Dr. Alessandra Renzi on How Social Movements Change Across Cycles of Struggle and Across Technology

Dr. Alessandra Renzi on How Social Movements Change Across Cycles of Struggle and Across Technology

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>> >> Thank you everyone for coming to the 45 event of the the publishing -- are the captioning working. Sorry. Thank you everyone for coming to the 45 event of disruptions disruptions technologies practices speaker and workshop series. I'm Dr. Dr. Alex Ketchum I'm a professor and organizer of this series the publisher communications practices speaker and workshop series seeks to bring together scholars and people in industry working on humanities, computer science, disability studies, communication studies, LGBTQ LGBTQ.

We are hosting so virtual events this fall. You can find the full schedule at disrupting disruptions.come. The other URL is way too long to remember. You will find a list of sponsors as well as others at our website. For this event recording is enabled so that the event can be vetted on our website. Don't worry, only the

speakers will be shown in the video. We have a Q&A option available. So throughout the talk you may type your questions into the Q&A box and there will be time at the end to answer them. Every question will be answered. We are great full for the discussion that you generate. Welcome to our

captioner for today, Debbie. >> Past speakers have pointed to the physical and material impact of the digital world. While the events are virtual everything that we do is tied to the land and the space that we are on. We must always be mindful of the land that our virtual events are on. Reit is important to acknowledge Canada's long history and current political practices. The series is affiliated with the institute of femininist studies. It is

currently located in Montreal on unseated territory. Further more the on going organizing efforts by indig inus communities [inaudible] racism. This university's main stake had block an indig inus people. Through these violent acts that it was founded. These histories are here with us in the space and form the conversations we have today. I encourage you to

learn about the lands that you are on. It is a fantastic resource for doing so. Now for today's event Dr. Alessandra Renzi through community research, studies and media projects. She has started in Italy with social movements in Canada after 9/11 and housing and injustice in Indonesia. How society's platforms, algorithm and AI is changing urban landscape and landscapes alike. She is the

PI of a social sciences and humanity resource grant titled on the margins of the platform economy community web response with focus on Montreal neighborhood. I continue to think about so many lines from her fantastic book "hacked transmissions" she wrote the ability to hack and connect is by no means a process. What is the function of media within resistant formations. I also really appreciate the distinction in the book between media connected versus media collective. I look forward to more insights during the talk.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Renzi. Thank you so much for being here. And everyone for attending. >> Thank you, Alex. Thank you

everyone. It is great to see so many people and familiar faces. This is actually I was mention to go Alex this is the first time I am talking about this book in a public lecture. So it is the official launch of the book even though it came out in March 2020. It was right in the middle of the pandemic. It didn't feel too

pandemic appropriate in terms of topics. Let me start the screen share. I have some slides here. Is it working? >> It is working and it looks great. >> Perfect. This so book is a labor of love an collaboration and research with media activist started in 2002. When I was thinking about how to talk about the book, I was at a bit of a loss.

It was kind of hard to talk about a book that is so rooted in the energy of being on the streets together and also it is rooted in mobilizing concepts and ideas through writing. So it's been quite hard to think about how to talk about it in such a short period of time. It is hard because it is hard to how friendship have transformed me as a researcher and an organizer. Working with my friends and also researching was really more than showing will be like a show of different hats. I

have experienced how relations -- the relations that we form through research really shape ourself perception and understanding of the world. So I'm starting this talk with the subject because what we do with other people and what we do with technology can make us what we are. So what I am talking about really comes from experiences that I have had over quite a long span of time. And I'm going to present here to think through how movements come into composition and become with technology. In particular I would like to discuss the relations -- we talk about social movements we talk about the relation between movements and the state. Where I am I am paying attention to how movements relate to each other and focusing in particular on practices of social reproduction and collective care. At the core of my

