[IAEP] Fwd: [Sugar-devel] unique activities . . . for Oceania XO's, or other regions.

Tabitha Roder tabitha at tabitha.net.nz
Sun Feb 6 01:41:21 EST 2011

reposting to oceania and iaep list ...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sean Linton <sean at lpnz.org>
Date: 3 February 2011 22:32
Subject: [Sugar-devel] unique activities . . . for Oceania XO's, or other
To: sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org


One of the things I would like to know is that even at the current level of
deployment the OLPC project doesn't get attacked for eroding the indigenous
cultures of places when with some careful planning and insight it could
contribute to the opposite. The sort of thing I am thinking about is for
example where you have the TamTam activities, which have a pretty good
representation of instruments from around the world built in to the activity
already, but at this stage are not tailored to different regional
environments. I am thinking about the difference in using that program for a
child whose local music culture is represented by the program, and a child
whose musical instruments are not included in that program.

At one level the activity is useful for either child - the first can see
that his or her culture is part of this world wide project and that is
really neat, and the second child is at least given the opportunity to see
what other instruments from around the world are like. So either way it is
an education for who ever is using it, but with out that renewal of the
traditional instruments and the unique backgrounds (culture) being brought
into the light of this empowering technology I feel there is a danger that
the result is a monoculture. To counter this one other thing that I can see
being accomplished with the OLPC project is the ability to create audio
content, and distribute it locally. In this situation although we don't have
'place specific instruments' loaded as a part of the music iconography of
the OLPC, we at least have the ability to couple with community radio, or
other audio frameworks to promote locally generated content.

One thing I have heard is that OLPC, in a way, creates this situation of the
'haves' and the 'have nots'. Maybe you have heard this too? I think as long
as a focus of the project is making a contribution to building communities
through learning and networking the technology itself is less like a piece
of the pie and more like mixing dish.

It would be great to see the Canadian
activity ported to all the places where the computers are, and that all of
those places could create their own version of that interface, drawing on
indigenous knowledge and experience of sound. However if for example
'drumbeats' is what makes OLPC in Canada unique, and that unique identity is
being expressed through this activity then it makes less sense to try and do
it in other places because that would be back to creating a sameness which
is contrary to the aim of renewal of indigenous music. My feeling is that
the identity created by 'drumbeats' is in the content and not in the fact
that it is unique to Canadian machines, and for that reason think it would
be great to see some more discussion on how to better equip this technology
to provide insights into more specific / less generic backgrounds.

It would be good to establish some more contacts who are on the same page
with this, I have also heard similar thoughts expressed by someone in Nepal.

all the best,


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