The project aims to see registered and represented the view of the inhabitants of Villa Coronilla, an outlying neighborhood of Cochabamba, through the use of technology, creativity and forming modes, using a free network enabled to enhance the logic of sharing and creating together through active feedback with hackers, activists, artists, journalists and other citizens. Our work will be done from three areas: specific training about creativity, training in the use of equipment, and training in the use of networks to connect and dialogue.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
The population is both local youth, seeking to carry out artistic and cultural activities, and neighbors who actively participate in the political reconfiguration of the area through an open and horizontal “Neighborhood Platform” with goals of activism and participative regeneration. Their role is crucial as it seeks to empower and amplify their view and ability to narrate what they see, feel and live. Having restricted internet access, not only are they not common users but have been unable to increase their use from the logic of sharing and telling their own content. They are familiar with computers, which is used at an average user level (email, facebook…), know how to find information through search engines but do not enhance its use as an everyday tool and for personal expression.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
The project is supported from the mARTadero project with areas and programs of social interaction with youth, community organizing, gender and communications. In addition the project is linked to the experiences of Nuestra Gente (Our People) in Medellin and Red Tzik'in in Guatemala with whom they will share methods and experiences among participants.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
A neighborhood´s memory is determined by its daily life and the burden that possess the memories of those who live or have lived. Stories from their differences and similarities are connected and distanced with other neighborhoods and, Villa Coronilla, facing both, has much to contribute.
Elements that have shaped and remain dormant in its neighbors: life and death in the former slaughterhouse, red bohemian neighborhoods, the quiet office of tanneries, etc., this neighborhood invites us to rescue their stories, to fiction them, or give them new dimensions.
That is why we propose, through workshops of new digital media, a collective and dynamic job that allows them to tell that story that was saved until someone would actually listen.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
The project proactively relates to and works with the Territorial Base Organization (OTB), voted representatives with advocacy power, and the Neighborhood Platform of Villa Coronilla “Neighborhood of the Heroines”, the mARTadero Project, the Cochabamba HackLab, which brings together various groups of ethical hacking and development of free technologies and free culture, the cultural corporation Our People of Medellin, Red Tzik'in in Guatemala, as well as groups and neighborhood institutions such as sports groups and the local parish.
Collaboration is prior to the possibility of having the Micro-Grants though no doubt they shall strengthen the collective work and citizen empowerment efforts.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
15 participants will be trained and accompanied throughout the project, with the possibility and desire to become a seed for other young people and neighbors to join. Their participation is sought through platforms already created for the purposes of social, cultural and political organization and will remain permanently as the mARTadero space is located in the same geographical area as an open and inclusive cultural space for all residents of the area.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
We will train on creativity, the use of registry tool and training in use of networks for sharing. In addition, in collaboration with the Cochabamaba HackLab, we are creating a Free Network in Villa Coronilla, following the format of the citizen connection project guifi.net, thus forming and enhancing the sovereignty and independence of communicating.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The streets and plazas of the area of Villa Coronilla will be developed. Training in editing and use of technologies will take place in the mARTadero’s Digital Lab – HackLab Cochabamba’s headquarters – which has 12 computers enabled with editing tools on necessary free software plus a 3Mbps connection with WiFi enabled for the space. By May of this year the Free Network connection in the neighborhood will be established where, by way of intranet, the contents of established reciprocal digital systems of digital dialogue may be shared.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
The organizers work from 6 areas promoting active citizenship and social empowerment: healthy, creative, safe, active, connective and humane. These efforts established the Platform who works with the OTB. They meet weekly to create work-plans, future projections and advocacy actions. They socialize meeting agendas and strengthen the internal communication network.
In networking building, neighbors see the need to expand the knowledge and training for more direct, free and secure communication as a tool for social change and for transparency, participation and horizontality in the decisions they make. We also work with local organized youth groups: Agents of Change (enrichment of artistic skills with a social approach), local band involved in community outreach and an environmental group.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
To challenge preconceived notions of the usage of technology and the internet, to go beyond the more established media in society, such as facebook and email. The very exploration of the different tools proposed in this project, especially with the adult group but also the youth, specifically about the how and what to communicate.
In an effort to outreach and connect with the local population, prioritize the importance of reclaiming the public sphere, thereby maximizing the ongoing workshops and practices to be developed within the spaces of the HackLab and the mARTadero facilities. Thus, encouraging the maximum involvement of residents within the different age ranges.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Through the amount of products established, the number of platforms created (blogs, facebook page, twitter acount…), the number of participants, the spaces for dialogue through video conference with Medellin and Guatemala and news articles, both print and digital.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
April to December: HackLab laboratory with workshops.
Mid-April: Creativity Workshop.
May: Radio Workshops.
June: Photo and Video Workshops.
July: Design Workshops and Edition Workshops.
August: Social Networks Workshops.
August to December: permanent creation laboratory at mARTadero project.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Photo cameras – Canon SX170 IS – 7 units – 220 US$ each – 1540 US$ Total
Recorders – Sony ICD-BX132 – 7 units – 80 US$ each – 560 US$ Total
Memory – Kingstone SD 4 Gb – 14 units – 15 US$ each – 210 US$ Total
Total budget: 2310 US$
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Training through lectures and panels on internet usage and the importance of empowering citizens to create their own narratives. Explore how has the use of information technologies, in their contexts, positively influenced for development and social connectivity.