Monday, May 31, 2010

Introducing WAVE in Bombay Saturday June 5!

Dear blog readers,

We would like to invite you for a presentation/ social event for our project - Women Aloud Videoblogging for Empowerment (WAVE) this Saturday in Bandra (Bombay).

Sapna Shahani and Angana Jhaveri will introduce WAVE and screen selected web videos created by the pan-Indian network, followed by a discussion about the program's future. We would like to meet anyone interested in the areas of videoblogging/ alternative media/ citizen journalism/ video education, social entrepreneurship, women's empowerment, technology innovation, etc, so please forward to anyone you think may be interested in attending.

A sampling of the videos we may screen include:

Weaving Dreams -- Padma, a lady of the Bodo community in Assam, changes her community for the better when she started a weaving society, turning away from their previous occupations of liquor-making. Created by Usha Dewani (4 minutes).

Accused of Witchcraft -- A shocking incident reported by Moushumi Basu from Ranchi about a village that ganged up to murder a family they believed to be involved in witchcraft (5 minutes).

Nyida -- Nyapi Bomjen shows us a beautiful wedding ceremony of the Galo tribe in Arunachal Pradesh (5 minutes).

Land Rights for Women Farmers -- Vandana explores why Women Farmers, who do most of the work in farms, don't legally own the land (2.5 minutes)

Corruptgarh -- Moonstar provides creative commentary about a failed 'Dhobi Ghat' policy in Chandigarh, with this humourous, fictional re-enactment (2 minutes).

The Little Ropewalker (Dombari) -- Prutha Soman from Thane juxtaposes international gymnasts with a dombari girl's tightrope-walking technique, posing the question, "Couldn't we encourage traditional talents such as these, instead of shunning them? (2 minutes)"

Aashayein -- Apoorva Shaligram shares the inspiring story of a young social entrepreneur Ramesh Joshi who tutors street kids in Bombay, who live rough lives -- some of whose parents are drug dealers (3 minutes).

WAVE was started last year through an award from the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning competition in the US and is supported by the Bandra-based NGO, Point of View, in India. Please to learn more.

Date: Saturday June 5, 2010
Time: 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Place: The HUB
4th Floor, Candelar Building, 26 St. John Baptist Road, Near Mount Mary Steps, Bandra (W), Mumbai

RSVP at or call us at 9922509310 (Sapna) as snacks and beverages will be served. Entrance for this event is FREE, please note there are limited spaces available.

Hope you can make it!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Angana's thoughts on the DML showcase in Washington DC

Hello Wave Team:
Just a quick note to let you know that we are back from the US, and currently in Mumbai preparing for a presentation here on June 5th.
Here are a few highlights from our days in Washington DC:
We stayed in the hotel room all of the first day creating a power point presentation. When we reached the venue the next morning and asked the organizers their plan, they very sweetly said, “Will you go first?” So we did and that was great, as before we knew it we were done!
We spoke about how our project was innovative, described its design of the program, and shared some moments from the training. We introduced them to the diversity of the group, showing some of your pictures and telling them about your backgrounds. We talked about the themes of the videos showing images and guided them through the website. There was so much to say that of course we went over time and had to rush to the end for which we had prepared quotes from what some of you have said about empowerment in your profile videos.
For the rest of the conference we learnt about other winning projects and came out feeling that ours was one of the most interesting and unusual. In fact the funders have described WAVE as a project that has met their gold standard!
This year the DML Competition is partnering with Obama’s initiative in innovations in learning. We had Obama’s Chief Technology Officer a very charismatic Aneesh Chopra come and speak to us about White House policies and initiatives and the importance of our projects in view of these. So it was wonderful to get the big picture and know that our project has landed us pretty much in the forefront of innovation in learning in the Digital Age also envisioned by the Obama Administration.


A video about WAVE that we created for the DML showcase in DC

If you have high speed internet and would like to watch a higher resolution video, click here. Special thanks to RGBA Studios for contributing the animation shots, Tarun Shahani for audio editing and Chaitanya Modak for the rough cut.

Sapna and Angana showcase WAVE in Washington DC

We're back! Angana and I were in the US for 3 weeks, first preparing for our first WAVE showcase event for our funders - HASTAC and the MacArthur Foundation - in Washington DC on May 12 & 13, and then taking a much needed break.

I'm happy to tell you that our achievements were praised by many at the Digital Media and Learning showcase, including being called 'the gold standard' by Sheryl Grant who works with HASTAC at Duke University.

One of the highlights I'd like to share is meeting Aneesh Chopra, the first Chief Technology Officer, appointed by President Obama to advise him on matters related to technology. He addressed the 150-strong audience, mentioning how important it was to innovate in the field of education, and fielded all kinds of questions displaying how well informed he was about many areas. He especially gave kudos to the 'Hole in the Wall' project from Delhi, who have put 500 computer kiosks in villages and slums all around India for children to educate themselves. We were also happy to hear that Hole in the Wall had won this year's DML award and congratulated Neeraj Agarwal, who was there for the event.

I'd like to invite anyone reading this to watch the video about WAVE, that we created especially for this showcase, which I'll upload next on the blog, and also to email us if you would like a compilation DVD of 15 of our videos which we prepared for the DC event.

Finally, stay tuned for an invite to a showcase event in Bombay on June 5!

Thanks for reading :)