encouraged to physically navigate a shared space and become – as <a href="http://www.gakindex.info/assets/jacques-ranciere-the-emancipated-spectator-3.pdf">Rancière</a> would argue, active interpreters inventing their own translations of the artworks. A collective of twenty-two installations addressed different facets of migration, inviting audience members to respond to important questions around belonging, human rights and (im)mobility.</p><p dir="ltr">Writers including <a href="https://www.gc.cuny.edu/CUNY_GC/media/CUNY-Graduate-Center/PDF/Art%20History/Claire%20Bishop/Social-Turn.pdf">Claire Bishop (2006)</a>, <a href="http://www.ira.usf.edu/cam/exhibitions/2008_8_Torolab/Readings/Conversation_PiecesGKester.pdf">Grant Kester (2014)</a> and <a href="http://www.lespressesdureel.com/EN/ouvrage.php?id=5">Nicolas Bourriaud (2002)</a> have contributed to our understanding of participatory, collaborative and relational art and the potential of socially engaged art practice. As <a href="http://www.metamute.org/editorial/articles/ghosts-participation-past">Bishop</a> suggests, the artist should be understood as a collaborator and a producer of situations where audience members become involved in shared knowledge-production processes. Equally, the curatorial framework of Who Are We? was invested in translating complex social issues into an engagement experience, facilitated by artists and activists, during which audiences transitioned from passive consumers of art to critically-engaged participants.</p><p dir="ltr">By embracing creative modes of the “responsive artist” and “post-studio practice”, the <i>Who Are We? </i>programme facilitated democratic participation by inviting audiences to become engaged with the exhibition’s programme as well as with the artists themselves. In doing so, the programme challenged the ‘borders’ between art and spectatorship, by letting audiences in and asking for their opinion. Audience members participated in a series of activities including sharing stories, creating artwork as response to posed questions as well as discussing the meaning of hospitality and welcome.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/500209/Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 18.30.18.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/500209/Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 18.30.18.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" width="460"/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>‘Dead Reckoning’ Installation elements shot: Photo: Marcia Chandra. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>In his work titled “<a href="http://www.ibtauris.com/books/biography%20%20true%20stories/biography%20general/biography%20arts%20%20entertainment/autobiography%20arts%20%20entertainment/engaged%20with%20the%20arts%20writings%20from%20the%20frontline">Engaged with the Arts: Writings from the Frontline</a>”, John Tusa reminds us that “The skill of arts management is to turn the awkward, obfuscating and bureaucratic into a language that truly serves the arts and their audiences.” As museologist <a href="about:blank">Jan Jelinek</a> argues, museums can “only fully develop their potential for action when they are actually involved in the major problems of contemporary society. Museums are institutions intended to serve society and only thus can continue to exist and function.” Such an understanding of the museum as an institution which should share power and knowledge with communities is further explored in <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/chrissie-tiller/who-are-we-tat-exchange-review">creative consultant and reviewer Chrissi Tiller</a>’s piece on the role of the gallery or the museum, in not only ‘making things visible’ but also becoming a platform for social change.</p><p style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr">The partnership between Tate Exchange and Tate Exchange Associates was therefore invested in the recognition of the gallery as a space that pushes the boundaries of representation, and instead involved the public in the interpretive process, thereby challenging the gallery’s authority and supporting its role as a space for meaning-making, learning and activism. The installations therefore served as points of departure for audiences to respond to, reflect and interrogate the complexities of a seemingly ‘simple’ question: Who Are We?</p><p dir="ltr">In particular, the interactive and participatory audio-focused installation ‘<a href="https://www.whoareweproject.com/lucia-scazzocchio-beyond-the-babble-1">Beyond The Babble’</a>&nbsp;–&nbsp;produced through the collaboration of academic <a href="http://www.open.ac.uk/people/pa2859">Giota Alevizou</a> and artist <a href="http://www.socialbroadcasts.co.uk/about/#founder-1">Lucia Scazzocchio</a>&nbsp;– engaged participants in meaning-making processes by inviting them to record personal thoughts, stories and memories around questions of individual and collective identity. Such processes occurred within the surrounding gallery space as participants ‘tuned into’ particular narratives emerging from the ‘babble of noise’; within the installation’s ‘audio booth’; and finally, within the social media sphere, as participants sent ‘audio postcards’ (audio tweets). </p><p dir="ltr">During their participation, audiences became engaged in personal declarations while also reflecting on the role of social media as spaces for learning and knowledge exchange, also functioning as ‘echo-chambers’ that can vindicate particular dominant narratives and solidify ‘louder’ public opinions. For others, the embodied experience of ‘speaking up’ allowed them to reflect on the mediated nature of social media and their effect of reducing often complex social issues into simplified ‘Newsbytes’ that lack analytical depth. In their co-authored reflective piece, Alevizou and Scazzocchio, investigate how the installation instigated instances of <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/giota-alevizou-lucia-scazzocchio/beyond-babble-social-broadcasting-and-digital-citizenship">digital citizenship</a> by inviting self-reflective individual declarations that emerged within the ‘noise’ of social media and created shared empathy for listeners.</p> <p style="text-align: justify; line-height: 150%;" class="MsoNormal">Another example of collaborative meaning-making processes emerged through Alketa Xhafa Mripa’s <a href="https://www.whoareweproject.com/alketa-xhafa-mripa-refugees-welcome">'Refugees Welcome'</a> mobile installation, which comprised a Luton tail lift van, a neon sign of ‘Hope’ and metallic letters spelling out ‘Refugees Welcome’, positioned alongside the van’s interior and seeking to extend a ‘British Welcome’ to audiences. </p><p style="text-align: justify; line-height: 150%;" class="MsoNormal">Participants responded to Mripa’s kind invitation by sharing their personal understandings of ‘welcome’ as well as reflecting on their (hi)stories and social ties to Britain. Through combining self-reflection and memory exchange, ‘Refugees Welcome’ interrogated popular understandings of the van as a symbol of illegal border-crossing and instead re-imagined a space for hospitality and welcome, invested in the recognition of our shared humanity.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Who Are We? project, also serves as a case study illustrating what can be achieved through a multidisciplinary creative synergy between academics and creative practitioners, as the latter were paired up during the project’s research and development phase, leading to the final exhibition. As Counterpoints Arts Co-Director Aine O’Brien argues in her review piece included in this series, the collaboration between artists and academic partners <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/ine-o-brien/art-in-fraught-times">“opened up unique avenues and ways of reciprocal thinking and sharing/learning.”</a></p><p dir="ltr">Who Are We? allowed multiple collaborations as it brought together a group of artists working in response to a particular question while also enabling collaborations between different disciplines and art-forms. As <a href="http://digitalarts.ucsd.edu/~gkester/GK_Website/Research/Partnerships.htm">Kester</a> reminds us, collaboration carries with it an “implicit ethical orientation in relationship to differences” by moving away from the model of the solo artist and instead evoking an art practice that is “defined by open-ness, listening and intersubjective vulnerability.”</p><p dir="ltr">Equally, an ethical orientation towards difference, dialogue and exchange, was evident in the creative methodologies of the Who Are We? project, which resulted in powerful creative interpretations of social issues underpinned by academic insights. Reflections on some of these creative synergies are further explored in this <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/giota-alevizou-sara-de-jong/who-are-we-in-moving-world">special feature</a>.