Got internet? That was probably one of the most asked questions that underlined the whole AWID Forum this year in Bahia (Brazil). This common worry and “fed-up-ness” even deserved comical allusions in the plenaries.
The FixHub team, anticipating what would be a scarce resource, met up months before to plan out a connectivity strategy. We ended up buying 3G SIM cards that burnt out like fuses and realized, days after the forum had started, that the AWID organization had hired a connection for the hub.
We finally managed to get a router blinking cheerfully but the following day, the hotel made us disconnect the giant ethernet cable that was crossing the hall, all for the sake of installing the router closer. People were literally tripping on that cable. Obviously it wouldn’t have been very ethical on our part to place internet connectivity before human physical integrity.
The problem was we couldn’t figure out how to connect everything back up again, next to the telephone outlet. There was a huge load of weird devices and cables. The router was this frisbee plate stuck on the wall that we hadn’t even identified (it didn’t even look like a router!). After tackling with condescending male techies that obviously didn’t want to explain anything clearly, connection was up again on the next-to-last day of the forum.
Read the full feminist talk in GenderIT.org .