Sunday, February 28, 2010

Segment from Waves of Change: DECCAN Development Society

Eleventh Annual Mobile Biodiversity Festival flagged off

The Eleventh Annual Biodiversity Festival of the Deccan Development Society is inaugurated on January 22, 2010 in Medak District of Andhra Pradesh.

The month-long festival, known the world over for its cultural vibrancy and environmental significance will travel through nearly 55 villages and will conclude on February 13, 2010.

The first Biodiversity Festival of the DDS was held in 1999. Greatly buoyed up by the response it received, the Festival was made mobile from 2001. The festival generated an unprecedented energy and an enlightened awareness on the issue of biodiversity in all the villages.

The Deccan Development Society was a key constituent of the National Technical and Policy Core Group for the Ministry of Environment & Forests in the massive National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan carried out all over India during 2001-2003. As part of this work, in 2001, the Society initiated the concept of a Mobile Biodiversity Festival in which bullock carts decked with traditional seeds, and carrying the message of agricultural biodiversity and its importance to farmers, travelled from village to village covering over 70 villages. This festival generated a never-before cultural energy and an informed awareness on the issues of biodiversity in all the villages. And it found resonance when the final National Biodiversity Action Plan hailed the biodiversity festivals as a tool for the promotion of agro biodiversity all over the country and recommended that the Community Gene Banks model of the DDS be adopted as a national model.

Elated by this development, the Deccan Development Society has continued to celebrate the Mobile Biodiversity Festival as an annual feature. The festival which emblazons environmental spirituality is once again celebrating the return of the Sun on the auspicious Makara Sankranti day with bullock carts, folk singers and dancers, spreading abundant joy along the village roads of Medak and will dialogue with over 50,000 farmers on the issue of biodiversity, local seeds and dryland farming. The caravan started from Village Metlakunta, Nyalkal Mandal.

Dr Hampaiah, Chairman, AP State Biodiversity Board & Mr Ashok Kumar Retired IAS & Member, AP State Biodiversity Board, Mr Chandrasekhar, Joint Director – Agriculture Dept., Mr Jayadevulu, Chief Executive Officer, Medak Zilla Parishad, Smt Nagamma Manikgoud, Sarpanch, Metlakunta, Mr Vilas Reddy, Former President, Mandal Praja Parishad, Nyalkal Mr Srinivas, Scientist, DATT centre, Sangareddy, Mr Viswanath Patil, Karnataka Rajya Rythu Sangha, Bidar were took part in the Inaugural Ceremony.

Addressing the gathering Dr Hampaiah said APSBB decided to work with the Deccan Development Society (DDS) to protect and promote millet and other crops across the State and to organise these programmes at mandal level. DDS director P.V. Satheesh said that the programme was aimed at protecting the traditional crops which represent the culture.

An eight year old girl belongs to Pastapur village Mayuri shot a film on Ratnavva, who was able to cultivate her two-acre farm in Dhanvar village without using any pesticides or getting any seed from the government. Ratnavva has been doing so for the last ten years. “We are able to identify the hidden talent in her and tried to bring it out. It will be helpful for other children also to exhibit their talent and interests,” Mr. Satheesh said. Ratnavva & Mayuri were honoured by Dr Hampaiah.

Satheesh requested Joint Director Agriculture to introduce awards to farmers who grow dryland crops instead of giving to only commercial crops growers.

Mr Jayadevulu, CEO of Zilla Parishad says that I have seen all these crops in my childhood days and I am very happy to see all here in your region. Now especially Ragi Ambali, the fancy name is Ragi Malt using lot of urban people because of dietary and health reasons.

Four Biodiversity Conservers Cheelamamidi Laxmamma, Khasimpur Lachamma, Matoor Chandramma, Metlakunta Rajamma were honoured for their contribution to biodiversity.

On this occasion Dr Hampaiah released the Millet Calendar and Millet T-shirts.

