Building networks and relationships to strengthen the digital rights movement in Southeast Asia

In October 2017, 105 journalists, artists, technologists, researchers and film-makers gathered in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, for COCONET: a Southeast Asia Digital Rights Camp. It was organised by EngageMedia, in collaboration with APC, the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) and a regional consortium. COCONET, named after the coconut plant that is widely grown and used in the Southeast Asian region, also means “Connecting Communities and Networks”. Participants converged from across Asia and beyond to share their knowledge, skills, tools, experiences and ideas about digital rights in a series of open-space workshops, labs and evening activities.

“The workshop is great! It has an abundance of expertise and experience from all around the region and the people have such high energy. So much information within them. I’ve learned so much.” – Ilang-Ilang Quijano of Altermidya

Inspired by the discussions and newly set up relationships at COCONET, participants created a thriving network for sharing opportunities and knowledge. These collaborations and the sense of community are needed now more than ever. Civil society actors find themselves in an online environment increasingly full of risks, and despite substantial efforts, these issues remain little known or appreciated amongst the general public. EngageMedia believes that the networks and relationships established at COCONET are essential to strengthening the digital rights movement, especially in Southeast Asia.

Image source: EngageMedia.

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