Citizen journalists report on the violence in southern Sudan. Spanish web users show solidarity with an artist on trial for blasphemy. And a French journalist is tweeting Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Citizen journalism in Sudan
Idris lives in the Nuba mountain area in southern Sudan. In this video he talks about a recent bombing attack by Khartoum government forces which killed his wife and two of his children. The film is being aired online by the “Nuba Reports” website, a project set up to share stories from the people caught up in the crossfire in this border region.
The Sudanese government is trying to crush a dug-in rebel movement in the region. Ryan Boyette is American and married to a native, he set up this citizen journalism platform, which is partly financed by online donations, to denounce the attacks on civilians, by forces loyal to President Omar al-Bashir.
Mr Boyette has trained people from the Nuba region in journalism and how to use a video camera, so they can make their own reports. In this short documentary for example, Azhari Guda, a former civil servant, focusses on the fate of the thousands of refugees who have fled the violence across the region, and also on the severe food shortages in the Nuba mountains. The region is located near to the disputed border area of Abyei, which is claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan. They have now resumed peace negotiations after weeks of fierce fighting.
Spanish artist tried for “cooking crucifix” film
How to roast a crucifix? Spanish artist Javier Krahe made this satirical short film back in the 70s, but it was banned under strict censorship laws in 1978, and aired for the first time on television in 2004 by the Canal+ network. The spoof cookery show explains how to prepare the crucifix, by taking out the nails, thus removing the figure of Christ, rubbing it in butter and then putting it in the oven for three days after which it will emerge of its own accord.
The video which is currently circulating on the Internet shocked the Thomas More Legal Centre, and the predominantly Catholic organization filed a complaint against the man behind this parody on the resurrection of Christ, citing ‘offending religious sentiment’. It’s a first in the country.
The trial opened in Madrid on Monday provoking a wave of outrage online, with many of the artist’s supporters and advocates of freedom of expression campaigning under the key words "Krahe Libertad", meaning Krahe freedom. Many have made reference to the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, evoking “la hoguera” the bonfire, where those found guilty of heresy were burned alive at the stake.
Olga Rodriguez has drawn a parallel with the blasphemy trials in the Muslim World; she says if this had happened in Egypt then people would be talking about fundamentalism.
The artist and the director of programs at Canal + at the time, are jointly accused, and are currently out on bail. Javier Krahe could be facing a fine of 144 000 euros, and has already said he will go into exile in France if found guilty.
Dante’s Divine Comedy in the Twitter age
Experienced Twitter user, journalist and blogger Marc Mentré has started this somewhat wacky project; rewrite Dante’s masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, in posts no more than 140 characters long. With one tweet per day, it will take him around ten years to complete, and as if this was not enough each extract will be written in French and Italian, so the writer’s poetry is not lost in translation. Mentré explains on his blog that he wants to make this literary monument accessible to his 2 600 followers.
Now trending on social networks
The Israel-Palestine conflict was trending heavily on social networks at the beginning of the week. With Israeli theatre company Habima due to perform in London on May 28 and 29, Palestinians were urging theater goers to boycott the play. But UK based Israel advocates started the hashtag “Love Culture” to promote the event, to help combat what they described as a form of censorship. Supporters of the Palestinian cause went on to use the key words ”Love Justice For All”, denouncing what they call “apartheid” in Israel.
Video of the day
When Laverne Everett went skydiving for the first time, she came pretty close to slipping out of her harness, but she’s said she would do it all over again… In the video we see the 80 year old American getting ready to go, but when she jumps out of the plane we see that her straps are not properly secured, and she is in a very dangerous predicament. According to reports, over the past decade eight people have actually died in jumps with ‘The Parachute Center’ which organized the skydive … Mrs Everett has not been left traumatized though, and is already planning her next escapade: motor racing…