295 Articles

article

Holding Out for Un-alienated Communication 

"In August 1996, we called for the creation of a network of independent media, a network of information. We mean a network to resist the power of the lie that sells us this war that we call the Fourth World War. We need this network not only as a tool for our social movements, but for our lives: this is a project of life, of humanity, humanity which has a right to critical and truthful information."

These were the words of Subcomandante Marcos, speaking in 1997 from Chiapas in the midst of the Zapatistas' guerrilla information war against the Mexican state and the neocolonialism reflected in NAFTA. Marcos's powerful statement and Zapatista stories of struggle were circulated from the jungle of Chiapas on mailing lists, listservs, and websites, capturing the imagination of activists around the world and galvanizing a wave of new grassroots media projects. Perhaps no project more purely embodied this response than the Indymedia network, which was launched in November 1999 at the Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings and quickly grew into a global network of news websites.

Read
article

The Concept of Tactical Media 

Tactical Media emerged when the modest goals of media artists and media activists were transformed into a movement that challenged everyone to produce their own media in support of their own political struggles. This "new media" activism was based on the insight that the long-held distinction between the 'street' (reality) and the 'media' (representation) could no longer be upheld. On the contrary, the media had come to infuse all of society.

Read
article

The Manifesto of John Doe: The Revolution Will Be Digitized 

In a statement issued to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the so-called "John Doe" behind the biggest information leak in history cites the need for better whistleblower protection and has hinted at even more revelations to come.

Titled "The Revolution Will Be Digitized" the 1800-word statement gives justification for the leak, saying that "income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time" and says that government authorities need to do more to address it.

Read
article

In solidarity with Library Genesis and Sci-Hub 

In Antoine de Saint Exupéry's tale the Little Prince meets a businessman who accumulates stars with the sole purpose of being able to buy more stars. The Little Prince is perplexed. He owns only a flower, which he waters every day. Three volcanoes, which he cleans every week. "It is of some use to my volcanoes, and it is of some use to my flower, that I own them," he says, "but you are of no use to the stars that you own".

Read
article

Stranded 

When thinking about dead bodies on the beach, these days most people think of refugees whose boats sank during the dangerous sea crossing to the European Union. The number of refugees drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in 2015 is the highest ever, reaching 2,500. The killing of these men and women can effectively be seen as a direct – and deliberate – act of EU policy, making the border between Northern Africa and Europe the deadliest in the world.

The photographic series "Stranded" shows men lying motionless on an empty beach. But unlike refugees these men wear business suits, the standardized clothing of politicians and managers. Their bodies are partly in the water, partly on the beach; they appear to be stranded.

Read
article

Minor Media Normality in the East 

1. Autogenerative Europe

In our imagination, eastern Europe was always black and white. Traveling to East Germany or Poland meant suddenly leaving colorful western Europe and entering a movie from the forties or fifties. Later we simply couldn't remember having seen any color, not the green of the trees, nor the red of the brick buildings. When we went to the movies to see a film by Wajda, Kieslowski or Tarkowsky, the filmmaker's experiments with color only reinforced our image of the east as gray. Europe clearly had an ideologically motivated neurosis when it came to the perception of color.

Read
article

Ferguson 1 Year Later: We're Still Living In Crisis 

By Rika Tyler, Hands Up United Director

The commemorative anniversary weekend of the death of Michael Brown Jr. has come to an end. Weekend warriors are packing their bags and heading home. It was a beautiful and uplifting weekend, but we knew it wouldn't last. After all the silent marches, vigils, memorials, sermons and concerts, people in the street are still screaming,"No justice, No peace!" because we're still living in a state of crisis.

Read
article

Political Ecology Begins When We Say "Black Lives Matter" 

"They say it's a joke they say it's a game." The slogan was launched on the Chicago streets by the group We Charge Genocide, in the middle of a demo demanding reparations for victims of police torture. The folks on the street chanted those words, we hurled them out of our mouths in staccato bursts, while looking round at the passers-by who pretended not to notice. What the chant means is either enigmatic, or it's painfully obvious. There is a kind of disdain that minimizes a death or a beating or a torture or a life sentence for black people in the name of lawfulness, efficiency, morality and humanist ideals. That kind of disdain has made democracy impossible in the US - and other places too.

Read
article

World Charter of Free Media 

Tunis March 2015
We, communicators and activists committed to multiple emancipatory communication practices across different regions of the world, freely assembled in March 2015 in Tunis, on the occasion of the 4th World Forum on Free Media, organized in the framework of the World Social Forum 2015, adopt this World Charter of Free Media, as the result of our collective reflection initiated in 2013, and as an expression of our resistance, and our commitment to just and emancipatory communication, and our engagement with world developments and humanity.

Read
article

Digital Tailspin: Ten Rules for the Internet After Snowden 

Privacy, copyright, classified documents and state secrets, but also spontaneous network phenomena like flash mobs and hashtag revolutions, reveal one thing – we lost control over the digital world. We experience a digital tailspin, or as Michael Seemann calls it in this essay: a loss of control or Kontrollverlust. Data we never knew existed is finding paths that were not intended and reveals information that we would never have thought of on our own.

Read
article

Global Uprisings 

Global Uprisings is an independent news site and video series dedicated to showing responses to the economic crisis and authoritarianism. Since 2011, Brandon Jourdan and Marianne Maeckelbergh have been travelling, researching, and making documentary films.

Their short films detail social movements in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and the US. Their films cover strikes and demonstrations in the UK, the large-scale housing occupations and street mobilizations in Spain, the various general strikes, protests, and factory occupations in Greece, the revolution in Egypt, the Gezi Park uprising in Turkey, the 2014 social explosion in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the revolt against austerity in Portugal, and the occupy movement in the United States.

Read
article

Facial Weaponization Suite (2011 - 2014) 

Facial Weaponization Suite protests against biometric facial recognition–and the inequalities these technologies propagate–by making "collective masks" in community-based workshops that are modeled from the aggregated facial data of participants, resulting in amorphous masks that cannot be detected as human faces by biometric facial recognition technologies.

Read
article

Notes on the Future of Activism 

Contemporary activism begins from the realization that for the first time in history, a synergy of catastrophes face us. Our physical environment is dying, our financial markets are collapsing and our culture, fed on a diet of junk thought, is atrophying -- unable to muster the intellectual courage to face our predicament.

Read