“Rise Up!” Illustration about modern protesting for 'The World Today', uploaded on March 22, 2012. © Tom Gauld.

Tom Gauld photostream on Flickr: “Rise Up!” Illustration about modern protesting for ‘The World Today’, uploaded on March 22, 2012. © Tom Gauld.

This is the cover illustration for the April & May issue of The World Today (Volume 68, Number 3). The cover can bee seen below and the whole issue can be browsed in low resolution over at Exact Editions.

Cover design for The World Today, Volume 68, Number 3, April & May 2012

The featured article related to the cover is titled “Power of the iMob” and was written by Andrew Marshall (April 2012, PDF). Marshall once was a paid consultant for Avaaz (which is clearly mentionned in the article). Avaaz is a “dot-org” organisation promoting various kind of activism, mainly online.
Marshall’s article is precisely about that. He offers a short introduction to the phenomenon of “dot-orgs” activism toward which he is obviously and openly sympathetic. Here’s the concluding paragraph of his article:

By reducing the barriers to participation, Avaaz, MoveOn, Getup!, 45Degrees, Change.org and the others are bringing in a generation that feels a desire to get involved in world affairs, but which conventional structures couldn’t handle. International negotiations, global corporate power-plays, vast environmental challenges, clamp downs by government thugs – these are all things that seem too far removed from our lives for us to affect, but the dot-orgs want to bring you into them. For those who subscribe, it is a heady sense of involvement, and a window into a world of possibility. The solutions can sometimes seem simplistic, but the aspiration –to inform public opinion across borders and to engage in search of a better world– is mobilising millions: at least as far as their keyboards, and that really is something.

Although he does provide the reader with various bits of the criticism aimed at the idea of online activism, it really isn’t much. For another point view about this topic, see these two articles by author Evgeny Morozov published on the Foreign Policy website: “The brave new world of slacktivism” (May 19, 2009) and “From slacktivism to activism” (September 5, 2009).
Bellow is another illustration drew by Tom Gauld which is reproduced alongside Andrew Marshall’s article.

Illustration by Tom Gauld, published in The World Today, Volume 68, Number 3, April & May 2012, p. 9

Previously here: all entries tagged Tom Gauld.


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