Mediated Empowerment: Using Media and Technology to Amplify the Voices of Local Communities

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Session Title:

  • Emancipation and Pain (panel)

Presentation Title:

  • Mediated Empowerment: Using Media and Technology to Amplify the Voices of Local Communities

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Abstract:

  • How can media and technology be used to amplify the voices of local communities? Various groups are now forming to provide local communities with new media art opportunities for visibility and empowerment. These communities are micro communities or micro-cultures, often with immaterial infrastructures or unorthodox approaches. The organizers are interested in media art as a voice for autonomy and collaboration, and all focus on small scale human-centered activities that promote anti-monopoly and community orientation. Their activities aim to empower local users with hands on experience and technological understanding. They focus
    on curiosity and confidence through demystification and intersectional participation, indeed they value the very need to share and learn about each others differences. All all cases, the voices of the members from local communities are seldom heard and need to be recognized, celebrated and amplified. In this panel four representatives from current media-based initiatives talk about their own deep engagement with their respective communities.

    They explore the relevance of these initiatives within their local and broader contexts, and focus on both the different and similar ways they engage with actors: artists, scientists, technologists and activists. They reflect on how these socially-engaged transdisciplinary collaborations may bring about empowerment and investigate the long-term potentials of the media and technologies that are put to use. Specific topics will be addressed like access, visibility, empowerment, feminism, the commons, ownership, colonialism and post-colonialism, appropriation, and reciprocity. The diverse disciplines of the communities represented in this panel – small scale farming, street music, feminist hacking and visual impairment–guarantee a rich discussion, backed by the depth of their theoretical approaches and the solidarity of hands-on and on-the-ground experiences for each community.

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