Realising the Potential of Web 2.0 to empower Indigenous Women
The thing that excites me most about Web 2.0 is quite simply, the scale and its diverse applications. In all senses, it is massive.
It is sound, image, language, film, stories, and most importantly, it is a discourse. Taking all of these traditional media and reinterpreting for the digital sphere for people to engage, interact and truly connect.
Over the last few years It has become such a large part of my life and I have barely realised how its impact has revolutionised the way I work. I have embraced the technologies of web 2.0, which have connected me with people and ideas that would have been unimaginable even 20 years ago and allowed me to maintain links with my family in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a remote Indigenous Peoples region of Bangladesh, in a way that is fresh and real and immediate in its content. I have been able to facilitate the flow of information and be part of successful campaign to release Ranglai Mro an Indigenous rights activist and friend.
I set up a flickr account four years ago in order to document and raise awareness about the issues I am involved with, and this week I was amazed to see that my photos passed 100,000 views. This also made me reflect on how I have neglected this side of my work in the last year due to the need to earn a living.
The thing that inspires me about Web 2.0 is the potential it has given me and other activists from diaspora communities to raise the profile of the causes they are involved with. As someone of dual heritage, I want to be able to contribute to playing a role in the empowerment of Indigenous women worldwide.
I have seen a proliferation of the use of epetitions and global online campaigns to bring about social change. I would like to link with other women to look at the issues around violence against Indigenous women in conflict and post-conflict zones. I enjoyed developing and contributing to the online digital platform Our Stories for UNICEF, which connected young people from around the globe. I have been inspired by some of the stories and examples given here on World Pulse, such as the mapping of torture in Egypt and the violence in Kenya. I would love to create something similar for Indigenous women that builds on the strong tradition of oral history and incorporates digital storytelling.
I have built Web 2.0 in the form of blogs, flickr, facebook and youtube into all my current work, and I am currently teaching myself the ins and outs of twitter.
One of my limiting factors in my work in the past was in fully understanding and utlising the power of Web 2.0. I now feel with the World Pulse community’s support in a better position to actively work with others to map violence against Indigenous women and create empowering links with women in other countries as they share their stories.