[Imc-africa] nairobi reflections academic style
nicolas.red at gmail.com
Thu Aug 16 08:56:34 PDT 2007
Hi Fabian and Sian, it is a sober assessment of the possibilities of
North-South relations. The paper does fixate on differential access to
resources and skills, and the affect this had on the workings of the
WSF Centre. Rather than overcoming the inherent gaps between activists
from different parts of the world, I think the setup in Nairobi
widened these. From the little I observed, too little was done to
ground Indymedia in social movements already active before the WSF
happening. Oloo being indisposed closer to the event clearly weakened
the organising for the Centre. The effect was to amplify the power of
the internationals. Consensus building, as professed by the IMC
network, buckled under the imbalance of this environment, and works
better where its practice is conditioned by local politics. The 'idea'
of indymedia was fetishised beyond immediate relevance.
I'm not sure there is a radical perspective on aid, as Sphinx
suggests. Aid in itself is paternalistic, a trend that is best
remedied by collectivising all decisions around how it is to be spent.
It isn't something we should feel compelled to decline, because the
tendency of aid to reinforce differences isn't necessary.
Thank you for sharing your paper with us. It adds to the development
of our practice and the spells of future projects. Thank you,
On 8/16/07, M Coul <mcoule at gmail.com> wrote:
> Merci à vous souvent de penser souvent aux francophones. C'est aussi un des
> facteurs qui nous bloque de participer aux réflexions.
> 2007/8/15, sphinx <sphinx at indymedia.org>:
> > Hi fabian! That is a great piece of work there. I'm unable to do a kind
> > academic
> > style critic of the the article at the moment, but i think I should
> > mention a
> > few things that came to mind as I read through.
> > In both the 2004 indymedia/alternative media Conference in Dakar and the
> > Convergence indymedia Center at the 2007 WSF in Nairobi Kenya, while
> > conscious
> > that people in Africa will have a harder time raising funds for
> > transportation
> > we did try to raise funds for all who wanted to make the trip even
> > those in the
> > global north who did not or could not afford the cost but wanted to make
> > the
> > trip. In the same way we offer travail scholarship and support to
> > activists in
> > the global north to go to events like the US Social forum or in Germany to
> > go
> > to the European Social forum in Florence, Paris or London or events in
> > Berlin
> > for people in Stuttgart and vice versa. True that in both cases we ended
> > up
> > being able to raise funds mostly just to cover the transportation cost for
> > the
> > Africans but that does not disqualify the fact we tried to raise funds for
> > the
> > transportation of people in the global north who wanted to make the trip.
> > Wile internet has been very instrumental in the growth of indymedia, the
> > fact
> > remains that indymedia groups insist and are encouraged to be grassroots
> > based
> > organizations and some of the most grassroots integrated and successful
> > indymedia groups are in South America (brazil, Chiapas) where there is a
> > serious lack of internet access as well.
> > Definitely the aid discussion referenced in part of this paper comes
> > from a very
> > mainstream angle which makes it a bit confusing for me. The radical
> > perspective
> > of the aid discuss is surely something I cannot dare to torch here right
> > now.
> > Check the work of Denis Bruttos, Francois Xavier Verchave and Patrick
> > Bond.
> > Seeing aid from that perspective makes it kind of difficult to relate to
> > the
> > inference made on this work.
> > In that note, the growth of indymedia in Africa at least from the frame of
> > the
> > indymedia Africa Working group discussion that I have been party to, has
> > been
> > driven by the overall desire to introduce indymedia to media makers
> > everywhere
> > than in the frame of promoting new media and ICTs in Africa.
> > The fact remains that all the problems listed in this article in the
> > context of
> > a Africa global North project are the same problems indymedias in the
> > global
> > north experienced and are experiencing.
> > Indymedia Prague which will eventually lead to the birth of indymedia
> > Germany
> > and other indymedias across western Europe was set-up and run with funds
> > and
> > resources from people from different countries-US and UK with hardly
> > any people
> > from Prague involved. And it took more than 3years for a new group to try
> > serious efforts to start an indymedia in Prague which is unfortunately has
> > not
> > been that successful either. And of course most of those who showed up in
> > Prague decided what was right for the event and where Teachers at the
> > event.
> > And that has been the experience, in all events/indymedia centers be it in
> > Paris or London at the European Social forum or at the Anti-G8 protest we
> > have
> > people who have skills teaching those who do not have those skills and
> > most
> > often than not those with those skills come in from different towns or
> > sometimes countries.
> > Ok that is enough rambling on my part. As I said it is a great article
> > and definitely a great piece to send us working our brains about what
> > we are doing
> > and what we wish to archive.
> > Sphinx
> > Quoting fabian <fab at in-no.org>:
> > > Hi everybody.
> > > after some time of reflection and thinking I have co-written an
> > > academic style paper about our convergence in Nairobi in January,
> > > evaluating some of its aspects and discussing issues of new media and
> > > radical democracy from the perpective of grassroots globalization.
> > > I have used in it material that we shared, like the interviews I
> > > conducted with some of you, stuff you wrote on our mailinglist and
> > > also from your blogs.
> > > I have tryed to be true to what you have said and what you wanted to
> > > say, but I defintely wanted to give you a chance to comment to make
> > > sure that I have got it right, before this goes out.
> > > Also, and similarily important, I would like to ask you on your
> > > opinion on this piece and to what degree it reflects your experience
> > > and reflections around the convergence.
> > > Again this is for the purpose of making the whole thing more accurate.
> > > I have written the paper together with Sian Sullivan.
> > > She was not involved Nairobi and therefore contributed an immensely
> > > important outsider perspective that greatly increased the value of
> > > our reflections for people who were not with us in Keren and over the
> > > last four years.
> > >
> > > You can download the document from here
> > > http://www.in-no.org/pdfs/review2.doc
> > >
> > > Please give us an idea of what you think about it, best within the
> > > next two weeks.
> > > I hope to hear from you all soon.
> > >
> > >
> > > Cheers
> > > Fabian
> > >
> > >
> > >
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> > >
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> Camaradement Moussa Coulibaly
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