</p><p> <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/212089350" height="360" width="640"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">By positioning social issues at the forefront, Who Are We? explored the emergence of <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/movingworld/nele-vos/citizenshop">new commodified forms of citizenship</a> as well as the reshaping of old ones. It also shed light on the prevalence of prejudice and stereotyping in everyday life encounters and encouraged viewers to reflect on the role of borders and decision-making frameworks determining who is allowed in and who remains out; not just from national borders, but also from our hearts and minds.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/500209/Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 18.52.04.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/500209/Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 18.52.04.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" width="460"/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Who Are We? Banner located at entrance. Co-designed by Graphic Thought Facility and Universal Design Studio. Photo: Cathrin Walczyk. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>Since the beginning of the “refugee” or “migrant crisis” the media agenda has been ‘flooded’ with stories of thousands of individuals traversing across European borders, alarming audiences with the prospect of an unstoppable <a href="https://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/864919/illegal-immigrants-UK-Border-lost-control-fiasco">“wave” of “illegal migrants”</a>. As always, it depends on who is talking, and whose point of view is represented. The employment of inundation metaphors such as “waves” or “flows” often reduces <a href="https://discoversociety.org/2016/05/03/behind-the-fence-the-visual-culture-of-the-refugee-crisis/">displaced individuals to a generic ‘tide’ of human bodies</a>&nbsp;and robs them of their humanity, while supporting a culture of fear and disbelief.</p><p dir="ltr">“<a href="https://www.demos.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Demos-Nothing-to-Fear-but-Fear-Itself-Summary.pdf">This is a fear of the unknown: a fear of the other, a fear of the future</a>.” According to the &nbsp;2017 Demos report <a href="https://www.demos.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Demos-Nothing-to-Fear-but-Fear-Itself-Summary.pdf">Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself?</a> this is the same climate of fear that has long permeated the public imagination in the UK and whose consequences we witness in the UK’s vote to leave the European Union on June 23, 2016, as well as across a Europe pockmarked by the growing rise of ‘populist’ right-wing and Eurosceptic political parties.</p> <p dir="ltr">Following the Brexit referendum, the UK has witnessed a critical rise in <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/27/brexit-racism-eu-referendum-racist-incidents-politicians-media">hate-crimes and racist attacks</a>, introducing to the public domain a <a href="http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/05/16/acrimonious-and-divisive-the-role-the-media-played-in-brexit/">rhetoric on full national sovereignty, freedom and control</a>, thus re-solidifying binary divisions of “us” versus “them” and creating a hostile social environment that has become embedded politically and culturally.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p> <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/212088657" height="360" width="640"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">In an increasingly mediated society, we are surrounded by a plethora of media all posing important questions about who we are as a society: What does it mean to belong to a nation, to Europe, to the UK, to the world? Who has the right to a better life and who doesn’t? Who is allowed in and who remains out? Whose decision is it?&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">These are some of the questions to which Who Are We? responded to, through creating a platform that challenged dominant discourses. It initiated much-needed conversations between artists, researchers and activists, exhibition spaces and diverse audiences, and art institutions and curators. The project adopted a multi-layered participatory model rooted in dialogical methods of co-production and exchange, bringing together a wide range of expertise, viewpoints and experiences.</p><p dir="ltr">For <a href="about:blank">Derrida and Dufourmantelle</a> <a href="http://www.frenchphilosophy.gr/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Kakoliris-G.-Jacques-Derrida-on-the-Ethics-of-Hospitality-2015.pdf">“hospitality”</a> is perceived as a question of what arrives at the borders of encounter; in that initial dynamic of contact with an ‘other’, a ‘stranger’, a ‘foreigner’ or ‘someone without a name’. The concept of hospitality was central to the project as audiences physically and subjectively engaged in different moments of encounter with <a href="https://www.whoareweproject.com/">imagined and ‘real’ others</a>, while the gallery space extended a welcoming invitation for public participation, creative re-interpretation and multi-vocality. </p><p dir="ltr">By resisting traditional linear pathways of knowledge transmission, Who Are We? invested instead in actively listening and responding to important questions about our changing social sphere, while also inviting diverse audiences to become part of the project’s discourse and legacy.</p><div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> Who are we in a moving world? Nelli Stavropoulou Sat, 17 Feb 2018 10:08:32 +0000 Nelli Stavropoulou 116161 at https://www.opendemocracy.net VIDEO: Can radical social democracy save us? https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/laurie-macfarlane/video-can-radical-social-democracy-save-us-0 <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Paul Mason, Dr Faiza Shaheen, Anthony Barnett and Dr Johnna Montgomerie discuss whether radical social democracy offers a way out of the crisis of neoliberalism, and what that means for future economic policy.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>[embed]https://youtu.be/yItuhd53tRU[/embed] </p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Paul Mason, Dr Faiza Shaheen, Anthony Barnett, Dr Johnna Montgomerie and Laurie Macfarlane discuss whether radical social democracy offers a way out of the crisis of neoliberalism, and what that means for future economic policy.&nbsp;</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Paul Mason, Dr Faiza Shaheen, Anthony Barnett and Dr Johnna Montgomerie discuss whether radical social democracy offers a way out of the crisis of neoliberalism, and what that means for future economic policy.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The debate is part of a new series by Paul Mason exploring what radical social democracy means during the next decade. Paul’s first essay in the series can be read <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/neoliberalism-destroyed-social-mobility-together-must-rebuild/">here</a>.&nbsp;</span></p><p> [embed]https://youtu.be/yItuhd53tRU[/embed] </p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">* Dr Faiza Shaheen is Director of the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS)</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">* Anthony Barnett is co-founder of openDemocracy and author of The Lure of Greatness.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">* Dr Johnna Montgomerie is Deputy director at the Political Economy Research Centre, Goldsmiths University of London.&nbsp;</span></p><div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> uk uk Laurie Macfarlane Sat, 17 Feb 2018 09:09:45 +0000 Laurie Macfarlane 116187 at https://www.opendemocracy.net fp 16 feb 2018 https://www.opendemocracy.net/content/fp-16-feb-2018 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-fps-settings"><div class="field field-fp-section"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Select </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-frontpage-yn"> <div class="field-label">Show on Front Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show on Front Page </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-of-display"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Landscape </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-primary-article"><div class="field field-promoted"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/igor-yasin/by-defending-russian-journalist-ali-feruz-we-defend-ourselves-now-we-need-to-re">By defending Russian journalist Ali Feruz, we defend ourselves. Now we need to repeat it</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-article-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> By defending Russian journalist Ali Feruz, we defend ourselves </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-article-text"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This week, Russian activists helped drag journalist Ali Feruz — who faced deportation to Uzbekistan — out of immigration detention. We need to extend this solidarity to others inside the system.