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pour se réapproprier l'informatique, internet et les nouvelles technologies  
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( r o o t | p r e z | a c t u | z i n e | d o c u | p i c s | l i n k | p l u s )

print website - english section

Welcome on the english section of the pRiNT! collective's website. We're an alternative computing collective in dijon, france, promoting the use of free software and computing for social change, trying to connect autonomous activist and geek communities.

You can find a more detailed description below, together with a brief history of our project.

If you're curious enough, you can also visit the pics section to check some of the posters we did and have a look at where we dwell, and go through the link page to discover some collectives, initiatives, sites or events we recommand.

For more information and further contacts, you can reach us at print@squat.net, and come talk to us on IRC, on #print irc.indymedia.org.

presentation & history of the project and its space

::: the project ::: the place ::: history ::: posters and pictures :::

The project

...as defined in various flyers :

December 02, version 0.3 - latest flyer:

  • $ whatis print
    pRINT! is an "alternative computer workshop" located in the autonomous space "Les Tanneries", in Dijon/France.

  • $ man print
    pRINT! is involved in several activities: workshops on GNU/Linux, cryptography, free software ("Free the Bytes Party"), occasional vegan kitchens ("if you can compile a kernel, you can make a cake!"), internet open-access space, etc.

  • $ more print
    As opposed to proprietary software, we advocate the use of free software; we oppose internet business with involvement in counter-information structures; we believe in donating, sharing and redistributing equipment as well as sharing knowledge and experiences.

  • $ info print
    Come and visit us on wednesdays and saturdays, from 4 to 8pm at "Les Tanneries", browse our website and/or get in touch. If you want to know about upcoming events, you may subscribe to our mailing list (through the website). Moreover, we'll greet any (un)used equipment with joy!

  • $ cat README.print
    log: p - r - i - n - t
    def: pour se réapproprier l'informatique, l'internet et les nouvelles technologies (to take back the internet and computer technologies)
    loc: espace autogéré des tanneries, 17 bd de chicago, 21000 dijon, france (tanneries@squat.net)
    nfo: http://print.squat.net
    ctc: print@squat.net

* * *

May 02, version 0.2 - first widely spread flyer:

  • Context - More and more people use computers and the internet, as society in general tends to be "plugged". Almost every computer's equipped with Microsoft software from the start... Users are brainwashed into thinking there's only one way: the copyrighted and capitalist system. This usually comes with the increase of mass advertising, control over users (less and less privacy) and therefore leads to new forms of domination based on the ability to use technology.

  • So what? - There's a growing need to develop alternative approaches to computing and to fight those who want to turn networks into control units. We believe in using technology as means of communication for communities. First, this means having access to equipment. Then, getting rid of software from Microsoft and similar corporate companies. To finally share knowledge and take back technology.

  • Who? - we're a bunch of individuals involved in the libertarian sphere, in squatted and autonomous spaces. By squatting, we refuse profit-making laws, domination and inequalities. We'd like to extend this to our computer practices as well.

  • What? We intend to create an internet open-access space and to introduce people to alternative computer uses. That's what PRINT stands for (Pour se Réproprier l'Informatique/l'internet et les Nouvelles Technologies).

  • How? - As opposed to copyrighted software, we encourage the use of free software; We don't want any internet business but a constant involvement in counter-information structures; We believe in donating, sharing and redistributing equipment as well as sharing experiences and knowledge. PRINT may be useful as a "crutch" to different activities: introduction to GNU/Linux via workshops; collective projects; meetings and discussions...

  • Where? - The PRINT project is still in progress (alpha version). It's now located in different places since it's "birth place" (Le Pamplemousse - 18, rue du Midi) is currently facing eviction. However, we want to take some time to settle down (a bit) somewhere so as to define new plans.

  • Support - we need help for the project. That may be donations, tech advices, suggestions. If you're interested in this idea and want to be involved, suggest a workshop or simply meet us and chat... get in touch!

* * *

The place

April 03 - presentation of our public space, which we opened on April 12th 2003:

pRiNT! is an autonomous computer lab in dijon (france), that brings together individuals willing to use computers freely, experiment radical computing and subversive techniques, experience alternative digital passions.

