Stories from March, 2008
Public libraries are transforming from centers of reception to centers of creation, transmission, and communication. In Latin America, the movement toward a more participatory library system is being led by a small satellite library in Medellín, Colombia and BiblioRedes, the national library network of Chile.
FOKO Madagascar was full of activities this month. It went on to explore new voices from the high schools, introduced citizen media workshops in a city far from the busy capital, and helped young high school students to enter in an international video contest. They also live-blogged their recent workshop which helps the world to learn about these budding citizen media activists from Madagascar.
In this three-minute podcast recorded with Cristina Quisbert while she was in Miami for the annual We Media conference, we discover the importance of Voces Bolivianas and citizen media in general for the residents of El Alto, Bolivia.
Eduardo Ávila and Cristina Quisbert presented Voces Bolivianas at the We Media conference in Miami last month and got much appreciation. On March 18 2008 the closing program of El Alto II workshops was held and certificates distributed. With all these successes behind the Voces Bolivianas project is looking forward to expand to other cities of Bolivia terming this as a movement.
For this week's Rising Voices podcast we listen in on a live interview with Nari Jibon founder Kathryn Ward from WBDX's Big Muddy radio program in Carbondale, Illinois. Kathy describes how Nari Jibon got its start and how they've been incorporating blogging and citizen media into their English and computer training classes to give women in Dhaka, Bangladesh a stronger voice and community online.
At We Media Miami I was able to sit and talk with Lova Rakotomalala, one of the coordinators of the FOKO Madagascar blog outreach program. We recorded this brief interview in which Lova describes the genesis of FOKO and how the organization plans on fulfilling its mission.
HiperBarrio's presence at Medelink 2008, a local festival of digital culture, might have helped the citizen media outreach project discover a model of sustainability while extending their work to more communities on the outskirts of Medellín.
In celebration of International Women's Day, Rising Voices grantee and Nari Jibon founder, Kathryn Ward, came up with the idea of a friendly poetry competition among Rising Voices bloggers. Participants of the ten citizen media outreach projects were given a week to write and submit their poems related to the theme "women hold up half the sky."
While the devastations of Hurricane Ivan were under reported in the international media, Malagasy bloggers from the Foko Blog Club filled the void using photos, videos and a map mashup. The Rising Voices outreach project also expanded to the second largest town in Madagascar.
When Rising Voices first launched in May of last year, we hoped that at least some of the participants of the outreach projects would emerge as strong leaders and capable trainers to replicate the citizen media workshops among their own networks of friends and family. We never expected, however, that those leaders would emerge so soon and that the great majority would turn out to be women. This week's feature article is a translation of a post by Professor Álvaro Ramírez, who teaches media and communication at the University of Bergen, about three of those leaders.
Following recent workshops on how to use Flickr and how to video-blog, the FOKO team in Madagascar has been active documenting the recent flooding from Cyclone Ivan and their recent tree-planting in the region of Andranovelona with the Namana SeraSera Group. This video is from there trip to Andranovelona. Sub-titles are available in English.