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SANE curated conversations: Solidarity and freedom of expression – How can we protect and harness online spaces?

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  • SANE curated conversation with Hivos
    22nd June 2021
    3:00 pm - 4:15 pm
  • SANE curated conversation with Access Now
    13th July 2021
    3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Event times in Central European Summer Time (CEST)


Freedom of expression is a basic requirement for maintaining democracy and open societies where citizens stay informed, express opinions and participate actively in public life. Two case studies from the Solidarity Playbook explore different aspects of freedom of expression – both its protection and its potential to bring about social change – revealing different strategies for solidarity in the face of closing civic space.

This mini-series of curated conversations of the Solidarity Action Network (SANE) will put the spotlight on these two case studies and will further explore the lessons learned from Hivos and Access Now on the role that international actors can play in protecting and increasing free expression and civic space, particularly in relation to digital space and freedoms.


1) SANE curated conversation with Hivos

A new generation of young artists and makers are harnessing their access to the internet to expand free and critical expression, with thought-provoking and critical audio-visual productions that question harmful practices, stereotypes and injustices. Through its R.O.O.M. Program, Hivos has designed interventions that support these young creatives, strengthening their resilience to remain critical and independent, building solidarity amongst these and other actors, and helping to challenge damaging narratives and shrinking civic space.

Join us on 22 June, 3:00 – 4:15 pm CEST for a conversation with Takura Zhangazha (R.O.O.M. Project Manager for Hivos Southern Africa) and Arthur Steiner (Programme Manager at Hivos) to learn more about how Hivos has developed an ‘incubator’ role in supporting this crucial group to champion free expression, and increase and even celebrate civic space. Find here the Hivos case study.


2) SANE curated conversation with Access Now

Internet shutdowns are a popular tool of repression used by states looking to close the space for civil society and restrict freedoms of association, assembly and expression – and their incidence is rising. Members of the #KeepItOn coalition work together to identify, verify and document incidents of internet shutdowns in order to raise awareness of how they violate human rights. They also work to prevent shutdowns through advocacy, capacity-building and litigation. Access Now brought like-minded groups together to form the campaign and coalition, and they continue to build resilience amongst affected communities, through technical support and grassroots grants.

Join us on 13 July, 3:00 – 4:15 pm CEST for a conversation with Felicia Anthonio (Campaigner and #KeepItOn Lead at Access Now) to find out more about the role Access Now has played in coordinating and convening this global campaign and what modes of solidarity it applied at local, national and international levels. Find here the case study on #KeepItOn.


There will be a good amount of time for you to engage with our guests and share your questions or reflections.