After a first period of intense mobility, pRiNT! has finally settled in the self-managed center "les tanneries". A lot of work has been put into the creation of a proper space that is now able to host our various activities. Through this place, we want to bring:

  • The internet is a great tool for communication, discovery and free-speech. Unfortunately, it's getting increasingly colonized by consumerism and threatened with censorship. We allow free internet access and encourage the use of its independent sites and servers. Come and surf, publish, share freely on the net!

  • Capitalist society wastes an incredible amount of material that is still perfectly functional. We liberate rusty computer cases, abandonned motherboards, forgotten processors and other (sometimes) out-dated components from containers, to feed our free computer construction workshop. Bring your screwdriver and creativity to give a second breath to those bits of hardware!

  • Most people are trapped within proprietary software, which forbids copy and distribution, prevents modification, forces to pay for its use, and often means poor quality. We only use free software, which stands at the complete opposite; we encourage and help interested individuals to adopt them. Come have a look, try free software and leave your "windows" at the door!

  • Information is often dispersed and sometimes hard to get. So we choose to put some of our books and magazines together - technical guides, theorical essays, practical accounts - to create a small library that may help people go further and feed ingeniosity. Bring your books and/or your curiosity!

  • Computing is often perceived as an antisocial and out-of-reality activity. On the contrary, we want to allow "real" people to meet and share nice moments around a cup of coffee, be they geeks, (h)activists, or nothing special. Come enjoy our sofas and have a chat!

  • ETC.
  • Some more activities may come out of your participation in the future - we hope so!

Visit us,

  • On WEDNESDAYS and SATURDAYS, from 4pm to 8pm,
  • at the TANNERIES, bd de chicago, DIJON, FRANCE

And if you're stuck,


Posters & pictures

Here are some of the posters we did and glued around (more in the pics section):

Microsoft - a fatal error appeared... now we have to find the
	 exit!   Punky Brewster
	 uses GNU/Linux, why not you?

Some photos of the autonomous space "les Tanneries", where pRiNT! is located:

	 autonomous space 'les tanneries'   the
         autonomous space 'les tanneries', again

Some advertisements that got subvertised somehow ;)

an unlucky
	 advert   gnus and
	 pinguins against capitalism!

Its history


  • December 1997: political and electronic communication appeared in the alternative Dijon...

    http://www.chez.com/maloka was created. This website was dedicated to the activities of Maloka, a local anarchist collective organizing gigs and a weekly vegan restaurant, running a non-profit mailorder distro of independent records, books, zines, maintaining an infoshop in the city center, and coordinating political demonstrations and actions. Very few people were actually involved in the website, as local activists were not yet aware of digital communication and the use of technology.

  • A transitory process of development connected to the growth of local autonomous activism

    Computing slowly gained popularity, through its use for publishing flyers, newsletters, since political activities grew tremendously. In 1998, many collectives came out of Maloka, as a result of diverse initiatives on various subjects: a "car-free city" collective, a feminist womyn-only group, the squat "les Tanneries", an antifascist group, a political prisonners' support group, etc.

    The website followed that growth, and covered activities from all these collectives, spreading information via a mailing-list called "malokaliste". It began to be an important source of militant information.

  • Global growing interest till "the real thing"

    Few people knew about the issues of proprietary software vs free software by the time, and most lacked time and experience to go beyond Microsoft and usual commercial software.

    Fortunately, a number of initiatives in 1999/2000 encouraged us to go further in the direction of computing autonomy: Zelig Conf (European meeting of digital counter-cultures)), Netstrikes in Italy, the Indymedia network, virtual sit-ins during the IMF and the World Bank summits in Prague, etc. This raised awareness around the issues of free software, alternative communication, digital control.

    Another major step was made when discovering some existing counter-cultural computing initiatives like ASCII and PUSCII in the Netherlands or LOTEC in Germany. These squat computing collectives provided free internet access using free software like GNU/Linux, collected and repared obselete hardware, and participated in independant media projects (squat!net, the indymedia network, etc.)

