Rebecca Kahn

MA student in digital asset management: King's College London

History is written by the victors.� But even these wise words from Winston Churchill might not be taken into the digital future. It depends on who's in charge. The question of who will take our culture into the digital age is the subject of 32-year- old Rebecca Kahn's master's dissertation at King's College London. More specifically, she is looking at how national libraries in transitional societies like South Africa go about digitising their archives and how this will affect the national identity. In Kahn's digital laboratory it's "the cultural version of the human genome project�. Her current focus is on the past, but she is hyper-aware of what this information means to the digital future. "Twitter didn't power the Egyptian revolution; it was a tool used by very smart people who understand how communities operate, how information flows and how to talk to each other.� Connecting people and information is also key to Kahn's work on the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure, a project that aims to create the first unified space in which researchers, teachers and policymakers can share their material on the Holocaust. But it's not really the size or scope of the project that makes Kahn excited to be working in the digital space; it's the passion. Like the morning she observed a group of volunteers build Afrikaans Wikipedia or the work she does as a community manager for Peer 2 Peer University, a grassroots open-education project that leverages free educational materials to enable high-quality education in any subject, including cyberpunk literature and programming in Python. If she can make information accessible to ordinary citizens, teachers and policymakers, she's happy. But what she really wants to do is make government take hold of South Africa's digital future, before big corporations like McDonald's own the rights to our history and culture�.�Cat Pritchard

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