Dispatch from Bowling Green
Here I am at the AMC! The weather is gorgeous, the people are smart and interesting, and the Pita Pit serves delicious falafel on a salad you can design yourself.
But I know what you’re really wondering: how did I bowl? I’ll tell you. I bowled a 73 and formed a deep meaningful relationship with a creamy marbelized bowling ball named Judy. (Really. Her name was etched right there beneath the finger holes.) I felt pretty good about the 73, though that put me in fourth out of four because I made the mistake of bowling with folks who actually had skill and talent.
In all seriousness, though, this conference rocks! The keynote panel last night was completely inspiring, getting us juiced up to tackle this weekend’s central question: since being right is not enough, how do we make media that’s not just right but more effective? Former WAM!mer Deepa Fernandez, host of WBAI’s morning flagship show Wakeup Call talked about the need to get MTV-clever about marketing our message to the masses, without the MTV-style corporate selling out. And the clip from Jackie Salloum’s documentary about Palestinian hip-hop activists, SlingShot Hip Hop, blew me away, especially seeing the female emcees risking everything to get their voice out on stage in an embattled, conservative Muslim society.
This morning I checked out the Is This What Democracy Looks Like? session, which addressed ways to bridge the gaps between media justice, indymedia, and grassroots activists, and engaged in some great conversation about the ways supposedly “neutral” structures like blogs actively exclude the voices of radical & queer women of color (for more, check out presenter Susana Adame’s righteous blog ring of Radical Women of Color Bloggers, but if you’re not a woman of color, please be respectful of their space and resist taking over their conversations), and ended with an emphasis on each of us doing everything we can do to protect free access to community media, from Public Access TV & Community Radio to Net Neutrality, all of which are seriously under attack. Want to help? Start here.
Now I’m off to check out the monstrous Exhibitor Hall, to do some anti-capitalist shopping and schmoozing…