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DocLab Shorts 24 Nov at 19:45

A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.

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Couscous Global

Social networking site with a twist: rather than looking for friends, users seek out opponents for debate and discussion.

Couscous Global is a platform for discussion and debate among today’s teenagers and young adults, “the first generation growing up in global social networks, and online.”

But Couscous Global is a social networking site with a twist: users are not looking for friends, but for opponents. The site is an offshoot of Dutch TV channel BNN’s Couscous & Cola (Couscous and Coke), which was also shown on Al Jazeera International.

Its motto is Noam Chomsky’s famous assertion that, “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

The site was online for one year, from August 2008 to September 2009. Its makers collected short films from all over the world in which young people raised issues that others then responded to.

This resulted in “debates” (chains of related videos on specific subjects) and “motions,” which allowed visitors to take a stand on a given subject, which other people then responded to with images or text. Although the emphasis was on political and social issues (“The moral and economic superiority of the West is over!”), there was also always space for more frivolous matters, as witnessed by the motion: “Fashion is only for beautiful people!”

Project details

Year of development :2008, ongoing
Created by:Maartje Nevejan

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