Dear All,

After a bit of a hiatus, the Rising Voices newsletter is back with weekly links to funding opportunities for citizen media projects, inspiring case studies, and resources for anyone interested in facilitating workshops to train participants how to take advantage of citizen media to improve the state of their local community.

Rising Voices Grantee Projects

Let’s begin with a quick review of what some of the Rising Voices grantee projects have been up to over the past couple months. In Yemen women activists continue to learn new media skills to spread awareness about their projects and opinons. See photos from their latest workshop and, for Arabic readers, a list of links to all their blogs. Participants from the AIDS Rights Congo project have published testimonials about the discrimination toward HIV-positive individuals there, especially women. Voces Bolivianas has expanded to include a group of Bolivian immigrants in the United States. Foko Madagascar (featured today on the BBC) held a workshop about “crowdsourcing information during crises.”

Also, two leaders of Rising Voices projects have earned recent recognition for their work over the past two years. Catalina Restrepo was awarded the “Mujeres Talento” award in Medellín and Cristina Quisbert was awarded an “International Activist Scholarship” to attend this year’s BlogHer Conference in Chicago.

Indigenous Media

Speaking of Cristina, she has just published a history of the treatment of indigenous communities in Bolivia from the Spanish conquest up to 2009. In both English and Spanish Cristina has long been spreading awareness about the discrimination against indigenous peoples and advocating for fair policy on her blogs. She is not alone – other indigenous groups are also using new media to spread awareness about issues affecting their livelihoods. Witness’ The Hub, a site dedicated to curating videos related to human rights, has begun an “Indigenous Media” channel to spotlight indigenous citizen media. Of special note is a two-part video titled “I am a Defender of the Rainforest” which was filmed, edited, and directed by members of the Sarayaku community in southern Ecuador as they organized to protest the encroachment of the Argentinian oil company CGC (Compañia General de Combustibles). Part one and part two (both with English subtitles) are available on YouTube.

Grants, Competitions, Opportunities

Arab bloggers invited to participate in competition

Deadline: August 15. Citizen journalists across the Arab world are invited to participate in a competition seeking the best Arabic blog. The competition is being run by the Cairo-based Arab Union of Young Journalists, under the premise that blogging is incredibly important, especially in the age of new media. Winners will receive certificates, cash prizes and more.

Conflict resolution, prevention, and transformation: Search for Common Ground

Deadline August 21, 2009. Search for Common Ground is launching a photo slideshow contest in partnership with Animoto to create slideshows that show people dealing with conflict in non-violent ways. Content must be original or Creative Commons-licensed. First place winner receives a Flip Video camera.

UNICEF – Voices of Youth

Deadline: August 30. “Youth journalists — under 25 years of age — can submit a one-minute video related to children’s rights, either by illustrating a right or referencing children’s rights as a whole. A total of 10 videos will be selected and featured on UNICEF- Voices of Youth, a site dedicated to empowering youth worldwide. One video will be named the winner on November 20 at the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and it will be distributed to TV channels around the world.”

CGAP Microfinance Photography Contest

Deadline: September 14. “Tell the story about the impact of microfinance through photography and have a chance at winning a grand prize of either a Microfinance Training Scholarship to the Boulder Program in Turin, Italy, or another development training opportunity agreed with CGAP up to a maximum value of $5000 or a $2000 gift certificate for photography equipment and accessories and a winner’s certificate.”

Venezuelan Citizen Journalism Contest

Deadline: October 9. Ojo Ciudadano, a citizen journalism site in Venezuela, is hosting a citizen journalism contest sponsored by Andres Bello Catholic University. Categories are audio, audiovisual, blog, and investigative. Prizes include “professional equipment and diplomas.” (In Spanish)

Barcamps, Conferences, Events

Aug. 14 – 16: Maker Faire Africa: Accra, Ghana

The first “maker” event in Africa. Aimed at encouraging innovation, invention, and entrepreneurship.

Sept. 5 – 6: Digital Citizen Indaba 4.0: South Africa

The fourth-annual Digital Citizen Indaba as part of the Highway Africa journalism conference in Grahamstown, South Africa. Speakers include Elia Varela Serra, Eduardo Ávila, and Ndesanjo Macha from Global Voices.

You can always find more events related to citizen media events worldwide on the Global Voices calendar.

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That’s it for this week. Next week get ready for a long-awaited announcement from the Blogging Positively project.

Best,

David

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