Right to Know - India’s Internet Avant-garde, is a podcast series about people coming to terms with the internet in some of India’s poorest rural and tribal districts, where many have not seen a television, or as in the ancient city of Chanderi, locals are still coming to terms with cars and scooters.
This podcast series, presented and produced by Andrew Garton for the Association for Progressive Communications, is adapted from the book “Right to Know: India's Internet Avant-garde” [PDF].
In the first episode of this series, we discover what the United Nations Development Programme means by India's media dark, we find a broadband wireless tower made entirely from junk, and children from different castes sing together on a videoconferencing platform in Rajasthan.
More about the series
This podcast series is authored by Andrew Garton, APC individual member, filmmaker and musician with a background in community media. These are his personal observations of the complex challenges technicians, trainers, community workers and entrepreneurs face in rural India, places difficult to get to, where even the most adventurous of private enterprise has yet to reach. And then... the challenges entailed with training millions of people unable to read nor write let alone understand the myriad of services available on the web let alone comprehend what a world wide web is and how to discern fact from fiction online.
Right to Know is also a story about the making of a film. In 2015, Garton went to India to make Ocean in a Drop. The film tells the story of how these far-flung communities are finding their own uses for the internet. But this story does not begin with a film nor does it begin in India. This story begins when the internet was a mere 2,000 or so websites. This story begins in 1994 somewhere in Indochina, somewhere in Southeast Asia, on the urban fringe of Phnom Penh, Ho Chin Minh City, Hanoi, Manila, Jakarta, Beijing, Nanjing and Guangzhou.
See the images accompanying this first episode below.