mardi 16 juillet 2013

SUMMER ACTIVISM: Le Massage En Images joins La Quadrature du Net at OHM2013

I am very happy to announce I will be joining La Quadrature du Net, the french association in the defense of civil rights and freedom on the Internet, at the OHM2013 international camping festival for hackers and makers, in the Netherlands, from July31st to August 4th. A cosy tent will be put up for my practice as part of the Quadrature's village on the campsite and I will be giving massages to hackers from all horizons. Meanwhile, other members of the team will be offering tasty world teas to the crowd and giving workshops on topics such as Cyber security, Network Neutrality, Copyright Reform and more. Each of us in turn will of course enjoy some time away-from-village (AFV) to wander about the festival, explore through talks, workshops and casual encounters the world of possibilities that will be gathered there for five days. 
Along with the sympathy and support I wish to express to La Quadrature du Net and friends by joining them on that particularly exciting occasion, some of my motives aim to run on the long term and can be understood as follow: 

- Sustainability of the resistance, through regeneration of vital forces : It is notable that many of the individuals who dedicate themselves daily to the defense of human rights and freedoms sometimes do so at the expense of their own well-being. They work long hours, under a lot of pressure, spend a lot of time on the field and/or working with computers (to name a few). I wish to care for those who care for all of us. I will be  looking at how to do that better/more. Also at OHM2013, I will have the opportunity to come together with other persons and projects who share that concern, such as Attent!on Som(t)a(c)tic, a workshop by Anne Goldenberg, who also wrote of this text Hacking With Care.

- Mutual exchanges of knowledge, awareness, and empowerment tools, drawing from each others respective fields of action. Thanks to La Quadrature du Net and friends, I become more aware of the surveillance-state of things, and consequently better equipped to watch out for my freedom and that of others in the digital age/realms on a day to day basis. Reciprocally, I feel I can help raise awareness about one's body and how to nurture a sense of freedom about oneself. Massage is a tool to alleviate some physical and/or emotional constraints and release/renew life potentialities. 

- Further explorations of the possible relationships between massage and hacking. 

For instance: What does it mean to be(come) a hacker-masseuse ? Indeed, as Burell Smith put it at the first Hacker Conference in San Francisco in 1984: "Hackers can do almost anything and be a hacker. You can be a hacker carpenter. It's not necessarily high tech. I think it has to do with craftsmanship and caring about what you're doing." 

- The "data must flow" motto, dear to La Quadrature du Net, resonates in my work, since massage is about helping the harmonious flow of energy in the body, the circulation of body fluids, the healthy communications between body systems and organs in the person, and because life itself is all about these flows. 
I also like to think of the art of massage (and other practices such as yoga) from ancient times until today as an example of a very successful peer-to-peer. 
Do "we make data-love" -as La Quadrature du Net puts it- with massage ?
I will be curious to exchange some thoughts on all that ! 

Picture above shows your masseuse getting ready for La Quadrature du Ohm, wearing a homemade-reverse-tie&dye LQDN T-shirt and LQDN nail art design (test!)