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World Social Forum 2007, Nairobi-Kenya. Indymedia and social centres - widening the discussion

category international | arts and media | news report author Tuesday September 12, 2006 17:54author by dunkauthor email fuspey at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address Genova Report this post to the editors

Early next year the World Social Forum will happen in Nairobi-Kenya and a call out has gone out for indymedia support for the project. Along with the setting up of a "convergence-based" IMC for the event, some activists are organising to try to set up listening stations in social centres around Europe whereby more people can at least listen to things as they happen from Kenya. But experiments in participating in the WSF without physically being there are also being explored in an attempt to push the boundaries of how this world works today.
Communication is the key to a better world
Communication is the key to a better world

The call out has gone out for indymedia support for the WSF 2007 project to:
"set up a "convergence-based" IMC that will provide text-based, audio, and (potentially) video coverage of the World Social Forum, both on-line and through a local low-power radio station, enabling independent media coverage of the WSF during the forum itself as well as access through the world wide web to the WSF by an international audience. The IMC plans to be open from January 13 to January 25. The WSF itself takes place from January 20-25. "

With the creation of a strong radio network coalition for the WSF it is possible for a wider section of global civil society to tune in and listen live to the large amount of discussions, seminars and workshops as they happen in Kenya, as successfully happened during the G8 in Scotland 2005 with the radical radio coalition. ( http://www.g8radio.net/ ) But things can be taken to the next level, whereby those listening could participate in the Kenyan based discussions without physically being there. This would be possible by a network of social centres and/or local community centres around the planet organising to open up for the duration of the WSF and to have the tek stuff sorted so that people could use them as local nodes to call into to firstly listen to the different discussions live in real time from Kenya (ie - issues of Debt and the WTO, global resistance to all wars, access to the land and building sustainable communities, the use of direct action as a tool for change) but hopefully also to be able to participate in those discussions via the streaming technology that is available to us at present but that we are not availing of to the maximum; P2P streaming systems, skype, webcams.... A system of experimentation and simple trial and error could be used to tease out problems and make for improved efficiency.

Presently some people are working to understand further and to strenghten the European social centre and autonomous community network with the idea of trying to develop this idea of support nodal points for the upcoming WSF, this is still being worked on at:
Cities, radical urbanism, sqatting, social centres (http://radio.indymedia.org/news/2006/09/11489.php ) and a recent discussion happened at the Infospai social centre, Gracia, Barcelona which explored this idea (listen to audio file: http://radio.indymedia.org/uploads/imgp3744.wav )

Examples of this type of streaming communication system are last years streaming of the "future of digitial media" forum in Dublin last year ( http://easa.antville.org/stories/1246475/ )
and this weekends planned streaming of the Northwest Community Radio Summit in Seattle. ( http://reclaimthemedia.org/communityradio/nwcrn )

While the still reletively new process of social forum has the potential to radically change the world, it already has it faults as was documented by one of imc-ie at the Social Fora in London 2004 ( http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=67091 and http://www.indymedia.ie/article/66514 )

here are the call outs for the following:

1- Indymedia Center at the World Social Forum(January 20-25, 2007 in Nairobi-Kenya)

2- Northwest Community Radio Summit, Seattle Sept 15-17 2006 (streamed event this saturday)


1- Indymedia Center at the World Social Forum(January 2007 in Nairobi-Kenya)

CALL: Indymedia Center at the World Social Forum(January 2007 in Nairobi-Kenya)

Independent media activists from Africa and around the world are inviting YOU to participate in an independent media center (IMC) during the upcoming World Social Forum(WSF) in late January, 2007, in Nairobi, Kenya. This "convergence-based" IMC will provide an example of effective independent media center and empower WSF attendees from around the world, especially those in Africa, to start or enhance their own local IMCs.

Organizers in Kenya, throughout Africa and around the world will work together, both on-line and in face-to-face meetings, to build a temporary independent media center in Nairobi, Kenya, to provide communication during the January '07 World Social Forum. This "convergence-based" IMC will provide text-based, audio, and (potentially) video coverage of the World Social Forum, both on-line and through a local low-power radio station, enabling independent media coverage of the WSF during the forum itself as well as access through the world wide web to the WSF by an international audience. The IMC will also be a hub for trainings and hands-on media-making workshops throughout the World Social Forum. Thousands of organizers will be coming to the World Social Forum from around the globe, especially from Africa; this IMC will empower activists (especially those in Africa) to create effective independent media institutions in their countries. Also, all the equipment purchased for this IMC will remain in Kenya for useby the Kenya IMC and other Kenyan independent media projects. The IMC plans to be open from January 13 to January 25. The WSF itself takes place from January 20-25.


