Daniel Bruch Duarte on the Brazilian Fora do Eixo Solidarity Economics Business Model

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Interviews conducted by Andrew Dubber.

What is Fora do Eixo? , First video interview via http://andrewdubber.com/brazil/?p=61

Directory

  • Extensive interview with Daniel Bruch Duarte:
  1. Where does the money come from? , http://andrewdubber.com/brazil/?p=63
  2. Details on the Cubo Card, http://andrewdubber.com/brazil/?p=65
  3. The Business Model, http://andrewdubber.com/brazil/?p=77 and its sustainability, http://andrewdubber.com/brazil/?p=71
  4. The Fora do Eixo brand, http://andrewdubber.com/brazil/?p=73

Background on open source culture and politics in Brazil:

  1. Different Cultures and Open Source, http://andrewdubber.com/brazil/?p=69
  2. Culture and Politics in the Digital Age, http://andrewdubber.com/brazil/?p=67
  3. Why did it start in Brazil?, http://andrewdubber.com/brazil/?p=75


Background

See: Fora do Eixo

Andrew Dubber conducted a Skype interview recently with Felipe Altenfelder, who is the primary organiser of the Fora do Eixo network:


"When this all started was a very special time in Brazilian politics. I’m thinking of the Ministry of Culture, particularly, and having someone like Gilberto Gil. How important was it? What impact did that have?

In truth? Things like Fora do Eixo – they are almost a consequence of the cultural politics developed by Gil. You know?

There are lots of networks that started here at the same time. Not just us. You have the Points of Culture, you have the independent film & cinema networks, where people who are working with free media… all these networks came in the last eight years because of the whole context of cultural politics that Gil was working on.


So… what did he do? What was it that he did that made things so different?

There’s basically a concept that he called anthropological “do-in” – like acupuncture, the Chinese medicine, you know? Where you stimulate important points… to try get a connection – to connect all the other points.

So he started to move away from the centre, all of the thinking about culture. Not just the money, but all of the cultural production. So there were lots of programmes that were implanted that tried to send money and people to talk and workshops to lots of cities all over Brazil and that had never happened before.


And he was also very interested in open source, yeah?

Yeah – he went a lot in this direction. Like, when he was there, the whole ministry website platform was connected with Creative Commons licence – and they were great advocates – they had affirmative policies on this, and not just about the software, but about the whole open source concept, you know? How cultural organisations could use technologies and how this would help them to get connected.


Was it just him, or were there other people in government thinking like this?

No, actually he had a nice team on his Ministry. When (President) Lula named Gil, everyone was surprised. Nobody had any idea that he would do that.

He was not affiliated to PT, which is Lula’s party – the Partido dos Trabalhadores – but he gets in and has lots of autonomy to do whatever he believed in. But he was the guy of the president. So he was named personally by Lula. It was a Lula idea.

So he had autonomy to do what he wants in this way. It was not a ministry that would be able to receive pressure of other sectors of government the way that Ana de Hollanda (current culture minister) does now.


And was there always a Cultural Ministry before Gil? Or was it a new thing invented for him?

Yeah, yeah – there was, but it was another government before Lula, so the cultural politics was much more looking for the industry demands – the industrial movie companies, they were there getting all the money and there was no politics to popular culture, to independent music, to free media in the internet.

All of this started when Gil came into the Ministry. I mean, there were good things to cinema, good things to big shows – but there was not this concept of working with people in everyday work in Brazil.


How quickly did that grow? The things that came about because Gil…

No, no, no… this is the important point. It was not that they start “because”. But he created a context – a favourable context – where society could learn how to organise. This was the great point, you know? It’s not that he “gave” us… He teaches how to ask him, you know?

So it takes time. It takes years.

We… Fora do Eixo – we have five years. The Points of Culture programme has five years, or maybe four. This sort of time. But in the 90s, we started this intention, so it was a large period of twenty years, and then five, six years.


Is it sustainable in a different political context?

We believe much more than yes. This year we had an opportunity to go to lots of countries in Central America, in South America – and we believe yes.

Of course we will need people working in that and you need the public politics to set a structure and a platform to make it possible. It doesn’t depend just on people. You need to work a lot on that and you need part of that work to be inside the political infrastructure to guarantee that things go to be transformative. That is the public politics. But we realised that without this – we can’t be… if you have a change of government, there is a risk. With a change of government, everything goes down.

So in these days, we ensured that if we have a big change in government, at this moment, it doesn’t matter anymore. We are here and we can’t go back." (http://andrewdubber.com/brazil/?p=89)