research are really 3 main issues. How competitionalty makes the fabric political. What keeps groups together in the field and what forms of inquery could enbolden organizing. This leads to posing questions about politics in a different way and to consider horizontal relations at the same time as the relations that use today challenge power. I will look at modes of relation. Also effective exchanges because these are what makes a collect. This is

what a collective requires to become a collective. So let me first just get a few clarifications about the nature of individuality and collectivity out of the way. I am happy to talk more about this with theory heads in the Q&A. Most

of my framework is based on the work of Italian markist and feminist and on new materialism. For me in this book and in general individuals and groups are not considered complete entities as atoms that form relations. Relations have status as well as what we call an individual and collectivity. When we move the emphasis from the constituted terms of these entities it to the operations that are setting place and constitute what becomes a collective or on individual, then it is possible to focus on processes of gendering and on thresholds of change. This is

process is what I found was necessary to study social movements at a time where so much is focused on the identity of movements. Also exploring the relationalty shifts around on subjectivity away from conscious exchanges, framing in a way, to the level of emotion. I am going to tell you more about how this is particularly important for me. I don't see the individual as collectivity. Collectivity is seen from the relation from the relations it constitutes. Each

relation has the status of being. It exists with the terms to which relation grants being. So in other words, in more practical terms people in groups are not status objects. They are the side affects of interaction. In an environment that triggers constant transformation. So to understand

I asked how do they come into composition and connect, disconnect and reconnect? With this focus I don't want to focus how they retain their identity or their initial purpose their atom-like stability. I want to ask how the past thresholds after which they cease to be where they are and scatter away or take on different structures. This move away from social morphology to understanding movements is always in process allows me to consider how organizing changes across social struggle and how we can embolden social struggle through cross pollen nation and energy and collective memory. To illustrate

this movement I am going to present 3 screens of activist practices through a process-based, process-focused lens and show how this process allows us to connect knowledge, production and community organizing through a methodology that attends simultaneously to the movement of composition and the movements. The fist scene introduces a net work that connects neighbors. In opposition to the isolating individualistic mainstream television and in particular television. Looking at process we see how sociology becomes centered in this context as opposed to just the spreading of counter information which is typical of media. The second scene threads a connection with previous movements and forms the background for important threshold changes that shape new forms of media activism. Here the focus and

process allows me to attend to the circulation of enemies instead of the political claims of the movement. With the third scene I'm concerning to Telee street and returning to one of the nodes on TV and focus on the specific ways in which we can see it repurposes media to connect movements and to foster reproduction and care. So these scenes are all connected by visual elements that I discuss. But I also want to draw attention to the invisible micro exchanges that are personal and at times facilitated by memory and other traces like travel through and carried over from one struggle to another. So the movement of composition can be tracked through what I call activist. It can be

solidified through what I will call collective activism which is based on the concept of repurposing media. Just as an aside the book was supposed to be called repurposing media. The marketing department did not like the name at all because you couldn't Google it. Without further ado, let us move back to 2001 when the Italian media tycoon won a second term in the elections as prime minister and consolidated his media power to over 90% of the media. At the same

time or shortly after, the telestreet network was done e born with the micro television stations transmitting on a neighborhood scale using analog television frequencies that commercial networks could not use. In this graph you see you can see how the analog waves get stopped by an obstacle. What you have is a shadow cone where you can broadcast.

I started -- I don't know if it was a hiccup or there is something that is not working at the moment. So in any case this transmission system was also connects today a peer-to-peer network a digital network. Using an Archive called that was broadcasting when there was no broadband only slow dial up connections. The network was active until 2010 when it switch today digital broadcasting. As a

network it didn't exist any more. There were many nodes that were there and through this Archive people in telestreet were able to cut down on production costs and really retain their individual programming choices even though the transmission was happening all over Italy. So at a time this independent media production really lit the imagination of people like wild fire. So within a few years a couple of years actually there were over 20 street televisions scattered over over the country. It is also important to mention that tele street was not born in a vacuum. This was the time of the

