As announced earlier, Saturday 2nd August we celebrated "festival de la liberté" at Santosha Refuge. It was a musical & colorful gathering comprising of artists, singers, musicians, poets and other like-minded people to spend the night cheering for freedom. When I was initially invited, I was like "how do I contribute". I planned to do a short presentation (5 - 6 mins) on a topic not commonly heard, it was Pervasive Monitoring.

The festival was organized by the No To Biometric ID Card platform as a means to express freedom in a creative way.

I'm just a geek. Maybe creative from some angle but still you can't get me singing or playing an instrument without breaking the tune. While I called other geek folks to join the festival they wondered just as I did in the beginning. What are we going to do? I told them let's just go and have a chill-out moment without talking computers ( :

Yog, Veer and Nitin confirmed they would come. We met at Flying Dodo, Bagatelle and had a moment of Summer Blonde Ale, sour at the beginning but leaves a sweet after-taste.

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Me, having a taste of the Summer Blonde Ale

After this short beer time we had dinner at Taste of Asia. We then went to InterMart to get some supplies in order to spend the night at Santosha Refuge. Bought some snacks, juice, Vodka and I even pulled in bread & cheese just in case we feel hungry later at night.

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Yog at Bagatelle Food Court

We reached Tamarin some time before 21h00. Never been to Santosha Refuge before so I called up Jeff to find the way. As we reached the place it appeared a cozy home where a lot of people were chilling out with their food & drinks. I like the place. I discussed about my presentation with Jeff & Vince. Christophe & Para joined in to help with the projector set up. I met Vaayu (as everyone calls her), Alexander, Stéphane Walger and others as they showed up. IAM & Laetitia came a while later. By then the show was already up & we could hear some cool music playing.

I finished setting up the laptop & projector and Yog opened the Vodka. Apple juice, Vodka & Crunchies in the cold weather, that was awesome.

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At the same time the musical trance was on with folks singing & playing music as their turn came.

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Vaayu and Jeff

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Para Estar

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Stéphane (left), Laetitia and IAM

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Dean (left), Stéphane and Laetitia

At the other side paintings were taking shape in a collaborative way. Alexander, Laetitia and Vaayu put together their creativity to express the right of freedom.

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On my turn I was asked to do the presentation. I gave a quick intro about Pervasive Monitoring. It's how governments can impose mass surveillance in the name of national security & once it's implemented there is nothing you can do.

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I mentioned about the different companies who are working on the MNIS Project and showed a video by NEC IT Solutions where they showcase their Face Recognition technologies.

The festival was scheduled to last till the next day but we (Yog, Veer, Nitin and I) left around midnight. We spent a nice time together though. Among the artists we were like "wow" that painting is coming out beautiful. As computer guys we talked about Inkscape, GIMP and how we could make doodles, we even tossed the topic on ASCII drawings & laughed. Those who would like to give it a try you may visit ASCII Flow.

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