neil cummings

Media Squares

tahrir squareOn Friday 30th September and Saturday 1st October 2011, I participated in Media Squares: on the new forms of protests and their media, organised by De Baile, in Amsterdam. And two weeks later joined the Occupy London protest.

Social protest has become almost inseparably linked to a plethora of media images and messages distributed via internet, mobile phones, social media, internet video platforms and of course traditional media outlets such as newspapers, radio and television. A popular category to have emerged recently is the 'twitter-revolution'. In almost all cases - Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, and London - the role of the platform turned out to be less influential in retrospect, although certainly, deeply rooted blogger-networks did play a mayor role, preparing the protests that have now been dubbed the Arab Spring. And digital connectivity played a crucial role in the organisation and co-ordination of the European 'anti-austerity' protests in Spain, Greece, UK and Italy where protest was manifest on the streets and particularly in public squares.

This international seminar brings together theorists, artists, designers, activists and media specialists to develop a critical analysis of the new forms of social protest and their media dimension. The program is divided into two blocks. The first block focuses on an in-depth analysis of the evolving WikiLeaks-drama, while the second block will examine the remarkable string of protests in the Mediterranean region. These discussions will be interrupted at times by startling artistic interventions in current social and political debates.

Participants in the program are among others: Daniel van der Velden (Metahaven), Geert Lovink (Institute for Network Cultures, INC), Aalam Wassef (Ahmad Sherif), Nat Muller (independent curator), David Garcia (Chelsea College), Jodi Dean (Blog Theory), Nadia Plesner (Darfurnica), Florian Conradi and Michelle Christensen (stateless plug-in).

The seminar is part of an on-going research into Tactical Media, the fusion of art, media, politics and cultural activism, centred around an on-line documentation resource of Tactical Media practices world-wide.

Doors open: 10.00
Start Program: 10.30 uur
End Program: 17.00 uur
Admission: 5 euro (no reductions)

Inspired by many of the speakers, I was encouraged to join the Occupy London protest later in the month.

Submitted by neil on 16 September, 2011 - 13:40