social justice movement. The independent media centers and electronic disturbance. Reclaim the street parties protest and media consolidation. So there were a lot of media activist projects that were deeply intertwined with corporate capitalism. Street

televisions were particularly active at this time which was an important time for radical media because activists worked together with hackers to build new communication infrastructure. There was free and independent and also catered to the needs of movements. Then the interactive and participate tore I character of the web went in a flash from being this thing of activists and media makers to being something that is part of proprietary software and did many of these initial experiments. So tele street embodied these periods mixing peer-to-peer and with technology with opensource, creative comment licenses. Most people political and artistic traditions from data to theater to political radio to research. I met tele street through the activist of Canada TV when they present this had new network at the festival in Berlin where I was living. When I joined

the movement I was just supporting multi lingual production. I was doing actions every time I went to Italy. I was accompanying them at international events. Eventually I became a member of Naples my hometown. In addition to co-producing media we set up a collaborative form of research inspired by the Italian economist that decision which is very alive in the movements in Italy. And the

inquiry really uses similar techniques to traditional research. Only the priorities and the questions of the research are set and the research is also carried out by the people involved. And it is considered by activist a form of organizing in itself. And so once this research started it became quite clear that tele street was not -- there was a lot more to it. Some other fact the framing of tele street really takes the attention away from the street where so much happens through media making and just focuses on the discourse and the positioning of the movement. For anyone who was involved it was clear that tele street was about making community. This was

particularly visible in the model of proxy vision which means vision from close as opposes to the model vision from far. And so for this model, what matters is not how many people watched television but how many people make television together. Media activism is often associated with circulating counter information whereas what we have with the model is really like a blowing up of the traditional communication models. It is a

different that has technical power and inter locks tech rigs, traditions of resistance, discourses about consumption. The social elements of being together. And so this complex can achieve political power even though it is important to mention that not all are inherently enancipatory. This allows the people involved in tele street to find a fulfillment in the joy of being together. The

pleasure of making things together in ways that are outside of the binds from mainstream media and individual subjects. So let me move to the second scene where we go back in time and I could have gone back to the '70s because a lot of the influence on tele street can be found in the culture and production of the '70s. I would like to bring up actually some other stories that have almost been forgotten. In particular the 1989-1990 movement called La Pantera Siamo Noi. So in 1889 students rose up against the corporatization of the university. Research funding. They were also

advocating for free information and attempts at consolidating media power. By 1990 this movement had expanded throughout Italy under the name taking its name from a run away panther that seemed really hard to catch. The students occupied a lot of the buildings in universities. In collaboration with some professors they experimented with the communication means that became available because they could access the tech labs of the universities. This is when

media technology was expense ever. The first encounter with this independent media making was one at in Naples at La Pantera. They screened an add from the pan terrible to this movement. Starting a wave of culture damming and branding of the movement that was partly also inspired by conversations from the '70s. In addition to culture jamming independent media making it was a movement of the facts. A facts movement because having access to the fax machines in the offices of the university the students could develop a grid to coordinate actions across different universities. So faxes were use

today circulate updates and also reach government and the press to their offices almost like direct action. Even more ground breaking than this was actually the approachation of the virtual address extension the computer network in the science department. This network was much more powerful than the phone cables that people used for the systems. The grid was connected into a proprietary system network called DC net and it really allowed people to have realtime communication. At the time it was space age technology. It allowed

students to access the remote desks which were as big as washing maps, mailing lists and chats and other activities. Once they integrated this network with the fax net work it was born like a nationwide infrastructure for the occupation of the universities. This become a threshold for the recomposition of the field of media activism. It was particularly important not just to develop practices within Italy. It was really important of connection with China where students were protesting the government on the square. The

Chinese government didn't know that this network was still active. So every day the students in Italy would clean up the message that's they received from China from their masking headlines and fax them street to the news in Italy. It was never clear how this information was reaching people.

