The center of the city around Casa de la Culrura Ecuatoriana, including Parque El Ejido and many streets all around all the way to the National Assembly are closed off and armies of policemen, volunteers and guards swarm around entry and exit point, and accreditation control areas.
After a testing of connectivity, sound and general flow last night we arrived a few minutes past 7am at the AulaR10 where our Side Event was to take place. 30 mins left for the event to start and our first visitors were an Ecuadorian couple that seemed very intent on being there, something that I never thought would be the case!
Aimee, Anneta and Sofia, at their posts. The event started and flowed beautifully between my only physical presence and presentation, Alejandro Meitin, Fereniki Vatavali and Geheimagentur ‘s remote presentations and the Gdansk team’s (Katzrzyna Kosmala and Roman Sebastyanski) pre-recorded video.
We stirred considerable interest in this very short period of time coming from MIT, Marseilles and India, and I gave an interview to a french web news page!
I then was ‘swept’ by car by two students waiting for me to go with them to FAU-UCE, for the Mesa Rodunda on Public Space where I was invited by my friend and colleague Patricia Palacios. I spoke in Spanish to a packed Auditorium and together with an interesting panel.
Two significant events back-to-back, one part of the offcial HIII, the other forming part of the so called “Resistencia Habitat”.
Hmmm! Hard just yet, to figure out what that might mean. This neecs time to settle down I thought to myself…
Then I had some rest, met with my two friends Aimee and Denia, had coffee together, and I decided it was time to return to HIII as an observer. Lots to discuss about HIII itself, but I plan to do that when I have a clear idea during the week and after. For the time being, I can comment on first impressions on the whole planning of the event, the city itself, and the recent history of the country:
Our first impression (contrary to the idea we had, based on the -non existent communication) of the organization of this mega-event is very good. The physical infrastructure, including Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana), Parque El Ejido, digital resources (internet, sound, charging hubs, an App for the programme itself) human resources (volunteers, etc), were also very good.
But my overall understanding of were Ecuador currently is, compated to what I had been led to believe by the documentary that had informed my understanding of its recent history, before Alianza Pais came to power, still buffles me!
This was reinforced by an accidental encounter with the indigenous march, protest speeches against the petroleum industry in the Amazon, and the controversy that the country embodies between a western way of life, and ancestral cosmovisions still very much alive in these communities, consciously rejecting money and everything that consumerism has to offer. On this occasion the “Resistencia Habitat” came to mind.
I need definitely to get back on this with more at hand!
One thought on “First day at HIII”
Following with interest…. even though I’m still trying to understand the root stem of it. Not an easy journey.But well worth while. Keep going Nikos. I guess sometimes we just plow through without fully understanding whats happening ourselves. But will do when we reflect. Keep the faith.:)