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News & Events
Sarajevo’s First-Ever Pride Gets Dismissed as “Shame Parade” by Opponents PDF Print

Threats, insults and rejection prior to the first-ever pride march in Bosnia and Herzegovina, topped with protests and ignorance, are mirrored not challenged in Bosnian media.

The Great British Ban on “Gender Stereotypes” in Adverts. Censorship? Or a Step in the Right Direction? PDF Print

29 August 2019

Country: UK

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

Screen_Shot_2019-08-29_at_4.36.06_PMEarlier this summer, new Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rules banning “harmful gender stereotypes” went into effect in advertisements across the United Kingdom.

Already, the ASA has taken up complaints about two advertisements, one for Philadelphia cream cheese and another for Volkswagon. Now, industry leaders are accusing the advertising authority of censorship, claiming that it interferes with their business.

Are these accusations justified?

ASA argues that the new rules—which forbid any advertisement that advances problematic gender portrayals—are important to counteract the power of advertisements to feed stereotypes and produce “real-world harms.”

What Can Google Searches Tell Us About Cultural Appropriation? PDF Print

29 August 2019

Country: Global

by: Anna Lekas Miller

CulturalAppropriationIt is starting to feel like there is always a cultural appropriation scandal in the news. Just this week, Kim Kardashian was pressured to change the name of her most recent clothing line, whose original name contained the word “kimono” and a group of Jewish actors called out a production of Falsettos for not including a single Jewish cast or creative team member.

However, now that conversation might be taken one step further—Mexico is proposing a law that could take cultural appropriators to court for plagiarism.

By definition, cultural appropriation is borrowing elements of a culture that is not one’s own. The act of appropriation—whether it is in its original definition as property, or something less tangible like culture—has a negative connotation; it implies taking something without permission.

Many of the most outrageous examples of cultural appropriation unmistakably resemble cultural theft, but others are murkier. Disciplines like music, fashion and the arts have long-existed in a space of cultural exchange, influence and inspiration. Could this narrative on cultural appropriation—especially if accompanied with new legislation—curb creativity?

LGBTQ+ Creators Are Suing YouTube for Discrimination. Here is Why It Matters for Diversity in the Media PDF Print

21 August 2019

Country: Global

by: Anna Lekas Miller

27694615857_486b0fc743_bHow do you know you’re in love?

“You’re willing to try whatever diet is the new trend,” says Chrissy Chambers, one part of Bria and Chrissy, the YouTube dynamic duo, and lesbian couple that publish YouTube videos about everything from healthy relationships, comedy sketches, and LGBTQ+ rights.

Next, the video cuts to Chrissy counting her rock collection. You know you’re in love when you support each and every one of your partner’s crazy hobbies, Bria chimes in, as Chrissy balances rocks on their cat.

However, Chrissy and Bria found that shortly after uploading the video, YouTube had unlisted it due to “inappropriate” content. Chrissy suspects it is because it is tagged “LGBT”—a trend that has pushed Bria, Chrissy and six other LGBTQ+ YouTubers to file a lawsuit against YouTube, alleging discrimination.


How Do Media Representations Help and Hurt Women in India? PDF Print

15 August 2019

Country: India

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

Delhi_protests-India_Raped_says_one_young_womans_signDuring the last week of July, a lorry rammed into a car in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Tragically, two of the car’s five passengers died. Among the survivors was a 19-year old woman who had accused Kuldeep Sengar, an official from India’s ruling BJP Party, of raping her in 2017. Was Sengar behind this crash?

Ever since the allegations against him became public, the woman’s family has been "living in fear.” Her father died under mysterious circumstances in police custody. Legal proceedings into the allegations floundered for two years until India’s “Supreme Court took up the case suo moto” after the crash. Her case illustrates a deep-set structural problem – most rape victims in India face significant barriers to justice due to prejudice. Does media representation play a role?

A Tale of Misinformation: Deforestation of the Amazon in Five Tweets PDF Print

15 August 2019

Country: Brazil

by Andréa Doyle

Cultural tip:  To learn a bit more about Amazonia I strongly suggest you listen to a list called Amazonia Groove on Spotify while reading this piece.

Mouths_of_amazon_geocover_1990As a “Round Earth” believer, I take climate change very seriously.

One would think that hard statistics announcing an 88 percent increase in Amazon deforestation since June 2018 would make others take climate change seriously, as well. But in Brazil, it seems to be an occasion for Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing cabinet to crack down on hard science, in an exercise of pure nationalism. After the statistics were released, his government accused Ricardo Galvão, Director of the Space Research National Institute (INPE), the institution which gathered, analyzed and published the statistics, of being “unpatriotic” and spreading false information. When Galvão challenged the accusation, he was immediately fired.

These kinds of flagrant denials and misinterpretations are disasterous for diversity. Many indigenous tribe leaders native to the Amazon see Bolsonaro's policies as "genocidal," threatening the rainforest that they have called home for centuries. An increase in illegal gold mining has already lead to the death of a Waiapi indigenous leader, and occupation of the village. Bolsonaro, and the government-affiliated media outlets' disregard for indigenous lives is commonly seen as part of an ongoing crackdwon on these communities, many of whom have voiced that governmental policies have not impacted them this badly since the military dictatorship.

As the devastating impacts of destructive environmental policies become more and more difficult to deny, exercises in ignoring, contorting and completely rewriting the facts are becoming more common. Intrigued by this national exercise in creating, recreating and rewriting “the truth”, I set about looking at how the conversation is unfolding on social media, who is tweeting, who is commenting, what they are commenting and who has the most influence.

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