The ABC of taking back the tech: Colnodo's 16 days of activism

This year, Colnodo put together an action-packed 16-day campaign for Take Back the Tech! (TBTT), featuring everything from e-books to podcasts to human rights workshops. We spoke with Canadian intern Catherine Joubert, who was heavily involved in planning and executing Colnodo’s TBTT campaign, about the highlights of the initiative and how Colnodo aims to grow and develop in terms of educating women and youth about their digital rights and strategies to stay safe and empowered online. 

Take Back the Tech: You published an e-book which looks at gender-based violence (GBV) faced by women and LGBTIQ+ people. Can you tell us more? Who do you hope to reach?  When can we expect to see it in English and French? 

Catherine Joubert: The full name is "The ABC of risk and vulnerability prevention in ICT". The content is mostly focused on youth and diverse minorities such as women and LGBTIQ people. We have done the translation of the text in French and in English, but we have yet to put it in the proper format. But, soon enough, likely in January, these languages will also be available. The book illustrates different vulnerabilities categorised into three different spheres of life: personal life, at the office and at school. We thought that by touching upon those three areas, we would help to create more symbiosis between online and offline life and also illustrate that a violation can happen at work but also be seen on the home computer. We felt that this would allow us to reach more people. We have just launched the book in Spanish through our social media platforms, and we have yet to see how many times it has been downloaded. But one thing is for sure, we are excited to launch it in three languages and I am sure, upon confirmation with the Colnodo team, we would be pleased to leave it open for further translation into other languages by APC members.

TBTT: Colnodo also put together a podcast for Take Back the Tech! in partnership with a local theatre group, in front of a live audience. You've done street theatre on online GBV before with this group. How did this experience differ? How was the experience of discussing these issues live in a theatre, but also making a live visual performance available in audio format? 

CJ: Yes, we created a podcast in partnership with Edwin and the team at Teatro del Sur from Casa Raiz. They are a local theatre here, with whom we have collaborated in the past such as for the sketches in a previous campaign. Both experiences aimed to raise awareness about gender-based violence and get people to talk about what is happening online. The main difference between the two experiences was the content. For the podcast, we wanted to ensure that the violations discussed were more in line with the theme of this year's campaign. It was important for us to make these episodes dynamic and interesting so that people would be interested in listening to all of them. We chose to do a podcast because it is trendy, and people are listening to them more and more (or at least I do in the past couple of years). They are a great medium that allows everyone to listen on whatever platform and device they want. It is also good because they can last for a while, and we will potentially be able to upload new podcasts eventually. Furthermore, this podcast was recorded live with an audience of 30 people from a neighbourhood in the south of Bogota called Bosa, which includes a lower socioeconomic class, so we were very pleased to partner up with the theatre and offer an event for local community members. 

Read the full interview here

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