ARTICLE // #EYES WIDE SHUT

Hello guys! I know you’re probably thinking “Oh, going with Erasmus in Spain is all leche y miel because of the travels, siesta (which goes with fiesta too), sangria and all that”. And you are not far from the truth! But the thing is that I also  mainly came here to study and this is what I really have to do. And sure, “studying” the Spanish culture by living and “learning” by doing may count, but at the end of the day, I do want to graduate from the Journalism school with some J-knowledge and this is what this post is all about.

From now on, when you see that I have a # in the title of the article, it means that the post is part of an assignment for the Communication and Participation of Civil Society on the Internet class that I have here at Universidad Carlos III, with the wonderful professor Leila Nachawati Rego. I’ll mainly talk about activism, as this is the main focus of the class, and I will try to make it as fashion-oriented as I can. But the post that I decided to start with is about something more. Shall we?

There are things we take for granted and things we don’t. And when we realize that the things that we shouldn’t take for granted end up in the other category, we ask ourselves some questions. Like I did, while scrolling down The Bobs website and found an initiative in the Best Inovation category that is called “The BanglaBraille”.

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The BanglaBraille is a project that aims to help the visually impaired school children in Bangladesh by creating braille and audio textbooks for them. Aproximately one million people are visually impaired in this South-Asian country. Therefore, this project uses crowdsourcing and social media and with a team of skilled volunteers, they try to transcribe textbooks into digital form for both print and audio books. This for me, is a wonderful thing!

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When I was talking about the things we take for granted but we shouldn’t, I was thinking about the gift of seeing. Just imagine how the fashion industry would have been if say, Coco Chanel was blind. Or Alexander McQueen. Or Bill Cunningham. Or Anna Wintour. And I am not saying that blind people cannot draw, take photos, edit magazines or create art, but I am thinking about how much inspiration we can get from the things that we SEE day by day, inspiration that we use in our work. Inspiration that most of the time we take for granted.

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Through this article, I invite you to meditate a bit upon this issue and see what you can do in order to contribute. My advice is to start the way I started: The Bobs Awards website. The Bobs Awards are brought to us by Deutsche Welle (Germany’s international broadcaster) and are now at the 10th edition. The Bobs honors websites and projects in 14 languages that excel in te fields of online activism and freedom of expression. Go on the website, log in with your Facebook or Twitter account and start reading about the most inovative ideas that people from all around the world have created in order to change something about this world. The best part about this, is that your vote matters, so do your part and help your favourite initiative gain more visibility and support!

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 Here you have all the necessary links: The Bobs Website, The Bobs Twitter account, The Bobs Facebook page and make sure you use the #thebobs hashtag on your posts!
 
See you soon with the next #post!
 
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