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-fp-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_fp_image" width="1500" height="996" title="openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world" alt="openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/_DSC2783-site.jpg" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-fp-img-caption"> <div class="field-label">Image Caption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> &quot;Migrant lives are important&quot;. A column in support of Ali Feruz at the 19 January anti-fascist march in memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova. CC BY 4.0 Dmitry Horov. Some rights reserved. </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related-posts"><div class="field field-promoted-top"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field field-pfs-title-nr"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/alice-bellagamba/whom-should-i-marry-genealogical-purity-and-shadows-of-slavery-in-sou">Whom should I marry? Genealogical purity and the shadows of slavery in southern Senegal</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="field field-pfs-title-nr"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/bts-anonymous/the-multiple-roots-of-emiratiness">The multiple roots of Emiratiness: the cosmopolitan history of Emirati society</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-fps-title-oeverride"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A cosmopolitan history of Emirati society </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field field-pfs-title-nr"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/marta-scaglioni/she-is-not-abid-blackness-among-slave-descendants-in-southern-tunisia">“She is not a ‘Abid”: blackness among slave descendants in southern Tunisia</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-left-column"><div class="field field-promoted-left"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field field-pfs-title-nr"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/amin-bozorgian/neoliberalism-and-iran-s-protest-movement">Neoliberalism and Iran’s protest movement</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="field field-pfs-title-nr"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/uk/andrew-smith-sophia-turner/brexit-means-more-arms-dealing-to-human-rights-abusers">Brexit means…more arms dealing to human rights abusers</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-fps-title-oeverride"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brexit means… more arms dealing to human rights abusers </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-right-column"><div class="field field-promoted-right"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field field-pfs-title-nr"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/peter-bengsten/hidden-in-plain-sight-forced-labour-constructing-china">Hidden in plain sight: forced labour constructing China</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-fps-title-oeverride"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Hidden in plain sight </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="field field-pfs-title-nr"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/juan-gabriel-tokatlian/with-tillerson-in-latin-america-monroe-is-back">With Tillerson in Latin America, Monroe is back</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> https://www.opendemocracy.net/content/fp-16-feb-2018#comments Sat, 17 Feb 2018 06:33:22 +0000 openDemocracy 116186 at https://www.opendemocracy.net One day without us: mining Twitter, framing solidarity https://www.opendemocracy.net/giota-alevizou-photini-vrikki/1daywithoutus-mining-twitter-framing-solidarity <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Expressions of migrant solidarity through the&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/1daywithoutus?lang=en">#1DayWithoutUs</a>&nbsp;campaign sought to counterbalance xenophobic sentiments, offering a multiplicity of migrant voices and experiences in the UK today.&nbsp;</p><script type="text/javascript"></script> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 3.53.43 PM.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 3.53.43 PM.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="339" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>One Day Without Us. Source: Instagram. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>According to its organisers, the 2017 <a href="https://twitter.com/1daywithoutus?lang=en">One Day Without Us</a> action sought to emphasise <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/oct/10/migrant-workers-plan-labour-boycott-to-protest-racism-highlight-contribution-to-britain">the variety of work migrants undertake to help keep the UK afloat</a>. The movement, organised online under the hashtag <a href="https://twitter.com/1daywithoutus?lang=en">#1DayWithoutUs</a> was being tweeted about 85 times per minute at its peak on the 20th of Feb 2017, while nearly 20,000 tweets went out under the hashtag in the 48 hours leading up to the event.</p><p dir="ltr">Using Twitter scraping and analytics tools (such as tags, discover text, 'r' and Excel),&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/iphotini">Photini Vrikki</a> and I explored the stories, themes and key influencers within the movement, which had resulted in dozens of separate events across the UK.</p><p dir="ltr">Expressions and stories of migrant solidarity, primarily through the cross-media and cross-platform campaign of <a href="https://twitter.com/1daywithoutus?lang=en">#1DayWithoutUs</a>&nbsp;group, sought to counterbalance xenophobic sentiments, often by offering a multiplicity of migrant voices and experiences in the UK today.&nbsp;</p> <script charset="utf-8"></script> <p dir="ltr">On 5th February 2018, a rather different use of Twitter arose with US president Donald Trump <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42943768">sparking a backlash from UK politicians by attacking the UK’s NHS on Twitter</a>,&nbsp;arguing that "thousands of people are marching" in the UK because the NHS is "going broke and not working". His tweet came after ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage appeared on Fox And Friends, one of the president's favourite ‘news’ shows, talking about the previous weekend’s march, and stressing "a population crisis caused by government policy on immigration". The march was of course in support of the NHS and against proposed funding cuts by the UK current government, but that was beyond the point Trump made when he later tweeted: “Thank you to @foxandfriends for exposing the truth. Perhaps that's why your ratings are soooo much better than your untruthful competition!”</p> <p dir="ltr" class="mag-quote-center">This is a fear of the unknown: a fear of the other, a fear of the future. – Ernesto Laclau</p> <p dir="ltr">Incidents such as these, which spread rumors, vituperate, and mislead, have become, in the past few years, a communication practice of online populism that aims to control public opinion and seeks to establish a frontier against an assumed enemy –coalescing across diverse sections of society. Certainly the communication practice of online populism has become widespread, laying bare what <a href="https://www.versobooks.com/books/273-on-populist-reason">Ernesto Laclau</a> and others have deemed the normalisation of nationalist rhetoric and the development of new frameworks for the ‘politics of fear’ that entrench new social divisions on the intersections of nation, immigration and the provision of (or contributions to) public services. ‘<a href="https://www.demos.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Demos-Nothing-to-Fear-but-Fear-Itself-Summary.pdf">This is a fear of the unknown: a fear of the other, a fear of the future</a>’, according to authors at the think tank Demos, a fear which permeates the popular imagination in the UK and Europe following the so-called migration crisis and the wave of Euro-skepticism that has dominated politics since the European Union membership referendum in the UK in 2016.