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Quick Reads + Brazil

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Brazil

Brazilian Activists Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance

As the world comes together to take a stand against mass surveillance on February 11, 2014, Brazilian citizens, organizations and collectives are bringing momentum to #TheDayWeFightBack campaign.

Anti-surveillance collective Antivigilancia.tk (@antivigilancia on Twitter), one of the 15 Brazilian signatories of the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance, has a website with complete information in Portuguese on how to participate in #TheDayWeFightBack, as well as several resources for the day of action, such as banners and memes.

Cartoon by Latuff with D'Incao (2013). Shared by WebWe Want on Flickr (BY SA 2.0)

Cartoon by Latuff with D'Incao (2013). Shared by WebWe Want on Flickr (BY SA 2.0)

Well-known Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff took on the challenge launched by Web We Want early in February to create original visual works on digital surveillance and the right to privacy. 

Cartoon by Latuff with Operamundi (2013). Shared by WebWe Want on Flickr (BY SA 2.0)

Cartoon by Latuff with Operamundi (2013). Shared by WebWe Want on Flickr (BY SA 2.0)

On Twitter, many Brazilians are linking the day of action with the country's pioneer bill of rights for Internet users, the “Marco Civil da Internet” (Civil Framework for the Internet), which will be brought to the floor in a plenary session [pt] in the House of Representatives today. A group of civil society organizations is expected to meet the Minister of Justice [pt] to voice “serious concerns” regarding the latest modifications to the bill, especially with respect to “the right to the inviolability and secrecy of the flow and content of private communications, the right to privacy and freedom of expression.”

Cartoon by Latuff with Operamundi (2013). Shared by WebWe Want on Flickr (BY SA 2.0)

Cartoon by Latuff with Operamundi (2013). Shared by WebWe Want on Flickr (BY SA 2.0)

 All submissions to the Web We Want contest are available on Flickr.

Pre-Registration Open for Brazil's Global Internet Governance Event

In preparation for the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance that will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on 23-24 April 2014, the organizers are now accepting pre-registrations through a form for expression of interest. The event is a partnership between the state-convened Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br), and the non-governmental multistakeholder platform ./1net.

According to the website of the event, NetMundial.br

This meeting will focus on crafting Internet governance principles and proposing a roadmap for the further evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem.

The organization of a global Internet governance event began a few weeks after Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff delivered a speech before the United Nations General Assembly in September 2013, when she criticized the United States for spying and mentioned that Brazil “[would] present proposals for the establishment of a civilian multilateral framework for the governance and use of the Internet and to ensure the effective protection of data that travels through the web.”

Human Rights Video: 2013 Year in Review

A video by WITNESS on the Human Rights Channel of YouTube wrapped up some of the most significant protests and human rights abuses of 2013. Dozens of clips shot by citizens worldwide are edited together to show efforts to withstand injustice and oppression, from Sudan to Saudi Arabia, Cambodia to Brazil.

A post on the WITNESS blog by Madeleine Bair from December 2013, celebrates the power of citizen activism using new technologies including video, while readers are reminded that the difficulty of verification and establishing authenticity remains a big obstacle.

“Citizen footage can and is throwing a spotlight on otherwise inaccessible places such as prisons, war zones, and homes,” says Bair. “But given the uncertainties inherent in such footage, reporters and investigators must use it with caution.”

10 Documentaries on South American Music to Watch Online

Nick MacWilliam from the blog Sounds and Colours has compiled a list of 10 documentaries, “looking at all manner of musical styles and movements from the region, with films focused on Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Venezuela.”

This list makes no attempt to rank the films, nor does it purport that these films are any better or worse than other music documentaries related to South America. The idea is to provide a sample of some of the films out there so that, firstly, they are enjoyed and, secondly, we hope they will open a few doors for our readers into new areas of regional identity.

The films are available online, for free.

Understanding Human Rights in Portuguese-Speaking Countries

[All links lead to Portuguese language pages, except where otherwise stated]

The Portuguese language version of the educational manual for human rights “Understanding Human Rights” is available online. The website provides the complete manual in pdf format or divided into chapters, as well as training material, bibliographical references and institutional information specifically aimed at countries with Portuguese as an official language. 

Originally [en] developed by the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Graz, Austria, the Portuguese language version was produced by the Institute of International Law and Cooperation with Lusophone Countries and Communities at the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra - “IUS Gentium Conimbrigae” (IGC), also known as Human Rights Centre (CDH): 

Com este projeto pretende o IGC/CDH contribuir para uma difusão de informação teórica, prática e de acesso fácil relativa aos direitos humanos, na senda do artº 1º, nº 1, da Declaração das Nações Unidas sobre Educação e Formação em Direitos Humanos, de 2011, segundo a qual “Todas as pessoas têm direito a saber, procurar e receber informações sobre todos os direitos humanos e liberdades fundamentais e devem ter acesso à educação e formação em matéria de direitos humanos”.

With this project, the IGC/CDH seeks to contribute to a dissemination of easily accessible theoretical and practical information relating to human rights, complying with Article 1, nº 1, of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training 2011, according to which “Everyone has the right to know, seek and receive information about all human rights and fundamental freedoms and should have access to human rights education and training”.

