Photo provided by Carlton Gholz
"Always been a no borders space time traveling mutant rebel girlchild of the 3rd 4th 5th dimension but #amc2011 inspired me to live it loudly" – @mothershiester
"And what an incredible conference – perhaps the best I’ve ever witnessed – a whole bunch of media geeks and radical shit-kickers coming together to share knowledge and dream the future." – DJ Bent >> Duty Artz >> 6/30/2011
"What’s inspiring about the AMC is that while there is no shortage of panels dedicated to sharing knowledge and policy analysis – there is also a free flowing energy of innovation and response. We’re not just railing against the system, we’re actively building a new one based on mutual association and collaboration." – Nadia Mohamed >> Paper Tiger TV >>7/3/2011
"Anyone lamenting the end of traditional media would do well to attend the AMC conference and experience the excitement of a metaphorical phoenix rising from the ash." – Mandy Van Deven >> AlterNet >> 7/1/2011
The 13th annual Allied Media Conference brought over 1,800 people together in Detroit to push the boundaries of what media can be and how it can be used to transform our lives and our world. This round-up represents a snapshot, but in no way represents the totality of everything that transpired between June 23 – 26, 2011 in Detroit.
At AMC2011 we shared knowledge in small circles and large circles, panel discussions, hands-on workshops, dance-party slideshow presentations, science fairs, and curriculum carnivals!
More Detroiters participated in the AMC this year than ever before, as representatives of the Detroit Future network, an emerging city-wide movement. Students from the Detroit Future Media Workshops program led workshops and tours, sold merchandise produced through their classes and documented the AMC.
Photo provided by EMEAC.
Photo provided by EMEAC.
AMC sponsor, the Detroit Creative Corridor Center said, "The AMC is the alternate reality I would create if I were allowed to create new realities: a place where we respect each others’ differences and everyone earnestly wants to make a positive change in the world." Read their full report-back here.
Every year at the AMC, more people put the world they want to see into practice. This year, we saw this most clearly through the Healing Justice Practice Space. This space stayed open throughout the whole weekend, offering free treatments in message, reiki, accupuncture and other healing arts. The Healing Justice Practice Space helps ensure that everyone at the AMC could contribute to the conference with their full selves.
We toured the city, drawing the connections between environmental justice and media justice, between the way we grow our own food and the way we make our own media. As part of the "Eco-Media Strategies for Survival and Sustainability" track, youth at the AMC spent Saturday afternoon cooking, eating and talking about "the radical notion that we are what we eat," both in terms of food and media consuption. Read a full reportback from the East Michigan Environmental Action Council.
Photo provided by EMEAC.
At the intersection of the AMC’s "Radio Active" track and the "Ending the Incarceration Nation" track, we saw how community radio stations can be used to create solidarity between people inside and outside of prisons, towards the vision of ending the prison industrial complex.
We premiered innovative new organizing tools like the Dialed-in Toolkit and the What the Cell? documentary which were picked up by organizers confronting the impending merger of ATT & T-Mobile.
In her reflections on the AMC, Nadia Mohamed of Paper Tiger TV said, "Participating in the conference taught us more about the potential AT&T – T-Mobile merger and how it would specifically target low income communities of color, especially Latin@s. We learned more about the prison phone justice movement and began brainstorming ideas for creating media tools for similar campaigns in detention centers." Read her full reflections here.
Fabiola Carrion, a delegate with the Media Action Grassroots Network, reflected on the AMC: "The conference is one of the few spaces where the role of media is fully analyzed: its applications in our everyday lives, its impact on other social justice issues, and the public policies affecting us all. This year, I was lucky to get a chance to discuss the latter — specifically the importance of state legislation in this effort ... My goal was to remind attendees that, as the most involved advocates in their communities, they have the power to shape the policy that is created at the state and local level.” Progressive State Network >> 7/8/2011
We shared media tactics for ending poverty, and supporting low-wage immigrant workers rights, drawing connections between our many movements. Watch this video report-back from the Vermont Workers Center, in which they explain how the AMC taught them that "it doesn't have to be hard or scary or expensive, we can take media into our own hands."
We created space for trans and queer youth media organizations to grow networks of support and solidarity, through music workshops, flashmobs and curriculum shares. Read Bianca Campbell's reflections on how the AMC supported the work of her organization, SPARK Reproductive Justice Now.
LGBTQ Southerners of all ages convened their first AMC caucus, hosted by Southerners On New Ground (SONG), to begin strategizing on ways to collaborate and bring more LGBTQ Southerners to participate in the AMC.
We freestyled in words, sounds, images, and movements.
With so many amazing things happening at once, we spent a lot of time deliberating and documenting.
The "Let's Build It Together! Collaborative Technology Design" track applied the Allied Media network's successful participatory media practices to the design of the media tools themselves. In the "Every Network Tells a Story" workshop, "we developed a wireless networking game and educational workshop based on the idea that the technology should fit our relationships, not the other way around." Participants then got to visit a node in the local mesh network and install a wireless router. Read the full narrative of this adventure here.
