Eclectic Tech Carnival – about

Eclectic Tech Carnival 2006, a carnival of exchanging
computer-related skills, ideas and art. By women and for women.
/etc2006, 4-8 September, Timisoara, Romania

Since 2001, the network of women who help organize the
Eclectic Tech Carnival or /etc has grown both far and wide.
We are geographically some-what diverse and we have varied
experiences and expertise in computing, technology, art
and activism. We are an eclectic bunch. Since the northern
summer of 2002, we (or some subset there of) have successfully organized an annual Eclectic Tech Carnival.

To connect, to network in real life. The global village
has come at the price of community. We are interested in
tech things and like to play with it. We know there are
other women who are also interested. There is little
opportunity for us to get together. And there is even
less open space for women to learn new skills. It is
especially hard for those with little resources to make
a start.
We want to change that!
We want to help women feel confident enough to ‘hack’
their own way into northern and male domination of digital
We can do it!
We want to help women learn to use Free/Libre and
Open Source Software.

Why the name /etc?
Well, /etc is a directory of the linux file system. In
this directory called /etc (short for etcetera) are all
the important configuration files for your computer and
its networking (hostname, hosts, networks). We asked
ourselves, “If we were part of the linux file system,
what would we be?” The /etc directory seemed the best
place for a carnival of ideas and then the name Eclectic
Tech Carnival or /etc for short was born.

All people involved work as volunteers. We rely on
donations and accept them with glee ;-) In 2004, we
received funding from HIVOS for the /etc in Belgrade.
In 2005 we received funds from Mamacash and HIVOS. This
year NCDO and hopefully also Global Fonds for Women will
help out too.
The project is a collective action. We think computers and
technology are not only vital tools in today’s world, but
also a lot of fun. We want it to be fun for those who come
to the carnival. If you would like to come to the carnival
or to facilitate a workshop, please contact us or fill out
our registration form.

By using and teaching others to use Free/Libre and Open
Source Software we have more freedom and control over our
work and projects in whatever we do, be it activism, art
or technology or a combination thereof. “Free and Open
Source” basically means that the code that makes up
software or applications is not kept secret. Users and
programmers have access to the “source code”. This allows
the community of users to adapt, modify and improve the
software itself – sometimes at an astonishing rate.
We believe that to be independent of the experts and so
called authority figures you need to be autodidactic and
DIY. Fixing your bicycle, car, computer. In fact women are
already very technical. They use sewing machines, weave,
spin and knit (it was weaving that lead to the first
computer programs).
There will be communication barriers, a good metaphor for
ICT. We willbecome Information and Communication Teachers
in order to break these barriers.
By asking what women want and what they have to offer we
strive to beinclusive. Please contact us if you are
interested in the carnival.
It will be okay to break things.
It will be exhausting.
Come join us!

/etc2006 Romania and Partners
The fifth Eclectic Tech Carnival will take place in
Timisoara, Romania, in collaboration with h.arta
(a group of three artists) and D Media (NGO for
independent media).
Other participating organizations and individuals are
Feramenta (women’s hackers collective in Italy),
SysterServer (web hosting and learning server project
run by an international group of women), Gender Changer
Academy (locally based computer hardware training for
women by women), Creative Catalyst by Helen Varley
Jamieson (NZ) (playwright, writer, web developer, cyber
former) and SisterO by Nancy Mauro-Flude (AT)
(performing artist and associated researcher at
Institute Network Cultures [INC])

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