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My World: the winner

Michael Duncan | 15:14 UK time, Friday, 19 March 2010

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The winner of the SuperPower film competition "My World" has been announced. Here the Executive Producer of the competition, SImon Pitts explains why it was held now and what made the winner stand out.

"Great! I needed a camera" said the winning film-maker Frederico Teixeira de Sampayo. He was on his mobile phone in Madrid, Spain. He said his (very) old camera has broken and so this came in time.

Frederico's film "Wash Rinse and Spin" is beautifully simple. You watch as a finger switches on a washing machine and dirty laundry starts to rinse. Then you notice Frederico's reflection in the shiny door of the machine. He sits and watches the hypnotic rhythm. The rest of the story is told in on-screen text as Frederico ponders what one can do to get a job in recession. It's visually neat, smart and relevant.

We launched MyWorld in January at the Sundance Film Festival. The idea was to ask all our TV and radio audiences to make a mini documentary about their world - to share a story they think the world should see. It caught on. As an enthusiastic blogger on the BBC's Global Minds audience panel put it: "I really like it.... You're creating a mosaic of humanity". Somehow that description nails it beautifully. Through all these stories that we received and the ones that are shortlisted by our curators, we get access to places we could never see and stories we would never know about.

It's interesting how often the same themes come up in people's films. With over 500 films from everywhere, people clearly share similar concerns. Or at least the ones with cameras do. We had films detailing local environmental issues - about a diseased fish in Canada, about environmental damage in the beautiful Galapagos. There were plenty of stories about children's suffering in poorer economies, about dreams of freedom in Iran and plenty of stories of recession from the USA.

We're currently in the edit suite putting some of the best films together to be shown on BBC World News this weekend. And we'll get them up online at the MyWorld web pages next week.

Even a year ago a worldwide competition such as this would not have been possible.

Advances in camera technology on mobile phones, and improvements in editing software mean that access to storytelling is pretty much open to all.

MyWorld has turned this small corner of the BBC into an editor and curator of your ideas and stories. I'm sure that there will be more.

Simon Pitts, Executive Producer, MyWorld

How the internet is changing the lives of disabled people.

Michael Duncan | 15:02 UK time, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

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As part of the BBC Superpower season bbcrussian.com set up a blog called Open Access. Disabled people from Samara, a town on the river Volga, agreed to write a dairy describing their experience on the internet. Anna Vissens of bbcrussian has compiled some of their entries.

Igor Glushenkov

There is lots of information on the internet - some of it is useful, interesting and truthful, some of it - pretty horrific. Take for instance an article published by a popular Russian newspaper which proposes to eliminate children born with a disability right in the maternity ward.

I have lived with cerebral palsy for 50 years and have heard so much nonsense that I have stopped paying attention.

But then the other day I got a call from a friend, also living with cerebral palsy. She tearfully told me that an article had been published proposing to kill disabled people.

She was unimpressed by my arguments about democracy, the freedom to write anything and the freedom not to read what has been written by others.

Then I started getting calls from other disabled friends. They were asking me: what are we to do now? Are we next?

Alexander Tibatin

People say that they only play foreign exchange markets online to boost their family budget

But they are not quite telling the truth.

Playing games is a way people to unwind, to hope to realize the unrealized potential, to return to the careless childhood.

Online my gladiator avatar has won.

I turn off the monitor and I return from Ancient Greece to the present. The Winter Olympics have just finished in Canada. The Russians have done poorly.

Maybe they should make a new computer game. Where our figure skater Yevgeny Plushchenko is number one, where we triumph over the Canadians in hockey and where our guys win gold in the biathlon.

But all these victories are only possible in the virtual, not the real world.

Valentina Plotnikova

I don't have enough time to explore everything I would like to. I do not understand people who say that they are bored.

I struggled to send my first e-mail to the BBC. The text I typed disappeared and I had to type it again. Everything I do in the Internet I do slowly and I lack confidence too.

I received a reply from the BBC - I was very happy to have this proof that the internet is working indeed.

When I tried to save my text I hit a wrong button by accident... Sergei helps me when I am stuck. He is very patient. I would like to know computers like he does.


Sergei Graponin. (Sergei was paralyzed in a shooting accident while serving army 33 years ago. He trains other bloggers to use the internet talking with them on the phone.)

On of the people I am training called me the other day. Her friends loaned her their old computer and she is now learning to touch-type.

And then a problem arose: she had removed the learn-to-touch-type CD from the CD drive too early and the programme "froze" on her screen.

We used the Ctrl-Alt-Delete command to resolve the problem and at the same time encountered a new one - not enough disc space.

I suggested that we remove some redundant programme. We chose to get rid of the latest programme that had been in use - her little nephew had been playing "Puzzles".

I spent the rest of the evening worrying about that nephew of hers. I had infringed on that little person's rights to privacy. At night this little boy appeared to me in a dream and threatened, without removing the chewing gum from his mouth: "I'll get back at you, you puzzle destroyer!" I could not reply anything to him. I felt numb. My nervous system must have shut down. It must have been some kind of virus.

Tomorrow I will warn my trainee not to use the internet until she has installed anti-virus software.

Natasha Pronina

I have written lots of letters in my life and now I can say that these were written the old-fashioned way - using paper, a pen, an envelope and stamps.

There is a something charming about those letters - written by hand, put into an envelope and having travelled the long journey from one person to another. And now here comes the new way to write letters - electronic mail, its main advantage being the speed of delivery.

Recently I had another amazing internet moment. I recalled a song which I heard 27 years ago on a tape recorder. That song had really touched me, but I only remembered a couple of words from it. I typed them into the search engine and here was the song.

Another amazing thing about the internet is that it has given me an opportunity to get in touch with long lost friends.

SuperPower Nation: what is the world talking about?

Michael Duncan | 10:41 UK time, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

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Krupa Thakrar-Padhy is the producer of SuperPower Nation which goes on air on March 18 2010. Here she explains what it's about.

What's the world talking about? Tune in, log on or pop over on March 18th and we hope you'll find out.

This Thursday, Hackney's Shoreditch Town Hall becomes the world under one roof as it hosts SuperPower Nation.

The six hour event is part of the BBC's SuperPower Season. It's all about ordinary people from all walks of life, from all corners of the world engaging with one another about absolutely anything. Call it an experiment, pushing the boundaries or even over-ambitious but there's no excuse for having nothing to talk about.

This is the day when the BBC passes its editorial agenda to its audience. With no overarching question we'll let conversations unfold naturally between people of different language groups as we aim to get a snapshot of the global conversation as it happens in real time.

Consider the scene - A Urdu speaking Romeo romancing a French speaking Juliet, an Indian sitar player jamming with the bongo drums, a video wall full of talking faces from around the world, a flow of blogs from Brazil to New Delhi, a Mandarin speaker chatting about Iranian politics to a Hausa speaker all while munching on a plate of Indian samosas.


The SuperPower Nation team have been working heads down to make this day happen. We've got over 20 of the BBC's language services involved from the Somali to the Macedonian service. BBC World, Arabic and Persian TV will be coming together to broadcast on the day and both Africa Have Your Say and World Have Your Say will be coming live from the Town Hall for an ambitious day of BBC broadcasting across all platforms.

There's plenty of opportunity to get involved even if you don't happen to live in the East end of London.

You can tweet about the hot topic wherever you are using the hash tag SuperPower Nation, email us your thoughts or links to your blog to super.power@bbc.co.uk, join in our new multilanguage chat room (check out the site for more info on the day) or even pop up on webcam via video-conferencing.

Distance should be no boundary to conversation - nor should language.

BBC iD

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