I am so excited – the conceptual artist and illustrator from Belgium, Nima Nilian, approached to me the other day and showed me the illustration/cartoon he made of me geeking out/working on my computer, and asked for permission to publish it online. I can’t get over how multi-talented this artist is and how honored I am. This illustration is so cute, be sure to check out all his work at Artstation.
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The 12th edition of Global Voices podcast is bringing you this month some international story telling. This edition is about literature and publishing. Newsroom journalist, host of BBC Outriders, and blogger, Jamillah Knowles gathered well-read members of the Global Voices team and created the wonderful podcast of beautiful readings of original work by GV authors and the wider community. For those who are not familiar with, I do write literature sometimes, given the fact that I come from literary and musical family, literature and arts are the part of my persona. So, I read one of my short stories. More about the background on the Global Voices podcast page.
Many of you asked and tried to guess what was the inspiration for the story (You Should Date a Woman Who Writes). I won’t tell you everything as I avoid to explain myself too much, especially in arts and literature. I’ve communicated the background to some of my Facebook friends on the network, and I thought it would be fair to share a few notes on my blog. On a personal note, the inspiration for the story was the situation from the past with a person who sent me the novel of Italo Calvino – ‘If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller’. I was totally mesmerized by it. It was my type of novel, totally written in a non linear way, very geeky and peculiar, many characters intertwining into different stories. After reading it, I just sat and wrote the story.
Also, I want to share a very interesting communication dynamics from the Facebook: one of my Internet colleagues – Nathan Matias, a poet and software engineer from the MIT Media Lab, gave a beautifully written literary review and the critic of the story. With the permission I am quoting his words here:
” (..) I really like your story’s playful, imaginative diversity of viewpoints. I love how it lingers over tumbling overflowing listed items of possibility, avoiding essentialism while staying firmly grounded in the beautiful scene in the middle. And then we’re off again, situating the “I” in the shared stories of women writers and imagining the addressee among similar if narrower possibilities as the speaker. I love how writing, in this story, becomes life itself, unfinished, open to new chapters, longing to close the gap between imagination and experience. Wonderfully appropriate in a response to being given a Calvino novel : ) Again, thanks for sharing!”
Indeed, the story is left unfinished on purpose, in order to leave the open space for the new, future, and upcoming stories, essays and tales that have a non-linear dynamic of writing. I hope you will enjoy my reading (jump to 26.36”).
I have just returned from OSF/Chevening conference where I’ve talked on the higher education panel, as the University of Oxford Alumni, the only Internet scholar, and information management specialist, on bridging the digital divide in the super connected world.
Slides of my presentation are on my SlideShare and the podcast is at my account on SoundCloud with all descriptions, credits, and tags. The recorded talk covers three major concerns in Internet and social media and higher education, all applicable in other areas: literacies, knowledge gap, and notworking/not collaboration. Interaction, thoughts, and comments of the audience are not included. I talked pretty fast, since I wanted to give more space for discussion, thoughts, sharing. I hope you will understand what I was talking about.
The Asphalt Orchestra today have opened the TEDWomen, conference dedicated to women who are (re)shaping the future, sharing an amazing talks from the fields they have pioneered. Event is taking place in Washington, DC, December 7-8, 2010, and I have been privileged to get the access, live tweet out, right now there is a break in between the sessions. You can find my tweets here (with #tedwomen), talks are changing very fast and the schedule is not necessarily strictly prompt. Follow the hashtag #TEDWomen for all other tweets on live talks.
TedWomen started on Day One with hilarous Hans Rosling who talked about the usage of the earth energy and the environment in the Western and emerging counties using ingenious allegories, while Hanna Rosin talked on the importance of education and gender equality, some stereoptyes in this context, and new female superheros. Elizabeth Lindsey, ethnographer of the National Geographic Society, gave an amazing performance of chanting on stage, talking about navigation and information overload; while Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talked on balancing business and private life.
For those who are not familiar with the rock music in the 90’s, Rage Against the Machine is American alternative, rock, punk band, notable for revolutionary and political lyrics. If you grew up in the post-communist under sanctions country such as Serbia (former Yugoslavia), you’d probably heard for their popular song “Killing in the name” released in 1992. This song was explained as “a howling, expletive-driven tirade against the ills of American society”, but also it marked the music, political, social scene in Serbia in that period. Why am I writing about RATM and not about new and so waited Massive Attack LP?
For those who do not live in UK, or do not watch TV (moi included!), there’s a TV reality competition show called X Factor (equivalent to American Idol or Talent), where one of the most unexpected turn outs and victories of this decade happened: RATM’s “Killing in the Name” beat out X Factor’s winner Joe McElderry’s “The Climb”, and became the U.K.’s Christmas Number One single.
This all happened thanks to social network site Facebook, campaign in the form of a group, launched by Jon Morter, a 35-year-old part-time dj and logistics expert from Essex, and his wife Tracy, as they had become jaded by the inevitable annual rise of Cowell’s judge newest pop star to the top of the charts and were determined to stop it, using the power of social networking and obviously a humor.
Facebook group gathered almost 1 million people and the band’s single sold 500,000 downloads gaining Christmas no.1 charts. Some interesting BBC chart analysis show how in short time (only a week of Internet campagne) this single won the charts. Beside Facebook activism, British comedian Peter Serafinowicz urged his 268,000-plus Twitter followers to join this campaign, as later on RATM’s guitarist Tom Morello twittered on this historic event.
The power of social Web created not only the public sphere in political, economic and global context after all, but is also influencing the music business industry where corruption’s time is coming to an end. I’m looking forward to see these kind of activities and campaigns in governmental sector where some policy and political issues can be changed on better if majority learn network and media literacy. It’s interesting video – interview of RATM’s leader Zack De La Rocha with Noam Chomsky. Here’s the video of BBC’s interview with RATM and their live performance.