The IFTF Blog
How Can We Enhance Human Rights Activism Using ‘Co-presence For Good’?
For the past decade I’ve worked at WITNESS, where we support people to use video to combat injustice and secure accountability for human rights violations. This summer as a ‘Future for Good’ Fellow at IFTF, I am thinking about what might constitute the future of next-gen witnessing for human rights. With new visual and immersive media technologies emerging quickly, what are the potential human rights usages of technologies focused on live video, wearable computing such as Google Glass and synchronous multi-sensory experience? And how might these tools and related tactics help include new people in activism or maximize/optimize the contribution of existing participants?
One core idea I’m exploring is the idea of ‘co-presence for good’. Tools and tactics of co-presence offer the sense and experience of being together with other people in a remote environment. You can think of the experience of ‘participating’ in an Occupy Protest via livestream as an early human rights-related signal of this: some people are physically on the ground at Zuccotti Park and many others are interacting with each other and with people on the ground within a live online space. Co-presence experiences are not purely immersive, but provide a sense of shared space and, hopefully, shared purpose.