"Art and Free Knowledge" event in Tunis
  When Richard Stallman and Gilberto Gil sing a duet...
  17 November 2005. ... then we are probably not at the WSIS government plenary but at a summit side-event . "The Third Paradise" is a series of events on art and free knowledge, taking place at an impressive traditional building in the old town of Tunis. On Thursday evening, free software hero Richard Stallman and the Brazilian singer and Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil met each other for a memorable encounter...

In an Italian-Brazilian co-production, Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto, under the patronage of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture and the Italian Ministry of Innovation and Technology, has curated an series of workshops and exhibitions, to take place alongside the WSIS summit. The event is celebrating art and movement of free knowledge and seeks to be part of the "creative tension toward the responsible transformation of society as common source code". Artists, media activists, free software advocates, other civil society activists, and some government delegates are using the space to discuss, share projects, and find common ground.

A debate on "Free digital culture in the Mediterranean" on Thursday evening included Gilberto Gil, the famous Brazilianmusician and current Brazilian Minister of Culture, sitting in a circle with participants and visitors of the "Tird Paradise" event and discussing how to share knowledge, culture and communication. It was followed by the award ceremony of the Cittadellarte "Minimum Prize 2005" which was given to Richard Stallman, inventor of the GNU/Linux operating system.

With Stallman as the initiator of the free software movement and Gil as the prime advocator of free software and open knowledge at the intergovernmental negotiations in the WSIS process, the encounter of these two heroes of a free and open information society showed the way that the WSIS summit could have gone if it had chosen to be creative, innovative, and forward-looking.

But Gil and Stallman were not willing to waste the warm Mediterranean evening with too much serious debate. Stallman decided to make the best of his encounter with the Brazilian musician to present some of his very own free software songs, and so the amazed crowd experienced a singing Richard Stallman, accompanied by Gilberto Gil playing the guitar. A memorable evening...
  Heroes of free software and free culture -- and free music...


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