The festival will culminate on 13th February 2010 at Machnoor Village of Jharasangam Mandal. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Street Art from Peru

Carlos Pareja and Jen Whitburn just posted some pictures they saw in Lima.

Community Radio Broadcasters of Asia Pacific call for placing people’s communications rights at the centre of development

Bangalore, India, February 24, 2010. Community radio broadcasters from 20 countries of the Asia Pacific region have demanded to place people’s communications right at the centre of development.  The Bangalore declaration issued at the conclusion of the regional assembly of community radio broadcasters held in Bangalore, India from 20-23 February 2010 has also called for supporting initiatives that aid access to digital and other technological opportunities to enable community broadcasting in an ever-widening scale, while calling for creating spaces on the airwaves for
diverse and marginalized voices, irrespective of caste, creed, race,colour, gender, sexuality, faith, and differently-abled or other differences.

Over 300 Community broadcasters, activists, NGO representatives, academics, as well as  governmental and multilateral institutions participated in the regional conference organised by the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters AMARC in collaboration with VOICE, India. While analysing the situation and challenges to community radio, the conference reaffirmed the need for the oppressed and marginalized communities to take control over their own means of communication. Conference participants attended several knowledge sharing and capacity building workshops while engaging in networking with like-minded individuals and institutions from across the region.

The 2nd AMARC Asia Pacific Conference has committed to build alliances with grassroots and human rights movements for strengthening communities and the community radio movement and has put forward the rights of women, migrants, indigenous peoples and the poor. It has called for further recognition of Community Radio in the region as a tool for disaster preparedness, poverty reduction, inclusion, human rights, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

A number of resolutions ranging from human rights violations in the Philippines, to removing the ban on news in the recently adopted India Community radio legislation and simplifying license application procedures to calling on the Government of Bangladesh to forward the process of granting licenses for community broadcasting, were endorsed by the conference participants.

A regional assembly of community radio broadcasters held on the 23rd of February 2010 elected the Asia Pacific Regional Board. The newly elected board of directors comprises of Ashish Sen, India as President, Maica Lagman, Philippines as deputy president, Shane Elson, Australia as Treasurer, Bianca Miglioretto, Philippines as Women International Network representative, Raghu Mainali, Nepal as vice-president for South Asia, and Imam Prakoso, Indonesia as vice-president for South East Asia. The assembly also ratified the strategic working plan of AMARC Asia Pacific
for 2010-2013.

Representatives Afghanistan, Australia, The People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, The Republic of India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Philippines, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, and observers from Africa, Europe and Latin and North America participated in the conference. The previous AMARC Asia
Pacific regional conference was held in Jakarta, Indonesia in November 2005.

Further information is available at:

For further information please contact
Suman Basnet AMARC Asia pacific Coordinator

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Human Rights Activists Protest with Ballet and Cheerleading

Forty-five human rights activists called upon fellow New Yorkers to boycott the Israel Ballet at its performance Sunday at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. Accompanied by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, protesters performed ballet, sang, chanted, and handed out mock programs to bring attention to the Israel Ballet's role in the Israeli state's use of the arts to whitewash its crimes against the Palestinian people. The demonstration was the third to take place along the Ballet company's U.S. tour in as many days.

Fifty human rights activists performed for Valentine's Day shoppers compelling them to boycott the Israeli diamond and settlement mogul Lev Leviev outside his store on Madison Avenue. The New York protest took place against the backdrop of an escalating arrest and harassment campaign by the Israeli military against Palestinian human rights organizations and protest and boycott activists from the West Bank villages where Leviev has built settlements.

From Adlah-NY, The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Palestinians as Avatars

Palestinian Demonstrators at Bil'in take their costumes from the popular film.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Potential of Community Radio Empowering Communities, Informing Policy - Handbook

The women's UN Network announces a report on women and community radio.
It is available for complete download at:
If it doesn't open, you might try downloading the most recent acrobat software (free)

This is an excerpt from the introduction:
Women had long recognised that while in the past decades there has been an increase in the number of newspapers and publica- tions, commercial radio and television and digital media, women’s representation in the media has been minimal. And in order to play a key role in society and in their develop- ment, women needed to be informed on what was going on around them and also have a means to speak on what was happen- ing and have their voices heard – which could only be possible through having their own media.

