Video Volunteers: Stories From The India You’re Not Supposed to Hear About

avatar Mark Fonseca Rendeiro
at Video Volunteers HQ
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avatar Jessica Mayberry
in Goa, India
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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).
31116424195_0efb7f9479_zSince 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.

Fun fact: Back in 2010 we spoke with Stalin of Video Volunteers on this very podcast, listen to that show here. 

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ctrp421 New Frontiers for Global Citizen Journalism

Photo Courtesy of CarribeanFreePhoto on flickr (thanks Georgia!)

Global Voices Online has come a long way since the days of being all about blogs from around the world. Just as the technology for publishing online and having conversations about issues that effect our lives has evolved, so too has this international project dedicated to multi-lingual, multi-cultural, grassroots reporting.  In 2012 GVO are into more than just providing a place for translation and reporting, they’ve moved into specialized projects relating to advocacy, socio-cultural projects and protecting citizen journalists around the world. At this year’s Re:publica12 conference, I had a chance to finally sit down with Ivan Sigal, executive director of Global Voices Online, and we spoke about these new frontiers and how he sees where we are today as global citizens of many languages examining the world around us.

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ctrp420 The Road Back to Libya

Just over a year ago, Brian Conley found himself teaching workshops on new media reporting in a divided Libya.  While Gadaffi clung to power and a war was fought, Brian and his team improvised their way around and experienced part of the excitement, fear, frustration, and joy.. not to mention all the other emotions that this very difficult conflict brought about.  This month, one year since those first journeys around Libya, he is returning to pick up where he left off.  These are his stories, setting the stage for a new adventure, one where his actions will help bring about a better future for a hopeful nation.

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Voices of Resistance in Libya

Sometimes you’re reading a book, attending a lecture, watching a film, or listening to an interview and a voice grabs you.  The story grabs you.  The combination of the story, the voice, and some unknown, undetectable qualities grab hold of you and they shake you somehow.  You may have been paying attention, but now you’re really paying attention.  You may have cared, but now you’re passionate. You may have had ideas, but you’re inspired.

Citizen Media
Photo by Al Jazeera English on Flickr

Sarah Abdurrahman is one of those determined, inspired, and modest voices that pulled me into her world recently. A producer for On The Media, she has been heavily involved as a Libyan-American activist with the Feb 17th voices movement, or as properly known on twitter: @feb17voices. This group of people, including Sarah, are doing what they can to get real information about what is going on around Libya during this critical time.  Its obviously no easy task and there is great risk for those on the ground, not to mention the fear of not succeeding that many have struggled with even before this amazing uprising.

In one poignient moment while being interviewed, Sarah speaks about her father, who decades ago was doing the exact same type of work only with different technology. She speaks about how the older generation has fought and feel that disillusioned after having not succeeded back then. She wants them to know their struggle is part of this struggle. She wants them to know what anyone who fights in this life for a better world wants to know: that they didn’t do so for nothing. That their lives have had purpose, and they are appreciated, and directly connected to everything happening now.

Do yourself a favor, be open to inspiration. Listen yourself to the fantastic Sarah Abdurrahman’s testimony. It won’t be the last time the world takes notice of her.

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