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Snap a picture

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The internet is a powerful disseminator of norms
because of how quickly and widely it transmits information.
Just think of how quickly it managed to paint a picture
of how women in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime,
through photographs and video clips that were forwarded
from one person to another and many more.

Women's organisations have worked with this quality
of one-to-many enabled by the internet; including
the Revolutionary
Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)

who tactically used an email viral strategy to make
visible the atrocities against women that were conducted
by the Taliban regime during its reign.

The internet is also a messy place, with many people
saying many things through many ways at the same time.
Because of gender inequality existing in physical
spaces - from homes to schools to workplaces to law
and policy making arenas - the dominant voice that
is heard or recognised in digital spaces also tend
to me male.

The potential to surface muted voices is there, but
it takes thought and action.

Who gets the most airtime in your town, city, country
or web community? Who gets heard and seen, and whose
concerns are always taken into account? Whose needs
are absent? Whose face is not seen, or always seen
only through the lens of those who are in control?
How does the internet represent the idea of "woman"?
If women are constantly constructed as passively sexualised,
needing control or just plain dumb and always in need
of help, how does this impact on violence against
women?

  • Think of this, and snap a picture.
    Change how women are currently defined in digital
    spaces.
  • It can be anything, from a piece of clothing to
    writings on the wall to the picture of your seriously
    weird best friend.
  • Put it up on a social networking photo-sharing
    tool like Flickr
  • Tag it! Assign keywords that makes your representation
    appear when images and visual representations of
    "woman" are searched by hundreds and thousands
    of other users.
  • Example: tag "girl", "violence
    against women" and (don't forget) "take
    back the tech"; to a photograph of a girl laughing
    at a flasher.
  • Flickr group: we have created
    a flickr group to collate your vision.
  • If you have a flickr account (it's free and easy
    to use, so you might want to consider it), submit
    your photographs to the Take
    Back The Tech group
    .
  • If you use other photo-sharing tools, or have
    problems with using flickr, send us your picture
    via email to ideas AT takebackthetech DOT net, or
    give a shout at Talk Tech
    & VAW
  • Happy snapping :)