Simona Levi

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= activist/researcher on free-cultural issues and founder of the FC Forum


Bio

"I am the co-founder and coordinator/managing director of X.net (previously Exgae), the first Spanish legal advisory service specialised in protecting citizens from the abuses of cultural industries lobbies and royalty management and collecting societies. I have a long history of working as a cultural producer and an activist leader in the right to housing and public space movement, and now in the fight for Internet rights.

My background is as a theatre director, video artist and curator. I'm an Italian-born multidisciplinary artist, and I settled in Barcelona in 1990. Since 2000, I have directed the arts festival INN MOTION, which takes place at the Centre of Contemporary Culture in Barcelona. I am also the founder, president and coordinator of Conservas, a cultural association that organises, produces and stages socially-conscious events and festivals throughout the year. Conservas is also a theatre and public interventions company that produces "actions", "media-actions" and other tools and events.

With Conservas, I created a highly successful show in 2007 that mirrored the uprising for an improved democracy that has shaken Arabic countries, Spain and Europe in the last few months. (http://www.youtube.com/user/conservas#p/u/20/stbPf-fJLcg)

At the moment I'm deeply involved in the #15M movement that is demanding an overhaul of democracy in Spain."


Organizational Work

A few words about the platforms that I'm leading and working in right now:

X.net aims to provide citizens with creative and legal skills that they can use to put an end to the monopoly and non-constitutional activities of the cultural industries groups and their private goals.

X.net fights alongside the great majority of society for the growth of new forms of circulation of culture. It focuses on informing and assisting individuals, and, in particular, on providing legal advice to small businesses, artists, authors and producers.

There are 24 organisations and individuals behind this initiative, which began with the endorsement of around 8,000 citizens.

X.net analyses political and social developments and drafts proposals for intervention on legislation, organises cultural events that aim to “normalise” free culture production and diffusion practices and make them known to the general public, amplifies the potential of national and international networks by fostering and harmonising the abilities of each node, and creates viral campaigns.

One of X.net’s public activities is the annual oXcars event, the world’s biggest free culture show ;-). The oXcars is a showcase for artists and creators who have pioneered the changes in knowledge and cultural production thanks to the potential of new technologies, and seeks to defend society’s right to use them. The oXcars are also a way to make the free culture movement mainstream, a bridge between free culture works and artists and the general public.

The oXcars inform, make free culture visible and magnify it, and thus empower citizens.


More Information:

  1. http://oxcars10.la-ex.net/en
  2. http://oxcars09.la-ex.net/en
  3. http://la-ex.net/english/the-oxcars/oxcars08


  • The FC Forum

Another very important project we have co-created is the Free Culture Forum (http://fcforum.net).

The FCForum is an open arena for drawing up proposals that can present civil society’s position on the issues of the privatization of culture and access to knowledge. At the annual FcForum participants debate the role of the government in access to knowledge, the creation and distribution of art and culture, and other issues.

The Forum unifies existing documents and builds a unique citizen legal plan for civil liberties in the digital era, a plan that cannot be ignored or rejected. And in particular, the Forum seeks to redefine the economic, educational and political context in order to present a joint response to immediate and urgent threats.

The outcomes of the Forum include (1) the constitution of an internationally valid Charter of Claims (2) the establishment and support of a mobilization network to optimize the efficacy of existing networks (3) casting new light onto the issues, carrying them into the mainstream and (4) the coordination of future actions.

More than 170 leading organizations and specialists from 20 different countries in an  international coalition come together in the FCForum to urge respect for the civil rights of citizens and artists in the digital era.

More Information:

  1. http://fcforum.net
  2. http://2010.fcforum.net/en
  3. http://2009.fcforum.net/en

The Czech Republic’s presidency of the European Community was the context for a particularly relevant speech that we presented at the Ministerial Forum for Creative Europe (27/03/09). This speech captured the attention of the EC commission which then took an interest in our FcForum.net: http://conservas.tk/archivos/praha_doc.pdf

Since then, we have been advising the EU Commission of Culture and Education and other commissions such as those on Digital Agenda and Copyright, as well as several MEPs.


As X.net we have also led other important events and participated in networks on Internet rights:

- The fight against the Spanish Sustainable Economy Act (LES) and the founding of RED SOSTENIBLE.

- The organization of major mobilisations in 2010, such as the (D’) Evolution Summit, which had more than 150,000 followers during the European Summit of Ministers of Culture.

- Internet will Not be another TV, a joint project with international consumer defence organisations.

- Bring down a Minister, together with the whole Spanish civil society: http://molinapirate.blogspot.com/

More Information

  1. http://whois--x.net/
  2. http://la-ex.net/english
  3. http://fcforum.net
  4. http://d-evolution.fcforum.net/en
  5. http://2010.fcforum.net/en
  6. http://2009.fcforum.net/en
  7. http://internetnoseraotratv.net/en
  8. http://oxcars10.la-ex.net/en
  9. http://oxcars09.la-ex.net/en
  10. http://la-ex.net/english/the-oxcars/oxcars08
  11. http://www.youtube.com/user/conservas#p/u/20/stbPf-fJLcg
  12. http://conservas.tk


Some manifestos:

  1. http://la-ex.net/english/manifesto/greed-breaks-the-sack
  2. http://fcforum.net/en/charter
  3. http://fcforum.net/en/sustainable-models-for-creativity
  4. http://conservas.tk/notas-para-revolucion/


Some of the videos I have produced:

  1. http://d-evolution.fcforum.net/en/areas-de-accion/nosotros-decidimos/
  2. http://d-evolution.fcforum.net/en/areas-de-accion/compartir-es-necesario/
  3. http://d-evolution.fcforum.net/en/areas-de-accion/vicky-cristina-barcelona/
  4. http://d-evolution.fcforum.net/en/areas-de-accion/la-ponencia-que-falta/
  5. http://d-evolution.fcforum.net/en/areas-de-accion/amigo-norte-americano/
  6. http://d-evolution.fcforum.net/en/areas-de-accion/musica-para-peluquerias/
  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9dth0JxSSg
  8. http://d-evolution.fcforum.net/en/areas-de-accion/el-cobrador-del-track/

And some press coverage of some of my more recent activities:

  1. http://whois--x.net/media