A small collection of practices from community technology projects around the world.
Barn Raising is a method of coming together to build common infrastructure or undertake collective work. The word comes from a community gathering to build a barn, but similar practices exist around the world–the words minka in Quechua and naffir in Sudanese Arabic have a similar meaning. Many community networks have been built using this method. The basic idea is that neighbors gather together for several days to build something that would be difficult to build alone. Recently, people held barn raising events for Fumaça Data Springs, Mesh Sayada, Mesh Goma and Mesh Bukavu.
DiscoTech is a term coined by the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition and is short for “Discovering Technology.” These public technology fairs offer interactive, multimedia workshops to demystify technology concepts. We’ve watched this model grow and spread all over the world and it remains one of our most powerful tools in building a digital justice movement. See: Data DiscoTech, Data DiscoTech Zine
Graffiti to inspire residents to think about communication and the potential of community networks. Falanster Graffiti Wall
PiFiTV distributed RaspberryPi file sharing: MojoLab Foundation is experimenting with connecting RaspberryPi’s to TVs connecting between the houses with a wireless mesh. People can then share files by inserting their media USBs into the Pi. PiFiTV.
Zines are small, self-published collections of stories, ideas and practices. They are often used to tell stories, ask big questions and explore different issues impacting the community. Zine articles can come from many different people, offering multiple perspectives of a subject. You can get contributions from your enemies (but you should think hard about that). Examples: Detroit Digital Justice Coalition Zines, (Re)Building Community Technology
Recycled Art, Jewelry, Posters, Stickers to share ideas. Falanster has a nice collection of stickers, posters, tshirts, and ethernet-end keychains and earrings for their projects.