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Ten years after the Asian tsunami, new ideas for DRR: Keynote address at ISCRAM 2014

I was invited to deliver a keynote address at the ISCRAM Asia Conference 2014 held in Sri Lanka from 20 – 21 June 2014. My session was held at the University of Colombo’s School of Computing and was titled ‘The more the technology, the more it stays the same?’. Had my keynote been a week […]

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Innovations in peacebuilding: Podcast with UNICEF

In early May I was invited to take part in an interview on ‘Beyond School Books’, a podcast series produced by UNICEF New York, looking at technology and peacebuilding. The podcast and related article was published today (you’ll need VLC or RealPlayer to listen to the audio stream). Talking about how technology has changed the […]

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The future of technology in peacebuilding: Presentation at MIT Media Lab

In early April this year, I was invited to deliver a keynote address at the inaugural Build Peace conference, held at MIT Media Lab. My presentation was given, almost to the day, twenty years after the Rwandan genocide. Just before I went on stage, we all observed a minute’s silence to remember the victims. The […]

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Capturing the ephemeral: Archiving our digital present

I was invited today by the American Centre in Colombo today to deliver a lecture on digital archives in general, from the perspective of a citizen archivist. The presentation looked at the ways information around contemporary events, issues and processes, in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, are being generated digitally and largely lost for posterity, raising […]

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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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