Category Archives: Activism

Care2.com helps netizens make a difference

Discover Care2.com. A website with a mesmerizing concept for people who wish to make a difference in the world, but maybe not all of them.

Created in 1998 by Randy Paynter, Care2 is a website that makes available, “fast, easy, and free ways to make a difference everyday”, according to its motto. Care2 thereby encourages activism for various causes.

How Care2 promotes activism.

By filling out a profile with information about, for instance, our personal involvement, Care2 links us to other activists with similar interests. Each day, this social networking website proposes a simple daily action visitors can take part in.

Today, for instance, you could “send some love and good wishes to Barbcat”, a young handicapped woman who “has spent hundreds of hours signing petitions, sharing stories about animals in need”.

Care2 also encourages its members to take various other social actions like creating or signing petitions, clicking for free to donate, sending green e-cards, helping you find a green job and other inventive uses of the internet to help non-profit organizations or causes.


Care2 – should we like or dislike?

Some users have expressed their discontent with the website. Wowsux, a viewpoints.com user from Texas, accuses Care2 of promoting “far left” ideologies. He thinks that it is a “liberal site that misrepresents issues and encourages political activism. Stories are slanted to the left ideology and encourage people to sign petitions based on incomplete information.

According to his experience, he says “they also unfairly censor and ban posters that have a Conservative political position. […] All in all, it appears to be site dedicated to the Progressive political agenda, thinly disguised as an environmentally concerned site.”

Other users, like zippyd, from Washington D.C, praise it with all their hearts. Zippyd wrote on viewpoints.com, “I highly recommend Care2 for anyone concerned about global warming, human rights, improving education or simply making the world a better place.” In fact, this social network platform has attracted more than 16 million members and continues to grow at an incredible pace. In six months, I’ve witnessed a growth of almost 4 million more members.


I haven’t tried creating a petition with a conservative stance on the website myself to see whether it would be rejected or not, but we could consider the idea that making it easy, fun, and free for us to take a specific action may be a good way to push us into doing something we might not agree with.

What is your opinion about Care2?

Find out more about Care2 here.
Read more reviews of the website here.

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Playing For Change – or how music and the web are being used to promote peace.

Can music change the world? The “Playing for Change” project proves how music can unite nations.

All over the world, musicians and singers express themselves in the only places that welcome them: the streets. Very few of these street artists get to be recorded, yet so many have undeniable talents.

Ten years ago, a small group of American documentary filmmakers set out on a musical road-trip to make a film with these musicians. They recorded various artists in different countries playing the same song and edited the footage together. Two independents films ended up being made, one of which appealed to audiences at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The young filmmakers then used the web as an instrument of distribution for their work. Their unique music videos, like the one for Stand By Me above, created a buzz on social media platforms like Youtube and Vimeo. Today, the videos have been seen by more than 10 million viewers.

Later, the project evolved into an incredibly inspiring website, which then became the “Playing for Change” Foundation. As explained on the website, the Foundation “was born and made its mission to ensure that anyone with the desire to receive a music education would have the opportunity to do so. The Playing For Change Foundation is dedicated to the fundamental idea that peace and change are possible through the universal language of music.”

Through “Playing For Change”, street musicians from all over the world unite to promote peace and positive changes.

For more info and to get involved, visit the “Playing For Change” Foundation’s website: http://playingforchange.org/

Mark Johnson, Co-founder of “Playing for Change”, explains the project in his own words:

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An exhibit about the tragic fate of tribal people in India

It’s not always a good news when your land contains a large reserve of mineral wealth, at least not in India. In “A Disappearing World”, Photographer Robert Wallis reveals how India’s most ancestral tribe struggles against both the state and big corporations to stay alive.

I lived in India for 6 months and traveled around the country quite a lot. I’ve lived within Indian families enough that they have considered me one of their own. In fact, I’ve immersed myself in the culture in a way few Europeans dare to.

As a journalist, I have also followed Indian news attentively. After all, they affect my friends, some of the people I’m closest to. Yet I’ve missed out on what constitutes the fate of 26 million people in a province I was never really told about: Jarkhand.

Work based on image:India Jharkhand locator map.svg. Made by User:Haros based on map created by w:user:Nichalp & w:user:Planemad.

Jarkhand – A rich Indian state not to be proud about

Jarkhand is rich yet filled with misery. It isn’t a state the usual Indian would proudly boast about. I discovered why in a photography exhibit at SOAS in London. As usual, I like to write to share what I’ve learned.

The source of Jarkhand’s wealth and misery lies in its soil. According to the Department of Forest and Environment of Jarkhand, “40% of the total minerals of the country are available in the state. The state is the sole producer of cooking coal, Uranium and Pyrite. It also ranks first in the production of coal, mica, Kyanite and copper in India.”

Hence, with the well-known unprecedented economic boost India is experiencing, mining corporations are taking over Jarkhand’s lands to extract its raw materials at an ever-increasing rate. But at what cost?

See the consequences of Jarkhand’s wealth at Brunei Gallery

Through his exhibit, Robert Wallis shows that Jarkhand is also home to “non-Hindu tribal groups, known as Adivasi, [who] have traditionally worshiped nature and maintained spiritual connections to ancestral territory where they have lived for thousands of years.”

Residing in the state’s dense forests, they draw all their basic necessities from a nature that is now disappearing. Wallis titled his series of photographs “A Disappearing World” justifiably. In fact, the Adivasis’ lifestyle and traditions are disappearing along with them.

Wallis’ powerful photographs show how today’s reality in Jarkhand contrasts with the tribes’ ancestral lifestyle. Jarkhand’s prolific natural resources is now the object of our modern capitalistic world’s needs. Exploitation of the country’s natural resources is condemning the fate of a culture that has lived in harmony with their land for centuries.

When: April 15th – June 25th 2011

Where: Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London.

Start challenging perceptions

To find out more about this issue and what you can do to help, I recommend visiting:

http://joharadivasi.org/

http://www.vikasmaitri.org/adivasi.htm

http://www.kharia.in/

For more photos from Robert Wallis, please take a look at:

Robert Wallis – Panos Pictures – Dark Side of the Boom

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From the war on Vietnam’s protests to today’s anti-war protests, has anything changed?

This photograph was taken in the U.S during a protest against the war in Vietnam about 40 years ago.

What do you think about this slogan in relation to the evolution of the political and military situation of the United States?