These universities were filled to the brim 24/7 with media making and it was really an important part of the exchanges because it also makes mundane discussions with politics. It really exposes students to technology that were unheard of before. So it was really thrilling. It allowed the

beginning of certain conversations about technology and how to hack into them that mirrored the politics of movements that are involved in this hacking. So decision making, horizontal organizing and practices and so on. So these experiments really exceeded the Act of circulating information and communicating as this information circulated around in the net works, it really set off a series of relays between the technical and the social pushing the limits for activism and for technology. Both the movement the one that was started in '94 was similar pumped new energy into political space that's had become somewhat dormant after the regression of the '70s. So in the early '90s new technologies and DYI ethics really started informing activists at the same time as they were also shifting character of capitol and how communication played a role in the different forms of oppression that cap it roll perpetrates. New

social centers were created over over Italy. In Naples was Tienament which reminds us of the square which means don't forget. The other things that were important and interesting were police crack downs on some of this organizing as well as the first Iraq war protest in 1990. And also

the way in which these spaces became really spaces for people to thrive in different kinds of experiments. It was the first country in southern Europe to organize hack meetings. Many of these hacker spaces were located in the social centers so the proximity of hackers and activists really brought hacker culture into activism and radical politics into hacking. Also previous infrastructure like the hosted by a BBS system and later on servers. There was a lot of mixing of different forms of media from analog to digital and vice averse an a vice versa. They started providing

encryption, Listservs to militant groups. In this context I would like to also mention the importance of tech in collectives and how they have been forming an effective care labor that is not visible but that is really important for the composition and recomposition of social movements. So look willing at all of these relations we can really start seeing how energy was traveling through these spaces and experiments -- technology was feeding experiment with new lines. The energy was really visible and as someone participated in these spaces, I was really seeing how these chance encountered how these conversations were really proliferating different experiences and experiments. It is also

important to mention that this wasn't only happening in Italy and that Italy itself was plunked into a wider network of groups from collaboration from pal a stein to hack meetings to media festivals and so on. One other thing to mention is that this energy is not always positive. It also feeds -- decomposes collectives. And so I am trying to locate this process of composition and decomposition in socio technical spaces this is where a lot of the energy is relayed. Moving to the third scene, so in one of the most exciting conversations about becoming a media activist he told me about a Sumner 2003 going to a summer camp in southern Italy to protest detention centers and the repression of immigration. And just by chance he ended up with a camera in hand while breaking into a detention center. Yes, that

happened. And so still by chance he also managed to hide the tapes from the police before they destroyed all of the evidence. The video that came out of it galvanized politics in Italy and Europe. Since then I could not put the camera down is what he tells me. I can feel from his voice that there is a power that is felt with a camera in injustice. It happened

2 people were involved in the third Google forum in Naples and G8 summit where the first known Italians in the media were set up. But the subjectivity of the media activist started emerging in particular time, technology and organizing problems with inclusion and diversity of voices that we are often familiar with controlling news lists and things like this. Also importantly a debate about the differences between being an activist and media activist. Still

in a way activist wasn't always considered a form of organizing. Some additional structure in a markist attitude. Also during this time there was a lot of burn out and police doing the sum its and right after. So this fed a lot of

the stimuli creating problems and burn out. Nicola was at this camp to try to cure burn out without completely kits disengaging from politics. The encounter with the camera spurred a new kind of relation where some would say part of the movement of activists would call psycho social and also the camera as a weapon which is a technical thing. So this kind of

new really started having more political agency and it grew as other people who were part of the camp and other activists from Naples joined to create it. Just as an aside Nicola doesn't exist. It is the collective name that we all use. So as I move on to discuss it, try to hold on to the understanding of stability of projects because they are there is always a tension what they are and what they can. When the tension

release it's scatters in different places and one can find traces in the least suspected places. This is not what I would consider failure. This really speaks for me to how movements change an how resistance can continue. My perspective tries to shift away from discourses of failures and successes in social movements that have been very prominent. So Naples is one of the largest cities in Italy and has the highest population. And it is set up in

