- The Associated Humans
The Associated Humans ( _fr. Les Humains Associés) is a non-profit association devoted to the awakening of individual awareness and to the promotion of humanist and
ecologicalvalues through creative and hands-on consciousness-raising.
"‘We invite one and all to reflect upon the human condition, the fact that we make up part of an indivisible whole; let us not be stopped by what divides us but look for what unites us.’" (extract from the [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2006/01/21/global-manifesto/Global Manifesto] , founding text of the Associated Humans)
"‘Solidarity is the only solution to ensure the survival of humanity.‘" (Tatiana Faria, founding president)
To begin with the Associated Humans, founded in 1984 in Paris (France) by Tatiana Faria, brought together journalists, artists, psychologists, scientists and advertising executives.
Objectives and values
The association comprises sympathizers from around the globe who disseminate information and work to bring about philosophical and cultural awareness in a humane way in areas relating to solidarity, respect for human
dignity, environmental science, improvements in North-South, East-West relations and the rights and duties of man.
The Associated Humans' approach has its roots in
Renaissancehumanism, in line with those individuals who have toiled for centuries to further the realization of a more humane and fraternal humanity. These humanist values are promoted in a variety of media and other structures - national poster campaigns, paper publications, virtual community networking on the internet - actions and free happenings that give greater importance to a creative and poetic approach.
The Associated Humans encourages each individual to be responsible for him/herself with the simple message ‘Think for yourself’, convinced that ‘a change in situation is dependent on the awakening of consciousness in each individual in particular’ (excerpt from the Global Manifesto).
They were the first in the world to inaugurate a new way of doing things with the launching in the 1980s of a series of humanist counter-publicity campaigns posted free-of-charge on 3mx4m billboards all over France. They have been in the forefront of the Francophone Internet movement since the early 1990s. Familiar with the manner and way of functioning of the Web since its creation, the Associated Humans naturally became a part of it in its early stages (beginning 1995). They were the first in France to use the new medium in an associative and collaborative manner by offering free content and laying the foundations of their
Principles and modus operandi
The Associated Humans is an independent and non-partisan movement whose actions are predicated on personal initiative and the giving of one's time; sympathizers contribute their know-how on a volunteer basis with discretion; the association rejects all offers of subsidization and sponsorship and refuses to endorse a cult of personality. Given the complete gratuitousness of the operation, they intend to show that it is possible to take action and work together thanks to a common goodwill.
Since its creation it has possessed a spirit of collaborative networking founded on humanist values and
ethicalprinciples but with an unconventional mode of operation. It is an on-line community of thought and action which, putting behind old differences, is searching in a pragmatic way for a viable alternative.
Ideas and in-depth reflections are put forward to sympathizers as a source of inspiration so they in turn will become involved in their immediate environment in a deeply committed way, take part in associations or local initiatives and propose projects unaffiliated with the Associated Humans. Their network is made available to others on a regular basis; they participate in numerous causes and actions initiated by collectives and associations almost everywhere, disseminate information, provide substantial help and contribute manpower as much as possible.
A great deal of time and commitment is devoted to current news and questions pertaining to society and
citizenship. Reactive by nature, the association compiles news dossiers, available on-line, participates in demonstrations or petitions, when the need arises, and supports humanitarian actions — human rights and women's rights defence groups, social actions and the fight against antisemitism, racism, etc, etc. Six months before the second war in Iraq in 2002, the Associated Humans played their part in the worldwide antiwar movement [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/antiwar/subsection/0,12809,884056,00.html The Guardian: The anti-war movement] ] through the dissemination of information and topics for reflection and the coordination of various actions throughout the Francophone community [ [http://www.radiofrance.fr/reportage/dossiers/irak/actu.php?i_id=634 France Info radio: Dossier spécial Irak] ] with a dynamic local network that extended to over 80 French cities. This gave rise to Pax Humana, a quadrilingual theme-based site, the fruit of a network of collaborators spanning multiple continents.
