Paralympic Games
7-18 September

Digital artists collaborate for Paralympic ‘Hackathon’

Workshop with around 50 journalists, designers, programmers and students kicks off celebrations for one year to Rio 2016. 03 Sep 2015
Group of young people sitting around a table with laptops, discussing

Journalists, designers and programmers put their heads together during the Hackathon

ⒸRio 2016/Gabriel Nascimento
By Rio 2016

Journalists, designers, programmers and students got together at the Rio 2016 organising committee headquarters on 28-29 August for a Paralympic “Hackathon.”

It was an opportunity for the participants to collaborate and generate a series of infographics, telling digital narratives about the Paralympic Games. Organised by the digital journalism movement Chicas Poderosas, the Hackathon was given the seal of approval by the Rio 2016 “Embrace Sustainability” programme.

“It was one of the shortest but most incredible events that we’ve done,” said the Portuguese designer Mariana Santos, founder of Chicas Poderosas. “I keep saying that Brazil has some of the best artists in the world – and I proved it here. There are great programmers and journalists, too, who can achieve incredible results working together.”

The Rio 2016 communications director, Adriana Garcia, was also delighted with the outcome.

“The Hackathon brought people from different areas to work together, collaboratively, toward a common goal,” Garcia said. “That is precisely the dynamic of the digital work going on to promote Paralympic sports."

The end result was a selection of digital narratives covering a number of subjects, with two groups winning prizes for their infographics – one about interacting with people with impairments and the other about the experiences of Brazilian Paralympian Rosinha Santos, who spoke during the event about her athletic career. The winning groups will have free access to join the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) communications team during the Paralympic Games.

About 50 people took part in the Hackathon, most women, including journalists, designers, programmers and local Rio de Janeiro students. It was the 13th event organised by the Chicas Poderosas and the first in Brazil; previous events have taken place across countries in the Americas. Set up in 2013, the movement’s aim is to encourage more Latin women to join the cutting edge of digital journalism.

The Hackaton kicked off the activities of the Paralympic Festival, which is scheduled for 6 and 7 September at Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas to celebrate one year until the start of the Paralympic Games. Tickets for the Paralympics (7 – 18 September 2016) will go on sale on 7 September 2015.