Reposted from an email message:
We hope that you will come to www.interlocals.net
We really need your participation to create a cross-regional dialogue.
This project began with a flash of inspiration in May 2005, when Japanese blogger Joi Ito wrote down his thoughts about the cacophony that was the anti-Japanese demonstrations in China.Â On that day, the first reaction of one of us was to translate Joi Ito’s words into Chinese and that in turn led to many thoughts and comments on Chinese-language blogs, forums and other alternative media.Â
What was such a step important?Â For the longest time, people have equated the government authorities with the people.Â For example, when Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi visited the Yasukuni Shrine, it was the act of a politician but it was somehow perceived to be the act of the entire Japanese people, and the resulting anti-Japanese demonstrations were directed at the entire nation of Japan and its people.Â But how many people know that Japan has the most powerful civilian peace movement in all of Asia?Â And what were regular Japanese people (like Joi Ito) thinking about Koizumi’s act?Â Or about the anti-Japanese demonstrations afterwards?
In December 2005, Hong Kong hosted the World Trade Organization ministerial conference, and several thousand protestors went there from various regions.Â Although we shared the same space during those weeks, how much understanding do the protestors from different regions have about each other?
Within regional politics and the established framework of international relationships, international news reporting continues to produce globalized stories on political economy, while ignoring local politics.Â We cannot see the marginalized social movements and the thoughts and practice of the people themselves.Â
It is in this back drop that we began to plan and implement interlocals.net.Â We wish to establish a space in which the people in various countries can share information and knowledge.Â To do that, we will be using English as the common language for many countries that are not English-language countries.
Now this will decision will no doubt seem very peculiar.Â In practice, within East Asia alone, we have the Chinese, Korean and Japanese languages already.Â English would be the language that most of us come into contact with.Â
But interlocals.net is not to be an English-language-only website.Â Instead, it will be multi-lingual.Â We hope to use a system of translation that will put the topics into a trans-regional framework with multiple languages in addition to English.Â Thus, a writer can write in his/her own local language, it will be translated into English and then into other languages.Â This is how conversation and discussion can take place.Â Therefore, the intermediary is not the English language.Â The writers, editors and the translators are the discussants and intermediaries.
Furthermore, we hope to establish partnerships with certain bloggers, citizen media and alternative media websites to exchange contents and translations in order to enrich all our contents.
We hope that you will come to www.interlocals.net; this website will send e-newsletters to register user regularly.
For all those friends who are interested, please contact:
Oiwan Lam (Hong Kong) [email protected]