Author: Carla Jancz
It is not easy to explain the concepts behind community networks, both the technical characteristics of radio frequency networks and the social and human aspects of community technologies.
One of the principles we have developed in teaching technologies with a gendered perspective is language. Teaching a workshop for popular groups using colonising terms and methodologies can increase the existing barrier between people and a technology that was not created for their interests.
With this in mind, images and analogies are powerful tools to make it easier to explain a technical term or an idea. We reject the premise that to do so would in any way underestimate people’s ability to understand technical subjects. We believe that explaining concepts in a language that brings them closer to people and their realities is a form of resistance to the hegemonic, americanised, and patriarchal language in which technology is often taught.
This material is a partnership between Brazilian women, technologists and artists, with the collaboration of people working with community networks in various countries. Its purpose is to illustrate some of these images by blending technical terms such as ‘line of sight’ and ‘mesh topology’ with reflections on why we make community networks and the often invisible role of women within these initiatives.
Download below in Brazilian Portuguese and English: