Thursday, June 02, 2011

Women and the new media in the Mediterranean region

The Isis Centre for Women and Development will be hosting its fifth international forum, this year entitled Women and the New Media in the Mediterranean Region from 24-26 June at the Palais de Congres in Fez.

"With the growing dominance of the Internet, blog, chat and mobile telephony", explains founder of the Centre, Fatima Sadiqi, "the great "big bang" of the new media has begun, and consequently, communication is rapidly changing and becoming mobile, interactive, personalized and multi-channel. This extraordinary revolution is affecting the basic structure of Mediterranean societies, especially those in the south, and is raising discussions and debates that are profoundly related to women: the rapid transformation of the boundaries between the public and the private spaces, the relationship between the new media and women’s activism, the relationship between new technology and women’s oral literature, changes in the relationship between written and oral languages, the (problematic) increase in the use of mother tongues (mainly oral) in the field of education, and the challenges of new transmissions of women’s versatile knowledge."

Fatima Sadiqi with her husband, Moha Ennaji

These issues constitute the five main axes of the international forum, which will explore the relationships between the new media and:
  • the deep transformation of the gender/space relationships
  • women's activism
  • women's oral literature
  • language use in education
  • new transmissions of women's knowledge
Presentation will be in Arabic, French and English with simultaneous translation, and there are some fascinating speakers attending the conference, including keynote presenter Marlyn Tadros (Director, Virtual Activism) whose talk is entitled Revolutionaries vs governments: use and abuse of new media in the Arab Revolutions of 2011.

The conference brings together activists and researchers from the Mediterranean region, North America and Asia. And it isn't all talking - there will be concrete results. "In addition to publishing a volume on the theme of the conference", explains Fatima, "we plan to link our activities with the Journal of New Media Studies for example, supervise MA and PhD theses on the theme, and train a number of local women in new media knowledge."

For more information, contact Fatima Sadiqi here.

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