Got up early for the first Colonialism in Open Data and Mapping session! For anyone who didn't get a ticket, it is being streamed here:

There are so many important things being said about OpenStreetMap and its colonial traditions. The people who are speaking here are the ones whose opinions I'd like to be centered in OSM. There are way too many "white guy from Germany or the US tells everyone how to map" situations going on.

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One thing that stood out to me was Imma Mwanja's emphasis on the importance of free software in mapping projects to enable participation of people in postcolonial areas. This is an article that she recommended:

"The use of proprietary products creates a vicious cycle whereby charitable and public development funds are effectively channeled to proprietary software companies […], entrenching the Western monopoly on well-paid jobs in Africa."

I had never before noticed this structural aspect of free software. And I think it makes it even more important for western-dominated FOSS communities to put a lot of attention into being as good as they can be and work against all forms of oppression, taking their responsibility seriously.

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@maunzi I'll have to read into this once I have the time! bookmarks

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