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Saturday, September 20, 2014 01:51

Zamaneh Debate

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The event will be streamed live on Bambuser. Watch the Event Live Here

IRAN:
From Online Freedom to
Offline Democracy:

Media vs Activism: Do words lead to results in Iran?

16:00-18:00h Persian Debate (In Persian only)
19:30-24:00h Event and Debate (in English only)

Entrance is free but only with registration!
Register through: 30nov@radiozamaneh.com

Indicate which part of the program you want to attend:
A Persian debate a Main event and Debate (English) or aboth

Location: Rode Hoed, Keizersgracht 102,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

For more info see these links:

- Program

 - Debate

Bio's

- Article

Route

 

Key note speakers:

Shirin Ebadi (Noble Prize Winner & Human Rights Advocate, -to be confirmed-) Mahmoud Enayat (Director of Small Media), Ali Bangi (Director of internet securityand cyber warfare research unit ASL 19), Kamran Ashtary (Director Arseh Sevom, Human Rights NGO), Abdee Kalantari (Writer/Blogger & cultural critic), Nazenin Ansari (Director Kayhan Weekly), Behrouz Afagh (Director BBC Asia), Ehsan Norouzi(Techno-politics journalist DW, Cologne), Leon Willems (Director Free Press Unlimited) 

Live music by:

Azadeh (UK), Faarjam (NL) & Sahand & Mezrab Ensemble (NL)

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IRAN: From Online Freedom to Offline Democracy:
Media vs Activism: Do words lead to results in Iran?

Since 2009, political activism has been sweeping through the Middle East. In countries such as Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, autocratic rulers were overthrown. In Iran, where the movement started during the presidential elections, this activism was brutally suppressed, and in Syria a civil war started to which we still haven't seen a resolution.

To a large extent, what came to be known as the 'Arab Spring' seemed to be driven by social media. This awakened romantic ideas about the power of online communities, networks and interaction, and thus of citizens over dictators.
But was this really so? Critics blame the 'Facebook generation' for acting forcefully on the internet, but not being able to handle real social change in the real world. It is easier to dream and to chat about the ideal world online, but to create sustainable change people have to leave their PC's and start taking a whole range of actions in the social and political arena.

Lack of experiential knowledge and understanding of what a true democracy is, seems to be a big disability in many countries and citizens have a limited grasp of how to organize themselves and what to do next.
While some are still hoping and dreaming about a citizen upraising in Iran fueled by social media, those who were involved in the 2009 protests have come to realize that something important is missing
As one of Radio Zamaneh's citizen reporters put it: “I don't think me or anyone I know would go out on the street again risking our lives as we did in 2009. We have had enough time to reflect on what happened and what went wrong and we have come to the conclusion that we were naïf. We wanted change. We wanted freedom and democracy but we had no clue what to do next if the regime would have been overthrown by us. If we have no idea about how to proceed next and there is no leadership, no real plan, none of us is really sure why we would risk our lives. What for? Overthrowing a dictator doesn't automatically mean achieving democracy! We all were a bunch of fools fighting a bunch of bullies!!!”

With the knowledge Iranian citizens now have after their own protest experience and the news of the Arab Spring combined with the possibilities of social media in a country where the press and information are extremely restricted, the need for new attributes has arisen to assist in the so desired change.


The question is: 'Chi Mikhad Beshe?'
Or rather: what is going to happen?

The uncertainty about the immediate future of Iran – it’s economic state, it’s prospects for democratic progress, developments in the field of human rights, it’s geopolitical intentions - is keeping not just the minds of Iranians, but of many others worldwide occupied as well.

Now more than ever, media - new and old, domestic and international - play a crucial role in shaping the mindset and calculations of policy makers and ordinary citizens alike. In addition, the current debate is very much about the impact and importance - or lack thereof - of social media in Iran's societal and political development. 

But also: what remains of the role of more traditional media? The Iranian media landscape is wide and diverse. Hundreds, thousands of bigger and smaller news outlets, both inside the country and outside, flood an Iranian audience with information that is meant to shape their minds about the many political and social issues facing the nation. Some want to contribute to democratic change; some like to keep things as they are. What is their impact, really? And how do they relate to the upcoming and still proliferating alternative ways of producing and sharing vital information provided by social media?

On Friday November 30th, 2012, Radio Zamaneh organizes a public event in Amsterdam to address these and related questions. During this event, you will be able to listen to and enter into a conversation with a host of well-known and less known experts, journalists and academics.

We'll address the issues surrounding a central question: what role could or should traditional and social media play in these developments, and what will happen next? Topics like internet freedom, current economic, social and political developments in Iran, media influence and the effectiveness of social media are prominent issues to be discussed in the debate.

The evening will be a dynamic mix of debate, multimedia presentations, networking and live music by upcoming Iranian artists.

We would very much appreciate your attendance, and hope that you will save the date and join us in Amsterdam on Friday, November 30th.

Read this article by one of the Zamaneh journalist in Iran on the current situation of Social media Activism in Iran

Article in Persian

Article in English

For more information on the Persian Debate 16:00-18:00 h please see here

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Sponsored by:

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Free Press Unlimited

European Union