Conversation with women in community networks

prosa
feminine noun
1.
natural expression of written or spoken language, without intentional metering and not subject to regular rhythms.

Report of women involved in community network projects. These words were collected during the LOCNET project in 2019, in the communities of Marrecas, state of Rio de Janeiro and the Casa dos Menino Association of southern São Paulo.

INTERVIEWEES

-Edwirges, 15 years, resident of the community of Marrecas. Telecentre Monitor.
-Beatriz, 17 years, resident of São Paulo, monitor of Casa dos meninos.
-Daiane, 29 years, President of Casa dos meninos.
-Aline, 39 years, communication at Instituto Bem Estar Brasil, born in Mogi das Cruzes and volunteer in Marrecas.
-Mercia, 53 years, volunteer at Casa dos meninos.

REPORT

INGLES
PT-BR

CREDITS

-Research, text and layout: Carla Jancz
-Filming: Stella To and Audiovisual Team of Casa dos meninos
-Video editing: Helena Prado

LATINITY 2019: SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA

“Good afternoon to all the women and a few men” – In front of an auditorium with over 500 women and a handful of men, this was the opening of the closing keynote of LATINITY, an event held on September 6 and 7 in San José, Costa. Rica

Latinity is a Latin American conference inspired by Grace Hopper Celebration, the largest conference that celebrates women in computing. In 2018, the event brought together more than 20,000 people from 78 countries. In the words of one of its creators: “Our event is like Grace Hopper (conference), but in Latin America, with our ‘Latin flavor’, our reality and problematic.”

LATINITY is described as ‘a place where technology-loving Latin American women meet.’ For 2 days participants learn, reflect, exchange experiences and technology-based proposals and have the opportunity to meet other Latin women who share them. interests.

“It is a space for presenting progress in our work, holding workshops, sharing research results, making friends, supporting each other as women in the Latin American region. It is a place to learn, teach, build and strengthen bonds of friendship and affection. It is also a space for critical analysis of the role of technology in our region from our own perspective and a place to propose solutions to the key challenges and risks we have identified in the digital society. It is a space for exchanges with leading women in the region on gender issues in Science, Technology, Art, Engineering and Mathematics (STEAM). ”


“We don’t want more women in technology to have more women in technology. We want more women in technology to have changes in technology. ” Kemly Camacho – Sula Batsú


Fonte: Latinity

The conference exists since 2015 and has already been hosted by Chile, Peru and Colombia. This year, the host country was Costa Rica, bringing the conference to Central America for the first time and with a record attendance of over 500, including 120 fellowship participants whose presence was funded entirely by various sponsors.

In every activity or in the large auditorium it was possible to see women from different countries, cultures and a lot of diversity. Although most of the participating women and girls were young, there were many scholars from rural Costa Rica, indigenous women, and peasant women. This exchange between women technologists and non-technologists is one of the pillars defended by the organization that hosted the event in Costa Rica; Sula Batsú.


“Women technologists should team up with non-tech women. With women in agriculture and indigenous women. Only in this way will we have a technology that reflects the reality of many women. ” – Kemly Camacho – Sula Batsú


Carla Jancz was invited by APC on behalf of Instituto Bem Estar Brasil to participate in two activities in partnership with Colnodo from Colombia:

  • A multicultural panel on community networks to exchange experiences from Brazil, Colombia and Honduras
  • A technical workshop about Mesh network and FUXICO, a Brazilian feminist autonomous network project that was translated into Spanish for this presentation

Both panels were very interesting and brought connection points between projects from different Latin countries. Participation in other workshops and presentations was also very enriching, where those present could learn about initiatives from Latin American countries such as Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala.


“There was a moment in the project that was very beautiful when Guatemalan rural indigenous women uploaded their stories to Wikipedia in their own language. We have 22 ethnic groups in Guatemala and 22 languages. “- Report on TICas project that develops works in the area of digital technologies and communication with girls and adolescents.


In our community networking panel, we were asked what we believe to be the most important thing in a project like this. We believe the answers presented can be shared:

  • Formation and continuity: Setting up the network is just the first step.
  • Flexibility: You can’t get into a community network project close-minded
  • Strength of will: Hard Work and Resilience

“For me the most important thing about a community networking project is being flexible. Many times we were in a field training, empowering women to operate the equipment and we had to stop for the community to pray for rain. It was their custom and we had to respect it. Then the women thanked us, saying that we were the only outsiders who respected their customs. That was worth a lot. ” – Rádio Azacualpa – Honduras

Semillero, a dialogue of knowledges

Instituto Bem Estar Brasil had the privilege to be part of the first edition of Semillero of community networks, a space for articulation between people working with indigenous communication and telecommunications in Mexico. This event was organized by the collectives Altermundi https://www.altermundi.net/ and REDES AC https://www.redesac.org.mx/.

