NMIT Working Papers

Working Papers on New Media & Information Technology in the Middle East

Posts Tagged ‘Palestine’

Development and Decision-Making in Arab SatelliteTV

Posted by meaningfulconnections on September 6, 2008

Naomi Sakr, University of Westminster
Edited transcript of a contribution to the workshop on New Media and the Reconstruction of Popular Culture in the Arab World, Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. May 17, 2006

In this talk I plan to focus on decision-making in Arab satellite TV as a way of assessing some of the ways in which it is developing. As a point of entry I will start with a little anecdote about how decisions get made in one rather exceptional set of circumstances. It comes from an article Read the rest of this entry »

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The Digital Revolt: Resistance & Agency on the Net

Posted by meaningfulconnections on September 6, 2008

Will Taggart, University of Arkansas
Adapted from a paper delivered at a symposium on “Indigenous Cyber-Activism and Virtual Diasporas over the World Wide Web. Gothenburg, Sweden. June 9, 2001.

I would like to open with a vignette taken from anarchist philosopher Hakim Bey:

“In the late 18th or early 19th century a group of runaway slaves and serfs fled from Kentucky into the Ohio Territory, where they inter-married with Natives and formed a tribe – red, white & black – called the Ben Ishmael tribe. The Ishmaels (who seem to have been Islamically inclined) followed an annual nomadic route through the territory, hunting & fishing, and finding work as tinkers and minstrels. They were polygamists, and drank no alcohol. Every winter they returned to their original settlement, where a village had grown.

“But eventually the US Govt. opened the Territory to settlement, and the official pioneers arrived. Around the Ishmael village a town began to spring up, called Cincinnati. Soon it was a big city. But Ishmael village was still there, engulfed & surrounded by “civilization.” Now it was a slum. “Hasn’t something similar happened to the Internet? The original freedom-loving hackers & guerrilla informationists, the true pioneers of cyberspace, are still there. But they have been surrounded by a vastness of virtual “development,” and reduced to a kind of ghetto. True, for a while the slums remain colorful – one can go there for a “good time,” strum a banjo, spark up a romance. Folkways survive. One remembers the old days, the freedom to wander, the sense of openness. But History has gone… somewhere else. Capital has moved on.” (Bey 1996)

On October 6, 2000, a group of Israeli hackers succeeded in shutting down the website of the Hizbollah, setting off an international cyber-conflict unprecedented in its scale and sophistication (iDefense 2001). Various transnational groups of hackers and “defacers” split along nationalistic, religious, and ethnic lines have joined the conflict in reaction to competing media accounts of the most recent uprising in the West Bank and Gaza, alternately known as the second or Al-Aqsa Intifada. Read the rest of this entry »

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