-- the Kenya-IMC, still pending approval as a formal part of the Indymedia network, has been in existence since 2004, after sending two representatives to the African Indymedia conference in Dakar, Senegal.

-- the IMC-Africa working group, an Indymedia list composed of African Indymedia activists and supporters from around the world.

-- Prometheus Radio Project (http://www.prometheusradio.org), an organization that supports and builds low-power-radio stations around the world, and will provide technical advice and assistance for the low power radio station that will be operated from the ?Convergence IMC Center? to be built in Nairobi for the duration of the WSF (with equipment to remain in Kenya for use by future low power radio initiatives)

--Some students and faculty members from Maseno University in Kenya , who will participate in ongoing independent media projects after the WSF is over.

This is an invitation for ALL who wish to participate in this IMC, whether by coming to Kenya, for the WSF, fundraising or providing any other support from abroad to express your interest by sending an email with their name or group?s name to 'imc-africa@lists.indymedia.org'.

We will be attempting to raise travel funds for independent media activists who wish to come to Kenya to participate in the IMC. Preference will be given to activists from Africa, but we encourage all who are interested
in coming to let the imc-africa list know **as soon as possible**. We would like to effectively come up with a budget by OCTOBER 1. 2006. Don't hesitate to send any ideas you may have for the Nairobi IMC to the IMC-Africa list. We'll see you in Nairobi!"


General WSF:
Nairobi WSF site:


2- Northwest Community Radio Summit, Seattle Sept 15-17 2006 (streamed event on saturday)

A pdf schedule is here:

via email:

Hello fellow radioheads!

Live webcast, Saturday, September 16th, 2006 from 6-9pm (PST)

Line-up (Times are approximate between 7 and 9pm)
6pm – Community Radio sound collage
7pm – PCUN, the newest LPFM talks about their station and Pete Tridish
of the Prometheus Radio Project talks about the Barn Raising that they
held with them in Woodburn Oregon this summer
7:30pm – Karen Toering of Reclaim the Media presents on the work that
they are doing
7:35pm – KYRS speaks about their Community Radio station
7:40pm – David Goodman Speaks
7:45-9pm – Amy Goodman speaks about her new book, “Static”, written
her brother, David Goodman .

This live webcast from Town Hall in Seattle Washington is part of the
Northwest Community Radio Network Summit. Please support this effort by
re-broadcasting this event and linking to the network website

Streams will be available to connect to starting at 5pm (music until
16kbps mp3 - http://radio.indymedia.org:8000/event.mp3
64kbps mp3 - http://radio.indymedia.org:8000/event_hi.mp3
Ogg Vorbis - http://radio.indymedia.org:8000/event.ogg

Please let us know if you are re-broadcasting and we will mention you
the on stage introductions.

Full Spanish translations will be made available after the event.

For more information, contact amoshaun@spamcop.net

Building up the indymedia radio network for WSF
Building up the indymedia radio network for WSF

author by dunkpublication date Mon Sep 25, 2006 13:57author address Genovaauthor phone Report this post to the editors

audio: http://radio.indymedia.org/uploads/imgp4447.wav

on arriving to the Burrida social centre ( http://www.buridda.org/ )in Genova I met Pastor Nick Macharia, the program director of Pepkag (prison extension programme of Kenya association of Gaoled [underpriveleged people in society] ) and we had a discussion about the situation in the slums of Kibera ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibera ), which is one of the biggest slum areas in Africa with over 1 million inhabitants with only 3 state schools, no running water, no electricity, high levels of disease, HIV and crime. there is a short film to see this reality on the Tenderfeet webiste ( http://www.tenderfeet.org/ ), which was made by a US grassroots group Lahash, who came to work in the area ( http://www.lahash.net/mov/kibera-visit.html )

our discussion covers areas of what life is like in the slums, why over 90% of the people that Nick met in prisons were from the slums, what can be done about it, the situation with the government and corruption, the situation with money coming through aid groups not getting to the people that need it, his own mission of coming to Europe to tell people about the situation, the wider picture of Africa and its struggle to be free from exploitation, debt and other econmic systems, we talk about communication, how communities are building spaces and systems for listening and speaking together, what the upcoming social forum might or might not achieve, the role of media in Kenya, both state and community, the world of community radio and many other things

file length - 50 minutes

author by dunkpublication date Fri Oct 27, 2006 13:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

