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Streamtime - Free Flow from Baghdad

A project by Cecile, Jaromil and Radio Reedflute

Haan al-Irsaal (Arabic for Streamtime), was then born in the spring of 2004 when in the attic of Cultural Political centre De Balie in Amsterdam two journalists and a free software developer joined their forces with the purpose to promote web-radio and blogging from Iraq.

Since then Streamtime evolved a loose network of media activists dedicated to assist local media to get connected independently, since its existence this project has been relaying independent news from Iraq for underground as well main-stream media worldwide.

Free as a Fish - Reclaiming the River

Press reviews: Linux.com, Nettime, De Nieuwe Reporter.nl, PazLab.it, OpenTech.jp, Incommunicado

The initial focus of the initiative lay on unconventional content, at least in those days of war: Iraqi poetry, people's sounds and conversations, stories from the Iraqi interior as much as possible told by the protagonists with their own voices.

The Tigris is much more than just a streaming river: it is a cradle of civilisation, a stream of water for fishing, swimming, drinking, irrigation and dumping, hiding and shaving. And it may be a vehicle for anybody's imagination.

The project continued through web-working, refocusing on the many Iraqi bloggers who create on their own initiative a signal to the outside and tell their stories from torn Iraq. Daily contacts with Iraqi bloggers from Mosul to Baghdad and other ways of contacts further south are since then part of the Streamtime experience and the web site developed by Cecile into a daily review of the iraqi blogiverse.

We imagine improvised expressive devices like a CD that turns your PC into an on line streaming studio. Imagine a mob that creates a traffic jam. Think of the religious policeman in London, the konfused kollege kid and the jealous dentist in Baghdad and the jailed blogger blogging on in Cairo. Building autonomous networks in extreme conditions.

Streamtime may take the form of a campaign, a work of collaborative art, a current of unheard sounds, unspeakable words and unseen imaginations. Remote interaction and ubiquitous dialogues, dematerialized communication and participation on the streets. Space in its territorial, acoustic and cybernetic dimensions is fragmented and recomposed realtime.

We focus on a cultural sense of finding your own way in the quagmire that is Iraq, and its representation in the global media. We don't try to change politics in order to foster cultural change; we support cultural manifestation in order to force political change.

We aim at forming new maps, mutant drawings and unstable skins. Information overload can be abandoned in favor of consciousness and collaborative practices. Memory has a digital, diverse, horizontal voice.

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