[globaloutlookDH-l] [Redhd] DH organizations around the world

Alex Gil colibri.alex at gmail.com
Fri Jun 26 09:32:46 MDT 2015

Dear Domenico,

We're in perfect agreement that a federation is the long term goal here.
That's what I meant by "union." The devil will be in the (financial and
logistic) details!

Yes on south-south as a thing of beauty. I'm seeing some of that already
from my computer in NYC. Since I live in the north, though, I cannot
formally suggest what my friends in the south should or should not do at
the international level. I know that many of them benefit from and value
south-north collabs, for example.

My hope though is that we can shape venues for all orgs to work together as
peers, and personally, to make myself useful when needed. I like Roopika
Risam's take on this, which is to foster venues of collaborations were
local/regional communities decide what counts as a valuable intervention
according to their own contexts, and we come together to share our work, to
find out which collaborations are possible and to learn from one another.
This would be the alternative to a unitary (read universal) system for
vetting our programs.

The million dollar question is whether ADHO can become the place where
these things can happen, and how! A Bandung for DH would be
counter-productive and more difficult to pull off, imho. Wouldn't be my
place to help such a group happen either! So for now, I must dedicate my
working years and energy to working with one foot firmly in ADHO, and the
south-north that implies.

[answering Paul next]

All best!

On Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 6:59 PM, Domenico Fiormonte <
domenico.fiormonte at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Alex,
> congratulations for a very useful and interesting work!
> I would be also interesting to know more about ADHO's expansion plans (I
> refer to your sentence "how we can move forward organizationally at the
> global level, through and around ADHO").
> Although ADHO's efforts (like this group) should be recognized and
> encouraged, I think we should remember that ADHO is not a democratic
> organization with elected members, etc. as most of DH organizations in the
> world (including members of ADHO...). It is still a strange hybrid between
> an invitation-based Private Club and a corporate consortium. As I said in
> various occasions I would much prefer to see a "federation of diverse
> associations", instead of applying the "unity in diversity" model. That's
> why I'm suspicious of any "global leadership".
> But above all, what I think it would be really strategic is to support and
> promote *South-South dialogue*. I'd like to remember here the
> observations of Octavio Kulesz, author of an important survey of digital
> publishing in developing countries:
> "Likewise, the electronic solutions that certain countries of the South
> have implemented to overcome their problems of content distribution
> can also serve as a model for others, thus facilitating South–South
> knowledge and technology transfer. (...) Sooner or later, these countries
> will have to ask themselves what kind of digital publishing highways they
> must build and they will be faced with two very different options: a)
> financing the installation of platforms designed in the North; b) investing
> according to the concrete needs, expectations and potentialities of local
> authors, readers and
> entrepreneurs. Whatever the decision of each country may be, the long
> term impact will be immense."
> I think that similar questions can be applied to the DH world.
> So, what kind of DH do we want to build?
> All the best
> Domenico
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