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
Trending Today
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad71,177 views today ·
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action7,451 views today ·
I Promise, It's Not Lame to Ask a Woman for Permission
Dave Booda6,153 views today ·
On the Wildness of Children: The Revolution Will Not Take Place In The Classroom
Carol Black4,564 views today ·
Caitlin Moran's Posthumous Advice for Her Daughter
Caitlin Moran3,705 views today ·
John Pilger on ISIS: Only When We See the War Criminals In Our Midst Will the Blood Begin to Dry
John Pilger2,863 views today ·
Paramedic's Response to "Burger Flippers" Making an Equal $15/Hour is Beautiful
Craig Carilli2,030 views today ·
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley821 views today ·
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga659 views today ·
Load More
What's Next
Freedom of Expression (2007)
6 min
Expressions of an Angry Muslim
3 min
American Blackout (2006)
89 min
Like us on Facebook?
Blackout: Series Exploring How Technology Is Transforming the Fight for Free Expression