8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 May 2014

Debate: Protest and Mobilisation on the internet: Looking to the Future, following the screening of “#chicagoGirl: The Social Network Takes on a Dictator”

MAY 11
In Polish and English.
Free entry. Priority for holders of tickets for the screening preceding the event.

2011 marked the beginning of mass demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad’s authoritarian rule. Syrian government chose strength over negotiations and all protests were contained bloody. The conflict soon turned into a civil war which is still going on. The #chicagoGirl from the title, a regular Chicago student, decided to actively help Syrian activists. The internet made it possible. From her home, 600 miles away, she was able to effectively organise demonstrations in Syria. Still the Syrian authorities, despite the distance, were able to locate and harass her.

Will the internet, in times of mass and preventive surveillance of programmes like PRISM, retain its activist potential? As commercialisation of online services in social media grows, so does the problem of political censorship and the risk of manipulating and “neutralising” active social groups. A debate about these threats and possible resistance tactics will take place after the screening.


Alaa Basatneh – activist of Syrian origin, the main character of “#chicagoGirl: The Social Network Takes on a Dictator”
Katarzyna Szymielewicz – president of Panoptykon Foundation
Wojtek Bogusz – coordinator of Frontline Defenders information systems


Draginja Nadaždin – Amnesty International