WHO WE ARE
NOMADS is a collective name that includes different project related to the particular situation of the countries in which we work. Internally we agree on goals, principles and practices, with a complete decisional autonomy of every single project based on a reciprocal trust and on a regular confrontation and discussion.
We choose to be a non-institutionalized network because we want to keep, also in a formal level, a total equity inside the group. Anyway this aim let us open to a possible collaboration with juridical subjects with whom we share the goals. NOMADS was created inside the autonomous public space XM24 in Bologna, but is totally disconnected by any territorial belonging. In fact, in the last years we were supported from different realities in Europe and in all over the world.
Our action is based on the principle of knowledge sharing and circulation and on communication; we work for the right to produce and receive independent information, as an authentic and critical telling of their own reality. In this sense, our web site is not only an exposition of our project, but it is also a ‘fog horn’ of the situations in which we cooperate.
In fact many of our interventions are linked with the education on use of communication tools, not just on a technological aspect. It is not about giving professional competence, but it is about exchange and sharing capacities that become useful for collective goals and not for personal purpose.
The struggles and realities to support are always chosen starting from a shared base of principles like antifascism, antiracism, antisexism, antispecism, laicism and antihomophobia.
Anyway when for cultural reasons there is not a total sharing of all the principles: that should become an occasion to open a productive discussion, improving an opening towards our actions, always respecting the different point of view without falling on the relativism and also feeling free to end a project when the differences are too deep. Every action is always aimed to support projects already operative, sharing their goals and practices.
We always have direct awareness of the contexts where we work: before tracing a specific project we always reach consciousness through previous investigative trips and deep study of the areas. In this way, the project can be decided directly in collaboration with the local priorities and problematic, linked to the peculiarity of the socio-economic conditions. In our opinion, it is always important, to consider the critical aspects of any project and action, in order to keep always as priority the feasibility and environmental and social sustainability, both of the project and our actions.
We believe in the necessity of the creation partners, networks and coordination to develop better the common goals. We believe that it is important the regular and continuative construction of relations between us and with the project we support, providing a reciprocal feedback.
In this way we try to take part on the developing of projects that can operate and grow autonomously, with NOMADS working just as a partner in sharing responsibilities: give tools for an available communication has here a fundamental importance.
NOMADS is the result of years of experiences, self-organized practices and relations, discussions between us and with the others, with mistakes and reflections, opened to new improving and new people that share our basic principles.
As NOMADS we operate in ambiguous international cooperation area, often involved in political and economical interests, so we believe it is important to make clear how we collect and manage our finances.
All the money are provided only through public events organized in social centres and public spaces, as we refuse to get sponsored by institutional finances. We are and we want to remain a collective and not a legally constituted association, out of the restrictive logics of the classic international cooperation, in which often the project structure is designed just on the requirements to get the finances.
Our solidarity events are organized directly by the participants of NOMADS: those moments, the formation and the project writing, are necessary to develop the harmony in the group that will work together ‘on the field’.
Each specific project calculates a previous budget considering the specific needs of the places in which the project will be developed and the particular competences required. In this way, we can consider also the organizing effort to get the necessary funds.
Every single project has its own ‘fund box’, but when it is necessary it is possible to get a support from the ‘fund box’ of the other projects, in a mutual relation.
The participation is voluntary, but the funds can pay the total or partial amount of the travel expenses. In fact we believe that the participation to the project cannot be connected with the economical condition of the volunteer, but it must depend on the efforts and sharing to our principles.
The general amount of the finances requested by our projects is really low in relation to the big amounts normally used by NGOs and institutional agencies, for different reasons:
None of us perceive a salary for the developing of the activities.
We don’t have a particular ‘headquarter’ to maintain, but we use communitarian spaces, getting hospitality from people collaborating with us.
We do not distribute money without sense, but we support projects already developed or created by the people in the realities we work. Our support is based on exchange of experiences and capacities, developing moment of mutual growing and formation.
When our support includes material, we deep analyze our choices, considering the social, economical and environmental impact and sustainability: for example when we bring technological material, we consider if then it could be used also in the future by the communities in a useful way. So we consider the real necessity, the energetic waste, the facility of a collective access and use, the possible maintenance, and the correct disposal, out of a commercial logic. This is why we choose to use trashware technology (in a recycling optic) and open sources.
