For the twelfth time, DW has honored exemplary online activists from around the world with The Bobs. Renowned TV hosts Yoani Sánchez from Cuba and Bassem Youssef from Egypt amongst others presented the winners.
“The winners deserve the prize because they have taken on a very difficult battle,” said DW’s Director of Programming Gerda Meuer at an emotional award ceremony with around 300 guests in Bonn.
The following activists and projects won this year’s four top categories:
Citizen Journalism: Documentary film “Razor’s Edge” from Bangladesh
The “Razor’s Edge” documentary by filmmaker Nastiker Dharmakatha reveals the life-threatening situation confronting secular bloggers, writers and publishers in Bangladesh. Laudatory speaker Yoani Sánchez, renowned blogger and TV host, said: “The situation is dire right now in Bangladesh. When a country's government encourages a culture of impunity, it becomes the responsibility of the citizens to demand justice. And that's exactly what this documentary film is doing.”
Tech for Good: “Gershad” app from Iran
The “Gershad” app relies on crowd-sourcing to pinpoint the current location of Iran’s religious police so people can avoid them and go about their lives. Users register where they have seen religious police and the app shares the information on a map for others. The app’s anonymous initiators said: “Gershad is not just an app, it’s also a means to start a dialogue about the urgent need for improving civil liberties in Iran.”
Social Change: “Stop Acid Attacks” campaign from India
The “Stop Acid Attacks” campaign creates a bridge between society and the survivors of acid attacks. Gerda Meuer, DW’s director of programming, held the laudation: “The winners have taken on a battle in an environment of patriarchy where women are not given a status in society that is equal to men. That's the environment where they have managed to change the law and where they have managed to give back the lives people had stripped away from them in such a painful way.”
Arts & Culture: “Center for Political Beauty” from Germany
The “Center for Political Beauty” organizes political, performance art protests that provoke and call for action. It addresses important social issues, including the export of weapons from Germany to other countries and the international refugee crisis. The jurors of The Bobs were impressed by the courage to test new forms of protest that involve the use of social media, arts and theatre projects.
The Bobs international jury
More than 2,300 entries were submitted this year. The jury selected 126 of them as finalists and named four winners. This year’s jury members: Dolors Reig (Spanish), Katharina Nocun (German), Mona Kareem (Arabic), Golnaz Esfandiari (Persian), Rafida Bonya Ahmed (Bengali), Alexey Kovalev (Russian), Abhinandan Sekhri (Hindi), Julie Owono (French), Maurício Santoro (Portuguese), Georgia Popplewell (English), Erkan Saka (Turkish), Oksana Romaniuk (Ukrainian) and Alissa Wahid (Indonesian).