Media shapes what we think is possible. It shapes our dreams while we sleep. It creates meaning we act on while awake. During this collective moment of extensive grief, anger and injustice, we as cultural workers must continue creating images, sounds, stories in ways that commits us to the future we want to wake up in; stories with memory and vision; stories that hold us, deepen us, and propel us towards action.
We know all too well the rampant disinformation, silencing, and fear mongering that dominant media is unleashing onto our communities during this moment: a hyperfocus on crime and the need for police, an erasure of the real stories of excluded and “essential” workers, and mischaracterizations of campaigns that call to #CancelRent, #DefundThePolice, and #ExtendTheMoratorium.
We recognize this type of media as a tactic of people in power within a larger strategy to remain in power and minimize the urgency for dissent. We recognize the impacts of this superficial and disconnected storytelling: retraumatization, memory loss, hopelessness, escapism. This tactic is not restricted to the US. We see the manufacturing of imperialist interests disguised as a call to revolution in the coverage of Cuba and other Caribbean and Latin American countries. We see a complete lack of coverage of African nations, unless there is sensationalistic violence that is reported without context.
Building on tools and frameworks from across our movement, Our Stories, Our Meaning: Advanced Community Media Studio will be an online space for content creators who are already using their craft as a tool to challenge power to focus on:
MM’s Advanced Community Media Studio is ideal for cultural workers and organizers who are developing a specific media project alongside a community organization or community formation. Four online studio sessions will take place between October 1st and October 29th. The first two sessions will be all-day hands-on trainings, the third session will be 1-on-1's with participants and our studio leads, and the last session will be dedicated to presenting and receiving feedback on specific projects.
Cultural workers, youth media organizations, filmmakers, public media advocates and organizers have all put in so much work for us to reach this golden age of QT-BIPOC film production, where access and representation are central tenets of equity in entertainment.
Even as we celebrate, many of us hear the cautionary voices of our political elders telling us, “we have been here before!” And still many others hear, “there are still so many other ways and so much more we can attain!”
These case studies provide but a fractal of the path that lies beyond access and representation; they point to radical institutional and systemic transformation, not just surface level change. To ensure our stories are as powerful as our vision for liberation, we must also center conversations around ownership, power, class, and the right to creative experimentation.
Beyond Access & Representation showcases case studies that stretch all aspects of the production process to go beyond access and representation in dominant media and create our own pathways and platforms.
Transforming Vision, Power, and Leadership: