Today on the net, A web campaign for the release of jailed Syrian artist Youssef Abdelke. The online support for a Norwegian woman convicted in Dubai has finally paid off. And a young woman who makes sculptures out of bread …
Syria: web campaign to free jailed artist Youssef Abdelke
An online campaign has been launched in Syria calling for the release of jailed artist Youssef Abdelke. According to his friends and family who have launched a Facebook campaign, the 62 year old internationally acclaimed artist was arrested last Thursday at a security checkpoint in the port city of Tartus.
The artist and dissident had just signed a petition started by Syrian academics and artists calling for a peaceful and political solution to the conflict in the country that has now been raging for over two years. The document demands the ouster of Bashar al-Assad and a transition to a democratic system with an interim government under UN supervision.
A communist activist from the Christian community, Youssef Abdelke has spent a lot of his life challenging the Damascus regime. His political activities earned him two years in prison and upon release in 1981 he sought exile in France before finally returning to his country in 2005, where he is now relating the tragedy of what is happening in Syria and to his people, through his artwork.
His arrest has been widely condemned in the artistic and cultural circles. Web users have been using his work and style for inspiration, creating their own pieces to show solidarity with the jailed artist, as many have been expressing fears for his safety on social networks.
Artists and scholars from the rest of the Arab World have also joined the campaigning and have posted a petition to Facebook urging the Syrian authorities to free Youssef Abdelke at the earliest possible opportunity. The document has already been signed by over 1 000 web users.
Online support for raped Norwegian woman convicted in Dubai
The online support for Marte Dalelv, the Norwegian woman sentenced to 16 months in prison in the United Arab Emirates last week after she went to police to report she had been raped in Dubai, has finally paid off. Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs posted a message to his Twitter feed on Monday confirming the news and thanking all those who campaigned for the 24 year old, who had been charged by the UAE authorities with indecent behaviour and illegal consumption of alcohol. The ruling prompted widespread outrage online and mass campaigning for Marte began.
Indeed, just after the ruling was announced, the official Facebook page for the city of Dubai was overrun with hundreds of posts from outraged web users, slamming the treatment of rape victims in the Emirates and demanding charges be dropped against the victim who has been staying in a Norwegian community centre in the city-state.
A number of Facebook groups denouncing an unacceptable judicial decision and calling for the woman’s acquittal were soon set up and relayed on other social networks, asking people to show support for Marte Dalelv by lobbying the Dubai authorities; tens of thousands of people joined these groups intent on seeking justice.
And Twitter users were busy posting under the hashtags #FreeMarte or #ReleaseMarte, demanding the United Arab Emirates revoke the court ruling. And all the campaigning did eventually pay off as the young woman has been pardoned and is now allowed to leave the country, to the great relief and happiness of all her supporters.
Now trending on social networks
American web users have been posting under the hashtag #Baby Veronica to share their comments on the extraordinary story of Veronica, an American Indian girl, who after two years living with her adoptive parents was handed back to her biological father earlier this year before being returned once again to her adoptive family last week. Web users are divided, some are urging the authorities to allow the child to grow up in a Cherokee home, whilst others say her adoptive parents are her real parents and that’s where she should stay.
Bread sculptures by Milena Korolczuk
Milena Korolczuk makes these tiny bread sculptures on the corner of a table whilst she’s having her breakfast. The Polish artist who’s based in the US has made a collection of these bread heads, which include historical figures, philosophers and well-known artists; the likes of Lenin, Jean-Paul Sartre or Andy Warhol. She has taken photos of her work, a new sculpting genre, and is exhibiting them at the Raster Gallery in Warsaw.
Video of the day
The classic video game “Duck Hunt” drawn on the ground, in chalk, and in 3D … here’s the latest offering from Chris Carlson, an expert in perspective art. This video recently posted online, is astonishingly realistic and will no doubt make some want to dig out their old games consoles.