Text by Mikko Lipiäinen
On the 23rd of March an event combining telematic discussions and sound art
was organized in WHS Theatre in Helsinki, Finland and ITAPECO in
Arraial D’ajuda, BA/Brazil. The event started with the introductory
talks of the event organizers and the guests who then proceeded with a
short panel discussion.
Maka, one of the seven members of Rhizomatica that works in Oaxaca
region of Mexico connecting hackers and indigenous communities to
establish community owned and controlled cell phone services, gave an
insightful presentation on the possibilities and importance of
communities taking the initiative in developing and implementing new
media technologies in their lives. As Maka’s examples demonstrated,
such an initiative will lead to complex and multi-layered processes
involving dialogue between the communities and the legislative and
governing bodies of different levels making it profoundly political -
and most importantly challenges the paradigmatic assumption of the
roles of big tech companies as the providers and the rest as the mere
receivers of new technological solutions.
Talk by Maka from Rhizomatica.
The tele-presence of Brazilian ITAPECO, an intiative from a same
continent than Rhizomatica, lead the think about the international
repercussions of Mexico’s indigenous communities’ attempt to build
political agency regarding the electromagnetic spectrum required for
communal media development aiming for autonomy. In the moment when
governments, trans-governmental unions and tech giants such as
Facebook, Google and Amazon seem to work in unison for securing the
control of both the telematic communication services and
infrastructure for the few big corporations, there is an apparent need
for a torrent of global scale civic mobilization for occupying the
techno-economico-political sphere that is, as observes by Maka,
assumed naturally taken care of by the tech industry and governamental
bureaucracy. While Oaxaca’s indigenous communities and actors such as
Rhizomatica certainly are an inspiring example, maybe they also
provide a certain level of moral leadership and a substantial
contribution of ingenuity for such a movement in the times of
Cambridge Analytics scandal?
Talk by ITAPECO
ITAPECO invited two solidarity economy activists from Porto Seguro:
Juliana Queiroz dos Santos and Rafael Emídio Torres. They shed light
on the proglematics of numerous solidarity economy projects in Brazil
and the importance of the application of open source solutions to
these economical initiatives. To approach the community organizing and
inter-communal movement building from these two perspectives:
(telecommunication) technology by Rhizomatica and (solidarity) economy
by Juliana and Rafael felt very productive.
After the round table there was a tele-talk and screening by an artist
Nicolas Montgermont. His Radioscapes piece resonated well with the
earlier discussions on the question of the political control of
electromagnetic spectrum, making the mind’s ear shifting its focus
from local to interstellar.
Talk by Nicolas Montgermont
Sound recorded by Kalle Kuisma from Korppi Radio.
Pictures from Itapeco