The actions undertaken by the Associated Humans since 1984 have been numerous and varied. Here are some of the more memorable ones:
In 1984 they organized a Human Chain for
Tolerancein the heart of Paris [ [http://www.cyberhumanisme.org/historique/albumhistorique/grandformathistorique/LeMonde84.jpgLe Monde: Human Chain for Tolerance in Paris (1984)] ] . They have also launched big cultural events, concerts and celebrations like the one held in the Champs de Mars in Paris for Earth Day1990 and 1992.
In the context of pre-war Iraq in March 2003, a free concert for peace [ [http://www.unitedforpeace.org/calendar.php?calid=2619 United for Peace and Justice: Events - A concert for peace at the Cathedral of Notre Dame] and [http://paxhumana.info/article.php3?id_article=48 AFP news agency: Concert pour la Paix] ] was put on for more than 3,500 people at the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris with the gracious participation of conductor John Nelson and 150 musicians and instrumentalists from the main orchestras of Paris.
Free Humanist ‘publicity' campaigns
Because posters are the most direct way to propose topics for consideration to a wide audience without intermediaries, philosophical 'publicity campaigns‘ were organized over a period of several years.
* In 1987 a message was posted on 1,000 billboards measuring 4 m x 3 m: ‘Man is unique, let's not spoil him’ (‘L’Homme est unique, ne le gâchons pas’); the first in a series of four humanist counter-publicity campaigns staged free-of-charge between 1987 and 1990 in France. Using advertising space made available to them at no cost, the purpose of the campaigns was neither to sell, promote nor recruit but simply to encourage thoughts of a humanist and ecological nature for an awakening of consciousness.
* ‘What if we were to talk about Love’ (‘Et si on parlait d’amour’) (1988), interactive campaign, first of its kind, 600 3mx4m billboards in the Parisian subway, inviting passers-by to write as they saw fit on big white posters transforming them into a space for poetic expression completely gratis, open to one and all. People of all ages participated enthusiastically and poetically. Similar to the Chinese
dazibaos (free expression), each poster was original and unique. The national media responded well (television, radio, written press). The Revue Intemporelle (Timeless Journal), a free publication that pursues the humanist reflections begun in the campaigns, was launched the same year.
* ‘Aux Âmes Citoyens’ (1989) [ ‘Aux Âmes Citoyens’ is call to action similar to the call to arms (‘Aux armes citoyens’) found in the first line of the chorus of the French national anthem,
La Marseillaise. The similar sounding armes (arms) and âme (soul) create an obvious play on words and strengthen the sharp contrast in meaning, the latter being a cry for battle, the former an appeal to the soul. ] , the Associated Humans national poster campaign, undertaken the same year as the commemoration of the bicentennial of the French Revolution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
* ‘Aimé soit qui Terre y pense’ (‘Beloved he who thinks of Earth’) (1990), national
ecologycounter-publicity campaign (with visual image of Earth as seen from space). Simultaneous publication of Gaïa bleu blues, an issue of the Revue Intemporelle (Timeless Journal) also devoted to Earth.
The association accomplished this series of messages with no outside financing, no sponsors and with no intent of taking on new members. Advertisers accepted to open up publicity space for what amounted to free messages that were selling nothing and gave a resounding yes when the Associated Humans put the following question to them:
Advertisingenslaves man, would you agree to open up space in the service of man? The campaigns met with great public acclaim, were seen by millions of people over several consecutive weeks (in métros and city streets) and received favorable coverage in the national press and abroad.
La Revue Intemporelle (Timeless Journal)
First published in 1988 during the humanist publicity campaign period, this large format publication (also gratis) was the fruit of a collaborative effort by sympathizers: journalists, graphic artists, distinguished illustrators, photographers, authors, writers, philosophers, specialists, etc, with the participation of printers, paper manufacturers and photoengravers. The journal was created to fulfil a request by those who sought a means to remain connected to this community of the spirit.
La Revue Intemporelle (Timeless Journal) proposes poetry, in-depth interviews, articles and pieces by journalists, diverse personalities, artists, scientists and writers. Another of its distinguishing characteristics is the high quality of the edition (elegant paper, original layout, large format illustrations, full page photographs).
With 4,500 copies printed, the journal is distributed all over France and travels to other parts of the world, as well. The publication of each issue is the occasion for great celebration uniting as many as eight hundred to one thousand sympathizers all of whom hail from many different backgrounds.