The "Poetry and Music as Transformative Media" track convened a network of people who are thinking deeply and expansively about the role of art in social movements. Read this report-back from the session, "Building Movements Through Touring," which focused on the question of "how to build a tour that is not just about coming to town and disappearing once you’ve performed/exhibited, but actually building on the momentum of local community organizing work for social change."
On the last day of the conference, the "Kids Transform the World Track" planted a tree, and saved the future(!), modeling a world that is playful, inventive, and intergenerational.
As we do every year, we partied as hard as we worked. With karaoke, open mics, bowling, concerts, dance parties and a notable addition: LED-lit "illumaballoon" chandeliers custom made for the AMC by the Motor City Makers.
Last but not least, we documented the conference through thousands of tweets. What follows below is a choice selection of tweets from the #AMC2011 hashtag. A file (.csv) of 2,072 tweets can be downloaded here, for anyone who wants to reconstruct their own AMC2011 experience.
A thousand thanks to everyone who contributed to the telling of this story. We are planning for AMC2012 and we hope you are too. Save the dates! June 29 – July 1, 2012.
SELECTED AMC2011 TWEETS
@MiggyAndrade expect loving/serious crew w/media-related strats 4 collective liberation/transformation & nothin less @allied_media #amc2011 - @hannahsassaman
\History is social memory ... we need to remember important moments so others can learn from us.\" from the notes #digitalecosystem #AMC2011"
Props to Detroit and to the conveners and participants of the #amc2011! It's where the grassroots goes to use, defend, and transform media!
has landed in Detroit and ready to network w/ geeks, djs and people doing positive things w/ tech for the future #AMC2011
half a day into #AMC2011 and already met other awesome nerdy youth activists. Workshops tomorrow - can't wait for intersectional radness.
Good morning world!!! Suiting up for The Allied Media Conference. Ready to educate and be educated. #amc2011
Truth be told \organizers MUST be artists be creative\"#amc2011 #catchingfire folks think social justice is easy"
\Movements are created by connections and small critical steps\" #WorkInProgress #AMC2011"
Info is currency; most important thing is sharing info @pipercarter #DDJClabs #amc2011 #490st
#editingwithlove relevant for radical presses, creators, but how to 'edit with love' at e.g. Chicago Tribune? #amc2011 #490st
\storytelling not only allow ppl to speak an hear but facilitate the transformation we know is gonna take place\" #workinprogress #AMC2011"
There's a baby in this session #amc2011
the things i learn are not mine to hold, but mine to share #amc2011
If my name were a magic spell cupcakes would appear! #Amckids #amc2011 http://twitpic.com/5g5byg
We know what our communities need; we have our own solutions #fightpolicing #AMC2011
Mind a little bit blown about the possibilities of mass sms campaigns for Texas youth. Anyone used this tool before? #AMC2011
michigan welfare rights: you get what you organize to take #amc2011
#detroityouth #amc2011 these folks are doing huge things, inspiring me to bring back new ideas and energy to my community.
#writingscifi incredible different stories on housing, borders, children, race at #amc2011 holycow
Within five minutes of being at #amc2011 I saw a good friend, made a new one, and had intense stimulating convo
#amc2011 #DJ when you create what your needs are, that is activism--naming your needs, dialoging with elders, taking time to exchange care
Too much awesome at #amc2011 for @MPLSPoBoy. (Dreaming of a transformed world) #tc2amc
The 2nd half of Day 1 #AMC2011 begins. Already covered vlogging, pop ed, and competition among artists. #round2 #divingin
How to design stuff together, by us for us, in a process that is accessible #amc2011 #LBIT
Queer youth of color breaking down media representations, thinking outside the frame #queeryouthmedia #amc2011
#amc2011 sad that i'm missing #indigenousmedia but the #healingspace is SO EFFING gorgeous. even w/massive sign in learning experiences :D
Desribing tech through symbols, designing interactive media players, building digital pirate dropboxes, and way more #490st #amc2011
Denying that prisoners have certain basic communication rights has far-reaching implications for us all. #amc2011 #mediajustice
Making bike powered smoothies at #amc2011 #fenderbender
In the colonized US, there are 560+ native tribes. That's 560 languages/cultures to consider when media approaches native issues #amc2011
Today's lesson: volunteering at #AMC2011 is a fantastic way to meet a bunch of awesome people, really fast!
'you're Gna change things, and u gotta start doing it now'' -Rhonda Anderson... #Ecojusticetour #TC2AMC #AMC2011
Toying with traditional notions of objectivity: being invested in a community gives you MORE legitimacy, not less. #amc2011 #490st
#amc2011 thoughts of healing, wellness, childcare collectives, food, new family and friends, strong Toronto presence, new surroundings...
\I want it all...like institutions that are built to fuck with other institutions...as well as community media.\" #AMC2011 #awesome"
collective wisdom is in our cellular memory #mapwellness #amc2011
Can journalism b #decolonized under advertising model? Ppl need to support cultural workers #amc2011
breath is a tool of resilency #mapwellness #amc2011
Just napped it up in the relaxation space. #bestconferenceever #iheartAMC #AMC2011
#amc2011 we're just doing the damn #openingceremony run thru & my ass is already emotional. so. much. fierce.
geeks, hackers, writers, film makers, dancers and activists all under 1 roof...only at @Allied_Media Conference 2011 #AMC2011 #Detroit
Kids and elders tracks at #AMC2011 is awesome! Great to see multiple gens engaged and representin' well
Last year I stood on that stage saying \in 2010 we were gonna past Local Community Radio Act\" and it rang true http://j.mp/ijAPPT #amc2011"
Voguing at #AMC2011
If AT&T/TMobile merger is approved by @FCC they'll control 80% of wireless in the US! #mediajustice #AMC2011 #access4theppl
Wanna book 110+ acts in over 92 venues for a week-long music fest on a budget of $0.00? Ask @poppistol, @POPBASS, @ernestolivo. #amc2011
Diana Nucera: Here in Detroit we say the dance floor is our church. #amc2011 #mediajustice
We're learning to live stream! #streamingsocialmovements #AMC2011
Pedro Joel Espinosa: When we create & use our own systems (VozMob) we can control what happens w/ the information. #AMC2011 #access4theppl
Tech support at #AMC2011 is awesome because people appreciate (and let you know they appreciate) when you fix what's broken.
@cayden Indeed y'all are a rowdy crew! Thanks for helping us out ystrdy & making our workshop *seamless* :) #AMC2011
#access4theppl #amc2011 the universe is made up of stories, not atoms!
Oh shit! 2 hours til aaaaah GEEK OUT!! (cue disco song) #djgeekout #amc2011 @radiocpr
Getting ready to build a radio! This is what @Allied_Media is all about - taking action! #AMC2011
Just learned how to set up an online news station for free! #amc2011 #tacticalmedia http://t.co/PCuBsJh
a good brine is two cups of water one tablespoon of salt #amc2011
Participatorybudgeting.org applied to media making orgs& networks? Cool. #amc2011 #civicmedia
Collective methods of affordable and effective image production. #graphiccampaigns #graphics #socialmovements #AMC2011@homoground
Women who had never met or marched before said 'the homeless speak for themselves' #endpoverty #amc2011
Why do cellphone providers commoditize data, voice and text even tho its all on the same service n infrastructure #whatthecell #amc2011
so many issues around social game design but we got this. lots of bright minds in the room! @tumeric @cayden @unatronic #amc2011 #gamedesign
\Media is transformative and develops leadership when directly affected communities tell their own stories\" #endpoverty #amc2011 #tc2amc"
Important point: very light paper is really hard to peel once is wheat pasted! #graficasdelucha #AMC2011
interested in designing your own video games? check out these open-source tools: Scratch, Alice, OpenSim, GameStar Mech #gamedesign #amc2011
Hell yes! 10 Female DJs on one stage... Beautiful! #DJGeekout #AMC2011
It's always hot when indigenous instrumentation and phrasings cross with straight funk #amc2011 #djgeekout
When I originally heard #djgeekout #amc2011 vision i was like you can't do all 6 of those things in 1 wrkshop. Wow they pulled it off
When tech is designed for our movements, we really need to remember that our admins, project managers, et al need to eat. #mvtech #amc2011
CLEARLY the world needs more mid day, all ages, cross genre, sober, female led dance parties! #djgeekout #amc2011
Hearing about these radical pedagogy projects happening in 21st century real life around the country RULES. #AMC2011 #ourschools
Communities, activists, and orgs need control over their tools, data to have true and sustainable agency and power. #amc2011 #490st #mvtech
\We were certainly loving women before the 19th century.\" #amc2011"
With the proliferation of certain technologies, maybe it's time to realize that techie v nontechie is false binary -aponte #mvtech #amc2011
This might be the best workshop I've ever seen at a media conference--DJs, dancing, projections of music history. Yes! #djgeekout #amc2011
\A stage is not made out of wood or metal it is manifested everywhere someone speaks truth.\" -Matt Blesse #amcPMTM #AMC2011 @amcpoetrymusic"
THIS \@Adriennemaree: not only transform the prisoners but transform those who teach in prisons -- tongo #amc2011 http://t.co/5DAhr4s\""
Appalachian Media Institute: Old school flyering has been getting more people into a screening than facebook events. #amc2011
Learned more abt #mediapolicy than I coul ever digest in just an hour +. Looking forward to doing research, learning more. #amc2011
Building small radios that hook up to a mp3 player and allow you to \broadcast your podcast\" over FM radio! #amc2011 #radiobuild"
thsese little radios have been used at conventions or talks for people that need translators, ingenious! #radiobuild #AMC2011
Documentary born out of sex workers intimate relationships and how to tell/teach partners how to support them #amc2011 #everyho