PROJECT MUKTI
19510569_1353154514768059_5071483119032289654_n.jpg
 
 

2016-2017 ANNUAL REPORT

A POWERFUL YEAR FOR DALIT ADIVASI BAHUJAN WOMEN, GENDER NON-CONFORMING, AND TRANS PEOPLE WORKING FOR JUSTICE IN TECHNOLOGY

 
 

Project Mukti emerged as a platform to fill the gender gap we have been noticing around us in spaces including academia, activism, art and technology. There are very few marginalized women, gender non-conforming and trans folks who lead in these fields. In our inaugural year we have taken many strides in building our work throughout India. We connected with survivors of violence and trolls, we connected with student and community organizers, leaders, activists, academicians, technologists, and developers. We learned many things and at the same time offered what we learned to our communities. We created our own space, a space that brings us together and allows us to discuss, plan, learn, create in a unauthoritative, trusted and friendly environment. We believe in our communities and their capacity to lead. 

 

Rapid Response Digital Security Training

 
 

The year 2016 witnessed a lot of internet shutdowns, campus crackdowns, activist profiles being blocked on social networking sites, and hacking of devices of student and community organizers. Many of us faced direct hacks on email accounts, malware attacks, intelligence bureau calls to cell phone and land lines. In addition activists had their rooms searched, followed by intelligence bureau operatives, hindutva goondas, and more. It is important for us, as a movement, to learn how to secure ourselves and also help others stay secure. 


 

 

 

 

In the summer of 2016, Project Mukti launched its first ever Rapid response Digital Security trainings across the country to help Dalit Adivasi Bahujan activists have better sense of how to protect themselves from online surveillance.. In a span of one month, we did 15 trainings in 7 cities and trained more than 300 student and community organizers, and activists. We have been providing digital security trainings to individuals and groups on a rapid response basis and on a regular basis based on the need. We have also developed a Digital Security Curriculum to support our activists in times of such targeted attacks. 

 

Groups that we have worked in the past include:

Activists and student organizers in Chennai.

Students and activists in Bengaluru

Activists from Mulnivasi Sangh, Student organizers at Osmania University, English and Foreign Languages University and University of Hyderabad in Hyderabad.

Students, journalists and academicians from Delhi Queer Pride in Delhi. Student organizers at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Community organizers at All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM - All India Dalit Women Rights Forum).

Student and community organizers at Mumbai.

Community organizers in Pune.

Individuals and activists who have been 

Names of some groups have not been mentioned for security reasons.

 
 
 

Wikipedia Editathon 

 
 

Wikipedia is not just any other free online encyclopedia. It is also one among the ten most visited websites in the world. Though citation of Wikipedia articles in research papers may be considered unacceptable, because Wikipedia is not considered a credible or authoritative source, it has been increasingly used by people in the academic community, from school students to professors, as an easily accessible tertiary source of information about anything and everything.

However, if we closely observe, most of the knowledge production on Wikipedia is by Savarna editors who have had access to technology for decades. The representation of content related to marginalized communities, cultural and religious minorities of India is very low. A couple of years ago we (Dalit History Month Collective) tried representing more Dalit History content (accurately and with backup from scholarship from our own people) during a Wikipedia editathon at MIT in Massachusetts, USA. At that time, we ran into a lot of problems - everything from Sanghi trolls to technical Wikipedia details, needed to be sorted out.
 

Since last one year, Project Mukti in collaboration with Equality Labs and Dalit History Month Collective has been working with a group of politically activated self-taught women Wikimedians called "Whose Knowledge?". Their aim is to help increase the representation of the history of marginalized folks and the work with several groups including, Native Americans, Afro-indigenous, Aboriginal and other communities, in Wikipedia, using the community's own knowledge. In working with them, we identified several protocols and allies who would support us to do a better job around keeping the data in Wikipedia as well-sourced, well-researched and un-deletable scholarship material.

As a follow up to the research we have been doing, and in honor of Dalit History Month, we conducted around 5 Wikipedia editathons, so far this year. We did these editathons in California and New York in the USA and New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune in India.

 
Wikipedia Editathon @ TISS, Mumbai
 
 
 

Jhalkaribai Light Society - Socially Engaged Art

Protest art

Art has been used as a powerful tool to revolt, and protest against injustice for ages by activists and organizers. In the past we have used placards, sign boards, graffiti, murals and flags to protest. Lights signs have started gaining momentum in the last couple of years. Project Mukti has developed the first ever light sign brigade - Jhalkaribai Light Society - in India that had engaged and trained community members to create light signs for various movements that we have supported and stood in solidarity. 

 
 
BBN.jpg
JFR.jpeg
 
 

CONSULTATION AND ADVOCACY

 

Dalit Adivasi Bahujan face a lot of discrimination and injustice in schools, colleges, universities, institutions, at work place and in movements. Many times marginalized groups do not even know about their rights. They are not educated about the mechanisms available to counter the human rights violations. There have been many suicides and attempts by students in the past because of the failure of these institutional structures.  

Project Mukti has been supporting and helping students and queer trans folks to navigate around these issues and understand various mechanisms outside the university and college administration. Helping student organizers understand the advocacy procedures. Meeting with the Human Rights Commissions, Commissions on Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes, Minsters and Parliamentarians, writing a representation etc.  

 
 

Add your call-to-action header here.

 
solid-52c2c8-2500x1667.jpg