IRC chat today 6pm irish time re the wsf indymedia radio project in nairobi

details about developments on the The imc-africa Archives,

call out for cooperation from social centres, imc's, community centres to set up listening nodes in their local areas here
global radio nodes for WSF07

so far Buridda , http://buridda.org/ , in Genova have said they will help, a request was made to revolt video and seomra spraoi in ireland, still awaiting a reply, barcelona hopefully will have places also connected

the above audio file with nick macharia who works in kibera was played on near fm and the airwaves in buridda were opened up for the live stream, a first, a happy moment, the idea is becoming realer...

author by dunk - Kibera support grouppublication date Thu Nov 30, 2006 16:14author email fuspey at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address Barcelonaauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Harambee project
the Harambee project (an intentional community with education, housing and healthcare for todays slum dwellers in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, Africa)

1 - Pastor Nick Macharia came to europe to "look for help", to let people who might be in a position to help know what the reality in the slums of Kibera where he has been on the ground working for 20 years; building schools, trying to keep them going, setting up job training, establishing community dialogue and forums, taking children out of prison (Kenya law at present has it that if someone is sent to prison and they have kids, their kids are put in also. Some people live and die in prisons rather than try to live outside in the streets.) Nick ended up in Burrida social centre in Genova, Italy, where he met people who said they will help in whatever way they can. Catholic church priest in Genova offered no assistance and failed to show up for a previously agreed upon appointment. A small Anglican church invited Nick to speak to the community and they made a money collection. Students and friends from the social centre made a money collection. Burrida social centre gave Nick a computer and monitor to take back to Kenya, Indymedia people gave him training workshops while in Italy and gave him free films, audio, essays, to take back to Kenya. Due to overweight at the airport and despite attempts to explain the situation to the airport authorities, the computer monitor was confiscated and destroyed. Nick got home happy that the trip had been worthwhile and hopeful that soon assistance from beyond Africa would arrive to the project.

2 - October 2006 saw attempts made to establish an officially recognised group; "Kibera support group" with its principles and agenda. Initial meetings to set this up happened in Genoa, Italy.

3 - Fundraising by different groups around Europe for the "Kibera support group", planned music concerts with information and films about the situation in Genoa and Paris.

4 - the WSF (world social forum) is happening in Nairobi, Kenya for 5 days at the end of January 2007 (20-25). Presently attempts are being made with local community media teams to hook up with the people in Kibera for a forum there, to hear directly the reality of life in the streets. " The World Social Forum is an open meeting place where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, for formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action " http://www.forumsocialmundial.org

what can be achieved:

the Harambee project (Harambee is a west African phrase which sort of means, Help, we need assistance or working together we solve our problems)

1 - Initial fundraising
With some fundraising work it is hoped to raise the initial amount of money needed to legally gain access to the land that Nick has been offered, a triangular 48 acre site bounded on 2 sides by a river just outside the slum town of Kibera. This amount is 10% of the total, the rest can be raised and payed yearly.

2 - building the community
A sustainable and fully participative democratic community based on healthcare, education, sustainability and love. With a call out for assistance to the global community, it is hoped that Building materials can be donated and that an international work team including local Kibera people will come to the site in Nairobi to build schools, a hospital, housing, a farm and self energy production plant. The schools will take first priority as they are what is most difficult to maintain at present. the community will be fully self sufficient, a model for global co-operation, an example of "how to do it" in terms of eco building, food production, zero waste, recycling, eco energy harvesting, antother node in the evergrowing network of sustainable connected groups working together to build the better world they have dreamt so long about.

intentional communitys, examples of sustainable living :
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GLOBAL ECOVILLAGE MOVEMENT http://socialwork.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/D09TheSigOfTheGE....html

Niall Mellon Township Trust - an example of co-operation building in Imizamo Yethu Township in Cape Town, South Africa

camphill ireland - examples of Irish sustainable healthcare education communities

Irelands growing community garden network

"The Power of Community – How Cuba Survived Peak Oil," - example of sustainable urban living; non oil dependant food production and small co-operation projects.

work is happening to build a website and for contact details for people who want to help Nick Macharia and the Tenderfeet project he set up for the kids in Kibera.

