Technology in the borderlands
Displaced Karen in the border- provided previously unimaginable New technologies such as
lands are taking advantage of opportunities to access the blogs, websites and multimedia
new technology not only to international community, have allowed Karen activists to
maintain connections with their including UN mechanisms, reach more diverse audiences
homeland but also to inform sympathetic governments and with targeted messages. In
the international community funding sources. By accessing turn, increased knowledge of
of human rights violations. international networks the Karen injustices, whether it
Karen are able to appeal to a is a sympathetic audience or
A key connection between the wider audience while at the an audience that can equate it
borderlands and homeland same time maintaining a close with their own experiences, has
is their shared subjection to geographical and emotional created networks of solidarity.
atrocities arising from military attachment to their people and
conflict. Displacement has culture. At the same time they Rachel Sharples (sharples.
provided opportunities and have learnt a number of skills email@example.com) is a PhD
space to advocate against human – including the ability to negotiate student at RMIT, Melbourne. She
rights violations – and this has complex global structures and is studying how displacement
been facilitated in particular by to communicate cross-culturally has impacted Karen constructs
the presence of international – which will serve them in an of identity and culture along
networks and new technology increasingly globalised community. the Thai-Burma border.
in the borderlands. These have