</p><p dir="ltr">But there’s more to this, beyond simply fear. The Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos also undertook research on <a href="https://www.demos.co.uk/project/hate-speech-after-brexit/">the rise of xenophobia and racism on Twitter</a>. Looking at the ways in which this rise may have been related to campaigning tactics and the referendum result, the study also gives an indication of the ways in which Twitter was used to both report hate speech incidents and to express solidarity with migrants. &nbsp;</p><p>What then is the common thread that links Twitter with the populist backlash against the NHS and discussions about the impacts of immigration? <a href="http://www.euvisions.eu/populism-laclau-podemos/">Laclau and Mouffe have been widely cited in an attempt to grasp how popular parties like Podemos and Syriza</a> (in Spain and Greece respectively) may be examples of the ways in which alternative left forces use populism as an appropriate strategy for ‘radical democracy’. Irrespective of the potential, or even the feasibility, these two cases may have had to instill radical democracy, examples of countering or counterbalancing populism have certainly been more prominent in social media, such as Twitter, where we can see users expressing solidarity with, and celebrating the contributions of, migrants across physical and digital borders. These Twitter solidarity practices have become more prominent in social movements that have appeared after the Brexit referendum.</p><p dir="ltr">Preparing for a second year of action, which culminates on International Migrants Day on 17 February 2018, Matt Carr wrote recently in the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/1-day-without-us-lets-have-a-different-conversation-about-migration_uk_5a4b8dabe4b0df0de8b06cda">Huffington Post</a>, that ‘the word ‘identity’ has become a staple of our national conversation about immigration, usually in order to present migrants and migration as a threat to who ‘we’ are, or as an anomalous aberration…’. This is certainly a different kind of conversation about migration in the UK that conceals the smearing and scapegoating style that is so popular with Farage, Trump and their likes.</p><p dir="ltr">Now is therefore a good time to look into the narratives that built this movement a year ago and to how migrants’ experiences just after the referendum related to the populist discourse against migrants and the NHS. This retrospection will allow us to see how this year’s action may or may not focus on the same issues, i.e. immigration and the dismantling of the NHS.</p><p dir="ltr">We traced the corpus of Twitter starting with a couple of months prior to the event. We deployed digital methods to explore linguistic frequencies and used a <a href="https://wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/CoWordLifeline">hashtag and co-word analysis</a> to identify indicators of wider issue dynamics used by the movement. We also traced the kinds of claims, declarations, judgments, commitments and acknowledgments that people made on Twitter and the kinds of stories or conversations they generated regarding certain propositions (or oppositions). Below we offer some insights from the discursive clusters of the themes for the most prominent hashtags and stories of solidary unfolding on the day of the event last year.</p><h2>Save our NHS: an analysis</h2><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/hashtags 2.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/hashtags 2.jpg" alt="" title="" width="415" height="289" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span>An early theme in the corpus of tweets within the two months leading to the event focused on the contribution migrants make to the NHS. By cross-referencing Twitter data with what was being reported in the mainstream media, issues concerning social care and the growing public health crisis saw a sharp increase in social media activity.</p><p dir="ltr">There were two periods of increased activity around this theme – 23-27 January and February 7-10. During these two periods, the word ‘migrant’ (both as a semantic term and as a hashtag) was commonly used alongside terms and hashtags such as #NHS and #SaveOur NHS.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/NHS doctors.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/NHS doctors.jpg" alt="" title="" width="351" height="351" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span>The claims in this tweet, which received the most retweets during the time period, were verifiably true. Based on a dataset from the Office of National Statistics, just over a quarter of the NHS Doctors are migrants.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/ONS data.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/ONS data.jpg" alt="" title="" width="415" height="173" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>NHS Staff Groups by Nationality. Source: ONS Data. Graph produced by Vrikki/Alevizou.</span></span></span>Drilling down further into the Twitter dataset revealed other frequently used co-words including ‘contribution’, ‘rights’, ‘justice’, ‘against bigotry’ and #bargainingchip, a term also frequently used to refer to the rights of migrants.</p><p dir="ltr">#bargainingchip was also a major trending hashtag on February 20, the key day for demonstrations. There was also a series of personal narratives that emerged from staff on the NHS, focusing around the terms “support” and “survive” as illustrated in the diagram below</p><p>Two other hashtags that were frequently used during this campaign were #RightoStay and #StopTrump. The latter hashtag was related to President Trump’s attempts at banning citizens from seven different countries from entering the United States – but was subsequently overruled by the Supreme Court. Interestingly the #RightoStay and StopTrump both have strong correlations with other campaigns like @The3Million – an activist group focusing on the three million EU citizens currently working in the UK – and other migrant associations and activist groups. In these tweets the analysis of the stories leading to the event found expressions of enrichment and solidarity with migrants, as well as gratitude.</p><h2>Trends leading to the Campaign day on 20 February 2017</h2><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/hashtags 2_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/hashtags 2_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="415" height="289" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span>In the 48 hours leading up to the event, we saw the key hashtags shift and slightly intensify alongside declarations, claims and pleas.</p><p dir="ltr">#RightoStay, #BargainingChip, #StopTrump #Brexit were all among the top 12 hashtags in the period between December 2016 and 17 February. However, they became the dominant topics of conversation in the 48 hours leading up to the event.</p><h2>#1DayWithoutUs on the day of the event</h2><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/stories.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/558532/stories.jpg" alt="" title="" width="415" height="250" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span>By examining and coding the tweets of the day in depth, the stories that formed the event itself on the 20th February changed slightly but not in essence. In fact, even though 41% of the tweets were disseminating content, photos, videos, or commenting and quoting on other tweets, the stories that were told were very much related to what built up the movement during the two earlier weeks. For instance, 28% of the tweets tweeted on the day identified with the causes and demands of the action and showed clear sentiments of solidarity toward migrants in the UK. Another 10% of the tweets made reference to the important role migrants play in the NHS and in the UK’s higher education system; suggesting in multiple cases the ways in which the two highly impactful institutions will fail without migrants’ services. 13% of the stories talked about how the mainstream media and the politicians have ignored or have not shown any support to the action (2%), &nbsp;and how the Referendum to Leave the European Union has led to these problematic discussions around migration (5%). Some tweeters attacked the action and its causes, hinting towards the financial impact of migrants in the UK, and called for migrants to leave the country (6%).</p><p dir="ltr">The turning point of these stories, and the biggest difference between the hashtag stories (i.e. the leading up to the event) with the experience stories (i.e. the unfolding of the event) can be seen in the stories that started forming under the definition of who might be considered a migrant. Some of the tweets (7%) called upon the fact that most of British citizens come from migrant pasts, that their parents or grandparents were migrants from Europe and abroad, and that no one should be considered a lesser human being just because one comes from a different country.</p><p dir="ltr">The convergence of these diverse stories has created new modalities and avenues to show solidarity, leading to a point whereby social media and especially Twitter, are more than ever shaping discussions around migration and social movements.