Juba. The world’s first Open Source City? (dispatch v.1 01.06.2012)


Thursday June 21, 2012
KOW Brunnenstr. 9, Berlin 19.00 – 21.00
South Sudan and Open Source Culture

Friday June 22, 2012
SUPERMARKT Brunnestr. 64, Berlin 10.00 – 18.00
Open Source and Post-Conflict Development Conference | Workshop

featuring special guests:
Venzha Christ, HONF (Yogyakarta, Indonesia), Daudi Were, Ushahidi (Nairobi, Kenya) and Nadia EL-Imam, Edgeryders (Strasbourg)
with special introductions by Duer Danier Galwak, vice chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Germany and Johannes Lehne of the German Foreign Office

presented by:
Stephen Kovats (r0g), Roman Deckert (mict) and Ela Kagel (SUPERMARKT)
Geraldine de Bastion (newthinking), Micz Flor (Sourcefabric), Maja Bott (KfW), Kai Voeckler (Archis Interventions), Jörn Schultz (icebauhaus) Simon Höher + Emanuel Schwarz (knowable.org), Christian Bauer (Artesian), Jan Tretschok + Carolin Wiedemann (xm:lab), Nikolay Georgiev (Open Source Ecology), Johhny West (OpenOil), Stephanie Hankey (Tactical Technology Collective) and Georgios Papadopoulos (alt. economies)

Open Source Culture in Post-Conflict Development

In many parts of the world, new governments and civil societies emerging from shattering conflict and revolution are facing the challenge to (re)construct nothing less than entirely new nations. Urgent calls to define political participation, state identity, economic development, self-determination and freedom to speak, learn, move and – very often- to reconcile among resolute opponents have transformed seemingly local conflicts into issues of global concern.

Considering this scenario in the age of social networks, citizen media and innovation in digital collaboration #OSJUBA seeks to apply the means and tools of creative Open Source methodologies to the future of development and capacity building, particularly in post-conflict societies.

Where no uniform political entity or national infrastructure has existed in the past, what are the priorities in establishing a state? Who charts the paths and gives the people a voice in their collective destiny? How will a new, post-conflict identity, based on the hopes and aspirations of former lifelong combatants emerge? How will the new state’s cultural contours form, and how will these be perceived by its neighbors and by the world at large?

July 9, 2011 – a nation is born. Do we have a capital yet?

After more than four decades of brutal conflict, South Sudan, the world’s newest country gained independence. A complex multi-cultural and multi-ethnic mesh of peoples and competing interests, the new state seceded from Sudan after a referendum for independence supported by close to 99% of its population. Juba, nominally a capital since the 1972 Addis peace accords granted the South autonomy, this dusty regional administrative town now finds itself in the eye of a storm of competing interests, speculation and hectic unbridled development – a chaotic city juggling ‘nation building’ against the sheer basics of urban survival. With independence government calls have grown to build an entirely new capital city.
A capital city is however a unique place. Vested in symbolic attribution and a nation’s aspirations it must act as both an efficient administrative centre as much as the showcase of the nation’s identity. In the case of a new state still working to define its own cultural and societal contours, the capital city takes on an even greater symbolic – as well as pivotal function. In Juba, this is a free-for-all dominated by the interests of external powers jockeying for pole position in a potentially lucrative battle for natural resources. Having acted as guarantor for the fledgling state’s viability to survive as an independent nation, South Sudan’s oil reserves, fertile lands and Nile waters now become its accessible rewards. Who will gain the upper hand in their exploitation, and how will its citizens experience not only the symbolic assets of freedom, but participate in its autonomy and self-determination?

The world’s first Open Source City?

#OSJUBA proposes to apply the means and methodologies of the international Open Source / FLOSS, free culture, accessible technologies and hacktivist communities in creating a vision for the new capital of South Sudan. Open Source methodologies also play a crucial role in fusing diverse cultural traditions into existing, established and highly engaged global communities, building a model to be applied in the broader context of an emergent, transparent and participatory democracy. Their inherent elements of cultural collaboration, grass-roots enterprise and economic innovation are driven by multidisciplinary ideals that have the ability to support and augment the most complex development issues and scenarios including:

  • crowdsourcing and open access to data for better transparency in government and resource management
  • increased digital mobility for networking information and communication fostering freer expression, civic interaction and cultural diversity
  • new forms of citizen-based, community or device journalism, incl. SMS, radio, data streaming
  • creating new economies and user-based technologies informed by local knowledge
  • enabling open peer to peer education formats complementing traditional learning structures

The essential characteristic of the Open Source model is one of sustainability. As economically and politically powerful tools, Open Source technologies, mobile platforms and collaborative data sourcing methodologies now have the ability to be implemented as viable alternatives to tried and often failed attempts at nation building, urban and social development. Given the rise of user generated tools, content and technologies, the world’s Open Source communities are in a unique position to strengthen the basic tenets of free and open expression, investing in the boundless potentials of media literacy, community development and individual enterprise.

Challenging and Identifying Open Source Approaches

In collaboration with its partners mict, SUPERMARKT Berlin and KOW r0g-media hosts an introductory look at the challenges faced by South Sudan, and discuss how the mechanisms of the global Open Source and free culture movements can be used as an effective engines for a new form of global development practice. The event will critically examine the robustness and feasibility of Open Source methodologies. By bringing together leading developers, artists and policy makers #OSJUBA will identify and present innovative Open Source projects, platforms and methodologies that are being used to define new forms of practice, particularly in regions challenged by post-conflict reconstruction, lack of infrastructure, and poverty barring access to basic needs. Exemplary projects that are being implemented to strengthen and develop self-determination, global citizenship and freedom of expression will be mapped by identifying stakeholders and best practice examples. With the aim of creating a vocabulary and tool kit of Open Source Culture for Development #OSJUBA hopes to encourage a new discourse for development and post-conflict resolution.

For more information contact:
Stephen Kovats
Supermarkt Studio 3
Brunnenstrasse 69
13355 Berlin

Both events, June 21st @KOW and June 22nd @SUPERMARKT Berlin are free and open to the public!
follow #OSJUBA @intertwilight
Let us know you’re coming via mail or FB!

download #OSJUBA flyer by Heike Bluthardt | werkraum3149.com

4 thoughts on “#OSJUBA”

  1. Hi.
    i am very glad to visit this website, and read about the program of bauhous in Juba, its really great and creative. and i would like to join the program as soon as i could.

  2. gracias por el comentario! estamos actualizando el página y ahora tenemos un parte en el equipo que habla español. hay varios projectos nuevos y pronto se encontraran aqui! hasta pronto

  3. gracias por el comentario! estamos actualizando el página y ahora tenemos un parte en el equipo que habla español. hay varios projectos nuevos y pronto se encontraran aqui! hasta pronto

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