please use the comment section of this blog post to add you project ideas before class on monday – so that we can all see what everyone’s interests are to work towards creating groups around topics. – GL
This past week my group presented our manifesto Purchasing Privilege: Call out Corporations, Empower Consumers and I wanted to use my blog post to add some ideas in how we would develop our zine, as well as the topic I personally researched, How Nike Profits from African-American Cool.
Our zine was a platform in which each of us discussed a facet of the commodification of black culture. We each included relevant links by corporations appropriating black culture, while also highlighting activists who are fighting to support black owned businesses and stop appropriation. Looking back on what we accomplished, I think I have learned a great deal about the power I have as a consumer. As someone who frequents Nike, I definitely have a different view of the company now. This holiday season I hope to think local, and buy from businesses who’s views match my own values.
In the future I hope to take what I have learned in my group, and help educate other people about the power of their purchase. It’s important to recognize how much our economy is centering on consumerism and becoming more service-based, and the small ways in which we can help those who are marginalized by thinking, and shopping local.
From Week 15: Final Presentations
From Graham Meikle’s Turning Signs into Question Marks, he describes a tactical gesture which is “drawing attention to power and concealing language” and thus tactical media which creates “subversive uses of communications technologies”. It privileges “hit and run interventions” over “permanent media outlets”.
One could argue that post 9-11, the rise of tactical media has grown which add to the democratization of the media sphere. In an interesting op-ed on tactical media post 9-11, a researcher at NYU cites how tactical media groups are “much better suited for conflict” where these “tactical media do not amplify the obvious. Instead they point at cracks in the armor of the power to be, thereby creating new alliances, both in the ‘real’ and the ‘virtual'”.
Another example of tactical media is the Yes Men – as we discussed in class, The Yes Men operate to expose truths and raise awareness about problematic issues. I enjoyed watching the film in class, and I think this has greatly opened my eyes to different activist techniques.
Week 11: Tactical Media Events, Hactivism, and the Zapatista Movement
One of the biggest things I learned from reading about the Egyptian revolution is the power of organizing on social media. In Wael Ghonim’s Revolution 2.0, is the importance of the mass of people uniting behind an issue on multiple networks both online and offline. Given the recent events in Standing Rock, it’s been pretty amazing and hopeful to see what a group of people united under one issue can do.
In an interesting article written by the Huffington Post, Ten Things We’ve Learned From the Egyptian Revolution, two things that stood out to me is “social class doesn’t matter” “social media is powerful. very powerful. But it’s not everything”. As the author writes, “As a generation that’s still in their youth, even if you had everything, house, education, a safe country outside Egypt, you still lacked your own home, your own, what I suppose should be, your sanctuary.”
In addition, “The Egyptian revolution was ignited by a Facebook Page ‘We Are All Khaled Saeed’ […] But the aftermath of the revolution showed us that social media users don’t necessarily present the majority on the ground as we thought it had. Social media is a main key to the change. But it’s not the key to the full road of the change.” I think this last point really sums up the power of working on social media, but the importance of recognizing who is behind these social media networks, and the work they are doing for the power of the revolution.
From Week 13: Egyption Revolution – Organizing on Social Networks
Learning about advocacy and participatory media processes I think is most relevant to my generation and our strong relationship between participation and the media. With the inception of Web 2.0 social media platforms such as Facebook, communication is greatly enhanced and you can have debates with people across the world.
I particularly enjoyed going through witness.org and exploring the ways in which the organization sought to empower people through educating about video usage. In the resources guide section, I liked how they broke each filming element down into “interviewing” and sound basics. The website also had a variety of videos in different languages, and also broken down into topic such as DSLR basics and filming protests.
One great thing that I have learned from this class it he power of each citizen – and going through this website has greatly influenced the power that I have through the devices around me – my camera, my phone, and the people who are also activists around me. Looking at each group’s manifestos it’s been great to see how we each used a media object differently – whether it be music, video, or a visual journal to communicate and tell a story.
