I found Bordowitz’ manifesto really impactful because of the discussion of tradition. He cites Raymond Williams defining tradition as:

“the most evident expression of the dominant and hegemonic pressures and limits…What we have to see is not ‘a tradition’ but a selective tradition: an intentionally selective version of a shaping of a past and a pre-shaped present, which is then powerfully operative in the process of social and cultural definition and identification.” (176)

Bordowitz then applies this conceptualization of tradition onto the work he does. He says:

“Dominant culture borrows and steals form alternate cultures that are produced on the margins of societies by communities whose lives and experiences aren’t accounted for within the current hegemony.” (176)

He then goes on to explain that community-based production on television is produced by the disenfranchised groups who aren’t recognized, or recognized in limited ways by dominant broadcast television.

I read things like this and can’t help but apply it to my work and experience with Indigitize. At first I began reflecting on the significance of tradition in native culture and in the communities. Their traditions are definitely ones that have been oppressed by the dominant class in past and recent histories. I also think about this community-based production that is happening at Sherman and how it is working against dominant broadcast media and representations of their community. Their media should be able to be on broadcast television, just like what Bordowitz says of community-based work. But that is one of the greatest struggles. Producing the work and then finding ways to intervene with that dominant narrative and broadcast television.

The Bordowitz reading really got me thinking about how important work like this is. I am very proud that this program exists and that I get to be a part of it.

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About alexamuniz

Media Studies major at Scripps College '16.

2 responses »

  1. benliang02033 says:

    For me, now tradition is becoming a really controversial word. When we think about tradition, most of us will consider tradition as old and useless things. As the explosion of knowledge in today’s society, few and few of people really pay attention to the real core of tradition. And ironically, the people who seems focus more on tradition are those businessmen, they polish the tradition and use the name of tradition to help them earn huge amount of profit. Under their influence, people become more confused about what is the real tradition….

  2. alexamuniz says:

    It’s also interesting how people tend to think of tradition as this static thing. But tradition did not just one day come into being. It is something that a culture cultivates over many years and is constantly in flux. So why cannot it still be in flux, why cannot we be constantly making and evolving tradition. But that is not how we tend to think about it. We often see today and the ‘modern’ as contrary to tradition, to the past. But tradition is something we always carry with us and should also be a future endeavor.

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