Event: Social Media in the Arab Spring, Dec 10

On Human Rights Day (10 December), Egyptian Human rights activist Mariam Kirollos visited Brussels to share her experience of the struggle for freedom and social justice during and after the critical events on Tahrir Square in January 2011.

Almost four years have passed since the Arab Spring outbreak. For better or worse? Netopia held a conversation with Human Rights activist Mariam Kirollos on December 10 on how social media shaped the Arab Spring, the development since Tahrir Square and what can we learn from it.

Conventional wisdom suggests that the Arab spring was a “social media revolution”. It is a very tempting view, by providing the people in authoritarian countries with internet access, mobile phones and social media platforms we liberate them. It is consumer activism in its most convenient form and it’s the pinnacle of techno-centrism: the technology is the force of change. But how widespread can a revolution driven by technology be in a country where less than 25% have internet access and illiteracy is widespread?

Netopia was proud to present Egyptian Human rights activist Mariam Kirollos, for an eye-witness account of the critical events on Tahrir Square, the role of social media and how the situation in Egypt has developed since the Arab Spring. Participants listened to her story in an on-stage interview with Netopia editor Per Strömbäck.

Mariam Kirollos is an Egyptian human rights advocate and a feminist activist. She contributed to the Swedish anthology “The Myth of the Internet” and currently studying for her MA at the School of Oriental and African Study, University of London.  She tweets at @MariamKirollos.

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