Activity Chthulucene

This activity aims to create analogies and links between human bodies, machines and nature in order to better understand how they relate to one another. It is oriented at creating solidarity between species and reflecting on the links between culture and nature.
Collective brainstorm (15 min)
Illustrate systems and their commonalities (60 min)
Wrap Up (10 min)
85 minutes
Learning Objectives
Understand that information and energy are two vital elements that link bodies, nature and machines.
Understand that humans need to reflect on their impact on nature and living ecosystems.
Understand that living bodies (humans and nature) share commonalities.
The facilitator should have read the reference material “Glossary of Concepts”, and should have some knowledge about the basic concepts related to cybernetics, NBIC (Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology, Cognitive Science) and the work of Donna Haraway and Lynn Margulis.
Step 1: Collective brainstorm (15 min)
Ask participants to brainstorm ideas of some things that human bodies, nature and machines have in common. List participants’ ideas on a blank sheet of paper or flip chart.
Some of the commonalities between human bodies, machines, nature can be:
Need for energy (sun, food, electricity)
Information (ADN, code, memes)
Feedback loops
Sensitivity to temperature and weather
Micro and nano scale, we can zoom in on them
Autopoiesis and simtopoiesis
Diversity and heterogeneity
Competition and cooperation
From this collective brainstorm about ideas and commonalities, invite participants to discuss the implications of those links between human bodies, machines and nature.
Step 2: Illustrate systems and their commonalities (60 min)
Divide participants into 3 groups and give them 30 minutes to depict a situation or system in which all the elements in Step 1 are present. They can choose which media they prefer to use: drawing, collage, 3D representation, or if they have more time they can design a theatre play, a song or a story.
For example: one group could focus on machines by illustrating the internet; another group on human bodies by illustrating the central nervous system; and the third group could focus on nature by illustrating a forest. While representing those systems, they should pay attention to their interaction with the other categories (human, machines and nature) and point at elements that illustrate the above list of concepts.
Another possible focus is to ask them to invent a hybrid system that combines human bodies, machines and nature.
Ask the groups to present their illustrations. Ensure that all groups have the same amount of time to present their work.
You can conclude the activity with a collective reflection on how to build a sustainable system for the earth, for bodies, and for the machines.
Step 3: Wrap up (10 min)
Ask participants if they have questions and check on possible concepts that are unclear.

Activity Our Tech Stories

This workshop takes a creative approach to looking at the technologies we use and how they fit into a historical lineage of technological development. It also considers how we can preserve the technological legacies and skills of our predecessors.
Introduction (15 min)
Ancestral knowledge and techniques (35 min)
Colonialist perceptions of technologies (25 min)
Gendered technologies (20 min)
Wrap Up (10 min)
105 minutes
Learning Objectives
Understand that everyone has a personal relationship with technology and is an expert on how they interact with technology
Understand that gender and intersectionality influence our relationships with technology (access, use and development), and why some people are actively excluded from accessing, using and/or developing technologies
Become aware that women and minorities have always played a role in developing and maintaining technologies and that their stories have remained largely invisible.
Our perceptions, access, use and development of technologies are deeply influenced by how patriarchy and colonialism are embedded in our daily lives and the societies we live in.
Search for some ancestral and appropriated technologies that relate to the context of your participants in order to complement the list of feminist and ancestral technologies reference materials.
Step 1: Introduction (15 min)
Introduce yourself and the agenda of the session.
Ask the participants to briefly introduce themselves and name their favorite technology.
In order to focus on the type of technologies that this session will encompass, we recommend that facilitators start this round of introductions by naming their favorite technologies, including some that are non-digital: for instance radio, sewing machine, mixer, etc.
Step 2: Ancestral knowledge and techniques (35 min)
Pass out post-its and ask participants to write one or more things that their grandmother, great-grandmother or another older person has taught them.
Go round the circle and (depending on how many people are present) ask people to read their answers. If there are too many people present, ask for volunteers to raise their hands and read out their answers.
Cluster the post-its together under specific fields, for instance: nutrition & body, arts & crafts, health care, agriculture & land, social relationships, astronomy and cosmogony.
Ask participants how they feel about expanding the notion of technology to these areas of knowledge and techniques, and let them guide the discussion for 5 minutes before moving to the next activity.
Step 3: Colonialist perceptions of technologies (25 min)
Ask participants to write down machines and technologies that are related to the categories clustered in the previous activity, for example: -Food (kitchen appliances) -Body (waxing, lasers, hair straightener, mooncup) -Arts and crafts (knitting and sewing machines) -Health care (massage, acupuncture, home-made remedies) -Agriculture & land: (scarecrows, composting, tractors) -Astronomy & cosmogony (reading stars, magic, tarot)
Discuss the different machines and technologies listed under each category and introduce the following questions to enable a collective discussion:
How are the digital technologies we commonly use (computers, smartphones, electronics) overshadowing other types of knowledge, techniques and technologies we found in our familiar and collective memory stories?
Note the arguments or ideas discussed by participants regarding the colonialist perception of digital technologies in a flip chart.
Step 4: Gendered technologies (20 min)
The next step is a collective conversation about the gendering of machines, tools and technologies and is intended to raise participants’ awareness of how our gender and intersectionality has mediated our relationships and experiences with technologies.
Ask participants to look at the different machines, techniques and technologies again and ask themselves who can access and use them.
Building on their answers, cluster them between machines designed for women or for men, and check if you can find machines designed for everyone on your list.
Ask participants how this reflection about gendered technologies makes them feel: does it resonate with their own experiences?
Step 5: Wrap Up (10 min)
Ask participants if they have any questions, check on possible concepts that are unclear and invite them to share some concluding observations.

