Take Back the Tech! campaigners sending its message loud and clear
By Flavia Fascendini for APCNews
29 November 2012
This year’s Take Back the Tech! campaign is generating many interesting spaces for activism to end violence against women and to promote safer and empowering online spaces for women and girls. Colnodo, Bytes for All, Foundation for Media Alternatives, KICTAnet, Si Jeunesse Savait, OneWorldsee and Mexico partners from the End violence. Women’s rights and safety online project are promoting a number of activities that call to action and reflection about all forms of violence against women and girls that takes place online or through the use of information and communications technologies.
On this first article of two, APCNews will feature the activities developed by the partner organisations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Columbia, Pakistan, and the Philippines – four of the seven End violence: Women’s rights and safety online project partners working under the Take Back the Tech! campaign – during the first days of the initiative, but addressing as well some of their follow up plans.
Colnodo , APC member in Columbia and one of the latinamerican partners in the End violence: Women’s rights and safety online project produced five videos that will get published during different days of the campaign and were planned by Colnodo, and they were filmed by students from a local university as part of their practice. A very interesting process took place, as young students were able to discuss openly about violence against women and ICTs.
The first video already launched is about the use of private images and pictures in social networks. It has to do with rejecting to share a girl’s private images, thinking that respect comes first. In the story, one boy is sharing intimate images of a girlfriend with a friend, and another friend comes and tells them they should not be doing so. “Those are private images. Just think!” says one of the characters in the video. Colnodo partners tell that they wanted to stress “new masculinity” attitudes in this video.
On November 25, they developed a theatre sketch at the National Park in Bogotá in order to contribute to the reflection about violence against women and girls on digital media.
On November 28, Colnodo with other local organisations introduced all the activities and proposals that they are working on about women’s rights and showed the videos produced under the TBTT campaign.
OneWorldsee partner, from Bosnia-Herzegovina is working on the strengthening of the visual identity of their local campaign. They have an outstanding production of local language content and they facilitate translations so English and Spanish materials can be shared widely.
Their campaign website is updated almost on a daily basis with cases and stories, as well as with the announcement of the activities such as workshops that they are carrying on with during the 16 days of activism against gender violence.
Bytes for All in Pakistan is developing a local campaign that stands on many activities. Just before the start of TBTT campaign, Bytes for All brought 70 civil society organizations in two groups of 35 each from all over Pakistan, especially from some of the remotest of areas like Chaghi in Balochistan to Kurram Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to strengthen the networking with these organisations on the mapping platform . Since their local mobile-internet based platform is already functional, they are organizing about 5 more events throughout Pakistan to introduce the tool in remote areas.
Currently they are posting on the TBTT website as well as in their institutional online spaces a group of 16 stories – text based or visual – all of them contributed by different people and around given themes.
On November 29, representatives of Bytes for All chaired a session at a major media conference in Islamabad along with a group of campaigners. On December 8th, the TBTT campaign will be launched in Bangladesh, in an event hosted by the government and Bytes for All Bangladesh team.
Bytes for All is also organising a training of trainers on digital storytelling for internally displaced people in a refugee camp in Peshawar.
In addition, early this year Bytes for All worked to seed TBTT in Afghanistan. After a couple of Feminist Tech Exchange taking place in there, Bytes for All team is receiving digital stories from Afghanistan, which they plan to share widely during this campaign.
At the same time they are developing all these actions under the TBTT campaign, Bytes for All launched a new Pakistan focused campaign, called Access Is My Right . This campaign looks at all different issues around access and communication bans in the country, using a series of visuals contributed by different artists.
The Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) from the Philippines started this year’s TBTT campaign with an important series of eVAW campaign activities held in the province of Cavite. Representatives of FMA were able to talk during the local government-led flag ceremony, after which they conducted two forums, one with youth leaders and the other one with violence against women officers and local officials. They had another session during the second day of the campaign (November 27) in a local district (or barangay, native Filipino term) that was surveyed as the one with the highest number of reported cases of violence against women in the municipality.
Their TBTT campaign page was updated with some of the outputs from the digital story telling that FMA conducted before.
During the Takbo Te Run for equality that took place by the end of November in the University of the Philippines campus in Quezon city, organised by Proud to be LGBT campaign, the College of Human Kinetics Student Council and Take Back the Tech , the Foundation for Media Alternatives hosted a TBTT photo booth, where they encouraged participants to hold placards with a personalized pledge to Take Back the Tech. So, before and after the run, netizens and supporters from the LGBTQI and women’s community posed at the TBTT photo booth to show their pledge of commitment to Take Back the Tech to end gender-based violence.
FMA is also planning to have a Take Back the Tech! photo booth if possible in all of their TBTT future activities for women leaders and gender advocates, using photos to encourage others to take control of technology to promote women’s rights and to end violence against women.