WHERE DO WE COME FROM
This project of grassroots cooperation has been created in 2005 inside the autonomous public space XM24 in Bologna, called initially Latin America Observatory and with the support of the video collective TELEIMMAGINI. The Observatory supported for some years a cultural project in Cuba, started from the cultural association ESPERA ESPERA: a festival of independent cinema in Havana. From 2005 to 2008 different groups of activists support different projects in Colombia. In Bogotà it starts the collaboration with the International Peace Observatory (IPO). IPO is an international organization based on autonomy and horizontal organization, with the goal to support autonomy process of indigenous peasants communities. In the same time we started to develop some project of independent communication supporting the peasants developing non-violent resistance against the state repression and the forced exile, spreading independent communication thanks to the web site REPORTER LIBERTARIO.
Since communication is an important tool towards the construction of a process of autonomy, we created the first projects of the Popoular School of Communication Alberto Grifi as a libertarian space of formation with the main goal to develop the awareness on the importance of independent communication and freedom of expression.
This school is not identified in a physical space determined, but it is determined each time when and place where there is the right conditions: the desire to share and exchange knowledge, breaking down the cultural barrier teacher-pupil, basic feature educational processes in the Western cultural imperialism. The main goal is to build community media groups with the basic knowledge for the use of the main communication tools: camera, cameras, audio recorders, computer. Starting with the acquisition of these basic skills, the groups are encouraged to initiate a process of creative autonomous development, production and organization. A process that will allow the communication group, and the whole community, to develop expression media by their own, designed on their needs, strengthening the autonomy processes.
In 2009, again as the Latin America Observatory, some activists go to Mexico. In collaboration with other groups already present in these areas, we support indigenous organizations, social movements and solidarity coordination networks. The projects we support in Mexico are developed in various parts of the country, not just in communication areas, but also to sustainable rural development and divulgation of contents.
In 2010 we start a first project of the School of Popular Communication in Morocco, in a small community near the desert known thanks to the relationships with the migrant population with the XM24.
With the start of the internationalism projects in the African continent has arisen the need to change the name of the project, so from 2010 borned the name NOMADS, which now defines all our grassroots cooperation projects all over the world.
In 2011 and 2012 some activists go to Morocco, expanding the intervention. In addition to the communication workshops, we work a lot on spreading free software and language training.
In 2011, we participate to a caravan of activists entering in Gaza to commemorate the efforts of Vittorio Arrigoni in support of the Palestinian people. With this trip we begin to build relationships with some local youth groups and start a project of a collective film on Gaza now still under production, providing a series of trips in that area. In fact, in 2012 we participate in the creation of MOVI(E)NG TO GAZA, a documentary project on the daily life of gazawi youth.
In 2012, part of a project of the School of Popular Communication, some people go to Conakry, Guinea. There we developed a communication workshops and in add we have built up an Internet free point, with the hope to giving voice to one of the poorest countries in the world.
HOW TO BE INVOLVED
choose your point of view If you want be involved in NOMADS, sharing principles and goals, you can help and participate in many ways.
If you just want to help you can donate an offer or you can let us material that could be useful for our projects or you can directly participate to the organization of solidarity events and the spreading of the project.
If you want to start as a volunteer, we need a previous period to know each other: you are invited to support the solidarity events and to spread the project. After this period, if you think you can really fit with NOMADS, you will receive a proper formative workshop with general notions on our work as NOMADS (principles, economy, volunteering) and some specific information on the context of the area that you want to visit giving you the right tools for an active participation in the project.
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International Peace Observatory (Colombia)
collettivo Nodo Solidale (Italia, Messico)
associazione Sopra i Ponti (Italia, Marocco)
Desert Ocean (Marocco)
Collettivo Zapatista Marisol (Lugano – Svizzera)
Grassroots Project (Amsterdam- Olanda)
Oidho (Organizzazione Indigena per i Diritti Umani nello stato di Oaxaca – Messico)
Codedi (Comitato per la Difesa dei Diritti Indigeni a Santiago Xanica – Oaxaca – Messico)
LUG ALIS(Tilznit – Marocco)
Cooperativa Femminile Tefawine (Akka – Marocco)
associazione Ichaa Takafi (Aglou – Marocco)