Saturday, November 29, 2008

Women and Open Source

Okay - I'll be honest here. There's a dropped stitch of an idea in Open Source Embroidery Fika here in Umeå, which I keep trying to pick up. It is this: OSE only works when it is inter-disciplinary, when people bring hardware and knitware, softwear and code-wear. Otherwise it's just tech, or just textiles (and we know the gender cliques they hide within). Although OSE Fika has made some progress in convincing embroiderers not to be scared of the tech threads, and reassuring the tech-iles not to be put-off by the text-iles, there's a lot more work to be done. We need confidence in taking things apart, questioning the ethics, the access, the utopian and dystopian models we are emulating.

As inspiration - take Aileen Derieg's essay Things Can Break: Tech Women Crashing Computers and Preconceptions. She gives an overview of women and open source, and an introduction to the Genderchangers Academy.

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