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 and is one of the coordinators of the HiperBarrio project in Medellín, Colombia. You can read the original post in Spanish at his personal blog:
They are very different, but they have things in common. They were born in three different countries, but what unites them is their status as women. They have never seen each other, but would be excited to be able to meet. Their names are Catalina, Shahida, and Cristina and to be able to understand what they write, you will have to learn a little English.
Catalina Restrepo lives in Medellin,
Shaida Islam Mony in Dakha, Bangladesh,
Cristina Quisbert in El Alto, Bolivia.
These bloggers all belong to the Rising Voices outreach project of Global Voices Online. They think, sing and write in three different languages: Spanish, Bangla (Bengali) and Aymara. They want to communicate, get in touch, and exchange experiences, but it is still very early. For now they are extremely dedicated to citizen journalism while they learn new skills and experience the power of expressing oneself and publishing texts, videos, and songs, which are giving them a presence in the world that they never before had imagined.
In the digital age, the global web is opening up unexpected spaces of action, coordination, and participation – both individually and collectively.
Cristina is currently in Miami participating in We Media. Catalina has been invited with her peers from HiperBarrio to participate in MedeLink in early March and Shahida sings in Bengali for those who want to hear thanks to the help of Taslima Akter who made this video that we can now all see (via the Internet) from anywhere on planet Earth.