Foreign-contolled mining operations are aggressively claiming land in the Philippines, including ancestral indigenous territories in Southern Mindanao. This results in “bakwit”, or displacement, contributing to the loss of livelihood and cultural heritage, and the spread of poverty. There is also conflict developing between small-scale local miners and foreign-owned operations. In one area, a Philippine mining company has been acquired (80% ownership) by a Canadian mining corporation. The endeavour of the local people to organize a resistance movement has had little progress in the two years since the murder of one of the main organizers, which remains unresolved until today. This operation is controversial also due to the supposed mining ban (with 1,600 applications awaiting approval from the government).
Honey Mae Caffin will talk about her research visit to Mindanao, Philippines, in February 2012, to conduct a series of workshops on the potential of social media and mobile technologies in the monitoring of Canadian mining operations in the Southern Philippines. The goal of the first phase of the project is to inform the communities affected by mining operations of the potential of mobile technologies for reaching out to the public with their stories, and for monitoring the effects of mining in the region. This project is done in cooperation with the Panalipdan-Southern Mindanao, an alliance of organizations and individuals with a commitment to defend the region against environmental destruction caused by the government-sanctioned corporate exploitation of natural (mineral) resources.
Honey Mae Caffin is co-founder of Mobit, a community-based mobile monitoring project designed to provide social media literacy and infrastructure to rural communities via mobile devices and internet connectivity. She is the founder of Design School for Girls, and also the principal consultant at Intertextual Design Communications. Her research and creative products are inspired by topics such as the feminized migration of labour, decolonizing methodology, aboriginal rights redress, object-oriented ecology, networked-learning, FLOSS/DIY culture, and social media strategies for cross-cultural communication, among others. She also works as the in-house graphic designer of UBC Press.
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