Everyday militarism and a walk in the park
Netuxo has always had a diverse customer base and our amazing clients are one of the things that make working here a real pleasure. Over the years we have encountered dedicated activists, committed charity workers, local food advocates, mindful academics, ethical startup leaders, and many, many, more. What do they have in common? They are all working for positive change – whether in policy, behaviour, power or attitudes - and hold visions of a more just and sustainable future. During the summer we launched two new websites which we feel really sum up this wide-ranging and important connection.
Working with long-term partner War Resisters' International to develop a new multilingual website to support the “Countering the Militarisation of Youth” project (see http://antimili-youth.net/) presented some challenges. Not necessarily technical, it also required a small leap of faith that our “Pay What You Can Above X” (PWYCA) agreement – combined with their crowdfunding efforts – would result in a website that met the needs of the project and for which we would be paid. Happily both hopes were realised, the site was completed on time and the community responded heartily to the request for financial support. And it is clear why: this site has so much content – news and resources and in three languages – discussing an important if quite contentious and insidious element in many, if not most, societies: how “young people around the world are encouraged to accept the military and military values as normal, and worthy of their uncritical support.” From the highly gendered camo gear for toddler boys, to the “family” air shows and the direct recruitment efforts of the military in our schools and colleges, this is a discussion we should all be having. Working for a world without war? Yep, that's a pretty bold vision!
Meanwhile, on the far western outskirts of Greater London the Colne Valley Park is a tall slim patchwork of green spaces and waterways covering more than 40sq miles which have been managed as a public space since 1965. The Park is managed by a Community Interest Company (CIC – one of the fastest growing company types) and its objects range from preserving the park's environment, heritage and biodiversity to very human concerns such as the rural economy and community participation.
Netuxo worked with Groundwork South and the Friends of Colne Valley Park to develop a new Drupal-based public-facing website which, along with highlighting the delights of the park and the many reasons to visit, also enables users to submit photos to the Landscape Camera, a Heritage Lottery funded project documenting the evolution of the park since the 1980s in visual form. Check it out at http://colnevalleypark.org.uk/landscape-camera-project Working to preserve the green spaces on the edges of our massive urban centres presents many challenges - which may soon include being in the proposed path of the HS2 rail link and the prospect of another runway at Heathrow – but its really important! Take a walk in the Colne Valley Park and soak up the earthy woodlands and watery wetlands - feel connected to our beautiful and precious planet. And if you can't make it to the Colne Valley, at least find the time to take a walk in the park nearest and dearest to you. For some technical details about each of these sites, please visit the portfolio.