More than Just a Screening

In February 2010, the House of Digital Culture screened the 10 Tactics film for about 100 people in São Paulo, Brazil. The event was more than just a screening of the film; it was also a fundraiser for local activist organisations.  The House of Digital Culture in Brazil is a cluster of individuals and organisations formed to promote the ability of people to communicate using digital tools. The House has supported activist groups, researchers and non-governmental organisations, specifically by making Tactical Tech’s materials available to Brazilians. 

 Portuguese subtitles for the video were created thanks to memeLab, a technology consulting company that also is part of the House of Digital Culture. What makes activist groups so interested in getting the 10 Tactics video, said Andressa Vianna of memeLab, is its inclusion of varied stories about ways in which real people in different settings are using technology. “People start to see what they can do with limited resources,” she said. “The 10 Tactics video shows ways in which technology can be used in a useful form, how it can amplify experiences of life, add to online communities and add to existing projects in the world.”

Aline Rabelo, the executive coordinator for the Brazilian Laboratory of Digital Culture, said the reaction from the public was very positive. The Brazilian Laboratory of Digital Culture is non-governmental organisation that is part of the Digital Culture House and helped put on the video screening. “Even today some people called us asking for the video in Portuguese, and wanting to know about the toolkits from TTC.”


According to activists in Brazil, the 10 Tactics cards are “marvelous,” and the material was attractive, simple and explicit. The fact, however, that they were in English made it difficult with certain communities, Vianna said. “It has been difficult in terms of accessibility,” she said. “If you have a community where individuals don’t speak English very well and if you are trying to use these tools without any translations, people will learn slowly from the lectures in the cards.”

Vianna added that the demand for the material in Portuguese has prompted memeLab to work on translating other Tactical Tech information. “We have helped translate, distribute many books, lots of materials, lots of different aspects of these projects for various types of people,” she said.

The 10 Tactics toolkit is filling a need, as no other similar materials exist in Brazil, Vianna said. Still, she said, there is a need to localize the material from Tactical Tech and align it with the new media reality of Brazil, which is just starting to take off.

This is where the House of Digital Culture comes in. “Here people are trying to make connections: we are really one of the first groups in Brazil to do so,” she said. Beyond the language barrier, there also is a lack of Brazilian context, Rabelo said. “We’re still thinking about the idea of adapting and ‘tropicalising’ the material for the reality of Brazil. We still do not have the resources to implement this idea ... but we have the will!”

Not only has 10 Tactics changed what the organisation does, but how it thinks about itself and the work it does, Vianna said. “I think that working with Tactical Tech represents for us a beginning to move into different forms. It opens up space in our heads to look at new pathways for thinking about communication,” she said.

Story by Summer Harlow

Editor's note: All 10 Tactics cards are currently being translated into Portuguese and should be complete by March 2011.