Feminist autonomous infrastructure: Technomagical fires to warm your hearts

 

If the flash link above does not display for you, you can listen to the same podcast on Soundcloud. Link below
Technomagical Fires to warm your hearts: IFF podcast

At the Internet Freedom Festival, Jac sm Kee interviews four amazing feminists from Latin America.

  • Carla from Brazil, volunteers at Marialab and Vedetas
  • Geisa Santos from Periféricas
  • Fernanda, also with Marialab and Vedetas
  • Nadege, located between Spain and Mexico, and part of Kéfir

They had organised a session at the Internet Freedom Festival titled Gender Inclusive: from the ground to the cloud. In this podcast, Carla, Geisa, Fernanda, Nadege and Jac talk about feminist autonomous infrastructure and their reasons for working with technology in their own contexts, and getting ‘disconnected’ communities to use internet and technology.

The four axis around which feminist autonomous infrastructures defines itself, especially in relation to other kinds of networks (like the world wide web or the internet, or even community networks) are —

  • Consent and intimacy
  • Situated knowledge and memory
  • Seeded Connectedness
  • Autonomous decision making

In this podcast, the four practitioners discuss how simple hacks of language are important, like referring to the server as female rather than male (“A Servidora” in Portuguese). This can change the ways in which technical infrastructure is perceived as largely a male domain. Women have been the computing power behind most technical enterprises of humankind since before computers, but this is a forgotten aspect of our shared history.

Simple hacks of language, like referring to the server as female rather than male (A Servidora in Portuguese) can change the ways in which technical infrastructure is perceived as largely a male domain.

Feminist – Autonomous – Infrastructure – each word might perplex you separately, and definitely when you put them together, it sounds like a mouthful. But it offers a glimmering possibility of redoing the politics of building community networks, of being distributed and decentralised nodes of power and allow people to be servers in the true sense, that is to allow them to make and serve their own content.

Its not about the range and power of the network – it is what we can do with them. These feminist autonomous networks are and can be technomagical fires to warm our hearts.

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