Francis Rolt -- a consultant on radio and peace building and conflict transformation initiatives -- writes to inform that he has a small company named Radio for Peace Building that works with a variety of organizations ranging from NGOs such as Search for Common Ground and Equal Access to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Previosly, Francis was Director of Radio at Search for Common Ground, and the Director of their Studio Ijambo in Burundi. He also worked for a number of years as a producer/presenter with Radio Netherlands and helped run a radio station in South Africa to bring an end to apartheid. Francis has also written a number of books on radio and peace building.
Currently, Francis is advising a Sri Lankan media organization called YA-TV on the development of a peace building radio soap opera and Search for Common Ground on a 7-country regional project in West and Central Africa called Radio as a Platform for Peacebuilding. The goal of the latter is to improve the ways in which governments communicate with the people, and vice versa. If you are interested in opportunities for collaboration, please contact Francis by email.
Lowell Feld, a blogger at Blue Virginia and author of the book Netroots Rising, sends the link to an article written by Evgeny Morozov in Foreign Policy Magazine that attempts to dispel the "myths" that the Internet promotes freedom, political activism, and perpetual peace. Lowell does not take a position either way but finds the article relevant to the larger debate about liberation technologies. The purported myths listed by Morozov are the following:
The folks at Squeezed led by Mohammed Albow, a Ph.D. student at the University of Denver, are doing some very interesting work that should be of interest to liberation technology designers. Squeezed is a socially-conscious first-person picker video game about immigrant farm workers that attempts to spread social awareness through entertainment. A Newsweek article described their game as follows:
"You are a frog who happens to live on a farm. Your aim is to pick up as many grapes, oranges and other harvest fruit as you can in as little time as possible. But the fruit is quickly going rotten, and you've got to compete with worms, donkey and dragonflies. What's more, the farmer might decide to spray pesticides, which puts you in such a drunken stupor that picking up fruit off the ground is a challenge. Whoever grabs the most fresh fruit wins... aside from earning points... You may be just a frog, but you also have a family and community to support in a country far away. The "juice" you collect from the fruits you pick up is paying for schools and medical clinics back home. Without it, your family may starve."
The frogs, donkeys and dragonflies that work the farms in the game serve as proxies for migrant workers from Latin America. Why would they do this, you might ask? Those who developed the game say they wanted to enable the players to empathize with the immigrant experience in the United States: