The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed yet.
– William Gibson
I came across this quote while I was going through the particaptory media sites and readings from last week. I was really pleased to learn that there are many people around the world (like Wael Ghonim) who are willing to devote their lives to shedding light on global injustice, but also to empower and encourage those affected to take up arms and tell their own stories.
I remember talking to a friend who had interned with HBO’s documentary department over two years ago and remember her saying that the one thing that most often that not separated mediocre documentaries from really good ones was whether or not they were strong, character-driven pieces. I can imagine no work being stronger than if it was being told by the person/people it is about themselves. To this end, I believe that community media literacy initiatives (such as the work of Witness.org) are one of the best ways to bring stories from the margin further into the mainstream, and give many who may be marginalized the voice, the power and the right to publicly own, and eventually tell their own story.
PS – I had no idea who William Gibson was but a quick Wikipedia search tells me his entire personal context is just as pertinent as this one quote!
William Gibson (born March 17, 1948) is an American-Canadian speculative fiction novelist and essayist who has been called the “noir prophet” of the cyberpunk subgenre. Gibson coined the term “cyberspace” and is also credited with predicting the rise of reality television and with establishing the conceptual foundations for the rapid growth of virtual environments such as video games and the World Wide Web.