    At the same time, the Maloka website was getting increasingly hard to maintain. Too much efforts for too few people, which contradicted the will of non-specialization and collective responsability our activities expressed. The site was partially freezed, until a new version comes, which would allow more participation. But first, the greatest need was to make internet access easier within the local activist community and share computer knowledge...

  • First thoughts about the PRINT project

    The idea of creating an alternative and popular workshop in one of the local squats first came out in order to:
    • link political resistance and electronic struggles together;
    • facilitate access to computer equipment;
    • help the local militant scene to get rid of proprietary software and to have a responsible (secure) use of the internet;
    • communicate widely, discover new struggles and meet other counter-cultures...

    Moreover, it was important for us not to communicate with the outside to:
    • stress all issues implied by technology;
    • promote a conscious and political use of computers;
    • encourage oneself to take back new technologies;
    • encourage oneself to be involved in independent media and get access to them.

  • The development of the PRINT project:

    The Plug'n'Politix meeting in Zürich (7-9 October 2001) allowed a closer discovery of some other squatted cybercafe and alternative tech projects, and somehow fueled a more formal launch of our collective.

    A workspace was quickly created in the squat Pamplemousse ("grapefruit" - housing 7 people and a few irregular activities). We started to hold meetings and gather hardware. Thanks to solidarity, a few Pentiums joined our collection of 386 and 486 ;) But the Pamplemousse wasn't very well suited for organizing public events, and we didn't have a high speed internet connexion. So we experimented an "alpha" version of PRINT, aiming at:
    • becoming GNU/Linux friendly, collectively learn how to use it;
    • setting up a local network and easy-access to computers while trying to get more equipment.

    A flyer was made to introduce the project at the NoZelig Conference (27-29 January, Paris). We had a lot of positive feedback following this and a few people came to the weekly "meetings" we had every Friday. These meetings often turned out to be workshops for sharing knowledge about GNU/Linux, cryptography, networks, etc.

    March 15th 2002 marked the departure of PRINT from the Pamplemousse, since the house was facing eviction after a year and a half, and we couldn't risk to loose our equipment.

  • PRINT, the "real" start...

    We started to carry out actions on a regular basis. Following are some examples...

    May-June 2002: Posters were made and glued downtown, promoting free software, making fun of Microsoft, etc. During the fest held in the Espace Autogéré des Tanneries, pRINT set up an internet space to introduce free software as well as the project itself. That was quite successful as a "coming-out". pRINT also organized 3 GNU/Linux introduction workshops at the "Local Libertaire" temporarily turned into a multimedia space...

    19-28 July 2002: pRint was involved in the organization of the Strasbourg No Border Camp, which promoted the abolition of borders and the right to settle down anywhere. The d.sec initiative, in particular, raised the connexions between freedom of movement and freedom of information, through a series of workshops, debates, brainstormings, conferences and actions in which we participated. On the camp itself, a free cybercafé, an independent media center centre, a pirate radio station were set up, by a coalition of alternative tech collectives involved. It was an interesting opportunity to experience different means of communication in such a context, in "real-time", when a lot of information were given constantly, from different sources, to different places.

    June-August 2002: pRINT moved to the Espace Autogéré des Tanneries; we started to set up a room for our activities and an ADSL connection got shared by computers connected to our local network; another computer was put in the living-room as a open-access one... and free software started to be common use for inhabitants and visitors!

  • PRINT, past and future...

    October-November-December 2001: pRINT started a new series of activities in and around its new location: a vegan kitchen with a discussion, bringing radical cooking tactics to the geek world, a "free the bytes party #1" introducing free software, a new series of "GNU/Linux for beginners" workshops, followed by another series in a squat in Paris, a number of tiny workshops on different themes and a participation in the Zelig.RC2 hackmeeting in Paris...

    2003: some new events (a Debian install-party!), and a lot of physical work to build ourselves an open-access space in the tanneries...

    ...the adventure goes on more than ever!

Last update to this section: 15/04/03

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