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Cultural Exchange via Internet - Opportunities and Strategies
Forum of the House of World Cultures, Berlin, 12 October - 4 December, 1998

[as of December 1st 1998 the forum has been prolonged - ... open-ended]

Subject:Cultural Exchange
Date:Mon, 23 Nov 1998 11:19
Author:Alfred Tay  []

I applaud Gerhard Haupt for taking the initiative to start up such a dialogue. I believe that such dialogues are to seed the many great things to come.

Manfred Ewel in his "Great Expectations?" raised questions regarding the difficulties of Third World Nations in accessing the internet. I concur that such is an important issue. However, politics is also at play because barriers to the internet are raised by the government of such countries. The internet is often perceived as a threat to the political stability of the country. The internet is a fast and efficient way of communication. Information can be transmitted to the entire world at the stroke of a button. Imagine what a one can do with a cell phone and a mobile computer. My point is that some govt. are afraid of the internet and will go to all lengths to hamper the transmission of information. Singapore the hot bed of information technology has their entire communication system firewalled and censored. Like Mr. Reinhold Wagnleitner said that "those in power... controls nearly all the information that keeps them in power".

Mr. Ewel's concern that some people might not have the resources to maintain accesses to the internet raised an interesting notion and that is that of the "internet katib"... has anyone tried it? It may be worth pursuing?!?!

I find that the one thing keeps me interested in the internet is its possibilities. I can only describe myself as a flaneur... I love to see the possibilities available... finding such possibilities is another matter... the internet is racked with trash and commercials... it is getting harder and harder to mine for information.

Thus the setting up of a central registry of information is probably the best solution. Other than the sites that Gerhard Haupt has suggested, has anyone got any suggestions to decent link sites of information that pertains to art and culture?

Alfred Tay
Art Coordinator - Virtual Arts Archive

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Forum of the House of World Cultures, Berlin, on the use of Internet in the cultural exchange with and between Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America.

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