Nick Macharia and the tenderfeef project, working in the nearest thing to hell on earth; the slums of Kibera, Naorobi, Kenya, Africa

info on Nick Macharia and the tenderfeef project:
i do hope you get time to watch the short 5 minute
film made by LAHASH if you are not already familiar
with the reality of life in kibera.
i can vouch that nick is deeply committed to this
project and his 20+ year journey to get to do what he
is doing has been far from easy

related audio interview, film, and links to writings
about Pastor Nick Macharia and the Tenderfeet project

4 minute film made about the Tenderfeet project by
their US grassroots partner; LAHASH

photo album found at

Kibera slums, Tenderfeet and a vision of hope for
Kenya and Africa (interview 1)

The Tenderfeet project in Kibera, Kenya -(interview 2)

Tenderfeet - organisation in Kibera set up by Pastor
Nick Macharia

WIKI info on kibera -

further info:
Interview with Pastor Nick Macharia (from Tenderfeet)
- Lahash blogspot - http://lahash.blogspot.com/
further info and extensive photo diary with Nick from

Jo French's website :
see : Two Faces of Nairobi B4 the K-Liberation (if you
are having difficulty finding it hold the CTRL button
on your keyboard and press the f key, when the
dialogue box appears type in Nick Macharia and press

Interview 1 with Pastor Nick Macharia was aired on the
Irish community radio station NEAR FM (101.6fm, greater north dublin area)
on the great show : majority world

Nick Macharia with the little 3 wheeler he took such a liking to in the Genovese waterfront
Nick Macharia with the little 3 wheeler he took such a liking to in the Genovese waterfront

Pastor Nick Macharia working for over 20 years in the slums of Kibera
Pastor Nick Macharia working for over 20 years in the slums of Kibera

land of death, river of shit; the only place to drink from for those with no money - photos c/o Jo French's website tumbalamwezi
land of death, river of shit; the only place to drink from for those with no money - photos c/o Jo French's website tumbalamwezi

Related Link: http://www.tenderfeet.org/
author by dunkpublication date Mon Dec 11, 2006 18:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

not too much response from physical spaces to support the GLOBAL RADIO NODES ON WSF project ( http://wiki.radiolivre.org/Main/GLOBALRADIONODESONWSF ), but it looks like there some places interested:

http://r23.cc/interface/ barca based radio network and http://riereta.net physical group based in barca might be interested in exploring the project, have had initial discussions and it looks good. so hopefully ...

still hoping that seomra spraoi, revolt vid and indymedia can pull together to help...

email request for collaboration sent out to indymedia communication with only 1 response:

Radio Volta ( http://www.radiovolta.org) in Philadelphia has expressed interest in participating in some way, and is connected to a physical space (the LAVA space, http://www.lavazone.org).

meanwhile, back in Kenya...

Climate Change Conference - 6-17 November 2006

The latest United Nations Climate Change Conference took place in Nairobi in Kenya from 6-17 November 2006. The conference was the second meeting of the 166 parties to the Kyoto Protocol and was the first UN climate summit to take place in sub-Saharan Africa.

coverage from http://www.rte.ie/news/features/globalwarming/nairobi.html

author by dunkpublication date Tue Jul 17, 2007 15:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Due to imc-kenya network being down, an article i wrote there has been posted on imc-ie hereç:

( initial post on imc-kenya : 5- Macharias journey: Kibera and a story of Hope http://kenya.indymedia.org/news/2007/01/450_comment.php )

imc-radio is also down, so the audio files are not accessible, i am trying to find copies.

Related Link: http://indymedia.ie/article/80584&comment_limit=0&condense_comments=false#comment201479
author by dunkpublication date Tue Jul 17, 2007 15:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Indymedia radio support for WSF 2007 from Kenya (IMC-ORG feature)

The WSF, Opposition to the WEF, New Anti-Capitalist Space (proposed feature that never materialised, lost in attempts to gather reports from various activists and networks)

it appears here on imc-docs, which might still have people working on it, post of the short exert here does not include the links, which will have to be seen from the docs page.

For this WSF IMCista´s tried to "create a new space for global civil society to work in and out of from, both during the WSF and beyond", as part of an ambitious Global Listening Nodes project. The International Radio Show between Naoirobi, Dublin and Barcelona about housing happened with only limited success due to the Kenyan Indymedia Radio station being robbed by armed gunmen. But perhaps a new Anti-Capitalist space has been opened up? (Audios : 2 hour GLN radio show | robbery )

2 hour GLN radio show (global listening nodes): HOUSING

includes the full 2 hour show, all smaller audio parts and some extra related audio. It includes link for one of the Macharia files

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