“Can You Solve This?” – Crowdsourcing to achieve freer education in Iran
In Germany, if you have qualified for university admission and meet possible existing numerus clausus requirements you can easily gain access to the numerous fields of study offered by German universities and colleges. The “Can You Solve This?” campaign launched in August 2011 makes it clear that this right to education is not self-evident in every other country.
A short animated Video-Clip modeled on Marjane Satrapis’ film “Persepolis” soon reveals that the admission of students in Iran is subject to another set of laws. A small girl proudly presents her mother with a drawing that says “I want to be a doctor when I grow up”. However, by the time the prospective student reaches the admissions office of the chosen university she will soon realize that her childhood dream will fall through if she doesn’t comply with the requirements of the Iranian state.
According to the official website of the campaign “Student activists, women’s rights activists, human rights defenders, and members of religious and ethnic minorities such as the Bahá’í are often punished by exclusion or non-admission to universities for their commitment to their beliefs”.
The Iranian government continues to adopt the intentional denial of education as a deliberate means of repression to deny undesired minorities access to universities. <7p>
Faith has been put in worldwide support as a means of counteracting these repression practices. A QR-Code (Quick Response Code) is being used to arouse the interest of the crowd. Everyone who photographs the code with their Smartphone will be automatically redirected to the campaign website by means of a specially developed app. From there they can send a prewritten email to a number of different politicians asking them to act.<7p>
Over 10,000 emails have already been sent to politicians in 12 countries in this way. By the end of this year, a further eight countries intend to take part in the non-commercial action. The effect of these efforts is visible: the project website was blocked by the Iranian government less than two hours after being created.