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Quick Reads + Spain

Media archive · 151 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Spain

Academics and Experts to Discuss Digital Discrimination in Barcelona

The ICUD International Conference: Digital Discrimination and Social Networks takes place on March 13 and 14, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. It will be a discussion space for academics, researchers, Internet and sns experts, NGOs, knowledge providers, and anyone interested in the issues surrounding discrimination on the Internet, especially in regards to social networking sites.

The ICUD Project aims to “creatively unveil” hidden forms of discrimination on the Internet, especially on social media sites such as Facebook, and provide practical tools to combat discrimination online. Hot and complex topics like teen usage of Internet tools and social networks, racial discrimination, digital divides, youth and identity will be discussed during the two-day conference.

The full program is available on the official site of the ICUD Conference site, while live streaming and simultaneous translation will also be available.

INNOVATION: Containers as Student Housing at European Universities

 "Containers" at DTU Campus Village in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark via wikipedia CC-BY-SA-3.0

“Containers” at DTU Campus Village in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark via wikipedia CC-BY-SA-3.0

In order to alleviate the lack of student housing available across Europe, a few universities in Denmark, Germany, France (Le Havre) [fr] and Spain have tried to turn containers into student dorms. Containers appear to be the structure of choice because they are less costly and readily adaptable to include the necessary amenities. However, a few associations have already raised a few issues [fr] regarding thermal isolation and safety in the containers. 

From Barcelona to Madrid for the Love of a Candidate

Blogger Denise Duncan makes a confession [es] on her blog:

¿Por qué voy a viajar 1400 kilómetros para votar por Luis Guillermo Solís? ¿Por qué ir y volver de Barcelona a Madrid en 24 horas? ¡Pero es un voto, nada más!, podría pensarse. ¿Qué diferencia hay? Una: estoy enamorada.

Why am I going to travel 1400 kilometers to vote for Luis Guillermo Solís? Why am I going from Barcelona to Madrid and back in 24 hours? But it's just a vote, nothing else!, you could think. What's the difference? One: I'm in love.

Denise is a Barcelona-based Costa Rican citizen and she'll have to travel from there to Madrid to cast her vote for Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera [es], a candidate running for president in the upcoming elections on February 2, 2014.

She remembers an earlier experience, when she spent 24 hours in a train to meet the man who is now her husband. She ends her confession saying:

Entonces brindaré por lo que viene, por un cambio que hará que mi corazón diga: yo recorrí 1400 kilómetros por dos hombres decentes en mi vida. Uno es mi marido. El otro el Presidente de la República.

Then I'll make a toast for what's yet to come, for a change that will make my heart say: I traveled 1400 kilometers because of two men in my life. One is my husband. The other one is the President of the Republic.

European Citizens Call for the Protection of Media Pluralism

For updates follow @MediaECI on Twitter and 'like' the Facebook page European Initiative for Media Pluralism.

Website: MediaInitiative.eu. For updates follow @MediaECI on Twitter and ‘like’ the Facebook page European Initiative for Media Pluralism.

“European institutions should safeguard the right to free, independent and pluralistic information”. The quote, from the Media Initiative website, summarizes the main idea behind a pan-European campaign that aims at urging the European Commission to draft a Directive to protect Media Pluralism and Press Freedom.

The Media Initiative is running a European Citizens’ Initiative - a tool of participatory democracy “which allows civil society coalitions to collect online and offline one million signatures in at least 7 EU member states to present directly to the European Commission a proposal forming the base of an EU Directive, initiating a legislative process”. The petition is available in 15 languages and can be signed online:

Protecting media pluralism through partial harmonization of national rules on media ownership and transparency, conflicts of interest with political office and independence of media supervisory bodies.

A short video presents the campaign:

Spanish Television Show Does Not Represent Reality of Expats in Santiago

Madrid native David Sigüenza [es] watched a recent episode [es] of Spanish program “Madrileños por el Mundo,” focusing on Chilean capital Santiago, “hoping to see a representation of the reality of this city, where many young Spanish people have found themselves living due to the crisis faced by our country.”

“Madrileños por el Mundo” shows the lives of Madrileños (people from Madrid) living in other countries. However, David says that the stories about life in Santiago portrayed by the program were unrepresentative of the reality of “the exiled Madrileños in Santiago.”

For example, the program included the story of a Spanish woman married to a lawyer; “Her life consisted of going to the golf club, then to the shops, afterwards to the gym and to look after her children – a typical day for anyone, right?” writes David.

The reality here is much more difficult than [this story], the reality is about people who earn a little more than 1000 Euros a month [a low salary earned by countless Spaniards] but who are better off here in Santiago than filling up unemployment lists in Spain. It's about people who fight to live with dignity and get ahead with the hope of one day returning to their country. It's about people who save month after month to be able to afford a plane ticket that will take them to see their loved ones who are more than 10,000 km and a month's wage away.

The complete entry can be found in his blog [es].

Spain Regional Education Minister Steps in it with Translation Gaffe

Spain's Regional Minister of Education for the Balearic Islands, Joana Maria Camps (@joanamariacamps), has proven herself not very familiar with one of the most important studies on education: the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). In a parliamentary session on November 21, she talked [ca] for some minutes about some important study called “trepitja”, the Catalan translation for the Spanish word “pisa”, a conjugation of the verb meaning “to step”. The mistake, probably the result of her advisers using an automatic translator to translate her Spanish text into Catalan, shows she did not know very well what she was talking about.

A YouTube video offers the audio of Camps’ speech, which ended with the conclusion that a reform in the education system is needed. On Twitter, netizens used the hashtag #InformeTrepitja (Trepitja Report) to post outraged comments and jokes on the tragicomic scene.

Camps is the same minister that dealt with the massive teachers’ strike and protests that took place in the region in September and October 2013.

Spanish Police Attempt Dead-of-Night Shutdown of Valencia Public Broadcaster

The Valencian government, belonging to the conservative People's Party, has sent the police at 3 a.m. to shut down the regional public broadcaster Ràdio Televisió Valenciana (RTVV) [ca].

Since the government announced the decision to shut the broadcaster down on November 5, the journalists have been running both the radio and TV stations. For the moment, the workers are resisting letting the police enter the TV station and though the broadcast has been interrupted, they continue to broadcast online. Also, Catalan public television TV3 is broadcasting the Valencian TV signal.

Valencia is one of the Spanish regions with the most corruption scandals, and the gesture of the governing party sending the police in the middle of the night to occupy the media stations has awoken unpleasant memories of Franco‘s fascist dictatorship throughout the mid-20th century.

Follow the hashtag #rtvvnoestanca (you won't shut RTVV down) [ca, es] for updates and check @GlobalVoicesCat‘s favorites list to read tweets in English.

“Catalan Independence” Explained in 16 Languages

The debut video of The Catalan Project (@Catalan_Project) features Fernando de Castro, “a Catalan from Galicia and Spanish”, presenting the project and explaining why some Catalans want independence from Spain using the 16 languages he is able to speak. Subtitles are available in English, French, German, Spanish and Catalan.

The Catalan Project, an independent and non-profit association, provides an open online platform where “all citizens that work and/or live in Catalonia and that have ideas on how to create a better country” can discuss how a hypothetical independent Catalonia should be. Because “independence is not a goal, it is a starting point”. The project is collecting funds on the crowdfunding site Verkami.

Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales Praises Catalan Viquipèdia

Jimmy-Wales-Credit-VUBrussel-300x200

Jimmy Wales speaking at the Open Science conference on October 24, 2013. Credit: VUBrussel.

During the Open Science conference at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium on October 24, 2013, Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales highlighted Viquipèdia, the Catalan Wikipedia, as a success story. A video on YouTube features the moment when Wales talks about Viquipèdia (transcript by Viquipèdia editor Arnau Duran):

“…in some of our small language Wikipedias, we have very active communities, and there’s maybe only a few people there, but they are very passionate about their mother tongue, and they really want to do the work, and so they work really hard. If we have a look some of the larger minor languages of Europe, like Catalan is a good example. Catalan Wikipedia is far larger than you would have guessed from the number of people who are speaking Catalan. And it is because the Catalan people are quite passionate about their language, which has been historically under threat.”

Earlier this year, Viquipèdia reached the milestone of 400,000 articles, and the Amical Wikimedia, the association that promotes Viquipedia, got a chapter of its own, thus becoming the first Wikimedia chapter of a territory which does not correspond to a state.

Global Voices Català Wins at Catalonia Blog Awards

Global Voices Català has won [ca] an award at the Catalonia Blog Awards [ca] held annually in Catalonia by the association Societat de Tecnologia i Coneixement (STIC) [ca] (Technology and Knowledge Society) in the category of communications and new media. The awards ceremony was celebrated on September 28th, 2013, where journalist, blogger and Global Voices author Joan Antoni Guerrero Vall collected the prize on behalf of the Catalan team. Congratulations, everyone!

Here you are the award Global Voices Catalan just won at the #pbc13. It is an honour to collect on on behalf of a great team :)

The association STIC aims to promote interactivity and innovation within the context of Catalan culture and language by using the new communication and information technologies, with a special sensibility towards education, actions of solidarity that help reduce inequality and the defense of Catalan culture.

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