Jessica Brandi Lifland's Photo Blog

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itvt TV of Tomorrow conference

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On March 10-11th, itvt held its annual TV of Tomorrow conference at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. More pics can be seen at:

itvt TVof Tomorrow images – photog’s pix

to see more:

click here to see an archive of images from the past 3 years

20090310_jbl_itvt_0868

Some of my work from Africa was displayed in their gallery as part of the show. The tie-in was that a growing number of women in rural Senegal, West Africa who use cell phone texting as a means of communication in their every day lives. This is an amazing use of interactivity in the battle against poverty and illiteracy. The obvious benefit is communication. Cell phones open up lines of communication between villages and extended families located in remote places with no paved roads, traditional phone lines or even electricity. However, the use of cell phones among rural African women has another important and additional positive impact in regards to literacy.

NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) such as Tostan, www.Tostan.org have provided the education and resources to empower women in rural Africa villages with literacy.  The problem had been that although such programs exist, the women who benefited from them would quickly forget their new reading and writing skills because there was no need, nor reason to maintain them in the course of every day village life. Tostan members observed that a possible solution to this could be cell phones. Through the daily use of cell phones, these same women now have a reason and a desire to use their reading and writing skills to communicate with each other and their families.

SENEGAL

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Written by Jessica Brandi Lifland

March 20, 2009 at 6:56 pm

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