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January 29, 2007


WSF Basic Structure

The 2007 World Social Forum was a six day event, with large opening and closing celebrations in the big park in downtown Nairobi, and then four days of workshops and activities at the International Sports Center about 30 minutes northeast of downtown. Scenes from each day are listed below as “Opening,” “Day One” (etc.) and “Closing.” In between these scenes are entries about specific events and issues.

At the Sports Center, most workshops were held in the bleachers of the main soccer field/stadium, with rooms created by white foam separation walls and white tarps on top. Workshops went from 8am to 8pm, with sessions given 2.5 hours each. Sound systems were adequate in maybe 50% of the workshops. Around the circle of the stadium was the main path with frequent marches and groups of singing protesters, among other activities. Around the path were booths for NGOs and the like. Then, behind the booths were more large tents and another building for more workshops. But the maps were incorrect and there were not enough program guides to go around… so it was a challenge to get anywhere. Overall, it was easy to find about 60% of the workshops, while the others still seem to be disappeared into unknown rooms. Most of my most interesting conversations happened outside of the workshops...

1 comment:

Orion said...

Yup - sounds familiar. not enough maps and info. to go around. Many of the "lost" workshops probably never happened -- since anyone can register a workshop, and space will be set aside for it, even if they never ever show up.

Why is this considered a better way to do things? Ideologically, people really celebrate this messy chaos as proof that we are living our values...I don't get it.