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Weekly Global Readings: Creativity

BY Lisa Goldman and Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, January 23 2013

This week's theme is "creativity," whether it be photos of graffiti by Syrian anti-regime activists or a social media platform that fosters creativity and collaboration between young Indians.

Kenya is poised to launch a platform to host open access academic content. Hadithi will launch on January 24. (via Global Voices).

Shekhar Kapur, the director of Elizabeth: The Golden Age, teamed up with Indian musician A.R. Rahman (composer of the score for Slum Dog Millionaire) to create a social network platform that fosters creativity and collaboration. Qyuki ("because" in Hindi) targets Indians aged 18-35.

Syria's bloody civil war rages on, but some of the youthful opponents to the regime continue to use creative non-violent tactics. Global Voices posted a photo series of political graffiti spotted around Syria.

During the last elections in Uganda, the government tried to suppress political activity by blocking mobile text messages. In response, a new platform called Abiyama transforms SIM cards into storage devices that can be passed around. The platform won the Knight News Challenge: Mobile. TechPresident has more on this story.

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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