Before the January 25 revolution in Egypt that led to the Arab Spring, it was the Kashmiris who used social media to mobilise and organise protests in 2008 and extensively in 2010. With 60 per cent of the population under the age of 30, the discourse is led by opinion leaders on various social media platforms and not by the newspapers.
Kashmiris have used the technology as a tool to define their movement for independence. Rather than waiting for journalists to make a story, they are taking a phone and making a story on their own. A phenomenon that has not only created awareness on Kashmir globally, but given local voices an international platform.
March 3rd 2017 marked one year since the assassination of the Honduran environmental, indigenous activist, Berta Cáceres. Here are some links to knowing more about what was truly a tragic end to a life, a woman, an activist who fought long and hard.
Berta was a co-founder of the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH), an organization fighting neoliberalism and patriarchy in Honduras and working for respect of human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples in particular. She was a long-term opponent of internationally funded exploitative development projects in indigenous territories in Honduras, such as the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam, set to be built on the territory of the Lenca people in the Río Blanco.
Berta’s name had been on a hit-list of social and environmental activists given to a US-trained specialist military unit in Honduras months before her death. Recent information leaked from court proceedings suggest a leading role was played in her assassination by Honduran military intelligence services.
Abuela Grillo is a beautiful short animation film based on water issues in Bolivia. Must watch!!
So we turn to Bachman’s photograph of Evans. It, too, is true. The moment happened, and the image is an accurate representation of it. Its truth supplies necessary context for our reading of Davidson’s photograph. Supporters of Black Lives Matter have applauded the photograph’s depiction of Evans’s strength, dignity, and almost superhuman calm. (It is important to remember that the photograph records only a split-second in time. Responding to a gif showing the moments immediately before and after Bachman’s photograph, the historian Mark Speltz tweeted, “Iconic photographs represent but a millisecond of an event, a campaign, & especially a movement.” An image made when the approaching policemen were in a less awkward position or as they arrested Evans and hustled her away would read very differently.)