the social center with a really large antenna that was donated by them by the workers on a ship yard on strike and it turned into a co-op and people helped them make a documentary about it. It could reach a really large audience. What is interesting some of this audience was not just watching from them they would come and participate in the production or at least in the live shows that were being created. These live shows

often talk shows were highly p participate tore I. In the context of the talk shows there would be topics and guests coming in and having conversations also helping different groups create documentaries that would be entertainment and cooking show and the event would end with the sharing of food. So people would come and actually take part in this. And what I see in this kind

of work and I'll tell you more about it in a second is really what I have come to understand as a form of what I call repurposing media which is really not about the repurposing of media as technology or even the repurposing of spaces as the shadow cones or social centers. It is less about the use of technology and the harnessing about events. So repurpose describes a set of alternative media practices that bend and hack is available to foster social cohesion rather than communication in itself. We are moving to a

focus on social reproduction. For example the documentary in Naples on the strike that lasted almost a year in Italy was created after people had trained to do inquiry and to document what they were saying came back with over 500 hours of footage. But the connective potential of this making didn't end there. Actually once the film the documentary was finished was invite today screen and talk about the film making practices and the garbage strike everywhere in Italy and outside of Italy. Also was invited to undertake new collaborations and since it is not just one person it was really interesting to see how we could be in different places. So it calls itself a media connective not a media collective.

So this is where so much of my thinking has been shaped because I see this idea of media connective when like the force of connective activism is a way of creating and tend to go spaces and infrastructure of inter subjectivity where connectivity emerges through a set of creative practice that's facilitate these exchanges that I had been talking about. Repurposing as a way of repurposing the unique character of Teletv over reproduction that feminism calls for. For me to come to an understanding of the composition of the activist field and how this understanding can shape our movements are really questions that are edge tangled. So we can start answering them simultaneously by setting up these autonomous or accommodate dem he can media processes that listening, collaboration, experimentation and break down the identity-based interaction because people are focused on the making of the films.

Moving to my last 2 sections, let me say first of all that different struggles in 1976 to 2001 or between the global justice movement are not lines of direct affiliation. They are actually part of what I would define as nonlinear processes of positive feedback loops between the technology so that you have this movement and also from a full blown experiment to the tinkering with technology to the systems. So this circulation is nonlinear. But this kind of hacking and tinkering and exchanges between bodies and technologies what are really the core of connective activism. And when we come together. They are

not stable. They are meta stable they are reshaping themselves as new components come into composition. Sometimes gaining more people and sometimes gaining less power. This find of focus for me allows us to reframe how we study media across cycles of struggle and away from monolithic representations of what movements are. Also what allows us to really think about the relationship between the technological components as opposed to just taking for grant I had that certain movements use certain technologies. So this focus on the composition also moves us away from conversations about failure to conversations about what travels across cycles of struggle. Some of

these tools and ideas that can be taken on and transformed. So studying media from a perspective of movement energetics focuses on media and social ecologies are en tangled in complex ways instead of taking for grant I had had the adoption of these technologies. To understand the capacity of these to constantly change one must consider the potential of the system. Also the moment of decomposition which groups cannot obtain their stability. Sew this is what I try to show and I hope I succeeded by pointing at all of these divergent energy and how they sometimes come into consideration to condition political invention across different cycles of struggle. Technology especially today plays an important role and it has agency we could say. So how do the corn

temporary forms of media activism function in the larger activist field? What can activism do today? The challenge really is to understand current information with the activist and non-activist to try to figure out how the decomposition [inaudible] or prevent it. the new activist media scape is a network but also fragmented. Think about the amount of time that is required to do something like street television and what it thinks to have a mobile phone and platform and stream as a one-person band. It is really important for us to start understanding the relation between technology and movements not just as here is technology and here are movements. This only gives us a

partial explanation how things function. This explanation leads to us critique corporate tech follow gee as exploding and facilitating surveillance and other kinds of technologies as being inherently helpful which is not the case. For me it is really important to say when there is no longer alternative media there are alsoal it attorneyive media sandwiches. This from a perspective of research means that we have to start thinking through movement and composition and every time we encounter a new project and every time we en encounter a new group of people. And in similar ways there is politics of knowledge it is also important to think about the production of subjectivity and the social reproduction that en tangles researchers and research. I learned how this kind of relationship can be ethical and can really be productive for people.

