Military wives in France are voicing their anger online. Web users in the Philippines campaign against "epal" politicians. And two Americans go surfing through Manhattan…
France: military wives express their anger online
On Monday, France’s Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the government would unblock 30 million euros to pay a backlog of wages owing to military troops, before Christmas. The arrears have built up over the past twelve months or so after the centralized payment processing software Louvois, was introduced last year.
This military wife is not over happy with the news, in a message written on her back she asks how she is supposed to make ends meet from now until the end of the year. And because they do not have the same obligation of professional discretion, the wives and daughters of soldiers decided to take action last week, and have since been posting pictures of their naked backs on Facebook, to draw attention to what they consider to be a maddening situation, and to share personal accounts of the financial difficulties they are encountering.
The initiative was inspired by an online campaign started by military wives in the US, to support soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from the front lines in Afghanistan or Iraq.
French soldiers’ wives have been campaigning on social networks for months demanding the unpaid wages and bonuses. The problem has affected the day to day lives of thousands of families, with the majority of French troops serving overseas, in Afghanistan for example.
Philippines: campaign against "epal" politicians
A lot of male and female politicians in the Philippines use public funds to produce invasive poster and billboard campaigns to promote themselves to the public. The pictures or names of these immoral politicians are popping up all over the country; on buses, utility poles, even on food packaging. And with the Philippine General Election due to take place in 2013, it’s becoming increasingly widespread, prompting concerned citizens to take action.
Activists have launched a massive campaign across the country to denounce the practices of these politicians who are labeled “epal”, a Filipino slang term meaning “attention grabber”. Most of the campaigning is taking place on the web. A site called “Epal Watch” has been set up on which citizens can post pictures of these posters produced by their political representatives. Hundreds of photos and videos have already been uploaded and highlight the extent of the problem in the Philippines.
And the « anti epal « campaign is drawing growing support; this Facebook page was set up to raise awareness of this scourge that blights political life, and has over 34,000 supporters committed to convincing elected representatives in the Philippines to change their ways.
And although the “anti-epal” movement is essentially an online one, as we can see in this footage, filmed in the capital Manila at the beginning of October, some have also taken to the streets to voice their frustrations. Hundreds of Filipinos gathered, asking for greater transparency from their elected representatives, and demanding they stop using tax payers’ money for their own professional gain.
Now trending on social networks
Disney is buying Lucasfilm, the company behind the Star Wars films, for the tidy sum of 4 billion dollars. And the news has been trending heavily on social networks. Fans of the intergalactic saga are from happy and have been saying so under the hashtag #DisneyStarWars; they fear the world created by George Lucas will become “disneyfied”. Some have produced photomontages to illustrate their fears and what they think might happen when these two major players in the American Film Industry become one.
Leonardo da Vinci’s "Last Supper" without Jesus and the twelve apostles… Hadju Bence, a student at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, has explored a series of works by the great Renaissance masters and imagined what they would like without any people. The idea came to him during a lesson on the use of linear perspective in Renaissance paintings. Painstaking work, created with the help of image editing software, which gives a whole new “perspective” on these master pieces.
Video of the day
In this video we see two surfers in wetsuits surfing through Manhattan just a few days before the arrival of hurricane Sandy… an astonishing idea and a totally novel way of getting around the Big Apple…