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TMC Report Back from the Allied Media Conference

Interview with Diana Nucera - AMC Coordinator

by Geordie Gwalgen Dent

Diana Nucera
Diana Nucera

Detroit - The Toronto Media Co-op attended the Allied Media Conference in June, 2012.  While there we interviewed some of the organizers of the conference to better understand the role it plays in social justic movements.  We sat down with Diana Nucera, Coordinator of Allied Media Projects in the Media Go-Go Labs.

Toronto Media Co-op:  What do you do at the AMC?

Diana Nucera: I organize the Media Go-Go lab.  It's a hands-on skills-share for people making media or making collective collaborative media environments. 

We try to create an open media space with multiple things happening at once.  This allows peer-to-peer learning to happen, which is part of the pedagogy of the AMP: collective learning and sharing.

Most teaching that is related to education has a single thing that you learn...and there's usually levels of learning associated with that. We're trying to rethink the way we practice education through the lab space...the media lab gets into the creative process of learning.

TMC: What do feel is the role of the AMC?

DN: The AMC is the most significant gathering of youth, educators, policy people, artists and technologists in North America that come together to share strategies to shape the world we live in, specifically around social justice.  It a place where people can be present in what people are doing in their communities pulling best practices from around the country.

It's roots are in Punk Rock...specifically Zine Fest, a conference held in Bowling Green, Ohio in 1999.  The conference moved to Detroit in 2007.

An example is broadband stimulus funding.  Detroit digital justice coalition worked with the Philly digital justic coalition and got $2 Million in stimulus funding between 2009-2012 to do media-based work.  The AMC plyed a role for these groups to come together and work together.    

TMC: What are some of the chalenges associated with organizing the AMC?

DN: Because of the content and the way it is organized, the conference is growing by about 200-300 people a year.  To give you and example, in 2007 we had 800 people attend.  In 2012, over 2000 people are attending.

The biggest challenge is that as it grows it's hard to keep the quality of the conference [sessions].  We don't want the content to get diluted. The relationships people make here are important and we want content to get deeper, not wider.

One of the biggest challenges for us is to ask, at what point do you begin to decentralize the gathering?

When the organizational process becomes decentralized, how many relationships can you actually build?  

TMC: The conference seems to focus on type of media beyond the traditional forms like print, audio, video, etc.  You have workshops here on healing, yoga, dancing, beatboxing, etc.  Do you feel that this makes the conference too broad?

DN: In order to create a collective and transformative world we have to have diversity in the learning and communication we engage in.  

I don't think it would have hurt for you to go to a different type of workshop [like dancing, beatboxing, etc] to learn about how to engage with this.

That's where the healing justice comes in.  When we look at transformative justice and communication we have to look at the whole thing: mass and traditional communications to people as well as interpersonal and individual communications.  We have to heave a healthy digital ecology.

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