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Презентација за конференција, Share 2

Тема: Decaying Free Software Communities vs. Emerging HackerSpaces

Идеја: A small group of dedicated hard working people are building communities in Skopje and Macedonia



Фотографии: Идејата ми е сите фотографии и материјали што ќе ги подготвиме за 2смк да ги пуштаме на еден екран или

на два странични. А на главниот да оди оваа презентација по принципот 10/20/30. Ако постои таму оваа конфигурација.

This presentation is in draft form, I expect it to be finished by Tuesday April 24th 2012 as it will be presented at the share 2 conference in Belgrade

on Thursday April 26th 2012 at 13:00 h at dom omladine beograd.

I Past

0 Young rebels with a noble cause

  • We were a group of hackers in our late teens and early twenties, decided to defent a righteous cause in Macedonia.
  • To promote free software, an unknown public good at that time, in the region were piracy reigned and Microsoft, Adobe, Corel, were reguriting people by the dosens. People were starting companies based on "free" pirated Microsoft software.
  • A new economy was being born in republics of the former yugoslavia.
  • We felt that it was a tricky proposal, and we wanted our voice to be heard.

1 Promoting free software, free culture and open standards

  • We gathered together, and founded a grass roots organisation to promote and explore the technical and technological as well as social and economical effects of free software on our society.
  • Actually we later learned that, we had the same "hacker ethics" of the hackers of MIT of the late 70s of the 20th century
    • Sharing
    • Openness
    • Decentralization
    • Free access to computers
    • -World- (Let's be modest) Community Improvement :)
    • Community and colaboration
  • We had a website, we had mailing list(s), an rss agregator, we setup the infrastructure both technical, organisational and legal.
  • A community was being born, from people who shared the idea that free software was "The right thing to do."
  • Shared a set of common values, about sharing, helping, about openness.

2. Couple of hacks & failures

  • Hacks
    • We organized several localization marathons, we localized thecomplete desktop stack in Macedonian, OpenOffice, Mozilla, KDE, GNOME, etc. before there was Office or Windows in Macedonia.
    • We organized the "Free software flood", on the Microsoft Vizija conference in Skopje, were we handout GNU/Linux CDs to participants in front of the conference venue.
    • We hacked OLPC computers to help the UNDP pilot in Macedonia suceed.
    • We gave lectures to university students, we attended debates and we cooprated with domestic and foreign organisations
  • Failures
    • Funding
    • Capacity building
    • Representation
    • Community

3.Community is shrinking

  • This was the biggest threat, the second change of generations.
  • People got employed, graduated from univeristy, were at their turning point in their lives and career.
  • Some of the move out of the country, the community was shrinking
  • The organisation could no longer promote free software activelly,
  • We could not get projects were, we have to commit 5-6 people for couple of months to work, hence we could not get steady and stable
  • inflow of finances.
  • At the same time we visited a couple of regional gatherings, NSND,
  • Yaxwe, we went to attend CCC in Berlin, we networked with the
  • croatian, serbian and bosnian community, and got inspired that we could pull somethig like that at home


  • Somthing had to be done, or we would have lost our community
  • We saw that physical spaces started to pop up, Monteparadiso Hacklab
  • in Pula, Metalab in Vienna, MaMa in Zagreb.
  • We needed this physical presence to ensure continuity and to
  • reachout to people out side of our shrinking free software community.
  • We took the risk and in 2009, in early september, I made a call for
  • participation and people pledged money for rent we were going to fund a hacklab. Finally.

II Present

5.Hacker culture and free software

* Actually we later learned that, we shared the same "hacker ethics"

* Sharing

* Openness

* Decentralization

* Free access to computers

* -World- (Let's be modest) Community Improvement :)

* Community and colaboration

It seems that these are the actual values that we from the free software

community shared, so all of a sudden we felt like we knew what we were doing.

We were there once before, in the past, when we build our free software

community. Now we had to be a little bit broader, to attract people intrested in

technology and to promote the hacker etics.

6.Community run space Narodna Tehnika

  • In a half empty, half ruined, building from 1949 in the former premises of the geological institute we found refuge Together with a group of artist we shared rent, it was like Berlin in the 1990s, a semi like squat, a fully run community space.
  • We actually rebuild the computer section of the popular Narodna Tehnika in former yugoslavia. Right at the moment when the actual Nardona Tehnika building, and infrastructure got sold and a university for toursim and business evicted the previous space.

7. Couple of hacks & failures

  • Hacker spaces Buld
    • KIKA 1.0 finished, deprecateded
  • Of course we failed, the artists made a electric bill of about 1000 eur, and the building was about to be condemned, so we had to stop our activities.
  • But we also succedded, we saw that it could be done, that people came, and found value in the hacker community, that they participaed in the weekly events and activities.
  • That people would contribute a part of their monthly income, to support our hackerspace and the activities that were happening there.
  • We had our free software community as the core, and we manage to
    expand it with other people that loved and shared our ideas about
    • Sharing
    • Openness
    • Decentralization
    • Free access to computers
    • -World- (Let's be modest) Community Improvement :)
    • Community and colaboration

8. Activites

  • Gnu/Linux/Android first aid
  • Programmming languages
  • Spodeli Znaenje Knowledge sharing
  • GSOC (Google Summer of Code)
  • GNOME Women Outreach
  • Hardware hacking
    • We build the led cube.
    • Small but manu different infrastructure project for the hacklab itself
  • A weekly radio show for digital freedom called "This song dosn't have an owner" on Kanal 103, a cult radion station born inside the vomb od the public media service Macedonian Radion Television

III Future

9. What next

  • Establish a more direct cooperation outside of NSND events between the
  • three hackerspaces in Zagreb, Belgrade and Skopje.
  • Make them three acess points of a decentralized network for sharing knwoledge and colaborate during events, make the necessary infrastruture for that.
  • Invest and improve the hacker in residency programme to exhange people between these cities and work toghether.
  • Continue and improve the runnuing of KIKA
  • Expect new events and new activities from the the next generation
  • We have yet to prove our reputation and be the change that we want to see in society
  • We have to escape the trap that KIKA is only a place where trolls hang out, drink beer and nag.
  • We have to attain continuity and build upon previous efforts, reuse, remix and recycle.
  • So far we have financial stability, we have to make sure this stays like that


  1. A small group of people, made a change when they started Free Software Macedonia 10 years ago
  2. A community was created to help that small group of people so we can grow and expand, but still share our ideas and values
  3. That community decayed over time, but with the help of a small group of people that shared the original ideas and hacker ethichs managed to emerge as the founding force behind the KIKA hacklab in Skopje
  4. Now a new community is being born on top of the core of our previous community, they don't share our exact ideas, as we have not shared the exact ideas of our predesessors,they live and communicate, not via email nor IM, but using twitter DM and facebook statuses, but that not good nor bad. It just is, how it is.
  5. But lets see what the future holds for everyone. I myself have milions ideas, Tamara also, and we should share those ideas, and encourage people to make them real and come true.
  6. There are no mirracles, there is only hard work and smart thinking of a small group of dedicated people for the good of everyone.
  7. Then there is the community that gravitates around those ideas and continue the cooperation and colaboration, well into the future.
  8. There are many ideas and visions of what KIKA should be, and how it should look like but let's leave that for the future, but only the members can make the decision and the effort which one will be built and created.

Thank you.

Thanks Tamara,Damjan,Novica, Arangel, Aleks, Vladan, Ana, Anderej, Nikola, Doda, for their thoughts and inspiration.