Thomas Wiegold was there in Somalia even before the German military arrived back in 1993. And he has been there ever since, reporting on what is a unique situation for both a country and its military. As the decades have passed, as an independent journalist Thomas has continued to both report about as well as look critically at the decisions that are made and how those decisions are carried out by a military that has quietly engaged in a significant number of international interventions over the past 20 years.
In this podcast I get the chance to sit down with Thomas at the Pressehaus in Berlin and to talk about his work, how he got started reporting about the military and where this work has taken him, both physically and mentally. Besides a list of newspapers and magazines, you can also find his work on his blog, Augen Geradeaus (wordplay on the military command – EYES FRONT!), which is mostly in German with items for the English speakers as well. Download, sync it, listen to the discussion, you’re sure to learn something new, just as I did.
Someone joked with me as they watched me sort through video from the 27C3 in Berlin last week – “Blinking lights, computers, nerd humor…that looks like every year of the congress.” Good point, I thought to myself. But I still love gathering and assembling highlights for my own personal record and for others to get a glimpse of what this talented group of people do once a year when we gather.
27C3 Moments in Video from BicycleMark on Vimeo.
A week after the 26th Chaos Communication Congress and I find myself looking back at the issues, the people, the presentations, the ideas.. everything that was being thrown around and shared during that amazing gathering of hackers from around the world. I sit at the computer working on a larger write-up about the hackerspace movement, which has taken root not only in the west, but on every continent in more countries than I ever believed possible.
Besides all the great ideas and the very talented and fun individuals taking part in this event, what I find most interesting is that whether it be through annual events or permanent creative spaces, this community feels more and more open and engaged with other communities in society. From science, to art, to politics, or history… the list of intersection and cooperation with the hacking community continues to grow. A development which I would describe as positive when compared to being an isolated, ignored, or intimidated group of thinkers.
For the past 4 years I’ve wandered around these congresses and marveled at everything around me. Above all at how much individuals can create together, without a profit motive, out of sheer interest and curiosity (and maybe some bragging rights). They take this massive bland building, and they make it into a living, breathing organism that functions in a very efficient and exciting manner.
Looking at all the banners and listening to all the languages being spoken, it seems more clear than ever that hackers have entered a new era where they are not afraid of being judged, and will not be shamed because of their interests and abilities. It begins perhaps, as it has for many minority groups in history, with taking back their word that was twisted into something derogatory – hacker. And it continues with the establishment of creative spaces, all over the world, where people can meet and work on their projects.
It’s safe to conclude that at 26C3 last week, I was watching history be made…. again.