</p><h2>Hashtagging and telling stories of solidarity</h2><p dir="ltr">Through the use of hashtags as the vehicle that lead to the interruptive #1DayWithoutUs action day, users displayed new approaches to resisting the populist discourses that enveloped the Brexit campaign. By sharing their views and by using specific hashtags, Twitter users managed to focus on specific issues related to their role as migrants in the UK, or as supporters of migrants, and formed henceforth a ‘radical democracy’ that had more to do with notions of radical resistance against the dominant discourses rather than clear political aims. Twitter here served as a space for migrants and for people who were in solidarity with them to sustain their views, amplify their voices, and built a strong community that has managed to re-organise the same action a year later. What remains to be seen on this Saturday’s One Day Without Us and the months beyond, is how many of those discourses that built the movement last year, have remained or have changed.</p><div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> Who are we in a moving world? Photini Vrikki Giota Alevizou Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:56:17 +0000 Giota Alevizou and Photini Vrikki 116159 at https://www.opendemocracy.net "At the first shock I couldn’t help but groan and shake" https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/ovd-info/russian-anarchist-case <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>More details emerge around the Russian anarchist case, in which several people were tortured by the security services.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/ptichki13_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="284" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>In late January, Moscow birdwatcher and guide Anton Mironenko-Marenkov was investigated for holding an illegal mass demonstration. Illustration: <a href=https://www.behance.net/nnnccn>Anastasia Vilkul</a>.</span></span></span></p><p><strong>This article is part of our partnership with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ovdinfo.org/">OVD-Info</a>, an NGO that monitors politically-motivated arrests in Russia.</strong></p><p dir="ltr">As Russia’s presidential election draws closer, our weekly bulletin becomes ever more depressing. But this week we conclude with two items of good news.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>The case concerning alleged torture of anti-fascist activists during an investigation into terrorism in Penza and St Petersburg continues:</strong></p><ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">- A defendant in the case in Penza, Ilya Shakursky, <a href="https://ovdinfo.org/express-news/2018/02/09/figurant-penzenskogo-dela-o-terrorizme-ilya-shakurskiy-rasskazal-o-pytkah?utm_source=mailchimp&amp;utm_medium=mailing&amp;utm_campaign=this_week">has described the torture to which he was subjected</a> to his lawyer. He was <a href="https://zona.media/article/2018/02/16/shakursky">tortured</a> by electric shocks: </p></li></ul><p class="blockquote-new">“They told me to sit on the bench without raising my head. They blindfolded me, tied my hands and pushed a sock into my mouth. I thought they wanted to get my fingerprints on something or other. But they connected wires to my big toes. At the first shock I couldn’t help but groan and shake. They repeated the procedure until I promised to say whatever they told me to say. After that I forgot the word ‘no’ altogether and agreed to say whatever the officers told me to say.”</p><p dir="ltr">- Shakursky’s mother was fired from her job as soon as the first publications about the Penza case appeared in the media.<br class="kix-line-break" /></p><p dir="ltr">- Military prosecutors in St Petersburg <a href="https://ovdinfo.org/express-news/2018/02/10/voennaya-prokuratura-ne-stala-proveryat-soobshchenie-o-pytkah-antifashista?utm_source=mailchimp&amp;utm_medium=mailing&amp;utm_campaign=this_week">have not investigated</a> the allegation of torture made by computer programmer Viktor Filinkov. The young man told human rights defenders that he was tortured by FSB officers. Prosecutors forwarded the allegation to the FSB.&nbsp;</p><ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">- Dmitry Pchelintsev, a survival instructor and defendant in the Penza terrorism case, has <a href="https://ovdinfo.org/express-news/2018/02/15/figurant-dela-o-terrorizme-v-penze-otkazalsya-ot-zayavleniya-o-pytkah?utm_source=mailchimp&amp;utm_medium=mailing&amp;utm_campaign=this_week">withdrawn</a> his allegations of torture. There is reason to believe he did this because he was tortured again.&nbsp;<br class="kix-line-break" /></p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">- Ilya Kapustin, a witness in the St. Petersburg case, has <a href="https://ovdinfo.org/express-news/2018/02/14/svidetel-po-delu-o-terrorizme-v-peterburge-pozhalovalsya-na-pytki-v?utm_source=mailchimp&amp;utm_medium=mailing&amp;utm_campaign=this_week">submitted a formal complaint</a> about torture to the Investigative Committee.</p></li></ul><p dir="ltr"><strong>New details about pressure on Memorial staff come to light:</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><strong>&nbsp;</strong>- 37 houses in the centre of the Chechen village of Kurchalou are to be <a href="https://ovdinfo.org/express-news/2018/02/09/v-centre-kurchaloya-snesut-dom-glavy-chechenskogo-memoriala-vmeste-s-drugimi?utm_source=mailchimp&amp;utm_medium=mailing&amp;utm_campaign=this_week">demolished</a>. They include the house of the head of Memorial’s Grozny office, Oyub Titiev. Residents learned about the planned demolition on 5 February. They were given until 12 February to evacuate their homes.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">- Oyub Titiev was arrested on the morning of 9 January. That evening, he was charged with possessing drugs - a packet with banned substances was allegedly found in his car. The next day the police forced Titiev’s relatives out of his home.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">- On the road leading from the place where Titiev was arrested to the police station where he was taken are four closed-circuit cameras. Astonishingly, the very day the human rights defender was arrested, all four cameras were <a href="https://ovdinfo.org/express-news/2018/02/15/sledovatel-obyasnil-otsutstvie-zapisey-zaderzhaniya-oyuba-titieva?utm_source=mailchimp&amp;utm_medium=mailing&amp;utm_campaign=this_week">оut of order</a>.&nbsp;</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">- Bakhrom Khamroev, a member of Memorial and leader of the organisation Erdam (“Help”) has been <a href="https://ovdinfo.org/express-news/2018/02/15/v-moskve-na-chlena-pc-memorial-zaveli-ugolovnoe-delo-iz-za-registracii?utm_source=mailchimp&amp;utm_medium=mailing&amp;utm_campaign=this_week">charged</a> in Moscow with assisting in the fictitious residence registration of a foreign citizen.<br class="kix-line-break" /><br class="kix-line-break" />- According to Vitaly Ponomarev, a member of the board of Memorial Human Rights Centre, the charges against Khamroev are “merely a pretext for retribution against a human rights defender known for his work in defending refugees from Central Asia.”</p></li></ul><p dir="ltr"><strong>The homes of a number of nationalists in Moscow have been searched:</strong></p><p dir="ltr">- Law enforcement officers <a href="https://ovdinfo.org/express-news/2018/02/15/k-sopredsedatelyu-partii-nacionalistov-prishli-s-obyskom-v-ramkah-dela-ob?utm_source=mailchimp&amp;utm_medium=mailing&amp;utm_campaign=this_week">visited the home</a> of Ivan Beletsky, the co-chair of the Party of Nationalists, who at present is not in Russia. Searches were also <a href="https://ovdinfo.org/express-news/2018/02/15/v-moskve-u-dvoih-nacionalistov-idut-obyski-samih-aktivistov-zaderzhali?utm_source=mailchimp&amp;utm_medium=mailing&amp;utm_campaign=this_week">conducted</a> at the homes of party members Dmitry Golikov and Konstantin Filippov. The two men, along with Golikov’s wife, were questioned by the FSB and released on condition of non-disclosure.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Two people were <a href="https://ovdinfo.org/express-news/2018/02/15/figurantov-dela-o-vandalizme-u-ofisa-edinoy-rossii-otpustili-pod-podpisku-o">arrested</a> as a result of a protest at the offices of United Russia (during the protest, one of the office windows was broken and a smoke bomb thrown in).</strong></p><p dir="ltr">- In a first reaction by the authorities, the home of animal rights activist Elena Groban was searched. She was not allowed to see her lawyer for four hours. When her lawyer was allowed in to see her, Gorban had already decided to admit her guilt and testify. Subsequently, a young man, Alexey Kobaidze, was arrested. Both were sent to a detention centre, but were subsequently released under travel restrictions. A criminal investigation into alleged vandalism is underway. <br class="kix-line-break" /><br class="kix-line-break" />- During the questioning, police officers also asked about the march protesting against the torture of anarchists and anti-fascists in Penza and St Petersburg that had been organized by Moscow anarchists on the capital’s Myasnitskaya Street without official permission.