Tunisian bloggers on hunger strike to defend media freedom. Syrian artists express their support of the revolution. And Darth Vader stars in Amnesty International’s latest campaign video against the arms trade.
Tunisian bloggers on hunger strike
Tunisian journalist and blogger Ramzi Bettaieb, aka Winston Smith, has now been on hunger-strike for over a week. As he explains in this video filmed by ‘Le Courier de l’Atlas’, he is protesting the confiscation of his cameras by a military police general as he was covering the military trial over the killings of some 300 “martyrs” during the uprising against Ben Ali.
Several bloggers, like Yassine Ayari have joined the hunger strike to show solidarity with Ramzi Bettaieb who is a member of collaborative website Nawaat. There has been a proliferation of support initiatives emerging on Facebook. There is even a rally planned in Paris on Thursday to demand the cameras be returned to the journalist.
And messages of outrage, expressing solidarity with the bloggers on hunger strike have been pouring onto Twitter, and in particular under the hashtag “liberté de presse” or “freedom of press”.
Caricaturists have been expressing their frustrations through drawings. Seif Nechi depicts the cameras as caged birds and urges the government to free them. Anonymous artist Z portrays the head of the Tunisian military as manipulating the police and the justice system, which are shown as puppets.
Female blogger Lina Ben Mhenni reminds us that this is not an isolated case and that media freedom is flouted far too often in Tunisia. The country’s academics have started an online manifesto calling for greater freedom, justice and transparency.
Art of the Syrian revolution
This picture by Heba al Akkad is called « A night in Houla », the Syrian painter is currently exhibiting works across the Arab World. In this work, the artist conveys her vision of the May 25 massacre of some one hundred civilians, many of whom were children.
Imranovi Faour has put his talents as a graphic designer to work for the Syria revolution. He has posted his creations to his Facebook page; they are marked by violence and death, but also hope for a better future for Syria.
Photographer Jaber al Azmeh has produced a series of symbolic shots condemning the ruthless and bloody crackdown inflicted by government forces across the country.
Others have been relating the uprising against the Bashar al-Assad regime through cartoons. The makers of this video have used shadow puppetry and a storyteller to explain how the protest movement began back in March 2011.
The movement has also inspired musicians, like the group “Syrian Bear” which has composed numerous songs over the past few months, to voice their support of the revolution. In this track for example, they urge the people of Syria to lobby the government by going on strike.
Now trending on social networks
On June 6, 1944, the allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy to free Europe from Nazi occupation. Thousands died that day, and social networkers have been paying tribute to the men who gave their lives, under the hashtag “DDay”. Some have posted photographs, whilst others have evoked the famous coded message used to launch the operation the “long sobs of the violins”. There are also numerous historical threads on which you can follow the events of that D day, hour by hour.
Have you ever dreamed of digging a tunnel to the other side of the earth? Well if this is the case then according to a Google Maps based site, you might be disappointed and end up … in the middle of the ocean. You position yourself on the map at the top of the screen and it will automatically calculate exactly where you will end up on the map underneath. We learn for example that Bogota is on the other side of the world from Jakarta, and that northern China is directly opposite Chili. 24
Video of the day
The NGO Amnesty International is known for its hard hitting campaigns to promote and protect human rights worldwide. And its latest video, a hidden camera at the Hertsal fire arms factory in Belgium, is no exception. After some initial negotiations between the limousine driver and the security guard, Darth Vader and his storm troopers step out of the car, and are refused their request to buy weapons. So why, asks Amnesty do we continue to sell arms to tyrants? At the end of the video viewers are asked to sign a petition demanding the Arms Trade Treaty be respected.