About Invisibility

How shall we shed light on the needs of the poor and under privileged?

I’m looking for a word, a new term for the under served, the digital (word for a person stranded on an island) (perhaps Castaway? Forsaken, Marooned) that will instantly make clear the need to VISIBILITIZE the invisible people of our planet and our local societies.

It’s 4 am in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. I was just listening to an interesting BBC program broadcast by WHYY FM on the history of the World Wide Web. That program was followed by a news bulletin covering unrest in Brazil and was in turn followed by a “Hard Talk” interview with a Brazilian documentary filmmaker who had won acclaim for his films revealing the huge poverty that exists within the view of the middle and wealthy classes of Brazilian society. The filmmaker was asked what made him aware of the poverty around him since he was from a more privileged class. He explained that the social process in Rio included extreme poverty existing side by side with the more affluent. It was not that the poor were not there, but that the wealthy had learned not to see them. He said that the poor were “invisible” in the minds of the affluent. He specifically used the word invisible.

This idea, that people could be invisible has struck a chord for me as I seek to explain the idea that people should be helping each other. “People helping people become less invisible” is the theme of the ideas I wish to promote in the world. How shall we best understand that less then 30% of the world’s people use the Internet (as was mentioned in the previous BBC program.) It is my thought that we need to build tools to empower the relatively small numbers of Internet users to make the larger numbers of otherwise invisible people visible.

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