.: Introduction / Presentation :.
DIGITALES >> 3rd edition – 20-23 January 2004
Full days (9am - 9pm) of meetings/participation on work, knowledge, skills,
experiences, dreams and questioning. This time of technological and feminist
activity and continual exchange could give birth to a virtual network.
Interface3, Rue du Méridien 30, 1210 Brussels and Amazone,
Rue du Méridien 10, 1210 Brussels
ATEL 46-52 Komiteitstraat 2170 Merksem (Antwerpen)
Contact & info: : email@example.com
Not a day passes without an announcement about the impact of technology on our
daily lives, or the increasing role that women play in it (but often as consumers).
Technology is transforming our relationship with work, communications, and even
Not a day passes without someone stressing the need for us to adapt our training
for and expectations of these new tools, or without warnings of the inequality
which new developments in computing will create: to have access or not, to understand
them or not, to make use of them or be used by them. Moreover, from lack of
manpower rather than for the sake of equality, certain industries and university
departments often try to encourage women and especially young girls’ aspirations
in science and technology.
The European Treaty of Lisbon in March 2000 listed as one of its priorities
"the control of new technologies", not only with an economic aim,
but also for equality and the cultural participation of Europe in international
The issue is serious. Some see in technologies only a tool for the liberalisation
of trade, coupled with a structure for control and supervision, which will only
increase the fracture between North and South, the divide between the poor and
the rich. But we also know that we can expect more from these tools. The Internet,
for example, has appeared as a formidable place for creativity, distribution
space, and information.
But if it is important for women to handle these tools, they must not be alienated
from them. The image in the minds of teachers and employers of the relationship
between women and the new technologies must therefore be changed.
To organise the “Digitales” Days, we’ve brought together four
organisations whose experience in the fields of equality and the analysis of
gender is a revelation. Each one has its own area of research and/or of action,
with different links with technology: the need to find work in contemporary
society, the analysis of this society, a participation through production in
this society. This unique association aims to gather together a wide range of
energies and competence because:
- it is important for women to teach themselves to use technology and to be
aware of the place that they will occupy in it by understanding the issues;
- it is important that research is in contact with groups working in the field;
- discourse and artistic, cyberfeminist acts occur in a theoretical and reflexive
context on the distribution and creation tool used.
We have chosen "real" locations - a vocational training centre and
an active women’s centre for research and documentation - which are townhouses
in the city and a shared time - several whole days allowing personal and collective
itineraries. Through this we hope to avoid the "passive consumption"
of information that the "woman and new technologies conference" in
an impersonal meeting room usually offers.
We hope that the shared work of "DIGITALES" will open the way to other
joint projects, in other real or virtual “true” places.
Digitales 2004, “reloaded and nomadic”, by multiplying
places, partners and events, will continue to their objective of revealing,
initiating, of critical analysis and transmission by exploring women's image,
role, place, tools, work and art in new technologies. Here are some answers
to questions on Digitales’ origin and activities :
What are Digitales ?
Digitales are full days of meetings/participation to share knowledge, skills,
experiences, dreams and questioning. They arise from a simple and complex approach
: we live here and now. We use new technologies to work, to create, to communicate,
for our research, to play, to connect, to learn;
They are a common effort to experiment, to exchange knowledge, thoughts and
practices in the world of work and vocational training, of art and academic
research, without falling into techno-phobia or becoming techno-fans. We have
always approached digital techniques with a critical and creative eye and adopted
the women’s movement practices so that our work encourages action directly.
Neither conference, nor just a forum, Digitales are continuous days of “work”
open to the public and taking place in places of vocational training or of work
in Belgium, with people who, are being trained and work there, and with resource
people, some local, some not, coming with their tools . Archives (images, sound,
texts) are kept online and largely distributed since 2001.
Finding a common language to provoke thoughts and to work out a practice which
will stimulate women's action in contemporary society and bring awareness of
the concept of gender to the debates on new technologies through:
- technological and creative initiation
- understanding of the work tool
- the critical analysis of new technologies
- the discovery and the construction of new images and interactions
- constructing history, means of transmitting experience
Bringing together those who:
- have or want to use technologies to earn their living and to provide for the
needs of a family
- have professional and technical skills on the cutting edge of information
and communication technology and alternative systems
- undertake university research in various disciplines and in various countries,
- create their artistic work by using 'traditional' or 'new' media (film, video,
Internet, digital support)
- are interested by feminist thought on contemporary society.
The Digitales project is part of the ADA
Belgian network which aims to create an exchange, thought and action network
on the subject of women and NTICs. Led by Interface3
asbl in partnership with women's training organisations in computer information
technology, @ron, ATEL,
NFTE, this project is supporte by the Belgian ministry of Labour and
Employment and the ESF, and involves a wider collaboration with companies,
guidance centres, schools, etc.
In collaboration with
- Constant: an art & media organisation combining artistic
and theoretical analysis on the Internet and digital communication
- The Centre of Research on Equal Opportunities (Steunpunt Gelijke Kansen)
is a consortium of theAntwerp University and the University Centre of the Limburg