Blackout: Series Exploring How Technology Is Transforming the Fight for Free Expression
Blackout: Series Exploring How Technology Is Transforming the Fight for Free Expression
By Jigsaw/Vice / medium.com
Jun 21, 2016

In parts of the world, reading this is a crime. Censorship, imprisoning dissidents, surveillance, cracking down on a free press, intimidating people critical of the government — these are just some of the tactics used by oppressive governments to limit free expression.

Only 13% of the world enjoys a free press. At least two-thirds of the world’s internet is censored. And global democratic rights have experienced a decade of decline. But where we see repressive governments restricting access to information or communication, we see activists’ innovative uses of technology to communicate securely, share news, or build political movements.

We partnered with VICE News to create BLACKOUT, a documentary series about the global struggle for free expression and the role technology plays. Each episode focuses on people who are demanding more rights in a repressive country.

The first episode of BLACKOUT takes us to Pakistan, where anti-gay laws and a culture hostile to LGBT communities have forced LGBT youth underground.

The second heads to Venezuela, where journalists are turning to online platforms after facing rejection by mainstream media; Thailand, where human rights activists are fighting a cyber war for the right to offend the king; and Belarus, Europe’s last dictatorship, where journalists and artists face intimidation and imprisonment.

In the last episode we visit Eritrea, arguably the least free and most censored country in the world — often called “Africa’s North Korea” — where activists use pirate radio and hidden messages to counter the government’s brutal oppression.

The irony is not lost on us that the people who would feel perhaps the most empowered viewing the content cannot, because both VICE and YouTube are blocked in many countries. That’s why we seeded a tool called uProxy, which allows people to share their internet with someone in a repressive society. Read more about it here and try uProxy for yourself.

BLACKOUT tells the story of people who, when faced with oppression and brutality, find ways to fight back. Sometimes it’s a matter of forming a political movement or joining a protest or defying a powerful government. Sometimes fighting back is the simple act of telling the truth.

0.0 ·
0
Featured Pay Per View Films
Generation Revolution (2017)
72 min
A Quest for Meaning (2017)(Free till Jan 29th)
88 min
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min
Trending Today
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine9,154 views today ·
Paramedic's Response to "Burger Flippers" Making an Equal $15/Hour is Beautiful
Craig Carilli3,324 views today ·
A Quest for Meaning (2017)(Free till Jan 29th)
88 min2,329 views today ·
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley1,920 views today ·
"Desert Goddess" Remembers Arizona's Glen Canyon
7 min1,591 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min1,571 views today ·
The Surprising Nobility of Shit: a Serious Response to President Donald Trump’s ‘Shithole’ Remarks About African Immigrants
Adebayo Akomolafe1,546 views today ·
This Facebook Comment About the UK Election Is Going Viral
Chris Renwick594 views today ·
A Brief History of The 40 Hour Work Week
8 min398 views today ·
Load More


Love Films For Action? 

It's hard to rely 100% on ads to keep our organization going.
If you get some value from this library, consider making a donation today.

Support us on Patreon

Coming soon! We're days away from launching a Patreon campaign! We hope you'll be among the first to support this new direction for Films For Action. The goal is to go 100% ad-free by next year, and become 100% member supported!

Join us on Facebook
Blackout: Series Exploring How Technology Is Transforming the Fight for Free Expression