April News 2018

Currently @ LATINNO

This month, we've continued to update our democratic innovations' database with the latest forms of political experimentation implemented in Latin America. In this newsletter, we'd like to share with you some of the different participatory innovations created with the aim of deliberating and implementing sports and cultural policies: collaboratively mapping and identifying cultural initiatives, implementing artistic interventions as a way of vindicating the right to the city, and using digital tools to protect Latin America's intangible cultural heritage.

LATINNO @ International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association

On May 25th, from 7:30-9:00 pm, LATINNO's project coordinator Thamy Pogrebinschi will be at the LASA Conference in Barcelona talking about the multiple forms of political experimentation in Latin America. There, she will share some of the preliminary findings of the research project and will explain and compare the new institutional designs for citizen participation found throughout the region. If you are in Barcelona, don't miss it!

Policy Issues: Culture and Sports

The LATINNO project is built upon the idea that the inclusion of citizens in the policymaking process and the institutionalization of citizen participation can constitute forms to address the shortcomings of representative democracies. Our database has identified more than 1,450 spaces of political experimentation in 18 countries in Latin America. 4% of these democratic innovations engage in the ideation, implementation, and evaluation of cultural policies and leisure activities.

Some examples include but are not limited to Peru's Culture Spots, a program through which the Ministry of Culture registers, recognizes and partially finances groups and projects dedicated to art and culture, recognizing the central role of citizen participation in the promotion and implementation of cultural policiesChile's Bicycles for a better life, where citizens drafted the Bill for the Promotion of the Use of Bicycles and the Development of Bike Culture, which was then presented and approved in the first instance by the Congress; and Bolivia's Citizens’ Council for the Planning of Arts and Culture, which was created with the aim of planning and evaluating cultural activitiesand is one of the most active citizens' councils of La Paz.

Featured Cases

National Council of Literature - Colombia

The National Council of Literature is an advisory body of the Ministry of Culture for the formulation of policies, plans, and programs in the field of literature. It is also in charge of offering support to the literary sector to strengthen its impact and increase its coverage. The Council also keeps the relevant artistic and cultural organizations informed of the development of the policies, plan, and programs discussed in the Council. The council is part of the National Councils of Artistic Areas, created by the General Law of Culture of 1997 and regulated later in 2003 and 2004. Its members are representatives of the Ministry of Culture and five regional groups, and prominent literary figures.

Cultural Maps - Brazil

Cultural Maps is a web platform and app for smartphones developed by the TIM Institute and implemented by the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, as well as by various municipal and regional governments. Through the interface, these institutions publish official information on spaces, events and cultural agents dependent on all levels of government; as well as receive the information registered by individuals or collectives, who can map their initiatives, activities, and spaces. Citizens can also send reports on out-of-state public or private spaces, update their data and thus collaborate interactively with the update of these maps. In this way, this platform uses the open databases of the government and the citizen input to offer a more complete and updated view of the cultural offer in Brazil.

Kernaia - Mexico

Kernaia is a project born from the need to digitalize the traditional pedagogical design to teach indigenous languages. In addition to reducing the digital divide through citizen participation, the objective of this initiative is to facilitate the learning process of new generations. The positive experience of the pilot project "Aprendamos Mixteco" prompted civil society organizations to continue developing this type of applications. For this reason, they designed, in collaboration with members of the Purepecha community and artists, the application "Aprendamos Purépecha." From this second experience, Kernaia became an open innovation project. Currently, applications for learning indigenous languages are co-created with communities, promoting the digital inclusion of these minorities and their cultures at the local and national levels.

Newest Innovation

Zebras for Life - Tlalpan, Mexico City

The initiative "Zebras for Life" was born in Colombia as a way of prioritizing pedestrians over cars and recovering the public space, and years later, found its way to the State of New Leon, in Mexico, through civil society organizations. This participatory mechanism plans and carries out artistic interventions in the streets as a way of not only signaling crosswalks but also as a vindication of the right to the city. On March 18th, 2018, it was implemented for the first time in Tlalpan, a borough of Mexico City.