Global Voices, Summit 2008 held in Budapest, Hungary, last June 27 and 28 is undoubtedly one of the most important events of Citizen Media in the world.
1. My first impression when I arrived to the GV Summit 20008 was of happiness not only to see again some of the members of Global Voices whom I had met last February in other event but also to meet other new friends. I felt as if I were part of a World Parliament because there were people from the different continents, all of them very well represented.
2. Most of the participants shared rooms. I shared the room with Elena from Macedonia. It was an opportunity for me to know about her country. I didn´t know for example that Macedonia was one of the states of ex Yugoslavia or that they are 2 millions inhabitants and other aspects of her culture. When I knew that I was going to share room with Elena I thought she was from Russia. I never expected to meet somebody from Macedonia, this was a surprise for me. In the same way, I could discover different realities of other people that live far away from the place I live. This helped me to enrich my knowledge of the world.
3. Other aspect that called my attention is the situation of bloggers in our countries. For example, when I want to write a post I enter an internet café and write. I can stay in the machine all the time I need and as soon as I finish I only have to pay. This is the common and frequent procedure bloggers follow in my country. But I found out that it is not the same in other countries. One of the bloggers in the Summit told me that he can not write in an internet café because the person in charge goes around to check what is being written and if he finds something contrary to the government, the blogger may suffer some consequences. Through the other sessions I also knew how censorship is used in some places to silence the voices of people.
4. Its two day programme was developed in sessions, five sessions each day. Lova Rakotomala was the moderator of Session 1 during the second day “ Web 2.0 goes Worldwide” with the participation of the following speakers: Collins Dennis Oduor from Repacted, Kenya, Mialy Andriamananjara from Foko, Madagascar, Catalina Restrepo from Hiperbarrio, Colombia and Cristina Quisbert from Voces Bolivianas, Bolivia. As this session had the objective to show the experiences being developed in our cities, I could know what Collins and Mialy are doing in other side of the world. It is important to know that a lot can be made when we have the tools and when we receive the training to use these tools. When it arrived my turn to speak I was afraid to lose my voice because I was not feeling well. I knew I had only ten minutes to speak about the Voces Bolivianas Project and my blogging experience with indigenousbolivia, but I think I spoke more although Nicholas showed me two times a card with the hour telling me with his eyes "time to finish".
5. I also want to point out the importance of Lingua. First, I opened a blog in Spanish, so all me contents were in that language, but it was a nice surprise to meet Leonard Chien, who translated one of my posts to Chinese. In the same way, Paula Góes from Brazil made a translation of one of my interviews using dotSUB. I could also speak with Claire Ulrich who translated one my posts into French. With the participation of these talented people, creators of content have the possibility to be read in different languages. It is really a great job people of Lingua do.
6. I liked a lot that people who were not physically in the place of the event could participate too and even ask questions which were answered by the speakers. This was in charge of Jillian, Deborah and other GV hardworking members.
7. I would like to mention something about the internal GV activities too. There was a lot of group work and this gave a different dynamic to the event. For each activity we were changing groups and that allowed to know different views to focus a topic apart from having the chance to speak with most of the members of GV.
8. I would like to extend more but I will stop with my next comment. I really enjoyed writing my name on two T-shirts. I didn´t know what they were for at first but when these T-Shirts were given as a present to Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon I was happy. I don´t know whose idea it was, but it was a good idea.
¡Congratulations and a lot of successes to each one of you,
members of Global Voices!
Picture 1. One of the sessions.
Picture 2. Jillian York and Deborah Dilley, hardworking girls.
Picture 3. Group work. In this moment, I can only recognize John Kennedy.
Picture 4. One of the T-Shirts with our names.