“A new media channel that will amplify the voices of Occupy. We use media to call for social, economic and environmental justice. We seek to inspire resistance, engagement and the creation of the new world we imagine… We consist of a small but growing group of dedicated occupiers working in solidarity with the movement. We are supported by a combination of donations and volunteerism. There is no GA or Spokes Council overseeing us, but we are morally accountable to the movement as a whole.”
Does it sound like The Future of Occupy collaborative describing itself? It sure does, however those sentences are not from the FoO site but the About page of Occupy.com, a new sister node in the growing and thickening ecosystem of Occupy media. The goals of Occupy.com that we, at The Future of Occupy, enthusiastically share are:
- Replace the mainstream media with the voices of the people. That’s the long term goal.
- Short term goal is to think together about how to do that.
There are some similarities between what they do what we’ve been doing since last September (e.g. news curation), but there are also many important differences. They are bringing a very unique color to the Occupy media landscape, and doing so, contributing to the tide that raises all boats.
Occupy.com presents its content organized by what people can read, watch, see, and listen on the site. That way of structuring its content will certainly speak those who seek information not as much about something but by the preferred mood of accessing it in a given time. So when I want to watch good, curated Occupy vids, I know where to go.
There’s also good writing on the site, which may even become a hallmark of it. For example, the “Occupy Wall Street Bridges the May Day Divide” article masterfully mixes little-know historical trivia of May day with passionate call for creative collective action. While the “The American Spring” piece republished from the Nation of Change shows the editors’ taste for using the talents of progressive professional journalism.
We particularly appreciate the contibution of Occupy.com to the musical universe of the movement. Some of our contributors commented on that, as follows.
“Joan Baez performing for OWS on 11/11/11 Revival of deep solidarity, beauty, and passion… I felt transported back to the days of the Vietnam protests, and my teenage years when listening to Joan Baez inspired courage, and hope for a united and peaceful world. Her voice is as clear and strong as it ever was, full of spirit. When I hear her sing, I hear love, freedom, and a deep conviction that the good will win if we stand together in solidarity.
It reminds me of a saying by Confucius: “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” Music is a universal language that transcends boundaries and bonds people even when thousands of miles apart. On peace marches in the late 70s and early 80s we didn’t have the internet but we had music and each other. We composed and shared songs. Songs from the soul that made us feel deeply united around a common cause. Where is this kind of music today? Who is inspiring solidarity and helping us all feel united even when we are far apart?”
Another of our fellow bloggers wrote, almost in response to the above, by commenting on Makana’s “How I Occupied a Dinner with Obama:”
“I was particularly drawn to the LISTEN section of Occupy.com because we do need music! Makana’s “We Are the Many” has been a highlight for me since I first came across his anthem last fall. I was also drawn to his comments in the video about performing that song for President Obama and other world leaders at the APEC dinner in Hawaii. I was very moved as he talked about how he overcame the fear of singing his defiant original song in front of this influential group.
I see Occupy.com being of immense importance reinvigorating the movement going forward, as the genuine, heartfelt messages continue to resonate with millions of people in ways that haven’t been experienced like this before. Welcome Occupy.com!
As the team at Occupy.com points out, “perhaps no one could have anticipated the emergence of the Occupy Wall St. Movement or the cultural renaissance that would bring new life to the worlds of journalism, art, film and, of course, music.” Yes, it is a cultural renaissance in the broadest sense of “culture”: a set of shared “views, values, goals, and practices that characterize a group, organization, or nation in a specified time period” (Wkipedia)
We’re witnessing a viral awakening to human dignity, freedom, the joy of co-creation and solidarity, as our non-alienable birthright. It is driven largely by the youth and enabled by the power of “electronic media, one of love’s most powerful and effective tools of transformation during the last days, facilitating education and catalyzing widespread awakening.” – The Third Millennium: Living in the Post-historic World (1991)
Human desire for a better life for all and our technical capacities to make it so, co-conspire and foment a “long march through the institutions.” What Gramsci meant by that metaphor is achieving “cultural hegemony,” by taking back cinema, theater, schools, universities, media, courts, etc. from the elite. It will be a long march, indeed, into an era of new, liberating social and economic practices and relationships.
Welcome Occupy.com, and thank you for being among those ushering that era in!