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  • Patricia Lustosa Brito, Faculty Advisor at Federal University of Bahia

Everywhere She Maps Mulheres do Calafate

Everywhere She Maps at the Calafate Community, a vulnerable urban area in the city of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.


On December 2nd and 9th, 2021, YouthMappers at UFBA held the Map Workshop for Community Tourism with the Women of Calafate, a collective of women that focuses on the fight against violence against women and the empowerment of women in the community. The objective of the workshop was to introduce the StoryMaps tool so that the participants have autonomy in the construction of narratives supported by maps, being able to continue their mapping to promote local potential.

The workshop that was scheduled to last only 1 hour on the first day and 2 hours on the second on both occasions lasted an additional 30 minutes, given the participants' enthusiasm and willingness to learn. These five women were all already mothers, some already grandmothers, and they participated in the workshop even after an intense day of chores and even without much knowledge of new technologies.


The theme proposal for the workshop, Community Tourism of Calafate, was previously defined in dialogue with one of the women representatives of the group, thinking of collaborating with a project already being developed by them with the BATUC (Community Tourism of Bahia) Network.


The first meeting was carried out according to the schedule: Presentation on the workshop, Presentation on examples of other StoryMaps, Discussion on the objective of the StoryMap of the Calafate Community Tourism and initial content, and Discussion on material that needed to be collected to be used on the second day of the workshop. This last discussion defined what would be the activity to be carried out until the next meeting, a week later.


In the first meeting, resources for consulting georeferenced terrestrial photographs were also presented, which they did not know about and were delighted to see, for example, an image of a participant's house still under construction.


In the second meeting, we started with a discussion about why it is important to map, train mappers, and train women mappers, about what they thought about mapping, and the materials collected.


At that moment, we noticed their difficulty in collecting the data for the StoryMaps. That might have happened because they did not have time to collect the data, given their work and family occupations, or because the result and the activity’s application were not yet clear to them. The material about the history of the community existed on paper and could not be taken to StoryMap very quickly. On the other hand, each of them had stories intertwined with the history of the community. As the workshop's main objective was to start their training as mappers, we helped them in the construction of StoryMaps that represented them.


The result was exciting and unexpected. One of the women, for example, chose to represent her religious trajectory, being a Candoblé reference in the community. Another participant described her “Memories in the Fight”, registering the places, exposing photos, and reporting her actions and manifestations as a feminist activist in the fight against violence against women.


Screenshots from the StoryMap "Memories in the Fight"

We know that the development of this activity at a distance has compromised the speed of learning, especially among older women with less experience with digital technologies. Even so, their enthusiasm, apprehensions about the tool's potential, and the sharing of their experiences and knowledge were extremely rich. We intend to hold a new workshop soon, this time in person, to help them follow up on their individual StoryMaps and on the construction of the Calafate Community Tourism Maps.


About the collective: The Coletivo de Mulheres do Calafate was created on October 8, 1992, by eight women from the community of Calafate, in Salvador outraged by cases of domestic violence and by the situation of subordination that the women of the community lived. Its objective is to mobilize women living in the community to fight for the guarantee of human rights. The focus is on combating discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and economic status.


About the Author:

Patricia L Brito holds a degree in Architecture and Urbanism, a Master's degree in Geography, and a PhD in the area of Spatial Information from the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo, Brazil, with a study period at Louisana State University, USA. She is currently a Professor at the Department of Transport and Geodesy Engineering, head of the Cartography and GIS Lab, Advisor of YouthMappers at UFBA Chapter, and member of the Post-graduation program of Civil Engineering at the Polytechnic School of the Federal University of Bahia.