By Lindsey Wray, first published on IWMF website, 13 April 2012
Never mind being on deadline at The New York Times.
Jackee Budesta Batanda was worried about navigating New York’s subway.
An interview at City Hall had her wondering as much about the intricacies of public transportation as what her interviewees might say.
“I hardly slept that night,” she wrote, recounting the experience.
But the next day, Batanda, a Ugandan journalist who was the 2011-2012 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow, arrived a full hour early after successfully conquering the subway. She reported and wrote an article for The Times about New Yorkers being restricted from a City Hall statue.
Tired of getting to Wikipedia content by looking at the cached versions on Google and other workarounds? Relax, it was for a good cause.
Wikipedia’s day offline for its English language content (many non-English Wikipedias followed suit) was annoying to some, especially when thousands of other sites also went dark. But the 24-hour blackout inspired some serious global concerns about the U.S. and two of its efforts to combat online piracy, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).
Jim Wescoat and Shun Kanda discuss the 3/11 MIT Japan Initiative at the MIT Bathos Theatre (Monday, 14 November, 2011)
Professors Shun Kanda and James Wescoat talked about their intervention in the tsunami hardest hit town of Minami-Sanriku in Japan. An intervention, MIT Japan 3/11, was created right after the disastrous tsunami that hit Japan in March this year. The images of the damage formed the collage of our news images for many days and many posts on Facebook read, ‘God Save Japan’. The presentation titled, Beauty of Place: An Overnight Tragedy described how overwhelming the task was. MIT collaborated with two universities in Japan, Miyagi University and Keoi University.
Education under Fire is a poignant documentary providing an expose in the systematic persecution of the Baha’i in Iran. The denial of education for many young Baha’i is a way to keep them down. The documentary underscores the creativity of the Baha’i in providing higher education to its young. It is a strong story of resilience. Directed by Jeff Kaufman, the documentary, “examines the struggles of the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) to provide Baha’i youth with an opportunity for a college education. The BIHE was founded in 1987 in response to the Iranian government’s campaign to deny Baha’is access to higher education. The Iranian authorities carried out a series of raids and arrests of BIHE faculty and staff in May and June; statements in the government-linked press indicate that the BIHE has been declared illegal. Amnesty International estimates that over 100 Baha’i are currently imprisoned in Iran. The Baha’i have been arrested, tortured and even executed for their beliefs…”Amnesty MIT.
Stella McGregor, Founder and Director of the Urbano Project makes a presentation at the MIT Bathos Auditorium on 7 November 2011
Does Art Matter? Stella McGregor’s pertinent question at a lecture given at the Zones of Emergency Lecture Series at the MIT Bathos Theatre, last evening, Monday 7 November, 2011, is one that lingers on. “The Zones of Emergency: Artistic Interventions – Creative Responses to Conflict & Crisis Fall 2011 lecture series investigates initiatives and modes of intervention in contested spaces, zones of conflict, or areas affected by environmental disasters. The intention is to explore whether artistic interventions can transform, disrupt or subvert current environmental, urban, political and social conditions in critical ways. A crucial question is how such interventions can propose ideas, while at the same time respecting the local history and culture…” Continue reading →
Heather jumps on the steps outside the MIT Media Lab
Professor Smith says that we all have makings of good photographers. His job is making professionals out of non-starters. He promises us that by the end of the semester we will be taking pictures like professionals. I like the sound of this. His class is for students with no background in photography. And to look at the pictures the other students take, I could swear that it is only like two of us who fall in category: never taken photography classes before. I have been taking these classes since September. Continue reading →
Everything is slow at the start of the semester and then it all piles up at once. It suddenly feels like I bumped into the class work. I am talking about my class in Creative Responses to Crises and Conflicts. I was still trying to make sense of the course requirements before it dawned on me that my mid-term proposal was due. We had to make presentations of a crisis we have identified and the intervention we had designed. It was not to be perfect but it was to challenge our minds to think out of the box. That has become a cliché now. One wonders if thinking inside the box will be the NEW IT.
Tributes laid on Steve Job's Plaque at the MIT Kendall Square in Cambridge
A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the MIT Entrepreneurs Walk of Fame at Kendall Square. Steve Jobs was among the entrepreneurial stars honored at the inaugural event. When news of his death trickled in, a small memorial was made over his plaque. Continue reading →
A view of the Ray and Maria Stata Center, one of the memorable buildings at MIT
It is 4:35am in Cambridge. A searing thought in my brain has shaken me into wakefulness. A mental soliloquy runs like this: should I lie in bed and listen to my breathing till the morning light breaks through the blinds? Should I turn on the TV and gag on comedy or should I write and decide that I still have what it takes? Writing has been an indulgence I have not had the luxury of engaging in much of these last couple of years. My writings last graced the pages of the Sunday Vision, back in 2008, when I shared my experiences about running a writing class in a men’s prison in Lancaster, visiting St Petersburg etc. Continue reading →