San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
MDD 2012 Opening Keynote & Film Screening
Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, SFU Woodward’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (149 West Hastings St.)
Friday, November 2, 6:30-11:00PM
Friday, November 2nd, 2012, Media Democracy Days 2012 will host a screening of ‘Words of Witness and a talk by renowned activist and scholar Sunera Thobani on gender, race, and the media at the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, SFU Woodward's. Doors open at 6:00PM, the address begins at 6:30PM, and the film will commence at 7:45PM. The film will be followed by a Q&A session and MDD Opening Reception Sponsored by Vancity.
Opening Keynote: Sunera Thobani
Sunera Thobani is a Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her extensive community work includes serving as the president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC), where she was committed to making the politics of anti-racism central to the women’s movement. She regularly speaks on a variety of issues, including the impact of globalization on women’s citizenship, Canadian immigration and social policy, new reproductive technologies, violence against women, and women and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Her current research includes a Hampton Research Grant project, Gender, Globalization and International Conflict: Representation of Women in the Print Media’ and a SSHRC funded project, Television Representations of Women and the War on Terrorism.
Film Screening: Words of Witness [2012 | Documentary | Dir. Mai Iskander | Egypt/U.S.]
Every time 22-year-old Heba Afify heads out to cover the historical events shaping her country’s future, her mother is compelled to remind her, “I know you are a journalist, but you’re still a girl!” Defying cultural norms and family expectations, Heba takes to the streets to report on an Egypt in turmoil, using tweets, texts and Facebook posts. Her coming of age, political awakening and the disillusionment that follows, mirrors that of a nation seeking the freedom to shape its own destiny, dignity and democracy.
When & Where
Media Democracy Days 2012
Media Democracy Days (MDD) is about democratization both through the media, and of the media. This means using the media for democratic self-governance; and reshaping the media themselves to make them more accessible, accountable, representative.
Vancouver has many wonderful cultural, media and arts festivals; that’s part of what makes the city as vibrant as it is. MDD draws on and is inspired by many of these festivals, but our project is a bit different. In the broadest and non-partisan sense, it is a political event, because democracy is always a political concept. It’s about how we govern ourselves, what contributions the media make to that process – and, perhaps most importantly, how we as citizens govern the media.
Throughout its history MDD has approached the project of media democratization with a three-pronged ambition:
- Know the media by engaging in critical, progressive, cross-cultural, and intergenerational policy dialogue
- Be the media by working directly with local media makers to produce messages that intervene in cultural and political life
- Change the media by collaborating with community members to create progressive coalitions and actionable political goals.
MDD has always been about building. We seek to build a vibrant local network of reformers (as a resource for campaigns, events), a community (sense of shared belonging), and a social movement (working collectively towards common goals).
Finally, it’s about building bridges:
- Between generations by combining the social networking and online savvy of today’s generation of activists, with the political campaigning and policy analysis experience of the boomers and beyond.
- Between technologies by considering the implications of policy on the ‘mass’ media of broadcasting and press as well as the supple, interactive ‘new’ media, as both are vital components of a democratic media ecology. The important divide is not between technologies, but between governing logics — corporate profit-oriented media, which dominate today’s system, on the one hand; and public service, community, and grassroots do-it-yourself media, on the other.
- Between the sphere of using and producing media, and the sphere of policy advocacy by strategizing and realizing interventions that involve citizens in the process of making the rules (net neutrality, usage-based billing, ownership concentration) that shape the architecture of the whole system.