Organizers often believe we have to choose between breadth and depth. Do we prioritize meaningful relationships or strive to “reach” the greatest number of people?
At Allied Media Projects we see this is a false dichotomy. Over the past 15 years of organizing the annual Allied Media Conference (AMC), we have learned that we can achieve broad engagement while also prioritizing deep relationships.
Relationships are key
The AMC has a unique conference organizing model that fosters relationships at the internal and interpersonal, community, and inter-community levels. Small-scale relationships fostered through the AMC have ripple effects that create large-scale impact. Founded as a zine conference in 1999 around the independent press mantra of “become the media,” the AMC has since evolved a theory of change that says:
Creating our own media is a process of speaking and listening that allows us to investigate the problems that shape our realities, imagine other realities and then organize our communities to make them real. When we use media in this way, we transform ourselves from consumers of information to producers, from objects within narratives of exploitation and violence to active subjects in the transformation of the world.
Our definition of “media” has grown over the years to include everything from breakdancing to broadcasting community radio and building web applications. The conference features more than 140 hands-on workshops, strategy conversations, caucus meetings, and art and music events. Read the rest of this entry »