Vojo at the Boston Brazilian Independence Day Festival | MIT Center for Civic Media

Vojo at the Boston Brazilian Independence Day Festival

Vida Verde Cooperative

Last week, Becky, Sasha, and I went to the Brazilian Independence Day Festival in Boston: a lot of Brazilian food, music and dance. I have been in the US since August after joining the CMS Program as a Master’s student and the Center of Civic Media as a research assistant. It was amazing to hear Brazilian Pop Music again and clap along the Capoeira rhythm. In Brazil, I had been working as a Science reporter for O Estado de S. Paulo since 2007. Before that, I was a computer programmer.

The Brazilian Festival was also my first experience with the Vojo platform, my main research focus from now on. We helped two community based organizations (Brazilian Women’s Group and Vida Verde Cooperative) in documenting the festival with no-frills mobile phones. It was very exciting and the results can be seen in the Vojo website.

We talked to other groups in the Brazilian community. The Brazilian Immigrant Center already has a group at Vojo. Now it is engaged in a campaign advocating the right of immigrants without full legal status to own a driver’s license in Massachusetts. It is a good opportunity to think about how media actions can increase the visibility of a civic campaign.

The Communications Coordinator of the Massachusetts Alliance for Portuguese Speakers, Renan Leahy, showed interest in the Vojo platform. The organization provides health and human services for the immigrants since 1970. We are going to meet sometime in the next month.

Jehozadak Pereira, producer at 650 AM, the Brazilian radio in the Boston area, invited us to an interview. We will tell the listeners how to use Vojo.

Last but not least, through Anselmo Cassiano we connected with Alvaro Lima, director of research at Boston Redevelopment Authority and... Brazilian! On Friday, we met at Boston City Hall to discuss ways of cooperation. In the next days, he is going to visit Civic Media.

Well, as Sasha said, let the Vojo workshops begin!