Episode 155

Yadira Sánchez Benítez on creating liberatory, pluriversal spaces in Open Source


February 24th, 2023

40 mins 3 secs

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Special Guest

About this Episode


Yadira Sánchez Benítez


Richard Littauer | Amanda Casari | Leslie Hawthorn

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source for the long haul. Today we have joining us, Yadira Sánchez Benítez, who’s been on this podcast before, and we decided to bring her back since there’s so much more we wanted to discuss with her. Yadira is a lecturer in Data Science in London at UAL. She’s also a creative technologist, examining the role technology plays in our everyday lives and ecosystems, engaging, and actively dismantling the tech-violent pipelines reinforcing hegemonic structures and reimagining and co-creating spaces where technologies and art are pluriversal and liberatory, which we’ll learn more about today. Also, Yadira tells us about her Fellowship with the Software Sustainability Institute, what open source means in community work, her work with other communities that have language barriers to get them more involved, and she talks about the importance of being aware of privileges we hold in different spaces. Download his episode now to learn more!

[00:02:29] Yadira explains how she gets paid for what she does, how she got into that position, and her Fellowship with the Software Sustainability Institute.

[00:05:36] We hear some examples of what hegemonic control of open source production is in the aspect of community work. Also, Yadira tells us a little bit about AlterMundi, based in Argentina, that’s doing amazing work in the area of open source from a different perspective.

[00:09:45] We find out if there’s a way for people who want to learn more to get better engaged with what’s coming out in these communities across Central and South America.

[00:13:04] Leslie saw Yadira’s really cool wearables and electronic art in her portfolio and wonders if she’ll see her at a future Chaos Communications Congress Conference to show them off, and she tells us more about her creative work.

[00:19:31] Amanda wonders what Yadira’s experience has been working in statistical processes or data centered processes that are taken over by larger groups, and she shares her thoughts on how practitioners can work together to prevent this kind of weaponization.

[00:24:26] Richard wonders how we can work with people who are in tech and don’t have roots to indigenous areas, and what can we do in tech to help heal those wounds and accept that he’s as legitimate a person as anyone else.

[00:28:29] Yadira shares thoughts on how to easily help decolonize your open source projects or how to make it easier for people who don’t have the privilege.

[00:34:59] Find out where you can follow Yadira and her work on the web.


[00:06:31] “We rely a lot in documentation and platforms to propagate the work that we do. However, when you work with communities that may not have fast internet or access to these platforms, that doesn’t work.”

[00:26:19] “We need to be more aware of the privileges we hold in different spaces and times.”

[00:26:57] “How can I act in solidarity with people when I’m in a position of power or privilege?”

[00:29:28] “It’s very important to ask the question – open source for whom and for what?”


  • [00:36:46] Amanda’s spotlight is an essay, Apache Appropriation by Natives in Tech.
  • [00:37:13] Leslie’s spotlight is the Outreachy program.
  • [00:37:41] Richard’s spotlights are the Middlebury Abenaki course and the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation.
  • [00:38:19] Yadira’s spotlight is a talk on YouTube: Indigenous Futures: A Conversation with Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil-Twenty Summers 2022.



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