‘Bahrain: chequered flag’— editorial @ The Guardian
The problems in Bahrain finally stole a little media attention thanks to the F1 situation but this is again one of those situations where we must pay and seek sustained media and individual attention to the situation over there because it’s not getting any better. I like The Guardian’s coverage a lot (they have a liveblog here, with summaries of what’s been going on in Egypt and Syria too) but obviously just read as much as you can and widely and pay sustained attention.
A new documentary that follows a team of video activists in Homs, Syria reveals they embellished footage to make it appear more dramatic—in this case setting fire to a tire in an alley to create a column of smoke in the background (skip to 8:05). While nobody is debating the extent of the crackdown in the country, episodes like this surely give the Assad regime something to point to when they claim the resistance is fraudulent, no doubt.
So why’d they do it?
The activist tells us by email: “I set the tire on fire because there was a violent shelling on Baba Amr district and we couldn’t reach it. We are being killed with cold blood by the occupying Assad regime. This is the idea that came to my mind to show the world about the shelling as the sky of Homs was covered with smoke.”
“They are desperate to get the word out,” the producer of the documentary later said. “But they don’t need to embellish. It’s all around.”
This was the formative NGO ad campaign for my friends and I. I wish we could sustain these reactions and the way we felt when we watched that, how capable we felt and above all, how aware and informed we sought to be about everything that was going on so that we could create change.
I really want to make a video about all of this but in case I don’t have the opportunity I’d like to highlight something from Hank’s post, which I reblogged earlier this morning:
However, my worry is that we will soon feel about the LRA the way we feel about Syria today. John’s video recounts tremendous crimes against humanity that continue in Syria right now, and yet the most common comment is “KONY 2012.” I would like to encourage us all to understand that international relations are not conducted on the time scale of the internet.
Pay attention pay attention pay attention. To the woman who set herself on fire in Tibet, to her cause, to Karzai’s support of the Ulema Council document that says it’s okay to beat women, to Netanyahu’s comparisons between Iran’s nuclear development programme and Auschwitz, to the drug wars all over the world, to Sarkozy’s comments on foreigners and immigrants, to what’s going on in Libya still, with East Libya, with the NTC. Pay attention and then sustain that attention.
Know Your News! Understanding the Syrian Revolution in Under 4 Minutes
I’ve wanted to make a video about Syria for a long time, but Hank and I long ago agreed not to discuss news that the Internet is already doing a good job of discussing. But in the last couple weeks, when it became clear that neither the US nor Europe would intervene militarily in Syria, I felt like the story fell off the radar.
I wanted to provide some historical context so that people who don’t happen to know much about Syrian history can have a sense of who’s fighting and for what. The massive loss of life in Syria is a true tragedy, but if a freer and stable Syria doesn’t emerge, the tragedy will continue for decades.
Yeah, this video is excellent (not only for the aforementioned Ryan Gosling).