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Documenting Nationalistic Hate Speech in Macedonian Media

Human rights expert, activist, and blogger Žarko Trajanoski published a series of analyses about nationalistic, right-wing hate speech in Macedonian media, often veiled as “patriotic” speech.

„Патриотскиот“ говор на омраза е препознатлив по намерата за разгорување, поттикнување, или оправдување на омраза кон внатрешните и надворешните „непријатели“. Во основата на ваквиот говорот на омраза е поделбата на „Ние“ („патриотите“) и „Тие“ (непатриотите), кои се етикетирани со најразлични стигматизирачки називи. „Патриотскиот“ говор на омраза честопати се користи како инструмент за психолошко насилство врз критичарите на актуелната власт, од страна на провладини политичари, новинари или колумнисти.

Во првиот дел од анализава ќе се фокусираме на повеќе примери на „патриотски“ говор на омраза во кој се таргетираат домашни „предавници“, „странски платеници“, „кодоши“…

“Patriotic” hate speech is recognizable by the intention of inciting, encouraging or justifying hatred towards internal and external “enemies.” At the core of this hate speech is the division to “We” (“patriots”) and “Them” (non-patriots) that are labeled with various stigmatizing names. “Patriotic” hate speech is often used as an instrument of psychological violence against critics of the current government, by pro-government politicians, journalists or columnists.

In the first part of this analysis we will focus on several examples of “patriotic” hate speech targeting domestic “traitors”, “foreign mercenaries“, “informers” of the former regime…

Three parts of Trajanoski's independent analysis are available in Macedonian and English, while the author has promised to continue the series in the near future. The examples are informative both to those interested in the political and media situation in Macedonia, but also to students of hate speech as a wider phenomenon, in particular as an instance of wider anti-democratic trends in southeastern Europe.

The first part of the analysis covers Hate towards internal “enemies”. The second and third parts of Trajanoski's study document and discuss examples of hate speech directed at activists and non-government organizations in Macedonia. Trajanoski's work is also part of a larger on-going civic fact-checking project of Macedonian media.

Video Contest: Inspiring Stories of Protected Areas

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Contest banner

The International Unión for Nature Conservation (IUCN, for its name in Spanish) on its official page on Facebook, makes a call for communites and populations that live in protected areas in South America to submit their videos to take part in the contest “Inspiring stories of protected areas”, aiming to share those stories to the whole planet. Those who want to take part can submit up to two self-produced four-minute videos with copyright.

The awarded videos will be exposed during the IUCN International Congress of Parks.

To participate, just fill the application form with your information before August 14. You can also participate by choosing among the videos already uploaded to participate.

For more detais, visit the site on Facebook

Reasons to Take a Trip Once in a While

Equipaje

Image on Flickr by user larshuj (CC BY 2.0).

On her blog Historias de una mujer lobo (Stories of a female werewolf), Natalia Cartolini reflects on the reasons why a trip can be beneficial as, in her opinion, “the fact of visiting new places or meeting new people from another perspective is important at any moment. It doesn't matter if you go out within your own city or its surroundings, just open your eyes to a new point of view. Do something different. [...] But as the further from what you are familiar with, the more you will be able to find yourself, as you are aware you are the only one needed to survive.”

She ends up her reflections saying:

Entonces, imagínate escuchar tu música instrumental favorita mientras caminas por la calle. Todo se transforma. Ahora tú eres el protagonista.
Por un momento eres un Gatsby, en otras, un vaquero o un montañista. ¿Quién detiene a la imaginación? Sólo tú. Sal de tu sitio y aprovecha lo que tienes alrededor tuyo. Porque es tuyo.

So, just imagine you listen to your favorite instrumental music as you walk down the streets. Everything gets transformed. Now you are the leading character.
For a while, you are a Gatsby, some other times, a cowboy or a mountaineer. Who can stop imagination? Just you. Get out from your place and take the most out of what you have next to you. Because it's all yours.

Spanish Football Club Presents Peculiar T-Shirt

Spanish football club Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa, presented its new T-shirt on July 22, 2014, with a peculiar design that simulates a tuxedo, with shoulder braids, and even a bow tie just below the neck.

Twitter users were quick to express their opinion, not always favorable:

I can't tell which one is worse. The hideous T-shirts of the Lugo Club and the Cultural Leonesa one.

This is why “Cultural Leonesa” is trending topic.

Initially, the T-shirt was going to be used only during a pre-season friendly match. After the unfavorable opinions on social networks, the club, which founded in the city of Leon in 1923 and plays in the Second Division B – Group 1 of Spain, is considering using it as the alternate shirt or simply discarding it completely. is a sport association 

Colombia: “What Do You Love About Medellin Downtown?”

Medellín

Medellin seen from the MetroCable. Image on Flickr by user szeke (CC BY-SA 2.0).

On his Facebook page, Colombian journalist Juan Mosquera reflects on the problems of downtown Medellin:

#‎AmamosElCentro‬
El centro de Medellín tiene problemas, cada día más palpables y agudos, que no sólo obedecen a la siniestra presencia de los intereses de la delincuencia. Lo lees, lo escuchas, lo ves, casi lo respiras. Por eso quiero preguntarles a los que pasan por aquí ¿Qué amas, a qué le tienes afecto en el centro?”

#‎AmamosElCentro‬ (We love downtown)
Medellin downtown has problems, more tangible and serious each day, due not only to the sinister presence of delinquency interests. You read, hear, see them, you almost breathe them. That's why I want to ask those who pass by: what do you love, what are you fond of about downtown?”

