Rising Voices congratulates its grantee Hiperbarrio  from Medellín, Colombia for winning the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica awards in the Digital Communities category and with it a 10,000 euro prize. The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the most important awards for creativity and pioneering spirit in the field of digital media. From the Ars Electronica website :
‘HiperBarrio’ is a community of young bloggers that developed out of what were initially two independent initiatives in Medellín, Colombia: Álvaro Ramírez’s video blogging workshops and the media workshops of Juliana Rincón and Jorge Montoya. They then joined forces to form four groups whose activities included blogging, workshops and events. The ConVerGentes group has succeeded in establishing itself locally as well as getting integrated into international networks. Thanks to a very active lineup of offerings, “HiperBarrio” is in the process of expanding its activities both on site and far beyond. In going about this, the proprietors formed a partnership with the Universidad Católica del Norte. “HiperBario” has been singled out for recognition with the Golden Nica in the DIGITAL COMMUNITIES category.
Miralmundo writes  [es]:
This is undoubtedly the main award given to Colombia in the field of media technology so far and the best recognition to a group of young people who have worked hard to create a virtual community that wants to show the world.
Cadaunadas reminds  [es] that it is one of the most important awards in digital culture. In 2004 Wikipedia was awarded a Golden Nica in the category “Digital Communities”.
Blueandtanit describes  [es] the reactions of the Hiperbarrio team after the news was broken:
The faces of surprise and joy were not long in coming, especially when we knew that was the highest prize in the category and an important symbolic and economic, is the first time Colombia won the prize in the category and a source of pride for all.
Xady writes  [es]:
Work, effort, love and continuity in social work and community, based on free tools on the Internet to show the world local stories.
Means always wanting the best, not just constantly working on our project of life but also in social life of the project. [..] This shows that “nothing is impossible”.
Catalina Restrepo at Cosas Del Alma writes  [es]:
What is the prize?
The prize for me it means a recognition of the dreams that we have woven together. It is a way of showing us that this convergentes has allowed us to work from the difference, has made us grow as individuals and collectively.
The award also means a “continue to work with projects for a while.”
The dream became a verb for excellence in every match in every workshop, every “chat”. La Loma's library was the space and the network to find a pretext, to discover that the letters, cameras and a computer, could form a perfect amalgamation.
Professor Álvaro Ramírez Ospina writes  [es] that the award money will be used to carry out more outreach efforts to newer marginalized communities:
For me the award means first and foremost a great encouragement, but also greater responsibility. I see that drives us to take on major challenges such as those planned but we were unable to perform. I mean the idea of extending it to other communities with evidence that the Internet can be used in a healthy and productive manner and as a virtual territory where it is possible and urgent to create things new. Scope for the development of speech and artistic potential saved, all we have, and they rarely give us the opportunity to explore and enhance.
With 10 thousand euros of the prize can do several things: to support the expansion into the neighborhood and other places. Buy digital cameras, audio recorders and video make us that much needed, and have an amount to have with what to buy, occasionally, a snack for each group. Now that happens when the Convergence workshops are lengthening, and nobody wants to leave the library until you finish editing or polishing products diam not have a penny to be able to provide some food.
So far everything has been volunteering and idealism. We hope to professionalize certain tasks and the reward points to that.
Rising Voices also congratulates its grantee Voces Bolivianas  (Bolivian Voices) for winning an honorary Mention in the 2009 Prix Ars Electronica awards.
(All translations were done using machine translation)