A Proposal from the IMC Caucus at the United States Social Forum: IMC Tech-Retreat & Skillshare for Spring '08
In July of 2007, IMC activists from all over the US met at the United States Social Forum in Atlanta to discuss the main issues facing Indymedia centers today. Over and over again, the question concerning technology came up. Who has tech skills and who doesn't? How are we giving back to the techies that give so much? How is tech knowledge being distributed, decentralized and shared? What is the role of tech in different IMC's? How can our IMCs be more tech sustainable? What can we do to democratize tech skills so that all can share in the creation of free, radical media?
We recognize that IMC techies are currently overburdened with the amount of work that goes into maintaining the network. Yet, at the same time, there are many IMCistas who have expressed interest in being trained in the technical aspects of running Indymedia sites.
Therefore, we propose a technical skillshare retreat for IMC techies, IMC volunteers, and outside tech activists interested in learning about IMC infrastructure. We propose Spring 2008 as a date for this convergence. Ashville IMC in North Carolina has generously offered their space for this convergence, yet we will hold off on picking the location until other US IMCs have given their input.
The goals of this retreat are to grow the base of people with IMC technical skills, with a focus on promoting greater gender and racial balance amongst techies, making the network of IMCs more sustainable, and decentralizing technical knowledge amongst the network. Besides being a tech-share, this 3-5 day retreat will also be social, relaxed and geared towards facilitating conversations pertinent to Indymedia activists today. With plenty of cookies and delicious food, this is a retreat you won't want to miss. We hope to fundraise to bring the people who can share their tech skills as well as the people who want to come learn.
With most IMC techies in the US being men, we hope to learn from the Brazilian IMC model where techies consciously focused on sharing their skills with the women of their IMCs, who were then able to teach others what they learned. This model of learning in order to teach, and teaching in order to learn is what will take our movement forward. Through solidarity fundraising, we will take the initiative to make this goal possible.
Our Proposed working groups:
We welcome suggestions on workshop proposals, technical needs, outreach strategies, or pretty much anything. As well as IMC software specific workshops, other forms of tech skillsharing are welcome too, such as radio, photo, video, and other computer skills. We hope to especially share knowledge of open source and free software technology.
Let us know if you can help out or join a working group. This will only work if IMC volunteers from around the country step up to make it happen. Please contact email@example.com
to get involved.
Technology is fundamental to our movement, but it is not our movement. Our movement is people, working together in solidarity all over the world to create the autonomous media infrastructure for the new world we wish to see. But building autonomy is a long and arduous process, and it can't happen in isolation from each other. Sometimes, in Indymedia, it feels like we're all alone. But we're not. We have the power, skills, knowledge, strength, and motivation to make this network work. So let's do it.
And remember: Don't blame the tech. Be the tech.
- USSF Indymedia Caucus
, July 2007