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>And finally two items of good news:<br class="kix-line-break" /></strong><br class="kix-line-break" /><em>- Novaya gazeta</em> journalist Ali Feruz has been able to <a href="https://ovdinfo.org/express-news/2018/02/15/zhurnalist-novoy-gazety-ali-feruz-pokinul-rossiyu?utm_source=mailchimp&amp;utm_medium=mailing&amp;utm_campaign=this_week">leave</a> Russia. Hooray! A court permitted the journalist to travel to a third country. The authorities had wanted to deport Feruz to Uzbekistan, where his life would have been in danger. Since August 2017 Feruz had been held in an immigration detention centre.<br class="kix-line-break" /><br class="kix-line-break" />- Marked money, undercover inspectors and the law on holding public events without official permission. No, this has nothing to do with rallies that don’t have official permission or criminals. In Moscow's Izmailovo park, a birdwatcher, an amateur ornithologist who has been telling people about the birds to be seen there, was arrested. You can read about it <a href="https://ovdinfo.org/articles/2018/02/15/pticeglyadstvo-kak-nablyudenie-za-pticami-stalo-nesoglasovannym-meropriyatiem?utm_source=mailchimp&amp;utm_medium=mailing&amp;utm_campaign=this_week">here</a>.</p><h2>Thank you</h2><p dir="ltr">As the elections draw closer there is ever more work to do. Help us continue our work now and in the difficult months ahead, before and after the 2018 election campaign,<a href="https://donate.ovdinfo.org/?utm_source=tg&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_campaign=donate#donate"> here</a>. You can volunteer to work with us<a href="https://medium.com/@ovdinfo/%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B4-%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1%84%D0%BE-%D1%8D%D1%82%D0%BE-%D0%B2%D1%8B-c5a6f2e585ed"> here</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://ovdinfo.org/"><img src="https://ovdinfo.org/sites/all/themes/ovdinfo/img/logo-ovdinfo.png" alt="" width="100%" /></a></p><p>OVD-Info is a crowdfunded organisation. Find out how you can help them&nbsp;<a href="https://donate.ovdinfo.org/en">here</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/ovd-info/torture-penza-petersburg">Torture, Penza, Petersburg</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/od-russia/ovd-info/26-march-russia-protest">The 26 March case: how Russia is cracking down on freedom of assembly</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/ovd-info/russian-authorities-target-anti-fa">Russian authorities take aim at anti-fascists in St Petersburg</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> oD Russia oD Russia OVD-Info Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:12:34 +0000 OVD-Info 116184 at https://www.opendemocracy.net By defending Russian journalist Ali Feruz, we defend ourselves. Now we need to repeat it https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/igor-yasin/by-defending-russian-journalist-ali-feruz-we-defend-ourselves-now-we-need-to-re <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p dir="ltr">The solidarity campaign for Ali Feruz, who faced deportation to Uzbekistan, has been successful. What can we learn from it?</p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/_DSC2783-site.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="305" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>A column in support of Ali Feruz at the 19 January anti-fascist march in memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova. CC BY 4.0 <a href=https://www.flickr.com/photos/horov/>Dmitry Horov</a>. Some rights reserved.</span></span></span><em>This article originally appeared in Russian on <a href="https://socialist.news/read/article/v-for-ali/">Socialist News</a>.</em></p><p dir="ltr">For almost a year, people have campaigned in support of Ali Feruz, a journalist with Russian independent media Novaya gazeta. He was first detained in March 2017 on suspicion of breaking Russian migration legislation. This came after the refusal by the Russian authorities to grant him asylum after he fled Uzbekistan, where he had been arrested and tortured by the brutal Karimov regime. For the last six months, after a Moscow court decided to deport him back to Uzbekistan, Ali has been <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/od-russia/ali-feruz/i-don-t-remember-who-i-am-diary-of-detained-journalist-facing-deportation-from-r">held in a special prison for foreign citizens</a> on the outskirts of Moscow.</p><p dir="ltr">Yesterday, at 11.10am, Ali Feruz flew to Germany. The story of this journalist and activist, a friend and colleague, has caused a stir in public discussion — for the most part, thanks to the active campaign in support of Feruz. It goes without saying that Ali’s release is a victory for everyone who took part in the #HandsOffAli campaign</p><p dir="ltr">Until his arrest in August 2017, Ali covered the exploitation of immigrants in Russia and the crimes of Uzbekistan’s regime. He volunteered for human rights organisations, was an LGBT activist and a member of the Independent Trade Union of Media Workers. It was precisely because of these connections that when a Russian court threatened to deport Feruz to Uzbekistan — where Ali faced the threat of further imprisonment — a huge campaign was mobilised. Rights activists, trade unionists, LGBT activists — everyone joined in. And Socialist Alternative was one of the driving forces behind the public campaign in defence of Ali.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-center">Freedom for Ali is a victory, but a better outcome would have been to allow Ali to stay, live and work in Russia<br class="kix-line-break" /></span><br class="kix-line-break" />It’s worth reminding ourselves what’s been done. Activists conducted dozens of public demonstrations. We picketed the Russian Presidential Administration, the Interior Ministry’s immigration department and the courts. We took part in marches and protests, displaying placards in support of Ali. There were acts of solidarity in many other countries. The on-line petition on the change.org platform collected over 70,000 signatures. There were fundraising evenings, collections to support Ali, his family and other immigrants who have found themselves held in the Sakharovo immigration prison. We distributed leaflets, recorded videos, issued press releases and held many meetings. In other words, we did everything possible to attract attention to Ali’s case and involve people who weren’t indifferent in action. In addition, of course, the lawyers and rights activists also conducted a huge amount of work.<br class="kix-line-break" /><br class="kix-line-break" />In essence, we were forced to fight only for the Russian state to observe its own laws. The authorities should have granted Ali the right to political asylum and not try to hand him over to Uzbekistan’s political police. When it became clear that obtaining political asylum was not going to happen, the demand to allow Ali to leave Russia for a third country became key.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 10.36.46.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="265" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Ali Feruz in court, 7 August 2017. Source: YouTube / Euronews. </span></span></span>I’ll venture an assumption that those people who, over the course of the past year, spread lies about Ali in the media and social networks will now claim that all he ever wanted was “to get out to the west”. By contrast, some people will think that leaving for Germany was the best outcome for Ali. But we don’t agree. Freedom for Ali is a victory, but a better outcome would have been to allow Ali to stay, live and work in Russia.</p><p dir="ltr">Ali is needed here. Not just because he is known and loved. His professional experience and personal qualities were useful to Russian media, civic and political organisations who are fighting for the rights and freedoms of all the oppressed. Ali himself wanted to stay until it became clear that neither Russia nor Uzbekistan would ensure his freedom and allow him to speak his mind. The authorities in these countries only see such people as a threat and are ready to get rid of them. They are prepared to hand over activists like Ali to neighbouring authoritarian regimes, hide them away in prison, torture them — even kill them.