Saturday, November 25, 2006

Starting from today I’ll be blogging every day for 16 days for takebackthetech’s blogathon initiative, running for 16 days to coincide with the annual UN 16-day campaign that raises awareness more generally for the elimination of violence against women. November 25th has been traditionally upheld by activists as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women since 1981, and officially recognised by the UN since 1999. The day was marked out to commemorate the deaths in 1960 of the three Mirabel sisters who, on November 25th, were brutally murdered for their active opposition and resistance to the dictatorship controlling their country; the Dominican Republic. Campaigns for raising awareness continue for a proceeding 16 days.

I’d say the best way to cram quickly on an outline of the Mirabel sisters’ story is to see In the Time of the Butterflies, the 2001 film made about their lives, based on the novel of the same name – I thought it was really nicely done!

Although I really have no idea what I’m going to write about every single day, when I saw the appeal for participants, I knew I’d commit to it – I really have no excuses at all not to, since the internet is a huge part of my life: I’m about as agnostic as they come, and in many ways the internet is my religion – I practice it daily, I believe in cyberspace, and look to it in order to learn more about life, the universe and everything! I am also an ICT missionary (!) who believes access to such media networks as the internet can potentially empower those who are often excluded from other tools for vocalisation and expression, and therefore can have particular significance for women. And yet, just as organised religions have their ways to undermine, repress, and render ‘different’, anyone who is not Man, so ICT also has its (often not only not hidden, but brazenly on display) dangers to women and its methods to marginalise and even exclude women from an equal positioning within the spaces it opens.

In my enthusiastic promotion of the internet’s potential for women I also face another dilemma. Sort of by accident I find myself working (on women’s programs) in an agricultural communities project in the middle of rural Africa where the most advanced piece of technology likely to be found in the houses of these villages is a television (albeit, a satellite-connected television – a not un-noteworthy fact). I love this country and take my involvement in the project very seriously, but my heart, if not exactly in the west, is very much image-impacted and beating with a digital pulse! If I have one hope for an outcome to this 16-day ‘experiment’ it will be a to see if there is indeed a way to convincingly reconcile the apparent extremities of my ‘physical’ positioning with my ‘political’ positioning in the world. It might be a tall order, and it’s definitely a challenge, but it will be interesting to see how it goes…

I would appreciate absolutely anything in response from anyone at anytime!! Whether it’s ideas, suggestions, comments, support, impressions, experiences, stories, arguments, disagreements or anything else, if I’m going to say anything even remotely interesting or meaningful on a daily basis I’m going to need all the help I can get!

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thury said...

Jenny dear! You are always a step ahead. I'm so frustrated I didn't open my email or do my daily blog-round because I'd love to do this same thing. I wonder if I still can. Better check the website.

Lots of Love
You're my cyberqueenie.

thury said...

Aidworld is something I find highly interesting. Been trying to find out if I could volunteer there. Take a look: