On Friday, we welcomed AMC participants back to the conference and to Detroit. In a wall-to-wall packed Community Arts Auditorium, we framed the local context, celebrated 15 years of the AMC, experienced powerful poetry and dance performance, and concluded with a movement-based exploration of emergence theory that started as a human wave that became a ripple, then a hustle, then a dance party.
One of the highlights of the Opening Ceremony were remarks and a "We Need Media" video produced by Allied Media Projects Co-Director Diana J. Nucera.
Here you can check Diana's remarks preceding the video, and then watch the video below.
REMARKS BY DIANA J. NUCERA
Hello AMC!!! I’m so excited to finally be together with all of you all again.
This year is a particularly special year for the Allied Media Conference because we are celebrating 15 years of building media strategies for a more just, creative, and collaborative world.
15 years – thats a long time! Think about all of the things you’ve done in that past 15 years. Think about how much you’ve changed and how much your environment has changed around you and with you and you with it in that time.
15 years ago, I stumbled upon the first AMC, which was then called the Midwest Zine Fest in Bowling Green Ohio 1999 and now 15 years later, I am a Co-Director of Allied Media Projects.
Since my first AMC I’ve seen DIY zines and patches turn into low power FM radio stations, and LPFM radio stations turn into the passage of the Local Community Radio Act. I’ve seen conversations about visions for healthy digital ecologies turn into multi-million dollar stimulus grants for community media. I’ve seen punk shows turn into dance parties that build networks of underground culture stewards. I’ve seen grassroots fundraisers turn into cooperative businesses. I’ve seen the the organizing of the conference move from 3 central organizers to a decentralized structure of over 100 organizers. I’ve seen hip hop mixtapes turn into complex sciences and flirting turn into families.
I’m sure each of you have a particular perspective as to what you’ve seen grow in and out of the AMC. The AMC is an entanglement of all our stories, our struggles, and our visions and this weekend we have the unique opportunity to reconnect our threads and relationships and build strength for the work ahead of us.
I was tasked to create a video to celebrate the 15th anniversary that “captured” the spirit of the AMC. Some of you may have gotten an email from me every week for a few months asking you to record your voice in response to the prompt, "we need media that…" And after some nice nagging, I got about 30 submissions and those recordings make up the video's soundtrack which the imagery is built around.
It was a really amazing experience to weave this piece together. In the process I realized that we most certainly still have a lot of work to do and "we need media that" supports our visions, but we also need to recognize that we have over a decade of media that we've made, and all of that media is evidence of relationships and network we’ve built.
When I was searching for footage to further articulate what you all were saying, I always ended up in the AMC media. In the past 15 years we have build a solid foundation of media that builds the word we want to see.
As we move forward with our lives and work after this weekend, when we come up against defeating situations, struggles, or fights that may make it feel hard to maintain our visions I hope this video will help us remember what we are working towards a liberated, participatory world, while reminding us of the pieces of this world we have already successfully created.
WE NEED MEDIA THAT...
TRANSCRIPTION OF WORDS FROM THE VIDEO
We need media that changes lives, tells stories, liberates, holds people accountable, asks questions, seeks answers, champions imagination, protects hearts, encourages minds, and allows all good things to grow.
We need media where we need to be together in order to create it.
We need media that reflects the struggle and resilience of our communities, that tells honest stories that teaches patience, presence, and process while reminding us what's possible.
We need media that wakes up the Harriet Tubman in us. The Audre Lorde in us. The Nanny of the Maroons in us. We need media that grows what we will risk for our collective freedom.
We need media that amplifies our voice.
We need media that is honest and kind, that invites us to be our full selves.
We need media that supports our healing.
We need media that titillates us. That inspires us. That lets us see the very best of ourselves in the present, and makes us long for the future that we're co-creating.
We need media that speaks to our communities
and where we come from.
We need media about being human.
We need media that is owned and operated
for, by and about the people.
We need media that amplifies the experience and ideas of people of colour, queer and trans folks, the working class, immigrants, the chronically ill and disabled, prisoners, youth, and all of us who dare to dream of a world where these voices are front and centre.
[ SINGING ]
Have you seen the stars?
Have you seen the stars...?
Ever sat inside of one, the fabric bends, sending ripples...
Of meaning ... to the future ... to the future..
We need media that sows seeds, that lifts voices, that grows communities.
This is media that creates sustainable freedom.
We need media that loves.
We need media that shows the world
as a complex and beautiful place, and gives people the opportunity to choose
how they participate in those complexities.
We need media that supports our work in our regions
and in our communities.
We need media that supports young people learning about different ways of being in the world, and not being desensitized by it.
We need media that tells stories
whose endings we don't already know.
We need media that compels us to stretch, explore, and create,rather than tracing the borders of the narratives we've heard repeated time and time again.
We need media that can be shared
not just in the moment of making, but in the re-telling and sharing of the story.
That can fit in our hands and be passed from one to another, that is tactile, share-able, imaginative in how it tells and re-tells the stories.
We need media that moves and sings, takes wings, flies, opens eyes, creates surprise and belief and relief, and lets us move, swim, sing, bling...turn from fear, makes things clear, designs, inspired minds, gets free, gets open, gets level, correct, connects.
Have you seen the stars?
Have you seen the stars?
Ever sat inside of one...the fabric bends sending ripples.
We need media that will act as a guiding hand to educate, explore, inspire, and create systems of support for building a world that is centered on equity and justice for all of us.
We need media that encourages everyone to be active participants in creating the world they want to see.
We need media that looks like us, all the ways that we look.
We need media that can be read on a screen reader or a prison zine or a life saving facebook group or a text-to-voice APP or a printing press in my backyard.
Media that's a secret message passed on and on and on.
We need media made by and for disabled folks because the world needs our life saving crip genius and we need it most of anybody. We need media that's cheap.We need media that anyone can do.Media that heals with salt water, and spells and sage.
Media that is a secret map to the next world that I pass on to you.