Multidisciplinary meetings on women & new technologies
"DIGITALES" are multidisciplinary meetings that began in 2001 at a new technologies vocational training centre for women in Brussels, as part of the ADA programme, the aim of which is to stimulate, to bring together, to convince different partners and actors to reflect on and set up strategies and actions in order to dismantle prejudices on women and ITC, as well as promoting women’s access to quality jobs in this sector.
DIGITALES objectives are to find a common language, to provoke thought 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 debate on new technologies through :
As an opportunity to imagine strategies for women in the globalized economy, DIGITALES are based on feminist practices - no externalisation of technical organisation or methods, speaking in the first person, accepting differences and ’uselessness’, questioning ’the obvious’ and demystifying commercial tools. A priority is the introduction of a holistic approach and another ecology : ’DIGITALES’ refers both to the digital technique which we use and to the fingers, therefore, by extension, the body in relation to this technique.
Launched as an innovatory experiment in collaboration between different sectors - vocational training and integration (Interface3 & Atel), arts & media (Constant vzw, Studio XX), women studies (Sophia, Steunpunt Gelijke Kansen, SIGIS), women’s associations (Amazone, 29 Rue blanche, Cobeff) - DIGITALES was aimed at those who :
have or want to use technologies to earn their living and to provide for the needs of a family
Four "DIGITALES" have brought together women in training, their trainers, academic researchers, artists, activists and political, labour and industry representatives, etc., attending 40 practical/technical workshops, 110 debating forums, 11 conferences and two symposiums which took place at several places of work, training and culture in two Belgian cities, Brussels and Antwerp, with some 250 guests speakers coming from 14 countries (2001, 2002, 2004, 2006) from different continents. They have helped to widen the definition of ’women and technologies’, with academics discovering that they are users of technologies and computer specialists, secretaries, data processing workers and artists building links through the process of deconstructing their tools and their knowledge.
Calling on memories and dreams, past and future, debates looked with an informative and critical view at the deep social, geographical, demographic, economic, political and technological transformations :
Where has research on women and IT got to ?
As an experimental and mobile ’event’, the traces of DIGITALES remain with the participants and the partners, in physical and virtual places to inspire other projects and feed networks here and abroad. Reflexion and work on sharing, media, copyright, archive and historicity were included in DIGITALES with a view to using, transforming and publishing the data.
All material, including the programme of workshops, forums and conferences of four DIGITALES, hundreds of pictures, in-extenso texts and brief summaries, sound and video recordings, links to participants and their productions, follow-up projects, etc., can be consulted online at : www.digitales-online.org