I have 3 words for you…Occupy Wall Street.

(©GeneTaylor 2011-All rights reserved. )

How is this relevant to Border crossings and Exchange programs and more specifically to Malmö and to me?

To begin with, I had no idea how big this movement was, or what exactly it was about. Until the weekend Occupy Wall Street came to Malmö. This made me realise that I have been switched off to the wider world since coming on exchange. This may seem ridiculous as being on a student exchange is all about discovering the wider world and learning about other cultures and peoples.

I suppose that it is the stimulation of being somewhere new, that fills all of your senses and thinking space.  And add to that taking on a whole new area of study to look into and voila! No room to think about the news. Or at least the space where there was once news.

Because here in Malmö in the student accommodation I don’t have a television that feeds me news for free twenty four hours a day. I no longer listen to the radio on my way to work or uni and catch convenient half-hourly news updates.  Here in Malmö, when I walk past a newspaper stand, the head lines are in Swedish and I don’t understand.  What I am saying is I am currently free of the constant noisome chatter of the media; I am no longer being completely flooded with current events.

As pleasant as it is to be free of the negative onslaught, there is still a need to know what is going on. Because it is important to know what is happening in the town you are living in, and what is happening in or to the country that town is in. Using the protests that occurred on the weekend as an example, in Malmö there were three protests on at the same time in the same square, Occupy Wall Street, and those who were protesting against the Swedish Democrats and those who were in support of them and because of the protests there were police everywhere too.  If you are unaware of what is going on in the town you live in, it might be easy to get caught up in an event that you know nothing about, that could easily become dangerous.  Or if you were aware of what was happening you may have wished to attend in support of the cause – but the point is you need to be informed and aware and that is why news is important.

This means I now have to actively seek the news, which ok it’s the information age it should be easy right?  But where do you look and which news do you get? And which news do you get for free? I am a student remember. And if it is free, why is it? And how reliable is it? Those last couple of questions got me thinking, how often do I question the news in Australia? How often do I take what is being said and hold it up and look at it objectively. And how often do I just accept it without thinking?

Here is what happens when you just type news into google.se  I thought it was interesting that CNN came up on top of the list.




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2 Responses to I have 3 words for you…Occupy Wall Street.

  1. Dr Anita Lundberg says:

    Hi Jessica,

    You have made great links between Occupy Wall Street and Border Crossings…lovely network of ideas and analysis. Brought up for me vivid notions of the relation between space and place…how when we are highly involved in experiencing the newness of a place we can loose the space of worldly events…and when we tune into the space of global events we often lose sight of the specificity of place right in front of our noses. It is the relation of the two…and the rhythm of both that make life so alive.

    Love the border crossing notion you bring up regarding the news…how when you are in Australia it is automatically streamed to you…but in Malmo you must actively seek it. This is another level of the virtual~real experience of border crossings…we really do cross borders – even in the virtual realm of online media!

    cheers Anita

  2. Anna Singhateh says:

    Jessica, what a great post! I bet a lot of students are experiencing the same thing, that is living in “the bubble”. Sometimes that could be nice, but at the same time also very frustrating. I hope you find a good balance!
    The questions you ask in the end of your post are questions we should ask ourselves every day when reading or watching the news. Can any news be objective?

    Keep it up!

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