Jo&Sanja on Mon, 12 Jul 1999 12:02:47 +0100

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Syndicate: RIKS general update july 99

RIKS: Internet  in Kosov@

Now that in Kosovo the battlefield is turning into a playground for
international military, diplomatic, intelligence, aid-, NGO and commercial
agents, it is good to remember that quite a few Kosovars have solid
experience with building parallel civil structures, dealing with
international agents, and using Internet for various purposes. RIKS is a
international support-project to re-install and further develop Internet as
a tool for reconstruction and reinventing Kosov@ Society. If only to be an
equal player on their own ground.
A team of international media-activists is working closely with people and
projects in the region of Kosov@, Macedonia, Albania, and Montenegro.

this first web-based database to help refugees from Kosova to find their
relatives. It  was made by a local Albanian NGO)called ADI (Association for
the Democratic Intitiatives) in Gostivar (Macedonia). They exchaneged
information with the refugees by going to the camps with notebooks, either
digital or paper.
In Tetovo a Cybercafe opended just a month before  NATO raised the war in
Kosova to a higer level. It is owened by a local macedonian-serb and a
student of architecture from Prishtina, specializing in web-based
Expanding the idea of xs4all-refugees it acquired the perspective of
constructing a communicative, community-oriented infrastucture owned by a
network of people from local and regional NGO's, enterprises, projects,
etc., with the long-term purpose of reconstructing Kosov@.
This is RIKS: Reconstructing via Internet Kosov@ Society.

The concrete phase RIKS is in now:
- Widening the network both regionally to Albania, Montenegro and of course
bringing it home to Kosov@, as well as globally, activating support in the
international internet-community.
- The local pilot project of upgrading the cybercafe in Tetovo to a local
ISP, as a basis and a laboratory for transferring to other locations and
groups of people working out internet-applications
- Introducing micro-radio-stations for producing audio both locally in the
ether, and globally via Internet.

Besides upgrading, we will widen the reach, or better outreach of the
In collaboration with local NGO's, volunteers will go with laptops to
refugees or returnees to exchange data for refugee-finders on the web,
e-mail, etc. Net-links using mobile-phones, satlinks or FM-links could be
used to create nettents in the camps, in communities or in towns and vilages
in Kosov@.
I would also like to mention the Operating System Linux: we are in the
process of distributing RedHat 6.0, forming Linux-workshops and -clubs.

Let me resume the basic approach of RIKS:
xs4all refugees, radical democracy, producing and re-inventing media is
juicier than just consuming,
grassroot networking: local laboratories, regional transfer, global support
tactical media: mobile, flexible, human scale and cheap!

Jo van der Spek
journalist  and
coordinator of RIKS
Reconstructing via Internet Kosov@ Society

tel +31.20.6718027
H.Seghersstraat 46 1072 LZ Amsterdam
Jo van der Spek is a free lance journalist and
programmer of public debates on matters political and cultural
both in the national and international domain

mos ban luft, ban dashuri

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