Hacklab Belgrade 2013 Report
Hacklab Belgrade is relatively small in populace, area, and aspiration, but remarkably solid and cohesive in spite of - or because of - it's targeted scope.
Existing not in commercial space at all, but a donated first-floor apartment, Hacklab, if used for it's orginal intention, would be warming, showering, and dishwashing the everyday lives of at most 2 Serbian citizens. As it is, living room and bedroom house the main hack area which when I arrived was the combined chamber 6 serbs attending the the weekly python workshop run by Macedonian. In the middle of git-pushing their work and rearranging the furniture for that night's screening of torrented "The Pirate Bay, Away From Keyboard," I managed to strike up a few interviews with the ragamuffins in exchange for some swigs of the 2.5L bottle of lager, and local wax-topped 'Rakija'. In no particular order:
Hacklab and gender-minority involvement
Of the eight people that were at Hacklab pythoning before I arrived, three of them were women. Impressed by this minor imbalance I questioned on such female, Daria (pictured above), if she could conjecture a reason. Yugoslavia, she answered. Communist and socialist Yugoslavia had strong feminism-activist lines and ideals. Inclusion was a theme that was taught and practiced in aspects of everyday life of the multi-ethnic Yugoslavia, which of course predates Hackerspaces. Although Daria and the other Serbo-hackers lived only infancy before the state divisions - fracturing arguably because of intolerance - she still insists that some perhaps nostalgic heritage lives on. Arandjel, an ex-student-activist was more skeptical to draw this link. He spun his phone on the table as Milosh, the reason why Serbia has the most active Wikinews of any language, theorized a connection between the hackerspace and the Yugoslavic tradition of socially-owned companies. Socially-owned companies were to Yugoslavic socialism, as cooperatives are to capitalism; and enjoyed considerable success. A civil engineering firm run by anarcho-feminists became a vanguard example of what socially-owned companies could achieve even granting their own internal diplomas that were later externally recognized. Such a genetic code I commented would be a fertile breeding ground for hackerspaces. Milosh answered yes, but it wasn't until post-war Serbian salaries had increased to include a monthly fat of 1,000 dinar ($13) that a hackerspace became viable. This qualifying Arandjel noted, would actually be an argument for a Yugoslavian mentality lending a predicliction for self-organized communities, with the price of a few happy-meals being the only barrier to realization.
Activities and Schedule
COQ- 6 times as slow.
Membership and Finance
No memembership. schedule but no meetings and noisebridge conensus.