It was this notion of empowerment which gave birth in 2000 to femLINKPACIFIC: Media Initiatives for Women. The founders of femLINKPACIFIC had realised during the Blue Ribbon Peace Vigil throughout Fiji’s political crisis in 2000, that women’s peace efforts con- tinued to be marginalised from the main- stream of decision making, and that in order to create greater visibility and understanding of women’s peace efforts, there was a need to provide alternative and additional viewpoints and analysis to the mainstream media cover- age.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Declaration of the Right of Transmission of Our Voices Summit: Honduras

ENGLISH TRANSLATION (original Spanish below)

Final Declaration of The Right of Transmission of Our Voices Summit

In the vein of "The Right of Transmission of Our Voices" and the relaunch of the community radio Garifuna ¨Faluma Bimetu¨, we celebrate the diversity of voices that have gathered in one common cry for the vindication of our rights to freedom of expression and the democratization of the word, against those who try to silence our voices with intimidation, hostility and cowardly attacks.

On this day of reflection and solidarity, us members of community radio and media reject the monopolization of the media in Latin America, recognizing it as one of the main means of domination practiced by economic powers in order to promote and justify the plundering of natural, cultural and economic resources of our people.

The attack against Faluma Bimetu was not an isolated incident of hostility against community media. Since the coup d'état in Honduras, the situation of censorship against voices of opposition has worsened. The wave of aggression and hostility against community media members has intensified since Porfirio Lobo took power and announced his "National Reconciliation" campaign. Such is the case of two reporters from Globo TV who were kidnapped and tortured last week, the cyber attacks against the Vos El Soberano web page, and the threats received by several reporters from the Zacata Grande region.

As such and from our collective experience in community media represented at the Summit of the Right of Transmission of Our Voices, we declare:

1. Our alliances among community radio and media have grown stronger in the face of and the intensification of repression that pretends to silence our voices and are ready to present categorical answers against the violation of our freedom of expression.

2. Information and communication is a human right, elaborated from the reality, perspective, interests and culture of our people. We base this on the many international decrees and conventions subscribed to by our country that protect freedom of expression and we demand that they are put into practice.

3. We are faced with the monopolization of media in the region and the interests it has to promote the exclusion of women, indigenous people, garifunas, workers, campesinos, the LGBT community and other marginalized communities. Therefore, we celebrate the importance and persistence of community radio and media to break this media siege by expressing and transmitting the problems faced by our communities and by promoting participatory media from the point of view of our culture and identities and by defending the collective rights of our people and local communities.

4. We reject the criminalization of community media. We will continue to build our own media, legitimized by our people until legislation of our New America reflects, represents and recognizes community media, that which has to encompass the diversity of our cultures and freedom of expression. In Honduras, a National Constitutional Assembly, led by our people, will bring us this de-monopolization and democratization of the media.

Today, 6 of february in Triunfo de la Cruz, one month after the attack against us and far from being weakened, Radio Faluma Bimetu and the Radios Comunitarias e Indígenas de Mesoamérica air our voices once again, together with our ancestral Garifuna drums, to the rhythm of the strength of the Garifuna speech and the determination of our people to disseminate our voices. THEY WILL NOT SILENCE US!

¡Viva Faluma Bimetu y la Red de Radios Garifunas!
¡Viva el Pueblo Garifuna!
¡Vivan los medios comunitarios de Honduras y MesoAmérica!



Declaración del Encuentro “Por el Derecho a la Difusión de Nuestras Voces”

Triunfo de la Cruz, Territorio Garífuna
6 de febrero de 2010

En el marco del encuentro “Por el Derecho a la Difusión de Nuestras Voces” y el relanzamiento de la radio comunitaria Garifuna ¨Faluma Bimetu¨, celebramos la diversidad de voces que se han unido en este grito para reivindicar nuestros derechos a la comunicación y a la democratización de la palabra, frente aquellos que intentan acallar nuestras voces con intimidaciones, hostigamientos, y ataques cobardes.