Internet pioneers since 1995
In the early stages of the Web, the Associated Humans were invited onto the INA Mediaport server [ [http://www.mediaport.net/CP/historique.en.html Médiaport, early websites (1995)] ] created and officially launched by [http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_Quéau Philippe Quéau] at the Imagina trade fair in Monaco. They were among the first 15,000 in the history of the Internet when they created their Web site in January 1995 (as of December 1994 there were 10,022 sites) diffusing the electronic version of their paper journal as well as a discussion list. Theirs is a 'cyberhumanist' approach that questions man's place in an era of new technologies and
globalisation. They recognize that Internet can also function as a channel for planetary consciousness and as means of raising awareness as to the future importance of the Internet (through associations, intellectuals, media, citizens, hands-on actions) and to the risks involved (the digital divide) and the possibilities for the 21st century.
Citizen Web 2.0
With the same will and determination to put new technological tools in the service of knowledge and Man and to further social networking, the association has developed an approach and ideas for a non-profit-making
In August 2006, the Associated Humans created [http://www.humains-associes.org/humanews/ HumaNews] , a humanist website for social bookmarking, devoted to humanist, citizen, ecological and cultural news [ [http://www.pointblog.com/past/2006/08/16/humanews_pour_les_ecolos_les_doux_et_autres.htm Pointblog.com: HumaNews] ] . The site is based on the functionalities and collaborative spirit of Web 2.0 and uses
Pligg, an open source content management system that allows users to submit content (bookmarks) and to vote for those articles deemed pertinent (similar to Digg).
These days a very reactive Associated Humans network functions according to the movement's philosophy and has three sites, two
blogs, a wiki, several forums, a discussion list and the digg-like Humanews which unites a virtual and human community. The sites have been visited by several million internet users since their creation.
The Nethique Campaign
Aware that the expansion and success of the Web entails the need for new learning as well as the risk of going adrift, the association launched [http://nethique.info/2007/04/12/nethic-charter-a-code-of-conduct-for-bloggers-by-les-humains-associes/ the Nethique Charter] in 2006: a reminder of the rules of savoir-vivre and also of the responsibilities and duties adapted for blogs and inspired by the
Netiquette, in use in the early stages of the Internet. The sensitisation campaign was conducted during and after the French presidential campaign [ [http://fr.news.yahoo.com/10032007/202/des-codes-de-bonne-conduite-sur-internet-pour-la-presidentielle.html A code of good conduct for the presidential elections on the internet?] ] through a blog and a wiki. Two hundred and fifty blogs have adopted the Nethique Charter so far [http://wiki.nethique.info/wiki/WikiNethique:Les_blogs_néthiquetés] , among which the websites of two candidates for presidential election, i.e., Ségolène Royal’s [http://www.desirsdavenir.org/ desirsdavenir.org] and François Bayrou’s [http://www.bayrou.fr/ bayrou.fr] .
In conjunction with the [http://carrefour-numerique.cite-sciences.fr/La-Nethique-Vivre-ensemble-sur-le Cité des sciences et de l’industrie de Paris] , the Associated Humans co-organised a [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2007/02/28/10-mars-journee-nethique-au-carrefour-du-numerique-a-la-cite-des-sciences-2/ Nethique symposium: ‘Living together on the net’] . Apart from a handful of writer-bloggers specialised in on-line political debate, those present included the head of the Internet Freedom Desk for
Reporters Without Bordersand the internet representatives of the three main political parties on the voting lists in the French presidential elections held in may 2007. The symposium was broadcast in audio and video on [http://carrefour-numerique.cite-sciences.fr/blog-vie-carrefour/evenements/tables-rondes-nethique-vivre-ensemble-sur-le-net/ the Web] and in Second Life. The AFP (French Press Agency) [ [http://fr.news.yahoo.com/10032007/202/des-codes-de-bonne-conduite-sur-internet-pour-la-presidentielle.html AFP] ] reported the event in a dispatch, as well as iPol [ [http://ipol.typhon.org/2007-03-ipol-07-98/ iPol, report on the Netique symposium: ‘Living together on the Net’] ] .
