06 March 2009

Design for Democracy

Last night, I went to this event.

I asked two questions during the Q&A time:

1) In speaking to a predominantly white audience, (who are found guilty by association with the history of colonization that could be accused of creating the very issues you are reacting against), how might we enter the work you are doing (that aims to liberate the voices of those who have experienced things we have never known) in a meaningful way ?

2) In a world of social media, how would you help to liberate those who need it most when they do not possess the assumed technologies that are typically employed to achieve social change?

I won't take you through the answers since it was a broader discussion that resulted.

In the end, I was again left wondering what the difference is between challenging ideas and actually doing something to shift the impact of these ideas. I'm not challenging the work of Favianna in saying this. She is truly committed to her passion. I'm just asking questions about why, when trying to address social change, we create campaigns about "a change" but don't always discuss ways to see it move to a level that actually liberates the people highlighted/promoted/discussed in the campaign? With all the social campaigning, I sometimes wonder if and when the change part occurs. I'm not aiming to be cynical or negative. I just know how much information gets tossed at people everyday to the point that they will click a "submit" button just as easily as they will hit the "exit" one (literally and figuratively). And to me, liberating people requires the former if any real change is meant to be realized.

Side note: Favianna's work is very compelling.

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