If your idea of a media conference includes a focus on social justice, community building, and creative, participatory media, I strongly encourage you to attend the Allied Media Conference. June 20-June 22nd, in the incredible city of Detroit.
If ever there were a film that ought to be required viewing for the readers of Bitch, it would be Lisa F. Jackson's The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo, which premiered on HBO last night. And not for the bleeding-heart liberal reasons that instantly spring to mind.
I haven't posted about either WAM or the rest of my trip east because, frankly, I haven't had time — I got back to Portland with a teetering pile of pre-production work about to fall off my already stacked-sky-high plate, and I'm still slogging through it. But I have been reading what others out there have had to say about their conference experiences, and it's a combination of unsurprising, enlightening, and depressing.
Among the postconference musings I read today were those of Blackamazon, one of which has started something of a...situation with Seal Press. Namely, the musing — which came at the end of a long and sort-of-unrelated-to-said-musing post — was "Fuck Seal Press," and the situation was that the ladies at Seal jumped in to defend themselves, with less than satisfactory results. And when I say "less than satisfactory," I mean for everyone.
A lot of discussion about WAM! is going on. Some of it's in public blogs, like here, and here, here, here, and here. (I know, that's a lazy way of linking, but I'm tired....) Also here. (OK, I promise I'll stop that.)
A lot of the discussion is also happening over email, and so it's not public. I've participated in some of this email discussion, but in the interest of being open about my perceptions, I'd like to mention some of the things I've written about in emails…
This was my first WAM! experience, so I have no direct points of comparison. In all honesty, I've outright avoided WAM! up until this year. Here's why...
The title of this post is the song title of another provocatively-titled entity (or problematically-titled entity, depending on whom you ask), 3 Leg Torso, a band I saw perform tonight. I've never been good at describing genres, but I'll call it a mashup of Klezmer/Chamber/Gypsy/Circus/Carnival/(see, this is why I don't write music reviews). The point is, it was one of the best shows I've seen in years. My mouth hurt afterwards because I had a perpetual smile through almost the whole show. Equally impressive was the opener, Fish Tank Ensemble. Please check them both out.
Earlier in the day, I let my friend Ben convince me to accompany him to a professional basketball game between the Portland Trailblazers and the San Antonio Spurs.
Allow me to set the stage (even though really, you had to be there to understand)...
Lisa already gave a good rundown of what makes WAM so fab. This was only my second WAM, and I was blown away by how much it's grown since I last attended. As compelling as the lectures and panel sessions may be, for me WAM is all about the networking, the mutual-admiration-society atmosphere, and the re-energizing effect of being around so many sharp, funny, and impassioned women.
I have been to every Women, Action, and Media conference except one (I had to miss last year's because of a scheduling conflict, and it just about broke my heart), and this one was the best ever. Put on by the Center for New Words, WAM 2008 gathered 600 feminist activists and media folk to discuss, analyze, and strategize.
OK, I know everyone doesn't like Jezebel. Sometimes I don't, but mostly I do - it can be informative and amusing much of the time. Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, they've got a funny April Fool's joke going on right now and are writing the site as though it has been purchased by CondeNast. From the "new" editor's letter: "For starters, there will be less focus on issues that dominate the six o'clock news (isn't there a limit to how much upsetting news a
I'm coming to the Midwest in May to do some fundraising/outreach! I'm really excited (hence my use of the exclamation point); it'll be my first trip back to my roots on behalf of this organization I love so dearly. It's like chocolate and peanut butter together.