These blogs are exercises in courage – GlobalVoicesOnline

It was my first show off at a globalvoicesonline event. So I didn’t have any particular expectations. I was just interested in their work and wanted to learn more about it.

Now being back in “my tiny little world” it took me a while to get all these things which happened together and to calm down from being agitated, very agitated.

Yes of course the summit was a web 2.0 event. But nobody was talking about the latest trends, hypes, gadgets, investments, technical stuff. There was no line up, no show…. It was far more. Daily Life. Real life.Evgeny Morozov got it thoughtfully right:

… they got into heated discussions (often in heavily accented English) over a different set of topics: internet filtering, human-rights violations, and the future of freedom of expression.

This, then, was a different kind of blogger and a different order of reality. The background of many of the participants told the story: for in their countries of origin many at the Budapest gathering sustain their blogs in face of the threat or reality of arrest, intimidation and beating from the authorities. Their enemies are real, not imaginary.

Some of the Global Voices bloggers based in the middle east, for example, were not able to travel to the conference because of their previous association with the organisation; others might face trouble on their return home. Yet they are willing – even eager – to take the risk of putting the problems of their countries and communities on the global agenda.

What also struck me was the sheer diversity of countries represented at the summit. Bloggers from e.g. China, Madagascar, Bolivia. Kenya, Mauritania, Colombia, Bangladesh and Tajikistan showed us that it is indeed a GLOBAL ISSUE!!!!

Again quoting Evgeny Morozov:“The Budapest gathering represents one of the major benefits of today’s internet revolution: the radical democratisation of the global flow of ideas. The technology, the ideas and the processes that have made possible blogs, social networks, and collaborative projects like Wikipedia also give many unconventional thinkers previously consigned to the margins of public life a platform that enables them to be heard by a dedicated (if often tiny) audience.”

For me the summit and the work globalvoicesonline.org does became important. I am definitely looking for “my way” to support them!

Thanks for sharing this event!

Here are my photos of Budapest and the summit.

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