[Newbies] Grafoscopio and the Data Week: Critical code+data literacy practices and pocket infrastructures from/for the Global South
Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas
offray at riseup.net
Mon Feb 5 17:45:15 UTC 2018
Following the idea of talking about educational practices powered by (a
flavor of) Smalltalk. I would like to share two of them, mainly by
sharing some links and small phrases/paragraphs about the.
* Grafoscopio  is what I call a "pocket infrastructure" for data
activism, digital citizenship and reproducible research and
publication. It tries to approach critically to the exclusionary
"fashionist" concept of "Big Data", by arguing that other
infrastructures and practices can bootstrap citizenship around data
without being constrain by the size of data or the computational
resources to process it. An example is the Panama Papers as
reproducible research project, that shows how this pocket
infrastructures can be used, even in the case of the biggest data
leak in the history of journalism.
* The Data Week (Spanish) is a recurrent Hackathon+Workshop where
people learn how to use, extend and modify Grafoscopio, so they can
tell Data Stories to amplify their voices and community concerns. We
choose problems where data and its visualizations give visibility to
grassroots communities and help to bridge the gap between "user" and
"maker", "coder" and "citizen", among others. We try make and
enactive critic of the (also) "fashionist" hackathon, going beyond
the "pitch", or the meeting of "sleep deprived strangers" to create
a "tech innovative solution" in a weekend to complex social
problems. Next Data Week will overlap with the Open Data Day, and we
are going to address the political discourse on Twitter, as a way to
improve awareness on upcoming presidential elections in Colombia,
but we think that this (pocket infrastructures) approach could be
used as a way to use critical code+data digital literacy practices
to enable informed citizenship discourse and voting in the times of
social networks noise and post-truth.
* Recently we have expanded our actions and infrastructures to the
publishing field by going beyond "open access" (as promoted in
practice by the Creative Commons movement) to "reproducible
publishing". One example of that is the "Data Driven Journalism
Handbook" (Spanish). More are planed, using "remix-traslation" to
bootstrap a more fluent South -> North dialog, because most of the
ideas of Non-English and Non-Writing cultures are kept outside of
the public discourse. By non-writing I mean cultures with strong and
rich oral traditions, but low writing/publishing practices, let
alone non-coding citizens in the Global South.
Grafoscopio and the Data Week are developed as part of my PhD research,
where I ask about "how we can change the digital tools that change us?"
(or the reciprocal modification between digital artifacts and
communities of practice), in the context of a Hackerspace in the Global
South (Bogotá, Colombia). Such research is informed by participatory
action research, ethnography and design research traditions, and is
trying to approach "wicked problems" to build a path in the present with
possible and desirable futures. I'm now finishing to write the
dissertation, so I'm tight on time, but I would be glad to keep this
conversations (or others) going.
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