December 15, 2011

Protest and Advocacy on Arseh Sevom

Arseh Sevom -- With the announcement from Time Magazine that The Protester is this year's person of the year, we thought this was a good time to remind our readers of all the great content on Arseh Sevom's English site related to protests, demonstrations, and acts of advocacy.The entire Arseh Sevom Zine for Winter 2011 responds to the question: "What's next? What comes after the unity when the messy business of democracy begins?" A good place to start is with The Letter from the Editor, which sets the stage for the rest of the articles.The first issue of Arseh Sevom's Civil Society Zine looks at networking, networks, and change. You might want to check out Linda Herrera's piece: Two Faces of Revolution: Why Dictators Fear the Internet.In Creating the Impossible: The Invisible Network of Britain's Activist Subculture, Avery Oslo discusses the consensus building of eco-activists. Some of it may sound familiar to people who have been following the activities of Occupy Wall Street.
December 2, 2011

From the Zine: Tips from Peace-Worker Jasmin Nordien

Arseh Sevom -- Arseh Sevom spoke with South African activist Jasmin Nordien about her experiences working in civil society organizations in South Africa. In a post published in the Civil Society Zine, we focus on her experiences throughout the 1990s, when she worked with the Network of Independent Monitors (NIM) reporting on state violence and supporting individuals and grassroots organizations. Jasmin shares some of the lessons she learned about the importance of creating networked organizations, the differences between leadership and management, and the need for clarity of purpose. Jasmin tells us, “...I no longer wanted to monitor the society I did not want to live in. I wanted to build the kind of society that my children and grandchildren would group up in.”
November 29, 2011

New Civil Society Zine Up and Ready!

In the second issue of Arseh Sevom's Civil Society Magazine, called David and Goliath, we asked contributors to tell us what comes after all the unity, after the giant is slain, after the monster is gone? What comes next? It was clearly a difficult question; one without a simple answer. The story of David and Goliath is a story of the (perceived) weak against the powerful, of prevailing against the odds, of bravery and leadership. However modern day Goliaths aren't so easy to dispel with one little pebble.While we may not have definitively answered the question, "What comes next," the articles in this Zine share ideas about human rights, the Arab Anger, Islamicization, leadership, and women's rights. These all make important contributions to our search for ways forward, while engaging a variety of voices from a range of experiences and locations.
August 2, 2011

Online Social Capital?

This week's featured article from Arseh Sevom's Civil Society Zine is Christina Ashtary's piece examining the development of social capital in politically restrictive environments. Can trust be developed between individuals who meet online? By now, most of us know couples who wooed one another online long before they ever met. Why not activists?Ashtary argues that trust and social capital are being created even among those who know each other as bits and bytes, communicating solely (for a time, at least) in the virtual realm. She discusses how the control of public spaces by the regime in Iran has led to a transfer to the virtual sphere, Weblogistan: a digital Iran that transcends geographical borders and oppressive control.Read more...