“Enclosure, Emancipatory Communication and the Global City”
A conference such as this one and the recent “20 years of Propaganda?” are incredibly important, and NOT just for academics and activists. We all communicate, everyday. We are fed information in certain, formulaic ways and so the media shapes what we think about. We communicate from those ideas. Creative and probing thought are crushed under the weight of Paris Hilton and Conrad Black(strip him of the Order of Canada!? He should never have received one in the first place) stories.
The irony that I see is that individual creativity is the key to collective action. I believe this to be so because most people in the world wish for peace, prosperity and a certain level of contentment. I believe we really do care about each other. So, what keeps us separate and afraid? What allows narrow-minded leaders like George Bush and Stephen Harper come to power? It is fear and apathy.
Without an independent, fearless and democratic media, we cannot conquer fear and apathy. Capitalism and those who profit from the status quo, care not for change. Most working class people have lived with change all our lives. We need to better understand the world around us and that we do have the power to make meaningful change in the world.
Here is a excerpt from the conference overview:
The field of culture and communication manifests struggles between contradictory tendencies. On the one hand, pressures from capital and state sometimes promote various forms of enclosure — the private appropriation, suppression or marginalization of socially-produced public expression. Enclosure comes in many guises: the commodification of information; concentration and hyper-commercialism in media industries; the corporatization of universities; restrictive “intellectual property” regimes; or market authoritarianism as a mode of governance.
On the other hand, progressive forces, from artists and academics to broad social movements, are not only resisting such enclosure, but developing practices and policies that prefigure emancipation — new ways of re-organizing culture and communication democratically. These include struggles over alternative media, state cultural policies, communication rights, reform of media and cultural institutions, audience empowerment, urban public space, and much else.
These forces of enclosure and emancipation increasingly come together in the global city, a site which stands at the nexus of changing national cultures and policies, of transnational migrations and markets, of media flows and audiences, and of consumption and surveillance.
In other words, working people have the means and the power to emancipate ourselves. The problem today is that not enough of us can actually see the chains that binds us. An understanding of the media environment will cause us to truly see…..
See the link to the University of Windsor media conference here.