The campaign which favors an ethical and respectful Internet echoed well beyond the borders of France [ [http://www.lefigaro.fr/high-tech/20070502.WWW000000276_les_blogueurs_se_cherchent_une_charte.html Bloggers looking for a Charter] ] . It was cited by Tim O’Reilly [ [http://blogging.wikia.com/wiki/Blogger%27s_Code_of_Conduct Bloggers Code of Conduct] ] and
Jimmy Wales, two well-known figures in the Internet community, who have also proposed a code of good conduct for bloggers [ [http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/03/call_for_a_blog_1.html Tim O'Reilly Call for a Blogger's Code of Conduct] ] in the USA in April 2007. French media also reported the event : Vingt Minutes[ [http://www.20minutes.fr/article/150874/20070410-High-Tech-Et-la-politesse-sur-les-blogs-bordel.php/ Vingt Minutes, 10/04/07] ] , Arte[ [http://blogs.arte.tv/e-campagne_2007/frontUser.do?method=getPost&postId=1678&blogName=e-campagne_2007/ Arte, 1/04/07] ] , Paris Match[ [http://bp2.blogger.com/_MNUyk5B6r7k/RyjBAFIsloI/AAAAAAAAAQg/Ab-O9-U2l7o/s1600-h/T%C3%AAtes+de+bloggers+2.jpgParis Match, November 2007] ] , Le Figaro[ [http://www.lefigaro.fr/high-tech/20070502.WWW000000276_les_blogueurs_se_cherchent_une_charte.html Le Figaro, 02/05/07] ] .
Still in conjunction with the [http://carrefour-numerique.cite-sciences.fr/Apres-midi-Nethique-Vivre-ensemble Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie] and in collaboration with the
Pierre Mendès FranceInstitute [http://www.mendes-france.fr/] , the [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2007/11/07/journee-nethique-nouveaux-medias-et-politique-17-novembre-a-la-cite-des-sciences-programme-definitif/ second Nethique symposium ] took place on November 17 and again was broadcast live audio and video on the island of Ile Verte in Second Life. [ [http://www.radiofrance.fr/chaines/france-culture2/emissions/place_toile/fiche.php?diffusion_id=57116&pg=avenir&PHPSESSID=5ac200612167149def75e69ce26103ed France Culture 16/11/07] ] The debates, about new media and politics, were led by the organizers, well-known bloggers, journalists ( France 24, Le Post.fr/ Le Monde, 20 Minutes, Le Figaro), as well as representatives of political parties (Thierry Solère, UMPnational secretary and President of the e-federation and Benoît Thieulin, in charge of the PS website desirsdavenir.org).
Humanisme and ecology in Second Life
As of January 2007 the Associated Humans is the first French NGO to set up shop in
Second Life. Meetings, conferences and discussions are held on [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2007/01/24/lile-verte-des-humains-associes-dans-second-life/ the island of Île Verte] - a 65,000 square meter virtual island they own - with humanists, scientists, artists, poets, philosophers, etc., on themes suggested by the association. The [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2007/03/03/apres-la-video-conference-realite-et-virtualite/ first conference on the island of Île Verte] was held in March 2007 with a professor of astrophysics at Paris VII University, who spoke on the topic of Second Life and physics: 'Reality and Virtuality'. More than forty avatars participated. Other conferences brought together personalities from the worlds of journalism and politics such as Sara Daniel (reporter at large recently back from Afghanistan, Irak, and Darfur [ [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2007/04/13/podcast-de-la-conference-de-sara-daniel-sur-lile-verte/ Sara Daniel's Conference in Second Life] ] ), the three people in charge of the net campaign for the candidates in the French presidential elections, Éric Walter ( UMP), Benoît Thieulin (PS), Quitterie Delmas (UDF), as well as Tristan Mendes France, citizen blogtrotter [http://www.blogtrotters.fr/english/] . A live audio/ video broadcast was relayed for each conference as well as the live discussions that took place between those avatars present. In conjunction with France 24(an international TV channel) an interactive election special mixing television and Second Life was organised the evening of the second round of the French presidential elections. The event was broadcast live on Île Verte and relayed on the French, English et Arabic channels of France 24 [ [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2007/05/09/experience-second-life-tele-live-avec-lile-verte-et-france-24/ French presidential elections on France 24 and Second Life] ] .
