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The contest closed Nov 30, 2003. The voting closed Nov 30, 2003.



Window on the Information Society

A revolution is taking place and you are an inevitable part of it. People, ideas, issues, and cities are interdependent, and they are being connected at unprecedented speeds. Distances are narrowing and horizons expanding, as access to the world is constantly at our fingertips. Today, human beings are submerged in an era of knowledge, communications, and connectivity that we all name the "Information Society". This name indicates the potential of endless opportunities and the ability to bridge divides of any nature. Yet this is also a society without geographical distinctions that encompasses all issues, realities and people: those that lack primary education, live in slums, don't have access to potable water, suffer from hunger, die in a conflict or can't express an opinion. Just like the industrial society was not only about industrial production, but left the world with a new paradigm that touched every aspect of a way of being, the information society is a comprehensive "context" to be understood as a diverse, all-encompassing perspective that includes all spheres of life and corners of the world. Information and communications technologies (ICTs) have brought about fundamental changes impacting every aspect of our society: connecting cultures, creating new opportunities for education, restructuring employment, generating new economies, and changing citizens' relation with governments. These changes characterize the rise of the Information Society, a society where access to information is paramount and can lead to endless possibilities for progress providing a fundamental tool to bridge gaps and foster pluralism, social, economical and human growth, to ultimately achieve the Millennium Development Goals. With this context the United Nations organized the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva, in December 2003. This global discussion between world leaders aimed to create a shared vision for the Information Society, an action plan to ensure equitable access to technology, and a methodology to harness ICTs for development in areas such as education, the environment, health, and sustainable livelihoods. You had the opportunity to have your voice heard in this discussion by entering the Global Gallery's special contest, "Window on the Information Society," through the power of the image! Images have marked history's greatest milestones as they, at times, are able to go beyond words, evoking emotions and sensations that all human beings feel. Images are inclusive, leaping over linguistic divides, and connecting with those that are illiterate. You were invited to create artwork that conveyed what it means to live in an "Information Society." What are the images of this revolution? What are the seen and unseen roles that ICTs have in your life? How has technology affected:

  • How you work: Do you work on a computer? Do you work outside? Do you work with pen and paper? Do you work?
  • How you play: Do you go outside for a game of soccer? Do you entertain yourself with video games? Do you play?
  • How you learn: Do you research issues on the Internet? Do you prefer books? Do you look to elders for insight? Can you learn?
  • Where you live: Is your society bound together by cell phones and fiber-optic cables? What is your life like? What is your interpretation of this society? How is your life?
  • The winning entries of the "Window on the Information Society" contest were also displayed in an innovative, multimedia exposition of images at the Summit in December. This expo was a focus point of the Summit's youth hub space. (See YCDO for more information.) Several other pieces of Global Gallery artwork were taken along to be showcased with the winners.