</p><p dir="ltr">This is why we still have more work to do and things to fight for. The campaign in Ali’s defence has attracted attention to the arbitrary treatment of immigrants and refugees in Russia, the inhumane treatment of foreign citizens in Russia’s immigration centres, which are no better than real jails.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class="mag-quote-center">We defended Ali, we defended ourselves. Now we need to repeat it — for those people who don’t have the same kind of support as Ali<br class="kix-line-break" /></span><br class="kix-line-break" />The campaign, of course, also revealed several weaknesses. It was hard to keep the campaign “in shape” the whole time. Sometimes mobilisation happened automatically and, at other times, it was hard to get people activated. But we always insisted that the most important thing for this kind of political campaign was public activity, although not every participant always agreed with this.</p><p dir="ltr">But now we have reason to celebrate. This is our success, our achievement. Even in such difficult political conditions, solidarity campaigns can achieve important results.</p><p dir="ltr">Ali is now free. We defended Ali, we defended ourselves. Now we need to repeat it — for those people who don’t have the same kind of support as Ali. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://socialist.news/"><img src="https://socialist.news/assets/img/svg/logo.svg" alt="" width="100%" /></a></p><p>Socialist News is a Russian-language platform dedicated to socialist ideas.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/ali-feruz/i-don-t-remember-who-i-am-diary-of-detained-journalist-facing-deportation-from-r">“I don’t remember who I am”: diary of detained journalist facing deportation from Russia</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/od-russia/ekaterina-fomina/igor-yasin-lgbt">Igor Yasin: “If there’s no freedom of assembly for LGBT, there’s none for anyone else”</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/anna-rocheva/keeping-welfare-russian">Scaling back on healthcare may start with Russia’s migrants. But it won’t end there</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/od-russia/anastasia-platonova/russia-refugee-children-school">Not in my classroom: Russia’s refugee children struggle to get to school</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> oD Russia oD Russia Igor Yasin Migration matters Russia Fri, 16 Feb 2018 10:33:06 +0000 Igor Yasin 116175 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Combating fake news: an impossible feat? https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/combating-fake-news-impossible-feat <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The recent explosion of fake news around the world has serious real life consequences in the political sphere. How will Latin America approach this in the light of upcoming elections? <strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/equipo-innovapol-ticalatam/combatir-las-fake-news-un-reto-imposible">Español</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/fakenews.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/fakenews.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="259" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Los Angeles International Airport, Source: Wikimedia Commons. All rights reserved. </span></span></span>We are currently immersed in an era of informational misrepresentation. Fake news (#Fakenews), as it has been referred to, has become a type of political tactic used to manipulate public opinion that has been highly criticised but has also proven highly effective.</p><p>In Latin America, the cases reported have been numerous: in Argentina the web page Chequeado is collecting information regarding recent incidents, and a similar project is underway in Colombia called ColombiaCheck.&nbsp;</p> <p>This issue is distressing for countries of the region considering many will experience two years of intense electoral campaigning. In 2018 alone there are 14 confirmed electoral processes, and a similar quantity is expected for the year 2019.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">This issue is distressing for countries of the region considering many will experience two years of intense electoral campaigning.</p><p>These processes will be carried out in a context of significant political polarisation that can easily turn into a breeding ground for manipulation of information for political purposes.</p> <p>However, as many Latin American organisations have already denounced in an open letter, fake news is not a recent phenomenon, but a strategy of media monopolies against independent and community based forms of media. </p><p>The desire to control information and to construct “the truth” has always existed, the difference is that now the network of digital technologies enables the fabrication of information and its publication on the net. It is for these reasons that it is important to deal with not just the perspectives of fake news but also to approach disinformation, manipulation, and the concentration of the media in few hands.</p><h2>Manipulation of information in the digital age</h2> <p>The media has always been criticised for its monopolistic tendencies. Then things appeared to change and the great innovation that led to the infrastructure of the internet facilitated a type of distributed communication that Manuel Castells called mass self-communication. </p><p>Mass self-communication is basically the possibility that users can communicate with each other directly, without intermediaries or peer-to-peer, presenting an opportunity to break through the media monopolies.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">All of a sudden, the same infrastructure that enabled the #ArabSpring or #OccupyWallStreet in fact represented the interests that they previously fought against.</p> <p>However, this type of idealisation was called into question when a series of events – including the electoral campaign of current United States president Donald Trump – demonstrated the great capacity for the instrumentalisation of digital platforms on a mass scale. </p><p>All of a sudden, the same infrastructure that enabled the #ArabSpring or #OccupyWallStreet in fact represented the interests that they previously fought against, and facilitated the accumulation of power.&nbsp;</p> <p>The concept that was breaking down this idea of mass self-communication was a notion still considered rather suspicious: post-truth. This is understood as the ability to fabricate truths and to position them in such a way that they provoke certain feelings, sensations or reactions. </p><p>In other words, people tend to believe in what reinforces pre-existing values within their own identity system, which can involve the likes of nationalism, racism, or even class outrage.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p> <iframe allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" frameborder="0" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FgqxVMMJ9-w" height="259" width="460"></iframe></p> <h2>Is increased state involvement/control the solution?<span style="font-size: 13px; font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h2> <p>One of the biggest threats to the circulation of fake news is heightened state regulation and control of information and currently, France and Brazil are in the process of creating such frameworks.</p> <p>Brazil has put in place a commission in light of the 2018 presidential elections in order to generate solutions to and block webpages containing fake news.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">The proposal has generated a range of reactions over the possibility that the commission will pave the way for censorship of both independent and traditional media outlets.</p><p>This commission will function in accordance with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and will be composed of state entities including the army, the National Intelligence Agency, and some NGOs. </p><p>However, the proposal has generated a range of reactions over the possibility that the commission will pave the way for censorship of both independent and traditional media outlets.</p> <p>French president Emmanuel Macron has announced a law against fake news which will encourage an increase in transparency in relation to digital media and their sources of finance (including information about advertising money they may receive). Additionally, it will allow the authorities during election periods to eliminate or block content they deem to be ‘false news’.</p> <p>However, these regulatory strategies do not seem to get to the real root of the problem but rather they justify a significant increase in state control over the media, above all independent outlets, and their very citizens that consume them.</p> <h3>Technological “solutionism”</h3> <p>An alternative to this would be to use technology to combat fake news, although at times it is not entirely effective.