Los medios comunitarios y radios comunitarias reunidas en esta jornada de reflexión y solidaridad rechazamos la concentración de los de medios de comunicación en América Latina, reconociéndola como una de las principales formulas de dominación permanente practicada por los grupos económicos de  poder, para promover y justificar el saqueo de las riquezas culturales, naturales y económicas de nuestros pueblos.

El atentado contra Faluma Bimetu no es un caso aislado de hostigamiento a los medios comunitarios.  En el marco del Golpe de Estado vivido en Honduras, la situación de censura a las voces divergentes y contrarias al régimen de facto se agrava. Tan sólo desde la toma de posesión de Porfirio Lobo y su campaña de “Reconciliación Nacional”, se ha intensificado la ola de agresiones y hostigamientos a comunicadores y comunicadoras populares y medios contrarios al Golpe, como es el caso de los dos reporteros de GloboTV secuestrados y torturados la semana pasada, los ataques cibernéticos a la página web Vos El Soberano y las amenazas que sufren los comunicadores y comunicadoras de la península de Zacate Grande.

Desde las diferentes experiencias de comunicación popular que nos dimos cita en el Encuentro por el Derecho a la Difusión de Nuestras Voces, afirmamos que:

1. Frente a la intensificación de represión para acallar nuestras voces, se ven fortalecidas nuestras alianzas de radios y medios de comunicación, demostrando respuestas contundentes a estas violaciones de nuestros derechos de expresarnos.

2. La información y la comunicación son bienes comunes, trabajadas desde las realidades, perspectivas, intereses y culturas de nuestros pueblos. Tomamos como base nuestros derechos a la comunicación que están garantizados en las diversas declaraciones y convenios internacionales suscritos por los gobiernos de nuestros países y exigimos que sean reconocidos en la practica.

3. Ante la situación de los monopolios mediáticos que vive la región y los intereses que promueven la exclusión de las mujeres, los pueblos indígenas y garífunas, l@s trabajador@s, l@s campesinos, la comunidad LGBT y demás sectores marginados. Celebramos la importancia y persistencia de las radios y medios comunitarios para romper este cerco mediático, al expresar y transmitir la problemática de nuestras comunidades, impulsar una comunicación participativa desde la cultura e identidad, y defender los derechos colectivos de los nuestros pueblos y comunidades locales.

4. Rechazamos la criminalización de los medios comunitarios. Seguiremos construyendo nuestros propios medios, legitimados por nuestros pueblos hasta que exista legislación en Nuestra América que refleje, represente y reconozca a nuestros medios comunitarios legalmente, lo cual debe de abrazar la diversidad de nuestras culturas y derechos a la comunicación.  En Honduras una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente participativa impulsada por el pueblo dará paso a la desmonopolización y democratización de los medios.

Hoy 6 de Febrero en Triunfo de la Cruz, a un mes del ataque, lejos de ser debilitadas, la Radio Faluma Bimetu y las Radios Comunitarias e Indígenas de Mesoamérica lanzamos de nuevo al aire nuestras voces, acompañadas de los tambores ancestrales Garífunas sonando al ritmo y fuerza de una comunicación Garífuna, y una comunicación de los pueblos en plena determinación y ejercicio al derecho a la difusión de nuestras voces.  ¡NO NOS CALLARÁN!

¡Viva Faluma Bimetu y la Red de Radios Garifunas!
¡Viva el Pueblo Garifuna!
¡Vivan los medios comunitarios de Honduras y MesoAmérica!

