Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Night Watch

Today Amnesty International unveiled Eyes on Darfur, a website that combines online consciousness-raising with satellite photography. It spotlights ten villages at risk and encourages concerned citizens to literally keep an eye on them to ensure that human rights abuses don't take place in those sites. Although a Sudanese diplomat has cautioned against creating narratives without in-depth data analysis or real understanding of these images from above in their full context, Amnesty International's rhetorical strategy has certainly brought more attention to the issue. Yet unlike Darfur-oriented online initiatives from Google Earth, the U.S. State Department, or even MTV, the Amnesty International project doesn't let viewers really interact with the data through tags, spreadsheets, or videogame play. Perhaps there can be power in Internet spectatorship as well.

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