I arrived to the country of Georgia on an unusual night of riot police and torrential rains. My handler advised me that it was too dangerous to leave the hotel. I had not heard this from anyone since my time in Iraq.
All posts in Fortnight Journal Entries7 Posts
Risk To Transmit
Training in the Field
Young activists seek digital democracy. Mark teaches tech in Burma & Haiti.
Iraq: A Digital Dissenter
Shortly after this interview, Hamzoz’s phone was seized in Tahir Square by individuals allegedly linked to Iraqi security forces. He was assaulted and received threats via Facebook and email. But to date, he has not ceased publishing.
Do It Yourself
Music eventually drove me to the internet’s dark underbelly. But first, it connected me to an innovative community I’d been pining for as a teenager. Through liner notes in Dischord and Lookout! Records cassette tapes, I discovered not just a directory of information, but a network.
Punks used the post office to bridge distance. Mainstream music stores didn’t and wouldn’t stock their art, so they circulated tapes by mail instead. A band from one city would call up their fan in another, asking to sleep on their couch after playing a concert in their town. This reciprocity grew their community into an organic movement, with a method and ethos called “DIY”: Do It Yourself. After all, who else was there to rely on?
The American punk movement seeded communities across a 3,717,813-square-mile piece of land, forming a web of trust, and an alternative economy.
My bread is black. Everyone else’s is white. Theirs is generously lathered with peanut butter and jelly. Mine is open face, revealing butcher-cut meat, fresh greens and Russian spicy mustard. My dessert is a fig. It looks like a turd. I couldn’t be more embarrassed.
Fortnight Bio Video
Bio video of Fortnight Journal Edition II contributor Mark Belinsky. Mark is President & Co-Founder of Digital Democracy, a nonprofit empowering marginalized communities with technology. His family fled the Soviet Union as refugees and their experience informs his work as a technical consultant, documentary filmmaker and grassroots human rights trainer.
Fortnight Journal: Edition II
For more on Mark, visit Fortnight Journal at fortnightjournal.com.