Núcleo de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Digital
NPDD / Casa de Cultura Tainã / Rede Mocambos

Barcelona, October 20, 2017
Plone Conference 2017

Mocambos Network

Is a grassroot network of more than 200 afrodescendant (quilombos) and indigenous communities (aldeias), including some urban cultural centers in marginal neighborhoods.

The origins of the Mocambos network are in the Casa Cultura Tainã (Campinas) and the Brazilian government's free software programs in the 2000's

It's about building infrastructure

But the struggle has a serious side to it too

Ongoing massacre/genocide of black people in Brazil

Economic growth is eating all natural resources.

Quilombolas and indigenous people are facing a real war to protect natural environment and preserving their communitarian way of life.

What is Baobáxia

Baobáxia is a distributed communication network that works with or without internet

The initial Baobáxia application is a network of multimedia archives (audio, video, images and files)


The name refers to the baobab tree which lives thousands of years

The baobab tree is the symbol of African ancestrality

The baobab tree is also the symbol of the communities' shared memories

Baobáxia is the combination of Baobab and Galaxy

The galaxy of shared memories linked to the land


A mucua is the fruit of a baobab tree

Mucua is our word for the nodes of the Baobáxia network.

Each community belonging to Baobáxia has its own mucua, which is a computer with the Baobáxia system installed

Apart from the fixed mucuas there are also mobile mucuas based on pendrives, hard disks or laptops

A mucua is not a "server"

It's digital land for the African culture to grow for thousands of years

The content resides in the communities

Every community hosts its own mucua

The content is hosted locally, but may be copied by other communities

by internet, if there is internet..

If there is no internet, one person can be a messenger and bring content from one community to another using a local mucua (e.g. a laptop, pendrive or external hard disk)

Control over the digital territory:
the content is distributed by the communities and not by a commercial server

How does it work?

Technical software and infrastructure which link each community's files on a common network


When a mucua belonging to a community is synchronized with the network (over the internet or through another mucua), it receives the "catalogue" of updated media.

Parallelly, it will send the catalog of locally updated media to the network

The mucua can be online or on a local network

It's possible to see the catalog for the whole network, and individual content may be requested

If there are active requests for contents, a content item may be transferred to the desired location during synchronization

This transport can be over the internet or by a messenger, who will also carry the list of requests from other communities

The lists of users in each community is transferred to the other mucuas.

In this way, if you already have a login in your community, it is possible to use it in any other mucua


Backend - git, git-annex, json
Middleware - python, django, REST-API
Frontend - html5, javascript, underscore/dash.js, backbone.js


The system is working, and the git-annex foundation is solid

Installed in 30+ communities

However, the front-end is slow

and there are difficult bugs in the Django layer

Ideas for the future

Rewrite front-end in Angular?

Re-implement backend without Django? In Flask ...

or maybe even in C/C++ to allow to put on low-end devices?

Next week, we're doing a brainstorm/code sprint in Benevento (near Napoli, Italy) to bootstrap the next phase

Current uses

Preservation and diffusion of afro-Brazilian and indigenous cultural heritage

Educational and pedagogic material to empower local communities sharing common solution.

Future uses?

Customizing with functional tags ("heritage", "private", "radio")

Transportation services

Wordpress plugin for easy publication

Bundled installation with radio, video conferencing, etc. for the community

Live session

Online mucua:

How to contribute?


Have a look to our code repo and check issues:


Bbx is based on a offline/eventually connected asyncronous paradigm that opens news fields for research


Bbx is a community based, non-profit project. We need financial support, get in contact if you can help funding

Gracias! Merci! Dank U! Valeu! Thank You :)

IRC freenode #redemocambos