The Right to Communicate: MAGNet Asks for Action

Depressed by Dial-up: Disenfranchised Grassroots Groups Plan Massive National Day of Action for Faster, Open Internet

Hundreds of groups sign digital champion pledge calling for equal access and open networks

02.10.2010 – On the heels of Google's groundbreaking announcement of its plans to build a high-speed open network, local advocates and community leaders of the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) are asking Congress to protect the principles of an open internet, while dismantling significant barriers to broadband adoption in un-served and underserved communities. These advocates say if the FCC's National Broadband Plan extends the existing Universal Service Fund rules and resources to broadband and mobile devices, and Congress supports action to protect broadband networks with strong net neutrality rules, it will give millions of poor people and people of color the chance to not only log-on to the internet, but log-in to democracy.

Companies like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon are hoping to set the terms on which users can access content over Internet networks, which could expand their profits exponentially. Advocates are concerned that a broadband plan that doesn’t protect the principles of an open internet and allows ISP providers and telecom companies broad leeway to block content or discriminate on speeds may defeat the purpose of extending broadband to communities that need it most.

"The internet is now a critical part of all our daily lives," said Amalia Deloney, MAG-Net Coordinator and Policy Director at the Center for Media Justice. "We use it for almost everything and we need to make it accessible and affordable. But without rules to protect the poor and people of color from the corporate bottom-line, free speech will continue to get more and more expensive."

Though Big Media promised not to block content, their questionable practices have already come under scrutiny by federal regulators and advocates alike. Users discovered Comcast arbitrarily blocking file-sharing traffic across its network, penalizing users with slower speeds or complete disconnection without warning. Similarly, Verizon blocked a text-messaging campaign over its network. Big Telecom companies have argued that they need wide discretion to manage traffic over their networks, and will not build out broadband in poor communities without it, but some are concerned that they are simply setting up tiered-access systems on the Internet.

"What big media basically wants is a poll tax for users and content providers," said Steven Renderos of Main Street Project in Minneapolis, a MAG-Net leader. "We’re being forced to make a false choice between unregulated discriminatory networks or no networks at all. For my community the Internet is the only place to create and share content in our own voices, an arena TV and print networks have failed in because of consolidation and high start-up costs. Congress and the FCC shouldn’t risk the loss of our public voice for the sake of corporate greed."

Center for Media Justice Director Malkia Cyril added, "Some civil rights groups in Washington are afraid that we can’t have representation and broadband access at the same time. Hundreds of civil rights groups in local communities across the country disagree. The FCC is off to a great start by recognizing that you can’t close the digital divide without accessible and open networks. Congress should go further to champion that cause and encourage the codification of strong net neutrality rules that prevent discrimination on the Internet and ensure it remains a platform of innovation, freedom, and equity."

The Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) is a local-to-local advocacy network of nearly 100 grassroots social justice, media, and cultural organizations working together for social change through the critical use and transformation of media and communications systems.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Collaborative Book

A group from Transmediale, a European media conference held each year, decided to create a book as part of the work of the conference.
From one of the "collaborators": In the lead up to Transmediale, I spent 5 days in a room with 6 writers and a programmer and collaboratively wrote a book...about collaboration.  
Pre-order a print copy of Collaborative Futures
for the March 4th launch here in NYC. I'm talking on Thursday night at CAA: we will have a party afterwards. I am running a Kickstarter campaign for the Bright Bike DIY Kits
The subject of the book appears to be the process of making the book itself. It would be interesting to see what sort of collaboration could occur if there was a less "meta" subject!

Community Media Survey

The link below is to a survey being collected by the US organization, Free Press. Although it is intended to assess community media in the United States, Waves of Change would be interested in getting international responses.
If you are a community media organization, please fill out on the freepress web site, but also please send a copy to

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jane Regan's Videos on Haiti Community Radio
A visit to Radyo Zetwal Peyizan (Radio Star of the Peasant) in Fondwa, Haiti, and an interview with the director to talk about how the earthquake destroyed the radio and about the importance of community radio stations in Haiti. The visit was carried out by SAKS (Society for the Animation of Social Communication), a small non-profit that works with community radios and promotes popular communication in Haiti and is part of the AMARC's Haiti emergency response efforts - (less info)