Data_labe is a data and narratives laboratory based in the Maré favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is also a member of the Global Innovation Gathering (GIG), a network of innovation hubs, makerspaces, hackerspaces and other grassroots initiatives worldwide. In this blog post, we will showcase their work and connection to GIG and invite you to listen to an audio interview with Gilberto Vieira, one of the co-founders of data_labe.

You can listen to the interview here:

Data_labe was born in 2016 as a project within the Observatório de Favelas, a social organisation promoting favelas’ human rights and social justice. In 2018, it became an autonomous non-profit association. Its mission is to promote the democratisation of knowledge through data generation, analysis and dissemination, focusing on race, gender and territory. Its team comprises young people from low-income regions who produce new narratives through data. At the core of their projects is the question of the images constructed about the city and its inhabitants.

Data_labe operates in three main areas: journalism, education, citizen data generation, and monitoring. They produce reports, research, maps, consultancies, analytical reports, workshops, campaigns and events considering the potentials and complexities of low-income territories and their residents. In addition, they use data as a tool to amplify voices, challenge stereotypes and promote social change. Some of their projects include:

  • Data_stories: a platform for data journalism that covers topics such as health, education, culture, politics, violence and the environment from a favela perspective.
  • Data_lábia: a podcast that explores data literacy and critical thinking through conversations with experts and activists.
  • CocôZap: a mobile app that allows residents of Maré Favela to report sewage leaks and floods in their neighbourhoods and demand solutions from public authorities.
  • Crimideia: a campaign that denounces the criminalisation of funk music and culture in Brazil.
  • Códigos Ancestrais: a series of workshops introducing black women to data science and coding.

Data_labe has been part of GIG since 2017 when they participated in the re:publica conference in Berlin. Since then, they have been involved in several GIG activities, such as The Innovation Global Project, which aims to highlight the developmental potential of digital innovations from countries in the Global South through online and offline exhibitions, and CoAct project, which proposes a new understanding of Citizen Social Science (CSS) as participatory research co-designed and directly driven by citizen groups sharing a social concern, in which they become co-researchers in processes commonly dominated by academic researchers.

A data chart in a radar format (in portuguese) made over pieces of fabrics. Many more black men and black women are inprisioned

Data_labe collaborates with other GIG members on open culture, digital rights, innovation, and social justice. They share their knowledge and experience with other innovators from different contexts and learn from their peers. Data_labe is also a new partner in CoACt project, curating the website content for the next five years.

To learn more about data_labe and their work, we invite you to listen to an audio interview with Gilberto Vieira, one of the co-founders of data_labe. He talks about the origins, challenges and achievements of data_labe and their vision for the future. He also reflects on their relationship with GIG and how it has enriched their work.

The interview was conducted by Geraldine de Bastion, a digital rights activist, consultant and ‘s Executive Director of GIG. She has been collaborating with data_labe since 2016 as a mentor and partner.

We hope you enjoy the interview. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or comments for data_labe or GIG. Thank you for reading!


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