From Week 12: Advocacy and Participatory Media Process
In an article on CBS, they talk about how Occupy Wall Street uses social media to spread nationwide
One of the greatest powers of social media and the development of web technologies is the ability to transmit information and unite a nation worldwide around one central issue. Through our discussion on the 99% I think it’s been pretty incredible how fast people got involved and news spread about the occupy protests. My sister photographed the Occupy Wall Street movement in Seattle, and she was continually amazed by the big aged difference in people protesting – from a boy who was 5 years old to older women.
When I think about how much social media has played in our society I keep thinking about what tactic will be used by generations after us, where my cousins are growing up in a world already plagued with social media. How do we preserve the organic activist movement without letting it become entrenched in a social media war?
From Week 14: The 99% and Mediating an Earth Democracy
When it comes to the mainstream media, there has been increased representation of unjust systems functioning in the US, such as the prison industrial complex in Orange is the New Black. But, many of these shows fail to do much more than skim the surface of these issues because they do not want to make their mainstream audience uncomfortable. Lately, I have noticed that the cast of Orange is the New Back has done a good job being vocal about the real world problems of the prison industry and I wanted to share some of what they had to day here:
I think that the Zapatistas are a good example of a peaceful group of activists that are heavily misrepresented and underrepresented in the media. This reminds me a lot of movements today like Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock that the media has made out to be violent when really these movements are just acting in peace. In light of underrepresentation, I thought that I would share a couple of photos of some peaceful protest.
After talking about the “We are Khaled Said” Facebook page as a way to unify everyone behind the Egyptian revolution and behind the overthrow of the government, I began to think about ways that this could and has played out in the United States. One of the first examples that came to mind was the “We are Orlando” movement. While it is great that so many people want to support the LGBTQ+ community, it can actually be rather harmful in erasing the identities of the LGBTQ+ folks of color who were the most impacted by this shooting. We had to read this article for my Intro to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Class and I think it does a great job explaining the harms of “we are” movements, forcing white people, especially, to think more critically about their actions of solidarity.
Our reading of Wael Ghonim’s ‘Revolution 2.0’ felt particularly timely to me. While reading through his book, I couldn’t help but see the many ways in which the protests he organized against the death of Khaled Saeed had a direct influence on the way in which the Black Lives Matter movement has evolved. Like Ghonim’s movement, BLM has spread rapidly in viral spaces, and is able to connect supporters from across the country for the organization of protests, rallies, and other events. But what’s vitally important about these movements is the way in which each used the internet to engage individuals in their respective protests who may otherwise have remained silent. While having bodies present at events is undoubtedly far more important than a number of likes on a Facebook page, these viral spaces give individuals a chance to think critically about a situation they may have otherwise ignored. I feel that as online protests continue to gain popularity, we cannot downplay the importance of reaching a wider audience, of having the chance to educate those who may later become strong allies. It’s worth mentioning that this responsibility of education does not (and should not) fall on PoC and marginalized groups alone; privileged groups (read: white people) must take it upon themselves to educate those around them on these matters in order to act as a true ally (so long as said white individuals are not speaking over PoC, but instead sharing their experiences and stories).
*Post for week 13
I think one of the biggest takeaway from watching ‘The Yes Men Fix The World’ was just how quickly the companies the Yes Men were impersonating were quick to call their antics ‘cruel.’ I agree that they undeniably gave many individuals false hope that the injustices created by various corporations would be righted. However, the irony of these corporations calling the Yes Men’s actions ‘cruel’ verges on ridiculous; a corporation that allows thousands to suffer from the negligence of a company they bought out, with seemingly no qualms and no intention to provide adequate retribution to the affected, calling the Yes Men’s actions a ‘cruel hoax’? Additionally, it was frightening to watch the segments in which the Yes Men speak with economists. Such a complete disregard for the well-being of the individual is mind-blowing, though not entirely unsurprising – the system we live in does, after all, enable to ridiculous wealth of the 1%.
*Post for week 11