As we are re-tolling the website with the new design, online store, and integrating the blog to the site, there will no doubt be changes and a lot of learning, especially for me. Technology really isn’t my forte, but I like to think of myself as a people person, so I guess I best learn the advantages of technology in reaching out to others. In fact the use of technology, and more importantly on communication and recognizing our shared humanity are central values for myself and Beads of Awareness, and I really hope that this website and our efforts in the future will move us towards creating bridges and networks across continents. With all the talk of technology and globalization maker the world smaller or inter-connected, we need to make sure that we don’t just buy simple and catchy narratives, but instead to really consider them, and to think about where we position ourselves and others within them.
In Gulu definitely the spread of technology is having a major impact, as cell phones, solar panels and the internet are becoming more widely available and more affordable. However does letting someone in Gulu log in to facebook mean that we can generalize them as another faceless consumer? I would argue from my own limited work and learning in Gulu that generalizing is a huge problem, whether we try to erase cultural values and history and present a picture of you -and-me : ‘we-re the same’ or a much more negative picture of ‘un-educated, trapped in poverty, victims waiting to be saved. Both representations are extremely problematic, and equally fictious. If you want to know how things are somewhere else, well a safe starting guess is that like here (where ever here maybe) is complex, diverse and messy. It is not easy to say everyone is like this or does that. It simply isn’t true. As we continue to improve and expand our website I hope that we can do more to offer a platform for people from different parts of the world to interact, share their ideas and ultimately find ways to co-operate to address the many systemic and nebulous inequalities and hardships built into the modern, global world. The solutions won’t come easily, but at least we can try and build a rich conversation.