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Quick Reads + Ideas

Media archive · 3921 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Ideas

“Blogs are the Vinyl Records of the Internet”

An article in Washington Post talks about “the decline of Iran's blogestan”.

Several bloggers tweeted the last sentence of this article:

Read more here.

Jamaica: Social Art

It can only create a healthier cultural environment if multiple independent spaces, encouraging social interaction and supporting creative practice were operating.

ART:Jamaica blogs about the importance of social art spaces.

Remote Hubs in Asia for NETmundial Internet Governance Meeting

NETmundial logo

NETmundial logo

NETmundial, which will bring together people from a variety of backgrounds to discuss the principles of Internet governance, is set to be held in São Paulo on 23 and 24 April 2014. It will also have 33 remote hubs in 31 cities spread throughout 22 countries that will allow for real-time interaction with the event in São Paulo.

Hubs for remote participation in Asia includes five locations in India, one in Hong Kong and one in Indonesia. Tomoya Inyaku, the former director at Japan Computer Access Network [ja] which promotes empowerment through information and communication technology, lamented the lack of a hub in Japan:

NETmundial will be held in São Paulo on April 23 and 24 to discuss the future of Internet governance. They write that they will have hubs in 22 countries around the world. There will be hubs to participate in the discussion from Indonesia, but there is none in Japan. Wish I could connect to talk about rights online.

India General Election 2014: Branding of Candidates Via Social Media

Social media is also the space for innovation and creative thinking. Milind Deora [Union Minister and incumbent MP from South Mumbai] boasts of being the first candidate available to the electorate on WhatsApp and BBM, and provides an interactive mashup map to track all his activities and initiatives. Like BJP’s Poonam Mahajan, Deora too has his Facebook and Twitter pages linked, with one feeding information into the other.

Social Samosa reviews how the Indian politicians in Mumbai have taken to social media for their election campaigns.

Why Learning Italian Still Makes Sense

"L'Italiano...non serve a niente?", from Alma Edizioni's contest page.

“L'Italiano…non serve a niente?”, from Alma Edizioni's contest page.

As Italian publishing company Alma Edizioni was busy organizing an event about the Italian language in Rome, they received an unexpected letter [it] from someone who defined himself as a “disappointed student”:

Why? What's the point of studying Italian today? [...] No one wants to study a language that no longer has a place in the world, the language of a country that keeps getting worse day by day. [...] For years I've studied Italian which today, however, is neither a language of culture, nor of work opportunities.

In order to respond to such poignant questions, Alma Edizioni decided to let students from around the world give their opinion through a contest, which could be followed through the hashtag #litalianononserveaniente (the Italian language is useless).

Participants were invited to produce a one-minute video clip to explain why studying the language of the ‘boot of Europe’ in 2014 is still worth it. More than 80 groups of students took part in the contest, according to the company's YouTube channel.

The “Happy Voting” Project Encourages Young Europeans to Vote

Drawing on the Pharrell Williams worldwide hit “Happy” and the associated equally renown music video (over 143 million views on YouTube), the Brussels-based film company Full Tunes Production has recently launched on facebook an enthusiastic project  called “Happy Voting“ that strives to encourage voting for the next European elections.

The project can also be found on their website and on twitter (@HappyVoting).

Because of  the economic and financial crisis that undermines consumer confidence since 2007 in Europe and the political struggle that the European Union experiences to assert its political relevance on international issues such as the crises in Syria and in Crimea, many observers fear that voters’ participation will reach new low in the next European elections. Raphael Da Silva for Rue89 Strasbourg blog notes [fr] that in the 2009 European elections, 59.5% of French voters did not vote. The Happy Voting Project claims to be an independent initiative that only aims to promote voting, specifically amongst the european youth. Over 12.9 thousand people have already been invited to participate via facebook. The idea is to collaboratively produce a remake of the original “Happy” clip and help buzz the release of the video. Here is the teaser of the Happy Voting video: 

Jamaica: Little Universes

Our minds are as vast and infinite and creative as the uni—scratch that—multiverse. What does that mean for each of us? For our potential and purpose?

A science documentary reminds Jamaican blogger Nadine Tomlinson that she, like every other person on the planet, has unlimited potential.

Barefoot Lawyers Empowering Rural Bangladeshi Women

In Bangladesh, around 6,000 “barefoot lawyers” have been trained by the country's biggest NGO under its human rights and legal services (HRLS) program, reports Scott Macmillan at BRAC blog. These women act as one-woman mobile legal services clinics for the poor, especially women in rural areas where the traditional justice system tends to stack the odds against them.

Less “Experts”, More Thinkers Needed in Jamaica

Annie Paul publishes on her blog a tribute to the late Stuart Hall by “three of the younger members of the Faculty of Social Sciences” at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, saying:

We ought to use the moment of his passing and the local apathy to it as an opportunity to do some serious soul-searching about the stifling levels of anti-intellectualism in this country.

Pavel Durov's Seven Reasons to Stay in Russia

Pavel Durov, Russian entrepreneur and the brains behind the social networking site VKontakte.ru, recently wrote on his page there, that more and more young people are deciding to emigrate from Russia over the past eight months. Durov quipped [ru], “In typical fashion, I've decided to go against the trend — and want to outline seven reasons to stay put in Russia.”

Here are Durov's seven reasons:

1) Low Taxes — Russia has a flat income tax of 13%, something that Europeans can only dream of. 

2) Talented People — Russians often show off their talents by becoming champions in many fields, from computer programming to figure skating. 

3) Breathtaking Scenery — Russia is a leader in terms of the volume and diversity of natural resources on its territory. 

4) Beautiful People – As someone who has spent several years outside of Russia, Durov says that he can confirm that the percentage of beautiful girls in Russia is significantly higher than in most other countries.

5) Freedom of Expression — Taking a creative approach to pushing the envelope is Russia's national characteristic. 

6) Potential for Economic Development — Many like to underscore Russia's lack of development. However, thanks to the lack of development, this leaves the possibility to create new possibilities, which developed countries lack. 

7) A Rich Cultural History — Russia gave the world dozens of writers, architects, composers, artists, and scientists.

It remains to be seen if these positive aspects of Russian life are enough to outweigh the negative, and convince potential emigrants that they have more of a chance at home.

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