[Newbies] Grafoscopio and the Data Week: Critical code+data literacy practices and pocket infrastructures from/for the Global South

Ron Teitelbaum ron at usmedrec.com
Mon Feb 5 18:19:37 UTC 2018

Hi Offray,

Looks like a wonderful project and an extremely important goal considering
the state of the world today.  I hope to hear more about your
dissertation.  I agree with the concept that having tools that allow for
data collection and visualization to be used in a collaborative way would
be an excellent way to build and create communities around activism.  I
like the ideas around hacktivism allowing users with the technical
knowledge to share their experience with researchers or even just a
community that is crowdsourcing research to create powerful communication
tools that have the potential to change the world.

All the best,

Ron Teitelbaum

On Mon, Feb 5, 2018 at 12:45 PM, Offray Vladimir Luna Cárdenas <
offray at riseup.net> wrote:

> Hi,
> 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 [1] 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[2] 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 [3](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"[4] (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.
> Links:
> [1] http://mutabit.com/grafoscopio/index.en.html
> [2] http://mutabit.com/offray/blog/en/entry/panama-papers-1
> [3] http://mutabit.com/dataweek/
> [4] http://mutabit.com/repos.fossil/mapeda/
> Cheers,
> Offray
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