Together with our Rio-based partner, black women organization Criola, we participated in a series of conversations with local and international black activists - mostly women - who engage with media technologies and critical knowledge in their everyday actions against racism.
First, Monica and Léo introduced the ARMA Alliance at Criola's XI course on African diasporas in the Americas. The course was organized in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California. It was exciting to see how interested both Brazilian and US participants were in ARMA. This sense of global relevance made us really happy and proud.
Then, we met with Olabi's Sil Bahia. Olabi is an organization dedicated to promoting diversity in tech development and makers culture. At Olabi, Sil explained us about their work and how tech innovations improve as social change instruments when black and low-income people are able to create technologies (not only high-tech, but also carpentry, everyday design, etc) from a black-peripheral perspective. Take a look at their amazing project Pretalab, that focuses on black women: https://www.pretalab.com/en/home.
Then, we participated in a Brazil-Finland dialogue about media and technology in black women's activism at Criola's headquarters. It was amazing to see how much in common there is in black activist experiences despite the contextual differences between the countries. Monica Gathuo and audiovisual maker and cultural producer Juliana Nascimento, mediated by Sil Bahia, engaged in a very inspiring conversation. The audience of multiple generations of black women activists also made the conversation richer.
Finally, Léo attended the talk by US Professor Faye Venetia Harrison(http://www.afro.illinois.edu/people/fvharrsn). Professor Harrison talked about the challenges and the advances of political action among black women before and now. Again, it was amazing how much similarity there is in terms of black women's roles, resistance and sisterhood in intersectional struggles (e.g. against machismo, misogyny and racism) in the US, Brazil and Finland. The talk also had the presence of participants of Lecc Ufrj's reading group on racial relations in Brazil.
So, again: WOW! And all this happened in just few weeks. But there is much more to come. Even though Monica has now returned to Finland to continue her work with Ruskeat Tytöt and her studies, Leo will continue in Rio. Until October, the plan is to talk to black women activists across the country about the role of (digital) media in their activism. That is: a lot more knowledge to come.
All this has been possible because of the funding by Koneen Säätiö - Kone Foundation. Follow our page to get more info from ARMA Alliance's coming activities.