Foto: Carla Jancz

The first Semillero happened from June 19th to 24th in Cherán K’eri, Michoacán, Mexico, a place described by participants as ’emblematic and nourishing’. No doubt that’s exactly what we feel in this place that has such an inspiring story of social fight. Cherán was a relatively unknown territory until 2011, the year in which it started a fight to defend his forest. Organized into ‘fogatas’, campfires in each neighborhood, the local people freed themselves from the threat of organized crime that plundered the forests. This community organization culminated in another action of social transformation and the city freed itself of political parties, declaring itself as an autonomous territory.

The desire to build the community network in Cherán comes from a community radio collective, Radio Fogata. http://radiofogata.org/ Formed mostly by women, the radio is described as a space “where your voice burns like fire“.

“Community radio is an alternative communication to the mass media, so we are given the opportunity to speak our word, the possibility of getting organized and telling our story.”

The radio proposes the creation of the XAMONETA intranet network, which means: ‘Echo’ in the most widely spoken indigenous language in the region; purepecha. The aim of the network is to support Cherán’s knowledge compilation as a tool to continue and strengthen the political struggle and the reclaiming of traditional values. Creating a community archive is strategic to achieving the goal of linguistic revitalization and providing ‘Connectivity with meaning’.

Foto: Carla jancz

The beginning of Semillero was a presentation wheel with more than 50 people. The event was attended by several groups from all over Mexico, the group Altermundi (Argentina), Colnodo (Colombia) and two Brazilian groups; Instituto bem estar Brazil and Colab.

During the presentation it was asked which languages the participants could speak. Although the language common to almost everyone was Spanish, many spoke indigenous languages of Mexico as the purepecha. They also briefly presented the telecommunication initiatives of their communities; community radios, free GSM and embryos of community networks. It was interesting this dynamic of presentation to see the diversity of languages and protocols interconnected in the same network of people.

Some participants were graduates of the first two classes of the Community Techio https://techiocomunitario.net/, a course in telecommunications held in Mexico in 2017 and 2018. These people were able to reinforce the knowledge acquired at the workshop “Participatory Design of Community Intranets “, facilitated by REDES AC. People in the community of Cherán, managers of community cellular telephone networks and community radios, who did not have this previous contact with digital networks participated in the workshop” Introduction to community networks “of AlterMundi.

In the 3-day community design workshop, participants dreamed and designed a community intranet. Such as the Xamoneta network, whose goal was to create a life memory of Cherán to store local knowledge. One of the strategies to reach this objective was the exercise of ‘Selection and appropriation matrix of TiC’, whose goal was to choose the technologies to be used starting with a reflection on the territory itself, who we are, what are our dreams and strategies to reach them.

“Without this,” explained the facilitator from REDES AC, “Other processes, free software, terabytes, etc., will end before we begin.”

Foto: Carla jancz

During the activity it was reinforced other concepts of union and community, such as YEKNEMILISbuen vivir of the people nahua totonaku – A guiding principle with a lot of synergy with the initiatives there and with the reality of the communities represented. The focus on language and collective process have been a priority throughout the workshop: The community network does not belong to a person or to a facilitating organization, but to the community.

At the same time, 3 nodes of LibreRouter’s were installed throughout the city. Librerouter is a free hardware router developed by Altermundi to be used in community networks https://librerouter.org/. Xamoneta was the first community network using solely this model of routers.

Foto: Karla Velasco

As part of the technical support for the community design exercise, the groups from Brazil and Colombia assisted in the installation and training of a server with free software operating system YUNOHOST https://yunohost.org/. 3 local services have been installed and customized: WordPress for site creation, NextCloud for file sharing and a game, the three available on the local intranet and administrated by the members of the radio.

The last activity of Semillero was a presentation of the women of Radio Fogata. They shared the history of the collective and the results of the design of their intranet. Also future plans to establish as a conscious entertainment alternative and cooperate with other local community content producers such as TV Cherán and community film groups.

Foto: Carla Jancz

Guiding principles of the XAMONETA intranet:
-Commitment
-Community
-Investigation with the community
-Respect the community
-Reciprocity
-Dialogue
-Consensus
-Buen vivir

Instituto bem estar brasil welcomes the opportunity to participate in this exchange, the hospitality of the people of Cherán and the privilege to exchange experiences among other community networks in Latin America.