Thursday, October 04, 2007


Free Burma!

When I woke up this morning the newspaper had a long report about what can be gathered to be now occurring in Burma. Thousands of monks have just disappeared. Public gatherings banned, media closed off, mass arrests, bodies being found and military on the streets. Some of the reports on the net are too horrible to repeat.

After going to work today I spent two hours having one of the most interesting conversations I have a had for a long while. A visiting South African artist and curator came down to HUMlab to see what it was about. This artist was very intelligent and a sceptic when it came to digital technology. We spoke about what is the meaning of online virtual worlds, facebook and where all this mass of commodified representation is taking us. I came away from the meeting with a head full of thoughts; Is it possible to help the underprivileged and oppressed by buying or using digital media products from huge companies? Probably not. Should we avoid digital technology? Definitely not. I think we both came away from the conversation with some new perspectives. The way the military oppressors have closed down SMS and Internet in Burma shows that it is a threat to dictators. However, is the $100 laptop the best way to help impoverished children in Africa? I have my doubts. There is no replacement for meeting real people, but communication can take many forms and distance, no matter how small (or metaphorical) needs to be overcome if anything is going to change. It was apt that one of the major themes of HUMlab is meetings, our discussion today took place in a meeting and much of the struggle in Burma at the moment is about the right to meet and act out the will of the people.

1 comment:

USpace said...

Thanks for helping! FREE Burma!!!

Bush slammed the UN and the rulers of Myanmar in his UN speech last week. The only country that has any influence over Myanmar is China, and they can't and won't push too hard. There is too much Oil & Gas there that they need.

The UN must do something, but they never use military force to fight.
That is a huge problem.

Illegal drug and ruby fortunes are a BIG part of this too.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe wants
complete narco states

criminals in power
loving the corrupt drug war

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
shoot peaceful protesters

calling for democracy
which you must never allow

absurd thought -
God of the Universe thinks
keep trying communism

you can never KILL too much
pursuing Utopia...