Several media reports have been made on the creation of Île Verte and of the activities held there. Among others those
TF1[ [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2007/02/18/lile-verte-au-20h-de-tf1/ TF1, Saturday 17/02/07] ] , France’s most watched television station, France 2[ [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2007/02/23/lile-verte-sur-france-2-chez-laurent-ruquier/ France 2, 21/02/07 ] ] , Radio France Internationale[ [http://blogs.rfi.fr/atelier/2007/05/emission_n4_que_1.html RFI 23/05/07] ] , PureBlog [ [http://pureblog.purefm.be/2007/01/podcast_pureblo_3.html PureBlog 27/01/07] ] , Europe1[ [http://www.europe1.fr/antenne/references.jsp?id=2780&pos=1&periode=1# Europe 1, Broadcast of Pierre-Louis Basse.11/02/07] ; [http://imaps.free.fr/blog/?p=3 listen to the broadcast] ] , France 5Television [ [http://www.france5.fr/ France 5] [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2007/04/24/arret-sur-images-second-life-nethique/ Arrêt sur Images, 22/04/07/] ] , etc.
A new version of the Nethique Charter has been adapted for Second Life. Since the French presidential campaign, political parties such as the
UMP(Union for a Popular Movement), the Mouvement Démocrate (Democratic Movement) and the Verts (Green party) have adopted it in their respective areas, thereby forming a group with Île Verte, among others, that respect the Nethique Charter.
For [http://22.214.171.124/events/humanrights/2007/ the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights] , the Associated Humans have made possible the emergence of [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2008/02/06/isle-of-human-rights-secondlife-un/ the Isle of Human Rights from the ocean floor of Ile Verte] . There you will find a small exhibition for SLifers (residents of Second Life), organized in collaboration with the [http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Pages/WelcomePage.aspx Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights] , displaying UN historical documents and the Declaration of Human Rights translated into several languages.During the Human Rights Day celebrations on 10 December 2007, the Associated Humans organized a [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2008/01/04/albumconcert/ classical music concert with a quartet] , which played exclusively for Ile Verte before an audience of around fifty avatars (mixed reality
Notes and references
* [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/ The Associated Humans blog ]
* [http://www.humains-associes.org/ The Associated Humans]
* [http://www.humains-associes.org/forums/ The Associated Humans’ forums]
* [http://nethique.info/2007/04/12/nethic-charter-a-code-of-conduct-for-bloggers-by-les-humains-associes/ The Nethique Charter, a Code of Conduct for bloggers]
* [http://nethique.info/ The Nethique blog]
* [http://wiki.nethique.info/wiki/Accueil The Nethique wiki]
* [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/categorie/second-life/ The Associated Humans’ island 'Ile Verte' on Second Life]
* [http://slurl.com/secondlife/Ile%20Verte/22/22/29 SLURL 'Ile Verte' on Second Life]
* [http://www.humains-associes.org/humanews/ HumaNews, the Associated Humans Digg-Like, a social network for sharing humanist links]
* [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2006/10/13/the-associated-humans-digg-like-humanews-a-social-network-for-sharing-humanist-links/ HumaNews - What is it?]
* [http://www.cyberhumanisme.org Cyberhumanism]
* [http://www.paxhumana.info/en.php3 Pax Humana]
* [http://www.humains-associes.org/blog/2006/01/21/global-manifesto/ Global Manifesto, founding text of The Associated Humans]
* [http://www.paxhumana.info/article.php3?id_article=481 If Earth were a Village]
* [http://www.humains-associes.org/HA.bio.html Historical background (in French)]
* [http://www.humains-associes.org/HA.Revues.intemporelles.html Timeless Journal (in French)]
* Technical tools on the service of knowledge and Man - two interviews (in French): [http://directory.dolist.net/annuaire_interview_fr.asp Cyberhumanisme - An early discussion list] and [http://www.nouvellescles.com/dossier/MediaCitoyen/Blogosphere.htm Nouvelles Clés Magazine: Web 2.0 and planetary conscience]
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