I’ve written before about the good folks* behind the Nimble Tents Toolkit, a set of strategies and templates for helping mobilize academic and related workers in support of urgent crises. The first project was last fall’s mapathon for Puerto Rico, and they have had more successes since.
Their fierce recent work, Torn Apart / Separados visualizes data related to the deeply antidemocratic and antihuman policies being enacted in the United States by ICE. Volume 1 focused on the astonishing breadth of ICE’s carceral apparatus; this week brought Volume 2, which makes visible the flows of money and resources that make such an apparatus functional.
For those wondering “how in the name of Mother Rhoyne do they do such work so quickly?,” Nimble Tents--in this instance, Christina L. Boyles, Alex Gil, Erin Rose Glass, Roopika Risam, Danica Savonick, and Angelika Strohmayer--have produced a how-to guide, “Rapid Response Research”, which walks through the process and offers recommendations for best practices:
Together, teams of researchers, technologists, librarians, faculty, and students can pool their existing skills and knowledges to make swift and thoughtful contributions through digital scholarship in these times of crisis. The temporality of a rapid response is relative and will vary depending on the situation, from a matter of days, to a week, or several weeks. Our model below is relevant to the variable timelines a situation might require, but it bears remembering that a crisis itself has an immediacy, and that RRR projects, accordingly, bring with them a pressure to respond with intensity and speed.
It really is a terrific place to start for anyone contemplating an intervention in any of the crises that seem daily to overwhelm us. Read the whole thing, bookmark it, share it widely!
*I’m listed on the editorial board, but it’s the others who are good folks, obviously.