Connected research can for different ways of being together and do so with care. But like many processes that it really promotes this approach without the care and edge callness becomes a method for extraction. Building a connection is not just a matter of naming a condition or providing some kind of connection. It is really about embodying these connections and to engage in struggles over the production of reality.

>> In my experience participating in movements groups don't always talk or very seldom talk about the relationships among groups unless they are trying to figure out how to build some alliances. What also is not talked about the afford answers of technology and what the technology that is chosen really allows us to do. So this lack of shared reflection makes groups vulnerable to frack mentation and surveillance and also communication habits. What I found interest first degree in that in nrples they ask the same thing that I ask as a research how groups can retain curiosity and proliferate struggles. What lures us together with them and then away? What kind of compositionalty makes the social fabric political? There is value in considering becoming of groups in relation to each other. That is we are not moving through horizontal but horizontal.

Focusing on the relationship between groups is more insightful in how society engages with power because it reviews how the psycho sociology of the activist itself is for organizing and building momentum. This is where the theories of social reproduction and insurgence of social reproduction become important. In this sense the term activist field itself is not particularly useful for these micro relations that are being pointed to and are the base us of political reaction. It is not just identity that brings us to movement it is being together and of feeling part of a group. So they have been asking for a long time across cycles of struggle how to keep this competitionalty and keep this veracity. This has taken different

kinds of efforts from cool research looking at the composition of research to media making and fun. And using research as a mode of investing in recent integration through asking questions about our own communities and territories. So repurposing both research and media hashors the potential to foster recomposition for those that have political agency. And this may not be necessarily unique to Naples. It stands out in the histories I have encountered. It talks about reproductive care and effective labor as key components of the persistence of capitalist systems. Political movements have

failed to form reproduction are Destined to be reabsorbed into the mechanism of the capitalist system. They are attached to the living body of the worker and particularly net work communication technologies, you know, are important aspects for social reproduction happens. So it is really important to really think about the relationship between our media use and social reproduction. So I am going to conclude with two brief insights that I sum up from my field work. The first one at a time where communication has become an important side of struggle, media activism really needs to wrestle the feel of communication from over production and redirect them towards social reproduction. The second one is that it's really important to recognize these strategic of care and effective work within movements to allow this healthy communication and proliferation. This may require a

reconceptualization of what we consider political work. In general, I advocate for what feminist define as insurgent modes of social reproduction that focus on intimacy and social ties away from the enclosures of social media and capitalism in general. To really think what connective activism can look like today because it is not necessarily clear. So the question for activists but also for engaged scholarship is one of think how can they facilitate outside of the narrow and unimaginative confines of capitalism and colonialism and ableism. So in this sense just to con include I think it is important to think or rethink also together with political action what we consider agency and to me it is really about the ability to come into composition and to stay tuned into the changings that exist. Thank you.

>> Thank you so much for that talk. Thank you for that explanation, that 0 year history and I am so glad you spoke to the meth logical you can ask questions in the Q&A. We will use first names. The first question comes from Megan. I read your book and our discussions kept coming back to.

>> >> This is a really interesting question. It is one that I am still considering. I'm not sure https://2020archive.1capapp.com/event/jaydei

https://2020archive.1capapp.com/event/jaydei in response rethat are really data activism and other forms of media making that challenges representation and also brings people together through for instance the kind of work that I am doing with friends and colleagues in park X at the moment with mapping. The kind of work that I am seeing done around social reproduction in the U.S. around the emergency of police brutality. I am thinking about the social emergency centers that are for social intervention developed.

