Differential Access for the Ethical Stewardship of Cultural and Digital Heritage

-Public Talk-

Date: April 28, 2015, 6-8 PM EST

Try and recall a family secret, or a cherished memory shared between you and a parent or sibling. Now imagine holding on to that memory so that it could be shared with your descendants in 20 years, or 200. How would you preserve it, in what form? Who has access to it now, and how will that memory be held and transferred from generation to generation? From a single moment to the wider experiences of communities, oral histories and endangered languages, the intimate interchanges that define codes and protocols for sharing do not easily translate to the digital exchange of the world wide web. In this discussion, we will look at where we’re failing and succeeding to connect with indigenous priorities for differential access to cultural content, and what this means for all of us in developing informed exchanges for the digital humanities. We’ll explore Mukurtu CMS, a free and open source platform designed specifically to address some of these challenges and how community based agile software development can help to humanize the Internet.

A Part of the Series

Web plat(per)form(ing) social issues: New epistemologies, practices and ethics of storytelling, Concordia University, Montréal, Canada


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Differential and Collaborative Digital Storytelling with Mukurtu CMS

– Workshop –

Date: April 29, 2015, 12-4 PM

Storytelling in the digital age takes many forms of inspiration, creativity, production and distribution, but telling stories is not bound by any one medium, performer or audience. Oftentimes the sources for stories may necessarily need be kept secret or guarded, and the same may be true for the story itself, or particular parts or passages, even if the overarching desire is to make the story generally available to a broader public. This becomes even more important when working with indigenous communities who wish to define not only how and who can share a story, but with what audience, and in which contexts.

There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.

Ursula K. LeGuin

Workshop Agenda

Mukurtu CMS is a free and open source content management solution allowing communities to preserve, share, manage, license and curate their digital heritage and stories. Mukurtu allows users to manage their digital materials using international standards as well as their own local cultural protocols. This unique intersection provides indigenous communities with both a stable and upgradable tool to manage and share their digital assets and a platform for preservation and growth of their distinctive materials. Mukurtu promotes a community approach to digital heritage management and preservation extending the already embedded social and cultural systems of indigenous communities to their technological tools.
In this workshop, participants will learn the history of Mukurtu CMS and how it may be a good fit for your own projects. We will explore Mukurtu’s features and functions that empower communities, cultural memory institutions, and individuals to define, preserve and cultivate digital heritage in their own terms, maintaining control over rich media and their associated metadata. Participants will see examples of Mukurtu in use in indigenous communities emphasizing preservation strategies, cultural protocols and the use of traditional knowledge licenses and labels as part of our expansive toolkit.

• Familiarity with Mukurtu CMS as platform, workflow, creativity and management platform.
• Planning storytelling projects for differential access in collaborative contexts.
• Hands-on experience with Mukurtu CMS, Mukurtu Mobile and Mukurtu Exhibit
• Understanding of Traditional Knowledge labels and their potential impact for digital storytelling projects
• Digital preservation and archiving tips and tricks for individual digital humanists

Tools Provided:
• Each participant will be provided a free Mukurtu CMS site on mukurtu.net
• Access to course pack with extensive readings and how-to articles
• One hour follow up project consultation with Center for Digital Archaeology team

Prerequisites: None. The workshop is geared to students and faculty with interest in the subject but not necessarily highly technical skills (although if you them, they’re welcome!)

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