10 tactics screening in Mumbai

Mumbai saw its first screening of the film 10 tactics for turning information into action at National College Conference Room at Bandra West on 29 April 2010. Point of View, a Mumbai based women’s rights non-profit that works on promoting points of view of women through media art and culture, organised this screening in collaboration with Tactical Technology Collective.

An audience comprising of about 60 people included students and rights advocates from various fields and organisations fighting f

or Queer (LGBT) rights, women’s rights and human rights. The screening of the film was divided into two halves. The first part of the screening involved the film being shown from tactic one to five. It was then followed by a panel discussion with Mumbai based bloggers Dina Mehta, Kabi and Priyanka Borpujari. Marek Tuszynski, from Tactical Tech, moderated this segment of the screening.   

Dina Mehta an ethnographer and researcher, also an information activist in her own right, appears in the 10 tactics film speaking about the use of Twitter during the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008. At the screening event she spoke about how individuals and groups can use cell phones and SMS to make use of people's collective intelligence as a way to create change and respond to crises. She also felt that corporates and non-profits can learn from each, since these mobiles are tools used for different purposes. “People who know and use these digital technologies, can use it for social change” she said.

Kabi, an activist, blogger and member of the Forum Against Oppression of Women and of Queer Azaadi Mumbai, felt that blogs form a more personal rather than an activist perspective. She also spoke about who does and does not have access to technology. She raised questions such as, “How can one make technology more accessible to those who do not have it?”, and “How do you put it in the hands of the people?”

Priyanka, a freelance journalist based in Mumbai, has been covering conflict in areas of the country’s vast interiors over the past year where there is almost a civil war going on between the state-funded ‘Operation Green Hunt.’ This military offensive seeks to suppress tribal uprisings against what many consider to be a land-grab by big multinationals as well as against the violence caused by the Maoist ideologues.

She felt that social media is a tool that can be used to disseminate information that the mainstream media deliberately does not cover. She said that, “Change can happen through the people in a city like Mumbai if we hit hard on people's conscience”. Through her constant blog posts on this issue, written in the form of personal diaries, Priyanka said that she had managed to mobilise a lot of people in the city to show concern for these injustices. She also spoke about how we can turn the mainstream media to more closely reflect a peoples’ media through info-activism. She also told the audience her blogs were blocked by the state government for two days and she was imprisoned for a day for her writings.

The follow-up discussion, which lasted for about 45 minutes, sparked off a debate on online versus offline activism. Some members of the audience felt that offline activism is where the real change occurs, but many thought they can complement one other because online helps more in mobilisation.

After screening the second half of the film, there was an engaging discussion moderated by Bishakha Datta from Point of View and Maya Ganesh from Tactical Tech. A group of young college girls who developed a campaign against Domestic Violence called the Flat no. 303 campaign spoke about their online and offline experiences on the campaign and stated that although a Facebook group had helped them mobilise many people to support the campaign; very few of the thousand members showed active participation.




Images by Point of View, Mumbai. Top left: The screening of 10 tactics. Top right: The audience listening to the panellists. Middle: The panellists featured Mumbai based bloggers; Dina Mehta, Kabi, Priyanka Borpujari and from Tactical Tech, Marek Tuszynski. Bottom: A participant asks a question to the panellists.