In addition to Portuguese, the manual has already been published in 15 other languages [en].

25 Influential Brazilian Black Women Online

#25webNegras: a list of the 25 most influential black women on the Brazilian web.

#25webNegras: a list of the 25 most influential black women on the Brazilian web.

The website Blogueiras Negras (Black Bloggers, in the feminine), has created a list of the 25 most influential Brazilian black women on the Internet [pt].

The list includes human rights advocates, journalists, writers, researchers, feminists, urban artists and more, besides individual and collective blogs and Facebook pages that fight for gender equality and against racism and prejudice in Brazil.

Blogueiras Negras also adds a list of 10 inspiring black women online from around the world.

“Beyond Brazil”: European Journalists Wanted for Reporting Trips

Coolpolitics in Portugal announces [pt] an open call for European journalists who want to go on a reporting trip to Brazil in 2014. Twenty-one young reporters from Portugal, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom and Bulgaria will be selected to take part of three different groups that will cover events in Brazil, before and after the World Cup, while collaborating with Brazilian peers.

The Beyond Your World website explains the application process and the expected outcomes of this international reporting and training opportunity:

Ongoing demonstrations, the upcoming World Cup, preparations for the Olympic Games and approaching elections; 2014 is considered to be a very important year for Brazil. Consequently, many beautiful stories are out there and are waiting to be covered. Beyond Your World would likes to make a big contribution with this special project. We want to take this incredible opportunity to explore and tell stories in and from Brazil, not only by giving young journalists the chance to gain experience overseas, but also enabling them to work together with colleagues from different countries. 

Deadline for applications is on January 10, 2014. This project - a cooperation between Lokaalmondiaal and the Brazilian media organisation Canal Futura - is part of the training program Beyond Your World which “seeks to inspire and enable the next generation of journalists to cover international development issues”.

New Version of Brazil's Marco Civil Submitted to the House of Representatives

Despite the request of urgency, the Marco Civil – a one-of-a-kind law aimed at protecting key rights of internet users in Brazil - has not been finally voted by the Brazilian National Congress yet. President Dilma Rousseff requested urgency in the examination of that draft bill on September 12, 2013. Thus, under article 64 of the Brazilian Constitution, it was expected to be finally voted by the end of October, 2013. Nevertheless, due to the fact that the draft bill raised a number of opposing interests, it was not yet possible to reach a final deliberation upon it.

On December 11, 2013, congressman Alessandro Molon (PT-RJ), the reporter of the draft bill, submitted to the Brazilian House of Representatives a new version of the Marco Civil. Some of the changes incorporated in this new document were meant to accommodate telecommunications companies’ interests. For instance, although without compromising the so-called “net neutrality” principle, the new version of the draft bill expressly allows for the “freedom of business models carried out in the Internet”. As a consequence, telecom companies are free to offer to consumers data packets with different speeds. They must not, however, in each of the different packets offered, discriminate the information accessed in respect to its content, origin or destination. That is to say, they must treat equally [pt] the information accessed by internet users.

Check out the new version of the Marco Civil (changes to the original text are highlighted in yellow) [pt].

This post is part of our special coverage Marco Civil da Internet [pt, es].

 

Brazil: Do You Admire Mandela? Then Support Human Rights

A banner paying homage to Nelson Mandela takes on the unanimous popularity of the South-African leader in Brazil to call those who admire his legacy to support human rights. The message was spread by the non-governmental organization Conectas Human Rights in the International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2013.

Banner publicized by Conectas Human Rights on Facebook

Banner publicized by Conectas Human Rights on Facebook
Translation: “Do you also feel moved by his legacy? Thousands of people around the world suffer with daily violations of human rights. They need you to do more than to be moved. Follow his example. Embrace the cause. Support human rights. Here. Now.” December 10, International Human Rights Day. Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

“Do more than being moved” is the appeal of the organization in a country where conservatism and a negative vision about human rights seems to be growing. As some recent opinion polls show, 90% of Brazilians support the reduction of the age of criminal responsibility, and 61% believe that criminality is caused by people's bad character. 

Blogging the Simple and Impossible Task of Literary Translation

flores-azuis British writer, editor and translator Daniel Hahn is blogging his progress as he translates Blue Flowers, a novel by Brazilian writer Carola Saavedra, from Portuguese into English, a process that “is both simple and impossible”:

So over these next couple of months I’m going to try to articulate what for me are the delights and frustrations of the work of translating a novel. I’m going to try to give an insight into the processes that go into that work. I’m going to try to convey what it actually feels like to live inside someone else’s writing so completely and so attentively that in time you feel capable of faking it yourself, and faking it so well – with all its joys and idiosyncrasies – that your writing voice ends up seeming somehow identical to your author’s, and that you seem to be performing a magical transformation whose magic lies in the very fact that nothing is changed at all. (Except – yes, of course – along the way every individual word has been removed and replaced.)

The book opens with a love letter to an unnamed recipient, and the simple start of a letter presents a multitude of unexpected choices. See the whole series to date here.

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