By the time this post was written, the question had 71 answers, and some users also expressed themselves on Twitter:

We love downtown for San Alejo and its cakes. Right, @bgarcial?

We love downtown for the hills, the 7th, the Planetarium, museums and many other things.

Experience the “Hanoi Soundwalk” Interactive Audio Tour

PrintThe Soundwalk is an “interactive, geo-locative audio tour” where a user with a headphone and smartphone app equipped with GPS can hear sounds as he or she walks around the city.

…when you move around the sounds will appear to be coming from a particular location, and you can discover other sounds as you walk around.

This innovative project was launched in Hanoi, Vietnam last year. The developers plan to spread the concept and campaign to other cities.

Imagine, as the number of available Soundwalks develop, instead of “what do I want to listen to today?”, you'll be wondering “where do I want to listen to today?”.

Honduras Generates Employment with Community Activities

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandes launched the program “Desarrollemos Honduras” (Let's Develop Honduras) alongside civil servants and community members. Hernandes explained that if a house has a damaged or a dirt floor, it should be replaced with a cement floor; or prioritize according to the family needs, and:

Cambiar los fogones tradicionales por los ecofogones. Yo sé que en muchos lugares, tal vez no sea el caso de las casas aquí, es triste preguntarle a la gente cuánto paga por la leña y la gente no sabe, hay que explicarle (…) A veces a la gente se sale más cara la leña que la comida.

Replacing traditional stoves for ecologic stoves. I am aware that in many places, maybe not here, it's sad to ask people how much do they pay for firewood and they don't know, we have to explain them (…). Sometimes, people pay more for firewood than for food.

Twitter users posted pictures and their opinions:

LET'S DEVELOP HONDURAS started today at El Reparto community. Painting my neighborhood program will create 150 positions for young people from the community.

This is definitely worthwhile, let's all collaborate so it all might look better. Let's Develop Honduras.

The Hypocrisy of Outrage Against LGBT Rights in Jamaica

An off-colour comment by a Jamaican sports commentator who “dampened the moment of post World Cup celebrations with his shouts of ‘Heil Hitler’ on national television” leads author and blogger Kei Miller to pen a letter to the editor illustrating why his countrymen are living a double standard – outraged by the Hitler reference, most Jamaicans seem to have no problem “liv[ing] comfortably in a period of bigotry” when it comes to LGBT rights.

But wait, some may argue…isn't that like comparing apples and oranges? Perhaps, but Miller argues that the two can be compared:

The point of any comparison is never to make things equal. A thing is only equal to itself. My point really is…that it is interesting a widespread reaction against the historical REMINDER of bigotry, when there are other contemporary expressions of bigotry being tolerated and even celebrated.

Simply, Thank You!

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Image on futbolshampan.blogspot.com.ar, used with permission.

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is over and Argentina didn't win this time. A week after the final match, there are still lots of reflections and comments about the performance of the Argentinian national team. This time, we find a hearfelt comment by Manuel de León, where he expresses his grattitud to the crew on his blog:

 No son magos, pero 23 jugadores y un cuerpo técnico que eran sumamente criticados dieron vuelta la tortilla e hicieron que hasta el más incrédulo, se llenara de fe y esperanza. El mundo entero vio la bandera Argentina y escuchó el himno nacional de nuestro país en una final de la copa del mundo. No pasa todos los días. Es por tal motivo, que no encuentro otra manera de terminar este texto: tan solo, GRACIAS.

They are not magicians, but 23 players and a technical staff who were severely criticized and who turned things over and filled even the most skeptical ones with faith and hope. The whole world saw the Argentinian flag and heard our country national anthem on a World Cup finale. This doesn't happen every day. That's why I can't think of other way of ending this text: just THANK YOU.

You can follow Manuel on Twitter

This post was part of the eleventh #LunesDeBlogsGV, (Monday of blogs on GV) on July 14, 2014. 

Artists Explore the ‘Melting Point’ of Art and Propaganda in Skopje

A not-for-profit, self-financed group of artists calling themselves Kooperacija (“Cooperation”, Macedonian slang for a general store in small villages) hosted an exhibition titled “Melting Point: Art as Anti-Hegemonic Propaganda” [en, mk, with photos] in Skopje recently.

'Fear makes the world go round' by Ines Efremova. Photo by Kooperacija, used with permission.

‘Fear makes the world go round’ by Ines Efremova. Photo by Kooperacija, used with permission.

As reported [mk] by several news outlets that cover culture [mk], including Belgrade-based SEE Cult [sr], the event presented works by several individuals and groups of world renowned artists. Among them were pieces by Vitaly Komar, IRWIN, Santiago Sierra, DETEXT, as well as by some of the most vibrant artists from the region, like Nemanja Cvijanović, Ibro Hasanović, Igor Toševski, Kristina Gorovska & Jure Lavrin, Ines Efremova, Filip Jovanovski, O-P-A, and others.

The group of artists who put together the exhibition described it on their pages as:

Kooperacija is an initiative whose purpose is artistic activity outside the inert institutional frameworks, thus suggesting an exceptional approach to the creation and experience of contemporary art [...]

[Its] basic strategy is the occupation of temporarily free space dispersed throughout the urban landscape and exhibiting through a chain of blitzkrieg events. The desired effect is a constructive dialogue regarding the re-questioning of the critical positions in art and producing a favorable environment for a free exchange of ideas, experience and freedom of expression.

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