&nbsp;</p> <p>Facebook has introduced two specific tools: the first is called “disputed flags”, which tags news articles which appear to be false with a red icon, a type of warning sign. Notwithstanding, the tool was reported to be inefficient in that it required a verification period of 3 days and it worked only from a dichotomous perspective (fake news or not, the reasons for which it had been reported were hidden). </p><p>From there, Facebook introduced once more an already existing tool called “related articles”. This function shows related news articles upon publication so that an article’s sources can be immediately corroborated, facilitating fact checking.&nbsp;</p> <p>Other tools that are being used are conversation bots, like those that will be used throughout the Brazilian elections. These are automated chats that respond to public queries regarding ways to verify information however they are quite restricted in their responses.</p><p class="mag-quote-center">None of these tools however resolves the true cause of the problem, but only attempts to combat the spread of links recognised as fake news.</p><p>Another tool is extension programs for browsers that identify and tag links to questionable news articles based on databases like B.S. detector. The problem is that it depends on constant updating of the databases upon which they are constructed and they do not apply to every context and country. </p><p>None of these tools however resolves the true cause of the problem, but only attempts to combat the spread of links recognised as fake news. The structural problems previously mentioned remain intact.</p> <h2>So… What other solution is there?<span style="font-size: 13px; font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span></h2> <p>As has been mentioned, the upcoming elections in Latin America will increase the use of fake news. It has been proven that politicians and parties wish to manipulate public opinion regardless of the consequences, and without definite solutions the biggest threats to fake news are the very citizens themselves. </p><p>There are important initiatives originating from groups of activists and journalists that carry out fact checking, such as Chequeados in Argentina and ColombiaCheck in Colombia. </p><p>In spite of their efforts however, it is important that citizens generate a more critical eye with regards to the information they consume and when faced with suspicious news sources, they must learn not to share them.&nbsp;</p><p class="blockquote-new">Article previously published in Asuntos del Sur.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.asuntosdelsur.org/innovapolitica/existe-una-solucion-a-las-noticias-falsas-fakenews">Read the original here</a></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/civil-society-organisations/open-letter-on-fake-news-and-elections-in-latin-americ">Open letter on fake news and elections in Latin America</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/jonathan-rose/fake-news-didn-t-start-with-donald-trump">Fake news didn’t start with Donald Trump</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/CIVICUS/david-kode/internet-shutdowns-new-normal-in-government-repression">Internet shutdowns: the “new normal” in government repression?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Culture </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta Democracy and government Culture Equipo #InnovaPolíticaLatAm Fri, 16 Feb 2018 10:09:28 +0000 Equipo #InnovaPolíticaLatAm 116174 at https://www.opendemocracy.net FP February https://www.opendemocracy.net/content/fp-february <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-fps-settings"><div class="field field-fp-section"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Select </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-frontpage-yn"> <div class="field-label">Show on Front Page:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Show on Front Page </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-of-display"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Right Image </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-primary-article"><div class="field field-promoted"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/transformation/michael-edwards/what-s-to-be-done-with-oxfam-part-2">What’s to be done with Oxfam, part 2?</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-fp-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_fp_image" width="640" height="480" title="openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world" alt="openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/Oxfam3_6.jpg" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-see-also"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/transformation/michael-edwards/what-s-to-be-done-with-oxfam" class="see-also">What’s to be done with Oxfam?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/transformation/david-sogge/inconvenient-truth-about-foreign-aid" class="see-also" title="What’s to be done with Oxfam?">The inconvenient truth about foreign aid</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/5050/melanie-cura-deball/un-peacekeeping-blue-banner-for-hope-or-red-flag-for-abuse" class="see-also" title="What’s to be done with Oxfam?">UN peacekeeping: blue banner for hope, or red flag for abuse?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/guilaine/since-i-gave-you-phone-it-s-not-rape" class="see-also" title="What’s to be done with Oxfam?">Since I gave you a phone it’s not rape</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related-posts"><div class="field field-promoted-top"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field field-pfs-title-nr"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5050/tiffany-mugo/evangelicals-south-africa-broadcasting-hate-masked-as-morality">Evangelicals in South Africa are &#039;broadcasting hate masked as morality&#039;</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="field field-pfs-title-nr"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/uk/frances-ogrady/heartunions-why-young-workers-need-trade-unions-more-than-ever">#HeartUnions - why young workers need trade unions more than ever</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-left-column"><div class="field field-promoted-left"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field field-pfs-title-nr"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/andreas-johansson/sri-lanka-local-elections-return-of-rajapaksa">Sri Lanka local elections: the return of Rajapaksa </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-fps-summary-override"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Mahinda Rajapaksa urged his voters not to attack the losing side, saying: “No matter what they did to us we must set an example”.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="field field-pfs-title-nr"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/armine-ishkanian/speaking-truth-to-power-is-dangerous-violence-perpetrated-against-armenian-politica">Speaking truth to power is dangerous: the violence perpetrated against Armenian political activists </a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-fps-title-oeverride"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Violence against Armenian political activists </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-fps-summary-override"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Women’s protest is dangerous when it questions men’s ability to fulfil their ‘proper’ role.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-right-column"><div class="field field-promoted-right"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field field-pfs-title-nr"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/marcela-meneses/young-people-in-mexico-forever-at-risk-of-forced-disappearance">If young, you are forever at risk of forced disappearance</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-fps-title-oeverride"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> If young, you are forever at risk of forced disappearance </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <div class="field field-pfs-title-nr"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/paul-rogers/syrias-wars-new-dynamic">Syria&#039;s wars: a new dynamic</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-fps-summary-override"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Antagonism between Israel and Iran risks fusing with the conflict between Russia and the United States</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field field-hide-in-waterfall"> <div class="field-label">Hide in waterfall:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not include in section waterfall ? </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> https://www.opendemocracy.net/content/fp-february#comments Fri, 16 Feb 2018 08:34:59 +0000 openDemocracy 116167 at https://www.opendemocracy.net