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.
Nowadays, (thankfully!), we see glimpses of it everywhere, it goes by many names and comes in many forms, but community media, liberatory media, essentially calls upon a production process that intentionally recuperates resistance memory for the sake of moving towards a regenerative future.
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 (*this is not a technical training). 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.