1. FOUR DAYS OF DIGITAL CULTURE, NETWORKS AND DISTRIBUTED POLICY IN BARCELONA
The week from October 24th to 28th Barcelona was interacting with the new possibilities of internet freedom. It started off with the Communication and Civil Society, then the oXcars and last but not least the Free Culture Forum.
Digital culture, networks and distributed policy have been discussed in the second edition of Communication and Civil Society at the Open University of Catalunya on October 24th and 25th.
On the 25th, as a partition between the two encounters, the fifth edition of the oXcars show recognized alternatives circulating in the network with a spectacular mise en scene: an event held at night at the Apollo Theater, where the alternative world would beat the traditional glamour of the hall.
The next morning began the Free Culture Forum. Two days of talks, discussions, workshops and exhibitions of free knowledge that usually flows through the network and was noew analyzed and shared offline.
Communication and Civil Society presented the second edition at the MediaTIC building . This year ,and after the work groups sessions, has deepened not only in the role of the network and network culture in the new movement, but what were the chances of institutional reinvention and constituent policy towards an open and distributed policy as major challenges. For example, the role of the European Union before the economic and financial crisis, the use of technology in Iceland to get politics closer to the citizens or the conclusion that while some institutions are trying to be more open, transparent, participative, this does not happen within political parties. As an alternative to negative answers from political parties, democracy 4.0 was presented: “Cooperation + abundance + desktop manufacturing: another way of `manufacturing´ an open source democracy”.
The ironic definition of the oXcars as “The First Non-Competitive Awards in the History of Culture” drew attention to the fact that applying competitive criteria to the cultural sphere distorts its very essence. By highlighting different aspects of artistic creation, the “Gala Ceremony” showed that culture exists thanks to all of these complementary approaches that exist side by side.
Different actors of free Internet culture were recognized during a night that also named as this year’s best derivated art work for the infamous restoration of Ecce Homo… though the fact that Mrs. Cecilia now wants to claim copyright for versions of her restoration braought a huge boooh! from the audience.
The ceremony ended with a massive karaoke. First with Ovidi Montllor’s song called ”Perque vull” (Because I want to) and to finish the evening the attendance sang the usual closing song for the oXcars, “Libre” (Free).
FCForum is an international arena in which actions are built and coordinated with a shared agenda for issues related to free culture and access to knowledge. In the wake of the outbreak of the Arab uprisings, #15M and the Occupy movement, FCForum focused on the key importance of the new techno-political practices and digital tools that were forged along these movements. The 2012 edition focused on organising a united front encompassing solutions and proposals from around the world. It was also about discovering and interconnecting innovative projects linked to transparency, freedom of information, public data and open institutional mechanisms that empower citizens and improve distributed forms of controlling governments.
These five days have set precedents for collaborative work, with initiatives that started as personal goals and have been gathering supporters along the way.
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