Grows like grass
There is today a grass roots open source movement that is sweeping across Brazil like wild fire and captivating the world's imagination. Vicky Sinclair, who has been a friend of Futuresonic since 2001, visiting Brazil and along with VJ Pedro Zaz has initiated a local Estudio Livre (Free Studio) in Manchester, based on the Brazilian model.
Translated by Ale
Area - 8.514.876,599 km² total
Population - Estimated at 2007 188.181.069 inhabitants.
IDH (2006) 0,792 - 69º in the list of ONU's humam development index
There is today in Brasil a coexistence of diverse individuals organized, or
not, in independent groups, colectives, social movements, institutions,
universities, reasearch institutes and goverments that explore the diverse
possibilities opened by the dissimenation of free knowledge.
This "grass roots open source movement that is sweeping across Brazil like
wild fire and captivating the world's imagination", inspite of sharing a
series of values, an identity and a strong felling of community
(potencialized by netowrked societies), is characterized by it's
Each rizome of this grassroots movement has a very particular interest in
information technologias. In each regeion, group or individual, there is a
diferent form of apropriation and use of the possibilities opened by network
comunication tools. All of them share, in some extente, values related to
freedom, comunication and creation of networks, maximal use of thecnological
(marginal) resources and social reallity transformation in different scales.
However, the reach of actions os these entities is extremely broad: musica,
technology, art, communication, agricultural property reform, politics,
video, law, market, economy, assitencialism, coding, filosophy, identity,
gender, race, religion, and so on...
What are we talking about? (enter the music)
Peripheries, terreiros, maracatus, metareciclagem, mst, hip hop,
estudiolivre, mediasana, tecnobrega, independent media, radiolivre, sound
systems, cultural shok, cultural hotspots, digital culture, linux developer
and user communities, funk in rio, free software project, web designers,
Brasil's central bank, post office, FISL, companies, descentro, gesac,
artists, Bnegão, mombojó, trama, fgv, crieitivecomo, liberal professionals,
people... that use the most diverse means of comunication for particular and
These creative actions are reflexes of a burocratic social structure,
politically corrupt and administrativilly inept to folloe the flows of
sustainable socio-cultural development. This creativity is born in the
diveristy of each grassroots rizome as a answer to it's own context.
Even so, there is no massive articulation between these groups. or a great
discussion about this "open source movement sweeping brasil like wild fire",
that is, this is not a unified movment, and, much less, a coordinated one,
as we should expect from things happening in Brasil. Some people are simply
doing it their way - do it yourself - searching for alternatives and using
tools thei have at their disposal to satisfy their needs. Around some common
interests people gather in groups that sometime share opinions, other times
dissagree, on especific aspects in this broad range of questions aroused by
free culture. Besides the government's openness in relation to the use of
free software and patent issues, it lives with an arcaic administrative
structure, fruit of a disastrous colonization process, and as we expect,
doesn't follow the flow of information that our networked society needs.
However, the interesting part of the history is the fact that, even laking
efficiente communication betwen groups, we see a silent movement, beign
digested in many places, at the same time, and for some time now, like an
invisible hand playing surdo, tamborim, and directing this batucada.
There is no model, there are models.