There are different ways. The thing is that in order to figure out what solution to develop you have to really frame the problem in a way that lends itself to giving a solution. It is really important to think about how QUebecor is functioning now and what are the ways that one could engage with it. >> Thank you, Megan. I hope I

answered your questSandra ion. says given your argument what is your critique of network analysis as a research method? >> That is a great question. I can probably give you antidote. I was

starting to look at the could be temporary activist field in Naples to figure out which groups were communicating with which so I was working with an RA that was enthusiastic about network analysis. So we kept on discussing and they were saying this is really going to help us. I was like I don't know. So we ended up actually collecting quite a lot of data over a period of time doing mobilizations. This was around gender struggles in Naples. Once we started doing the analysis we realized there was absolutely no overlap between the network like the nodes on social media and the nodes that were actually existing on the ground. I

was quite sure of that. It was interesting to see reflected on a digital map. The map looked beautiful. In a place like Naples there is an entire network of social centers and cultural conduction spaces there are squares where people hang out. You don't need social media to communicate. So much of the organizing is by word of mouth. In the same way I

am seeing that in some kind of struggles here are like -- places like Montreal as well word of mouth is much more important than outreach of media. >> Thank you so much for that. And also in the chat a request to publish more work about this. The next question I'm guessing the first name is Greg. I find a

provocation in your book about composition and media activism. That the results of composition that are vastly different than what we usually think should be the the effects of media activism. How does composition transform how we should understand activism? >> Another excellent question. It depends who the question is. Composition has been at the core of understanding, organizing in Italy in the traditional markism which is quite strong in Italy for a long time. It was developed to understand the new composition of the groups people they were not seeing the correspondence between the unions and the part I and how these younger people were coming to the factories were seeing their way of expressing decent. There was

sabotage and slowing down the machine there was a variety of different things. I think composition transforms how we understand activism only as it gives us another lens to think about the field of activism and how to care for it. So high to -- how to understand how to create critical mass and potentially where there is a need to shift certain practices and certain strategies. >> Wonderful. I just want to -- we got another question feel free to ask questions. Would you read the

next question? >> Sure. Before I read it, maybe we could close the PowerPoint presentation to enlarge this. >> Sure. Sorry. I forgot. >> The next question is from Antonio. Can you expand on the concept of energy within these activist groups. What have you found to be the conditions that foster energy? >> Yeah, I use energy from a theoretical perspective using a framework where energy is also considered information.Ed at the

level of the individual or collective this is literally the information that comes through perception and triggers changes in the individual any kind of reaction. It is also information that travels from the technical circuits into the social circuits and also creates these relays that I was talking about between the social and the technical. So in that sense, energy is really anything that keeps people people happen any a way doing things together in a way that expands the purview of activism from just focusing on certain goals and campaigns which can be exhausting and should be done in any case to the joy of being together to having community. Really energy can be anything from going to a screening to dancing. >> Wonderful. I guess I'll ask a question that I have. So one thing

in your talk you mentioned a shared -- a sense of anonymity. That raises the question when you were talking about the role community members taking part in television making and coming on to shows and participating in the cooking shows, what is the role of risk of people involved in this media production was there a risk taking part in the cooking shows as well? How are people understanding the role of risk in that participation versus the role of community building and traction formation? >> Yeah, that's an interesting question. I never thought about it. So the spaces themselves. It depends on differing risk. If you

are thinking at a biss being level risk coming out of your confidence zone you could be in the audience and the next thing you are holding a microphone. That's how I start. I was in the audience the next thing I know I am doing an interview. You may be helping people roll up cables and everything. So there is that. Sometimes with the topics there may be obviously a risk of revealing yourself. There is a good degree of attention to the risks of anonymity. For instance when we did an episode of the talk show in Toronto, we were -- one of the topics was about the pollution diesel trains were causing in the neighborhood. There was a person