Activity Speculative Fiction: Inventing feminist technologies

This session enables participants to invent narratives, fiction or radical imaginaries that work as alternatives to existing oppressive or dystopian models. These new imaginaries can be oriented towards a specific topic (for example inventing feminist and liberating technologies, inventing technologies by combining bodies, machines and nature) or a specific activist issue (for example Sexual and Health Reproductive Rights, Land Defenders, etc). The workshop is oriented at co-designing stories and creating new worlds as processes to imagine and dream together about desired futures.
### Overview
1.  Introductions (20 min)
2.  Brainstorm the features of the world (20 min)
3.  Combine the features to create new worlds (20 min)
4.  Build the machines (30 min)
5.  Collective storytelling around the machines (45 min)
6.  Synthesis (10 min)
### Duration
145 minutes
### Learning Objectives
##### Knowledge
– Practice with storytelling and co-designing stories based on radical imaginaries.
##### Skills
– Understand how patriarchal narratives work to be able to deconstruct and oppose them.
– Learn techniques for the production of radical and counter-hegemonic imaginaries.
##### Attitude
– Understand the power of language and narratives as a space that shape our realities.
#### Preparation
Write on big papers a selection of broad categories intended to describe the machines or technologies participants will invent during the workshop. For instance:  Look and feel (What they look like? Materials they are made of?), Functionalities (What are their functions?), Usability (How can they be used? By whom?). These categories are some examples that can apply to the description of invented machines or technologies. You can also split the category “Look and feel” in two categories, one for adjectives describing the machine and another category specifically about materials they are made of. 
Once you have detailed your broad categories, you can display them on the wall.
## Steps
### Step 1: Introductions (20 min)
1.   Ask the participants to briefly introduce themselves: Their name, origin or chosen pronoun.
2.  Ask the participants to think about a technology they particularly like and then to simulate it (they can make a sound and/or movement). As participants start to showcase their machines, there is a collective construction of a big machine where each person represents different parts of it.  This activity is meant to be funny and to break the ice. 
### Step 2: Brainstorm the features of the world (20 min)
Brainstorm the different features displayed in the wall for inventing an imaginary machine or technology. For each category the participants are invited to add (with sticky notes) at least one feature of it. For this activity, participants might already have specific feminist technologies in mind. In that case they will detail their different features in sticky notes for every category (look and feel, functionality, usability). Participants that do not have in mind a specific technology, can also add features they want to play with in sticky notes under each category.
### Step 3: Combine the features to create new worlds (20 min)
From the features that come up from the previous brainstorm’s exercise, we are going to mix them. Each participant will choose one feature under one category and combine them together in a paper and will give that combination to another participant.  For example, each participant can get a combination of features that would look like: Look (pink and soft), Feel (made of wood), Functionality (swallow pollution) , Usability (can be used under the rain or dreaming). From that combination, they will imagine a machine, technique, artificial or technology that is based on those features: “In my neighbourhood there is a little box made of pink wood that eats pollution every time it rains and when it does not rain, some people can activate it by dreaming of it”.
### Step 4: Build the machines (30 min)
Building on the previous activity, each participant will build their machines using the process that they prefer. They can either draw it, create a 3D model with art materials like plasticine, or create a collage with photos and other materials. Participants will showcase their invented feminist technologies or new machines. Give a time to all participants to have a look at other inventions and to comment them.
### Step 5: Collective storytelling around the machines (45 min)
Propose to the group to select 1, 2 or 3 machines and to split in groups for 25 mins in order to write together a story around that machine. Where does it live, who maintains it, how does it impact the ecosystem around it, could be some of the ideas to have in mind meanwhile drafting those stories. Methodologies for quickly drafting stories can used random cut-up processes such as asking each person to write a sentence on a paper, hidden those sentences letting the last words visible to the next participant that will depart from those words to write a new sentence, this can go on until everybody has written something. Or people can create an oral story around the machine and then write it together.
The idea is to finalise the workshop by asking each group to read their stories aloud if they want to.
###Synthesis (10 min)
Ask participants if they have questions, check on possible concepts that are unclear and invite them to share some conclusive observations. 
### Adaptation
This methodology is highly flexible and can be adapted in many ways to make the workshop longer and or to produce longer and more elaborated storytelling around invented feminist technologies. If you want to make the workshop longer and/or more complex you can add in step 1 in the start categories related to the ecosystem where those machines live, new categories like “Physical spaces” (how does the places look like?), “Characters” (who are the persons developing or maintaining those machines?), “Roles/Norms” (who can use and/or develop the machines, under which circumstances?), etc. 
Some of these activities have been developed within the curricula Gender and Technology Institute sprint celebrated in April 2018 in Berlin.
You can check the Gender and Technology Institute Curricula here:
The Gender and Technology Institute Curricula by Tactical  Technology Collective is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International LicenseCredits:
Curricula development event, 2018: Alex Hache, Gabriela Rodriguez, Leil Zahra, Ling Luther, Semanur Karaman, Bjoerk Roi, Nina, Nadège, Matt Mitchell, Daniel Ó Cluanaigh, Sandra Ljubinkovic, Lucía Egaña Rojas, Joana Varon, Tamar Ayrikyan, Abir Ghattas, Jacopo Anderlini.

Special thanks to:
Lucía Egaña Rojas and cooptecniques for starting and inspiring this happy madness that  bring noise and laughs around and is basically giving me hope