word means “gathering
” and in Eastern Africa
(it came from Kenya
) gives name to the gatherings in which communitarian
questions are discussed to reach an agreement
on them. Not surprisingly, traditional Swahili homes have an outdoor bench
reserved for the men of the household
when conversing with friends
and visitors that it’s called baraza.
Because of that, and because everyone love cool, exotic names, baraza have been used to name several gatherings and meeting places, some of them in RL and others in the cyberspace.
One of this others baraza (http://www.baraza.org/) started in Sidney in 1996. Since then they have been organizing completely informal gatherings (both in Sidney and Melbourne) aimed to those in the Internet and the interactive and multimedia industries, “without product presentations, no guest speakers, just a room full of people active in the industry and wanting to get to know each other”. Something like a smooch version of First Tuesday’s.
A fast Google search returns (among others): a bar in New York (133 Ave C) whose bathroom is covered in one cent coins, a Canadian based forum that denounces the aggression and of the occupation of the RD Congo by Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, and another bar!, this one “one of the hippest groove bars in Cape Town”.
Then I’ve got to know another baraza, one where I am actually involved with, and the one that has started this node…
This baraz@ (http://enmedia.org/baraza/Index.cfm), as we call it, is the “forum zone” of a virtual campus in which I am a tutor. It is the virtual place where students, professors and specialists will put in common their learnings and knowledge throughout the course. baraz@ it is divided in several zones of contribution: interviews and articles of experts, experiences related to the digital communication contributed by the managers of baraz@ or the students, documentation and research zone, reviews and critics, and a forum.
So there’s a lot to do at all the barazas of this world, including Everything, and I have work to do now.