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Silence over months: What I’ve been up to in Sri Lanka and internationally

It’s been a while since I updated this blog – nearly a year in fact. My previous post, in early July 2013 was around a presentation I made on digital archives at an exhibition in Colombo. Coincidentally, I am now preparing for another public talk on digital archives (Capturing the Ephemeral: Archiving our digital present), […]

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New media and citizen journalism: The case of Groundviews

Presented the work I had done with Groundviews to a group of activists from South Asia recently, noting that using social media platforms on the web, combined with mobiles, it is increasingly possible to bear witness to and report on inconvenient truths, no matter what the timbre of government. I also flagged that in contexts […]

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Pitfalls of privacy online

The Ceylon Today newspaper quotes me in what is becoming a familiar story – identity theft and the unauthorised use of photos posted to various online social media fora for nefarious activities. Women and Media Collective‘s Sepali Kottegoda underscores the problem, yet the challenge remains on how to build and teach this (new) media literacy […]

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Growing online challenges for activists in Sri Lanka

Excerpt from a much longer piece I wrote for Groundviews (The Sri Lankan President’s Twitter archive and Propaganda 2.0: New challenges for online dissent), dealing with growing challenges for online activism in Sri Lanka. ### Aiding the regime’s increasingly competency and strategic use of new media is (domestic) civil society’s ignorance of its potential and […]

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Anti-Muslim hate online in post-war Sri Lanka

I was recently contacted by a journalist from one of the leading Sunday newspapers in Sri Lanka on the growing anti-Muslim hate campaigns in Sri Lanka. The journalist asked two questions (reproduced verbatim), Anti-Muslim/Anti-Buddhist sentiments are being spread around effectively by social media, how do you analyse this? How can social media be used to […]

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Panel Discussion: Women’s Engagement with New Media

The proverbial glass ceiling has long been in the way of women’s upward movement within the public sphere, including in media institutions. How have women overcome the limitations of access and opportunity of the conventional media structures by increasingly and innovatively engaging with online media platforms and spaces? The Sri Lankan chapter of South Asian […]

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The skeletons in all our cupboards: Google Earth’s importance in recent Sri Lankan history

Cross-posted from my personal blog. ### To remember is a choice, a hard one. To remember is to hold in check those who wish to return to the horrors of the past. To not revisit policies that led to past horrors is to give Sri Lanka a greater chance of healing, and reconciliation. And yet, […]

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Using Google Earth to interrogate Sri Lanka’s war: An open invitation

Every single white dot in the satellite image above, taken in March 2009, is the temporary shelter for an internally displaced family in Sri Lanka. When viewed at full resolution on Google Earth, it is a mind-boggling concentration of people in conditions that were absolutely appalling. After working on it for a whole day, I […]

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A Twitter storm over a cartoon

On Groundviews this morning, I covered in detail conversations on Twitter with Sri Lankans and Indians on the publication of an utterly tasteless cartoon, depicting the Prime Minister of India and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, in the Sunday edition of Lakbima, a newspaper with good circulation and owned by a businessman very close […]

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The long arc of Nandikadal: New media bearing witness

Cross-posted from my personal blog, and published as my regular column in the print edition of The Nation, on 9 September 2012. ### Recent events in Tamil Nadu demonstrate the risk inherent in what most suggest is the Rajapaksa regime’s LLRC gambit – to drag on a process of enfeebled accountability and reductive reconciliation until […]

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