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Latest update : 2010-06-30

The Web mobilizes for the 50th anniversary of independence in the DRC

The web mobilizes for the 50 years anniversary of independence in the DRC. Forgotten oil spills are remembered online, and Amnesty International is broadcasting a moving video against the death penalty

 

DRC : 50 YEARS OF THE INDEPENDANCE
 
The Democratic Republic of Congo is celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence, gained on the 30th June 1960. The anniversary did not go unnoticed online despite increasing criticism of President Joseph Kabila.
 
Alongside the many festivities organized in the country for this anniversary, the government has been broadcasting ads like this one for several days. They say that the DRC is on the right track and the country is a paradise.
 
These Congolese artists have posted this very rhythmic track online dedicated to 50 years of independence, where they sing the praises of President Joseph Kabila.
 
He is far from being unanimously popular on the web. And as several NGOs are emphasizing, opponents of Kabila are victims of numerous pressures and persecutions. Human Rights Watch has made this video, criticizing the ruling party’s misuse of their authority.
And critics of Kabila decided to organize a “No Kabila Day” to take place on the day of the anniversary. Several protest rallies have been organized in London, Lausanne and Brussels. They want to denounce the misery in which the people live and the fact the authorities allow foreign companies to benefit from the country’s mineral wealth.
 
This online campaign denounces the situation. This video that parodies an advertisement for a famous brand calls for mobilisation to push producers of computers and mobile telephones to stop helping themselves to the DRC’s minerals. In fact the exploitation of minerals fuels the armed conflict that divides the country.
 
FORGOTTEN OIL SPILLS
 
The oil spill continues to spread off the coast of Louisiana. An environmental disaster that has been closely followed by media all over the world over the past few weeks. But other geographical zones suffer from forgotten ecological disasters. These crises are remembered online.
 
Some are recent. This amateur video shows an affected beach in Singapore. In June, the collision between an oil tanker and a bulk carrier off the island’s coastline caused an oil spill. 
 
Also in June, in Egypt, the leak from an oil rig off the coast of the seaside resort of Hurghada in the red sea was smaller but did cause 160 km of pollution along the coastline, as we see in these images.
 
These events are disastrous for the environment and also affect entire populations; as these amateur images show, in June up to 400 barrels of oil were dumped into a river in north eastern Peru that flows into the Amazon. As this blogger says the river represents the main source of fresh water for 28 communities in this region.
 
Finally, this online documentary highlights the plight of the residents of the Niger Delta. For 50 years, oil has been dumped into it on an almost continual basis; over 7 000 oil slicks have been counted. Yet these ones pass by unnoticed. This film discusses the combat of the residents of this region. Disease, pollution, their lives have been destroyed. They also denounce the suspicious deaths of activists.
 
 
EXTENSION .XXX
 
Is the XXX domain extension finally going to be authorized? Icann, the organization that controls domain name registry has given the go ahead in principle for this extension. The pornography industry should soon have specific Internet addresses ending in .xxx. With 370 million pornographic web pages already in existence, the domain extension linked to this type of content could potentially compete with .com
 
 
DAVID ON DEMAND
 
David is an advertising executive hooked on social networks; the proof: he let Twitter dictate his moves for one week.  This American received instructions from web users live on his Twitter profile. He had attached a webcam onto his glasses so they could follow his every move. Web users could see these images live on the web site www.davidondemand.com An unusual experience carried out in tandem with an advertising trade fair, that takes the idea of our dependency on social networks to the limit.
 
 
VIDEO DU JOUR
 
Here is Amnesty International’s latest video campaign against the death penalty. It’s a poignant animation using wax figurines, made by the French film making collective Pleix. The slogan: 139 countries have wiped out the death penalty. Only 58 are left to convince. 
 

 

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