The FWD Call Out:
Grreetings to media-makers, media-organizers, media-activists, and all those who feel that media is important to our movements.
This is a letter to invite you and/or your organization to participate in a Movement Assembly on Building Radical Media and Activist Communication Infrastructures, that will be taking place at the Peoples Social Forum (PSF) national gathering in Ottawa August 21-24 (the Assembly itself is planned for Saturday August 23rd).
What follows is a description of the media assembly and how you can get involved with the planning process:
As an individual:
* Attend: Participate in the overall PSF Aug 21-24 and the Assembly itself Aug 23 in Ottawa;
* In the loop: receive periodic updates, assist with outreach or promotion in your own circles and opportunities to contribute when you have capacity ;
* Active participation:attending weekly planning committee meetings, taking on tasks in organizing the Assembly.
As an organization:
* Endorsement: sign on to give your approval of this process, and help to promote it;
* Sponsorship: contribution of financial and/or other in-kind resources as able;
* Organizer/Anchor: input and participation in the planning committee process.
What is this about?
This assembly aims to bring together journalists and activists organizing in alternative/grassroots media. This is an initial step to create a platform where different media activists and organizations can come
together in the hopes of creating a shared, unified, political project on a broad range of issues around building media and communication infrastructure.
Media continues to be an integral part of activism - not only do we need to create alternative media to communicate the stories and politics of various social movements, but media activism can be used for education, working collectively and creating spaces for those who do not have a voice in mainstream media. But this work is incredibly difficult, needing a high level of resources, skills, money and labour (often unpaid) to pull off.
This project is about breaking down the isolation of various alternative media projects, so that media activists can connect with one another and begin to better support each other's efforts. We also hope that we can use this opportunity to create a collaborative network towards building and improving activist media.
We are still working on the plans for the Assembly, but have identified some initial themes to be addressed from a survey we developed:
* incorporating anti-oppressive, anti-capitalist and anti-colonial principles into media organizing and making
* building leadership of marginalized communities within our media organizations
* building organizational capacity and networks, and exploring different organizational models for media activism
* interrogating our role as journalists / media-makers and the issues associated with news coverage
* looking at ways to support independent / non-affiliated journalists and media-makers in addressing and overcoming the various challenges in their work.
What is a Movement Assembly?
A 'Movement Assembly' is a facilitated community space designed for individuals and groups to strategize together to come up with common actions and campaigns. In Movement Assemblies, people create action plans for sustained collaborative work across issues on local, regional, and national fronts.
The Peoples Social Forum is a gathering, over two years in planning, bringing together thousands from across the country to Ottawa near the end of August. The current plan is that there will be two days of workshops (including many relevant to media organizing / media making), one day of Movement Assemblies, and one day of overall Assembly. There will also be at least one big march, and cultural activities as well. Full info at: www.peoplessocialforum.org
Who Should Attend?
Really, anyone engaged in any form of alternative/activist media is welcome to attend.We are looking for (but not limited to) those who express their activism in: print, web, zines, blogs, graphic design, radio broadcasting, graffiti, digital media, video and more! We also welcome those who don't necessarily make media, but do recognize it's importance in their work for social change and would like to support these efforts.
We hope this sounds of interest to you, please do be in touch (via the form, or directly) if you'd like to contribute to the planning process, or if you have questions - and we hope to see you at the Assembly on August 23 in Ottawa!
The 'Alternative Media Movement Assembly' planning committee
Twitter: @PSFAltMedia - https://twitter.com/PSFAltMedia
PS - Please be sure to register to attend the overall Forum: http://www.peoplessocialforum.org/register
There are also housing/billeting options, caravans coming from various cities, and a Solidarity Fund aimed at youth, Indigenous, Peoples of Colour, remote and low income individuals with special considerations for maximizing the number of people able to attend. There are deadlines for these coming up quick, so please don't delay!
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