who was an engineer that had been working for the company and came with a mask and took part in the event. In terms of running the televisions no one has ever been arrested. It is illegal in a certain way but it falls into the loopholes of media regulation. So sadly the only channel -- well the first channel that was run by strikers in a factory was shut down. But otherwise the only other channel that was closed down was one that was run by people -- diverse people. It was a really

solid great community-based projects in a small town. Because it was so successful, in a way opposing -- as a source of competition to the local private channels that were making money through advertisement. So it was them who went to the police and had it shut down. But otherwise yeah, I wouldn't say there have been any particular risks. >> Thank you. That is so

interesting. I just want to remind people if you want to ask any more questions we have a little less than 10 minutes left. I don't want to put you on the spot also if you have a question you can feel free to ask. In the meantime perhaps bays you were covering so much in your talk and it was so rich. I was wondering if you could -- you talked about this a bit at the end.

If you could talk a little bit about your choices of navigating activism and methodology because there is a look in your book speaking towards that just maybe for audience members who haven't had a chance yet to read the book. >> Sure. So there are a couple of things. The people I was working with were people comfortable with research and in a way part of the research. Some of the people in the collective were coming up with the question airs with ideas who were discussing some of the research results. So what was probably one of the trickier parts was how to not break the trust in terms of what I was discussing.

Because so much -- so much of the conversations happen as friends. It wasn't just a bunch of interviews. It was so much about exchanges. We have addressed it

and partly -- partly it drove me to do the work I have been doing and the writing I have been doing. I could have written a book that just describes what tele street does and portrayed them for everyone to know and see. What I was interested in doing was more to try to carry forward the creative potential that characterizes the network and really try to produce provocations about what it means to produce research that is not about supporting movements. So what I write is not necessarily what I have done. So much of the work that people appreciated was because we worked together doing things.

Then when I am writing I am writing about repurpose media and collective activism which they are concepts I am developing to give consistency to this kind of work. This also informs the kind of work that I do after. I have done a variety of different other collaborations with activist groups in other parts of the world. One of the things that I try to do is to try to make myself sparse or not indispensable so even if I am not around people can continue to do the work that they can do that they want to do and it is useful for them because they have decided. So

I am taking the lead and following what people want especially because being an academic now is bound to be cycles of semester and deadlines and not being able to be around all the time. So it is really -- so much of the work I do is about opening up spaces, facilitating, bringing different groups together in different ways and trying to let things emerge that are already there. >> Awesome. Thank you so much for that. We have another questionHow do you

envision disabled participation in this movement. >> I have seen it. I have seen a blind person walking around with a camera filming. That was one of my first encounters at the first national convention of telestreet. I met people on the spectrum. I

met people who made videos about -- they were ground breaking. They won awards. So it depends really. It is not so much about how I can envision it. How different people

will come to this technology will envision themselves coming into composition with the technology. Is it all about us having to abandon our pre-conceived idea of what media making and media products should look like. >> Thank you. That was the question question we had in the chat. I was wondering if there were any words you wanted to end on, any final takeaways besides the particulars you offered at the end of your presentation. If there is

anything you want to say to conclude. >> Well, perhaps I can say a couple of words about what we are doing now. I am still working with the TV. There is a lull because of the pandemic. We are trying to develop a collaborative -- participate tore participatory Archive. We are trying to figure

out how to create this Archive in a way that is, that is conducive to move engagement. So it creates a bridge in a way between historical memory of 20 years of media making in Naples and the future now. Yeah, in general, I just find that for me it is hard now to think about organizing and technology without actually using these lenses and posing these questions that I have learned from all of these people. So it is really a great experience to actually feel very lucky that I have been able to dedicate so much time and thinking to being with amazing people that are really inspiring. >> Thank you so much. I very

appreciate it. It is such an honor for your public book talk to be part of this series. Thank you everyone for coming. We have 2

events next week and 35 more events total for the rest of the semester. I hope you can join us at them as well. Thank you very much. We will stop the recording now.

>> Thank you very much friends and

2021-11-03 10:44

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