CLICK to turn on… never to turn off / Yoani Sánchez

9f43d6f0-0e4d-4799-8f7e-018e1b7ceb82_w640_r1_sLast Thursday the call went out for an event on new technologies and social networks that will be held in Havana on June 21-23, 2012. Under the name CLICK Festival, we want to meet to discuss new trends in Web 2.0 and also to address the challenges that lie ahead in the use of these tools for dissemination and communication. We are particularly interested in the future projection of Cuba as a country immersed in modern technology and also want to respond to the question of what we can do to accelerate the time when each citizen in this country will have full access to cyberspace.

The event is being promoted by various organizations, groups and individuals from civil society, but is not bounded by the particular interests of any of them. Its character is technological, not ideological or political. It is not intended to be a forum for complaints about what happens to us, but rather a constructive space to plan for tomorrow. Which does not imply, in any way, that we give up our right to raise our voices against the harsh reality of a country with the lowest Internet connectivity in the hemisphere. We do not want to engage in any type of political segregation nor use any kind of ideological screen to choose the participants, much less fall into the exclusions that have characterized previous meetings of Cuban bloggers and twitterers.

The CLICK Festival will not have a final declaration insulting anyone or engaging in character assassination, much less will it consider the web to be a battlefield against any other group, event or tendency. As at the table of the poet Walt Whitman, everyone is invited to this event, without exception. In the coming days invitations will be sent out by email and in person, but everyone who reads this text can consider themselves invited. The foundations of the Click Festival are the energy, talent and labor of many people. The resources that will be employed during the three days will come from the organizers themselves and the participants. NO party, government or institution has funded the event, participated in the design of the program, or influenced the initial idea of holding it. Of course, we have received words of encouragement and emotional support from hundreds of Internauts, ordinary citizens, voluntary translators and other friends. Also of note is the solidarity and dissemination provided by Event Blog Spain (EBE) that has had a hand in creating the website and inspired us with its example of plurality and debate.

We have before us two weeks decisive for the quality of the CLICK Festival. So on behalf of the various organizers I would like to ask all the readers, to share with us any ideas that come to mind. Your contributions can range from sending a presentation to be distributed electronically to the participants or included in the discussion, to helping us advertise the event. A post in a blog, a brief tweet with the hashtag #festivalclic, or a simple message of encouragement would be most appreciated. We would be delighted to let every citizen interested in this topic know what is going to happen during the three days of the festival. If you are a foreign tourist visiting the Island and want to join us, the doors of the CLICK Festival will be open to you. This visibility and transparency will be the greatest protection we could count on.

I have the feeling that technology and knowledge are going to win.

CLICK Festival from 21 to 23 June
1st Street # 4606 between 46 and 60, Playa

10 June 2012