Slacktivism: The ambivalent relation between digital and social reality

Date 22. Februar 2014
Start 18:00 Uhr
End 18:30 Uhr
Event Lecture and talk (in English)
Place Gallery
With Soheil Asefi and Rabea Edel (moderation)

Soheil Asefi is an independent Iranian journalist and analyst. He launched a weblog in 2002, at a point in time when weblog publishing in Iran was very young, and has worked extensively on tsocial network websites like Facebook during these years. He will talk about Slacktivism and the different aspects of this phenomenon and the self-deluded idea that by liking, sharing, or retweeting something you are helping out. Besides NSA spying issue, recent upheavals across the globe from OWS in the United States to the political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa and the turbulent aftermath of Iran’s election in 2009 have heightened the need for giving an account of the role of social networks and political participation. So far, however, there has been little discussion abouthow “capitalism is turning the internet against democracy” (Robert W. Mc Chesney) and how to turn it back and give voice to the progressive forces around the globe. Soheil Asefi strongly believes that journalism doesn’t just prompt action — it is action. Stories are acts, and acts have impacts.

Presenter: Rabea Edel

© David Vogt
© David Vogt

Soheil Asefi is an independent journalist, Iran and the Middle East analyst in Berlin. He was born in Tehran in 1982. At a very young age, he started writing articles. He worked for various media and publications, writing columns on politics and history, both in cyber and print media. He covered the Majlis [Iranian parliament]. He has interviewed numerous high-ranking government officials as well as many academics. He was arrested in 2007 and spent about three months in the Evin prison in Tehran, mostly in the notorious 209 ward. He spent the most part of his incarceration in solitary confinement. He was released on bail and left Iran some years ago after a ten-year professional experience of major Iranian media outlets. He came to Germany as the guest of the city of Nuremberg under the project Writers in Exile funded by the German PEN Center. He is the recipient of the Hermann Kasten award in Nuremberg. His articles have appeared in publications such as “Monthly Review”, “Counterpunch” and “Media with Conscience”. He is also a member of the editorial board of Journalists in Exile (JIE), a blog run by Reporters without Borders in Germany.

© Kirsten Becken
© Kirsten Becken

Rabea Edel, born in 1982, regularly presents and curates readings and cultural events for publishers, cultural institutions and festivals. Since 2013, Rabea Edel has also been the chief editor of the “REVUE – Magazine for the Next Society”. She works in cross-disciplinary projects with musicians and visual artists, and is the author of two novels. She lives and works as a freelance journalist and presenter in Berlin.