At the start of May, Madison and two of her fellow Kaospilots joined the Floating Fab Lab (FLF) team on an investigative excursion into the Amazon. They visited two villages near Iquitos, Padre Cocha and Manacamiri in the Maynas region, and set themselves the task of discovering how exactly the FLF will best be able to serve these and similar indigenous communities. A tentative approach is necessary for ambitious, modern projects such as the FLF. If the project busts in delivering education and new technology to people who never even completed primary school, their reception will not be great. That would be scary. It would feel like a cultural coup. And that’s why the FLF is taking its time with investigation, finding the best angle to bring their hopeful project to the world of these indigenous communities. Understanding the context of where they’re going and who they’re helping is key to being able to initiate positive change. The FLF project is undeniably a force for good, but there’s still a right way and a wrong way to go about implementing it. The appropriateness of their goals is important to understand.
MadRim recently published an article in MAKE Magazin, our first appearance in German in print! Click here to purchase the magazine; the volume featuring our article is 1/2016. They published three lists, written by Miriam and photographed by Madison: Zehn kreative Fab Labs in Europa (10 Fab Labs You Must Visit if You’re in Europe); Acht coole Projekte (The 8 Coolest Projects We Saw While Biking Across Europe); and Sechs Labs für dein (inneres) Kind (Six Labs for your [inner] Child). Since we wrote a couple more lists that never made it into print in German or online in English, we’ve decided to include them here. Read on to learn about Some Places to Ride Your Bike in Europe.
We got spoiled in the Netherlands: bike lanes two meters wide, perfectly paved, geography so flat it weirdly feels like downhill. This past week the Real Bike Tour began: ten hour days in the saddle, nights spent camping, sometimes legally. We dirtbag it up, crusty with sweat and sunburnt, perched outside supermarkets while we devour the day’s bread and cheese and whatever bottom shelf booze tickles our fancy. Does this grassy knoll have Wifi?
Places we’ve to or through in the last twenty days: Leiden, Den Haag, Delft, Rotterdam, Breda, Roosendaal, Bergen op Zoom, ‘s-Heer Arendskerke, Middelburg, Vlissingen, Cadzand, Sluis, Damme, Brugge, Moerbrugge, Beernam, Gent, Asse (where you can bet your arse we rested ours), Brussels.
Madison Worthy and I are not on vacation here. Yes, we’re having the time of our lives biking across Europe, but we’re also making a documentary, setting up the film equipment, breaking it down, schlepping it around. We’re connecting to some impressive characters, individuals who have been involved in the maker movement before anyone was even calling it that. We’re exploring towns and cities that we would never otherwise have set foot in. But we’re not on vacation.
Madison and I had a fabulous time in Amsterdam. (Does anyone not?!) We stayed with Monique de Wilt of ZB45 Makerspace and her cat Neo, named of course for the protagonist of The Matrix. Monique’s building her own open source 3D printer, the MoWi, which is special because it’s collapsible, easy to transport by bicycle. As amazing as Couchsurfing is, staying with Fab folk is a fantastic opportunity for us to get to know people outside of the official Fab Lab filming environment. We love witnessing how Fab folk spend their free time. Belonging to a Fab Lab is not just a hobby, it’s more of a lifestyle.