One of the most interesting and innovative global projects based in Tokyo is Safecast and who better to explain it than one of the most interesting and innovative people I know: Sean Bonner! I visited him at Safecast HQ in Tokyo and he explained not only what the project is, but also how it impacted his life as a new resident of Japan.
While there is much pride about India as a democracy where people have rights and representation, there is also another side of India which domestic and international media rarely hear about – the marginalized groups of this vast country (think geography, caste, class, ethnicity, gender, and more).
Since 2003, Video Volunteers has been daring to challenge the status quo of media within Indian democracy, helping train and amplify video reporting by members of communities that are considered by those in power as unimportant, weak, or inferior. Today on the program we’re in Goa, at the headquarters of Video Volunteers listening to founder Jessica Mayberry explain what the organization has been up to; their successes, goals, and challenges that have come along with helping these embattled voices be heard.
I’m probably a very annoying person to deal with on a daily basis, especially when I’m doing my typical “big picture” speeches and appreciating the life I’ve carved out for myself knowing full well how many do not get to enjoy, travel, try… as I have. I’m not sure what turn of events, what influential person or piece of media that I ever heard/read/watched, that made me someone that continuously comes back to one conclusion: despite some slim odds and all the factors that could have played out differently, I have arrived (as have so many of us) at this point in my life doing things I love to do, having people in my life (near and far) that I’m honored to know, and in reasonably good shape as far as the essentials of life go. Although much of the world seems so busy and eager to move past these types of observations, just as quickly as someone might be about to click away from this text, I think the ability to see it – especially at difficult moments- is something that needs nurturing.
Can everything change suddenly? – Of course. Are there worries? -I’m a citizen journalist in the year 2012; there are worries. Have there been set backs and tragedies? I think we’ve all had them, though again I feel fortunate having learned about and seen how bad things can be and are for so many in this world. Beyond all that – is it enough to just dwell on the big picture of fantastic coincidences that have led to a certain degree of satisfaction on a personal and work level? Probably not.
But still, as so many astute observers have stated, there is much beauty to be seen and experienced in this world. Sometimes it is right there in front of us, and we choose not to look or we lack the ability to see it, especially during moments of weakness. Think about the series of events that took place before you read this text today, and all the other factors that could have stopped you from reading it, but somehow didn’t come in to play this time. I believe there is something to be said for the good chain reactions of life. Maybe it is the power to recognize them and enjoy them, that helps us individually and collectively, find responses to the many challenges and problems of our world.
In the post-Arab spring/occupy world we’ve seen a call to action for more tools to help acitivists do what they do. We’ve also seen a hodge-podge of tools being rolled out and touted as just what activists need. But security minded observers are not impressed. In fact, in some cases, they’re horrified. In this podcast, which is plagued by a previously undetected Berlin wind, Eleanor Saitta sits down with me to go over the aspects of security and ethics that everyone involved should keep in mind as we develop and implement communication strategies for organizations and activists around the world.