SUDAN WATCH: Blogging The Darfur Collection - UK Commission for Africa - Open Source Radio

Monday, May 16, 2005

Blogging The Darfur Collection - UK Commission for Africa - Open Source Radio

Warm thanks to Catez in New Zealand at Allthings2all for putting together The Darfur Collection which brings together various bloggers who share a common concern for the people of Sudan, particularly Darfur.

The Darfur Collection was just published a few minutes ago. More on this at a later date. Thank you to Catez for featuring a post from the November archives of Sudan Watch.
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A Postcard from Khartoum

'Every place has a story; it's just that some stories are harder to tell then others. The Sudan is one of those places whose story is really hard to tell,' writes Lachlan Harris in a web magazine article entitled 'A Postcard from Khartoum.'

Khartoum, Sudan
Photo: Khartoum

Excerpt from A Postcard from Khartoum May 16. 2005:

"It is not just the cuisine that is so limited; the entire country seems to be lacking the basic hallmarks of organisation and investment that are the calling cards of modern life. Outside the capital there are no traffic lights, bridges, signs announcing city names, or indications of directions. In fact, in the North, which is harsh desert country, there are no roads at all between the major towns, with drivers simply pointing their vehicles across the desert towards the next town, while trying to avoid the drifts of soft sand that trap any vehicle unlucky enough to drive into them.

Linking the towns and the capital is a maze of truck, bus, and minibus transport that, even to the locals, is mind-bogglingly chaotic. Transport simply arrives and leaves when it arrives and leaves. If you want to catch this bus, or that truck, then you must wait at a loosely defined meeting point until it arrives, otherwise it will simply leave without you. Cynical about the magnitude of this disorganisation, I was quickly disavowed of this naïve doubt by a two-day wait for a bus in the border town of Whadi Halfa. After this, it took me almost another week to make the 1500 kilometre journey to Khartoum.

As well as heavily limiting where you can travel in the Sudan (nowhere South of Khartoum, or about 50% of the country), the police simply do not let visitors take photos. Even in the remotest of towns, removing your camera from your bag is sure to attract the attention of the police. If you're lucky you're told to put it away, unlucky and you're dragged to the police station for interrogation until you disprove the suspicion you are a foreign spy."
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Map courtesy of Will in Uganda

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UK Commission for Africa

Prime Minister Tony Blair has made Africa one of his top international priorities during 2005 when the UK has Presidency of the G8 says Downing Street May 11, 2005.

In a recent speech he said there was 'no excuse, no defence, no justification' for the plight of the continent.

He set up the Commission for Africa to tackle some of the biggest problems head on. Its report was published in March and will be discussed at the G8 summit in Scotland this July.

UK Commission for Africa
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Open Source. It'll be a radio show. May 30, 2005

Here is a don't miss, must-do: listen to Open Source's pilot on podcasting and bloggers without borders. Hear phone interviews and discussions with Rebecca and Ethan of Global Voices, and several other bloggers, hosted by smooth (and thankfully not-so-fast) talking American Christopher Lydon at Harvad's Berkman.

Historic stuff. Keep it for your archives.

Harvard Berkman Center

See Ethan's follow-up post On hold with Chris Lydon.

Christopher Lydon
Photo: Christopher Lydon At Creative Commons Anniversary 2003 (Courtesy Joi Ito/Jonas M Luster December 15, 2003)

Note also Geo-Community. Click on the map to zoom in. You can add your own comments, stories, or photos at any location.
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Update May 17, 2005

Anybody can create their own public radio online

Note Rebecca MacKinnon's post linking to a live webcast from Harvard's Berkman Center today, May 17, 2005.

Jake Shapiro of the Public Radio Exchange will talk about the future of public radio in the age of podcasting, which enables anybody to create their own public radio online.

This is history in the making. Keep it for your archives.



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