Wednesday, August 12, 2020

A brief introduction to the Allied Media Conference (Transcript of the opening to 'Queer Astrological Technologies, Live from the 2020 AMC!)

While I was in the labor group with Bene & Emaline [insert website here], I realized that not everyone knows what AMC is (even though I still haven't been?!) but I thought this was a nice intro, I feel like everyone I know would love it, so if you want to hear an intro to it, there's a quick short explanation from Autumn Brown that is accessible either by Podcast OR the clips published on YouTube. I thought it'd be neat if I plugged in links to the references mentioned to see how deep and wide it goes!

"Hello beloved survivors, what you are about to hear is a plenary conversation that Adrienne and I  hosted at the 2020 Allied Media Conference, which is a career highlight for me, but might not make sense for you if you’ve never heard of the Allied Media Conference.

So a bit of background,
The Allied Media Conference or "AMC" emerges out of 20 years of relationship building across issues, identities, organizing practices and creative mediums. It started in 1990 as the Midwest Zine Conference in Bowling Green and was really compelled by the concept of Do-It-Yourself or DIY media. Eventually it became the ‘Allied Media Conference' in 2002, that’s when it was re-branded as the AMC, and then in 2007 it moved its home base to Detroit

That move has enabled the conference to draw on the lineage of visionary Black organizing models, and the legacy of Detroit as a Black Power and Labor Movement city. The core of the AMC is the theory and practice of media based organizing, or ANY collaborative process that uses art, media, and technology to address the roots of systemic problems, and advance holistic solutions toward a more JUST and CREATIVE world. 

The 2018 AMC was a pivotal moment for the conference itself and after that year, after that year the conference went into chrysalis, took a year off, so there was no AMC in 2019. We were all SO looking forward to coming together again in Detroit for AMC 2020 and then… the pandemic happened... and the AMC had to transform again with a move to virtual conference for the first time. 

Adrienne and I were so honored to be asked to help open the virtual 2020 Allied Media Conference, because the AMC is a space where both of us have built and iterated on key pieces of our work. Adrienne experimented with her first workshops on Octavia Butler, 'Emergent Strategy', and 'Pleasure Activism' at the AMC, I helped to co-host the first ever healing justice practice space at the Allied Media Conference, and it’s also the space where I led some of my first earliest science fiction and social justice workshops, some of my earliest anti-oppression facilitation workshops...

AMC for both of us and for many other people who have gone over the course of the last decade or so, we’ve experienced it as one of the few national conferences where new work is actually developed and iterated, not just a place where people are dropping in to present on the work they’re doing somewhere else. It’s also a space that over the last decade has shifted to center Black, and Indigenous and POC and queer folx, so sometimes when we’re there it feels like we’re walking into the world that we want to live in?

It’s a really magical place. 

So the conversation you're about to hear is the opening plenary of the Allied Media Conference 2020, where 'How to Survive the End of the World' brought back one of our earliest guests, the queer astrologer, Chani Nicholas. Chani as you probably remember is the author of the NYT bestseller, 'You Were Born for This' (get it here?), and she’s a hardworking astrologer whose work has offered a new kind of consciousness for our social movements in terms of our broader purpose and our practice. 

So we talk about this in the plenary, we talk about the role of the Allied Media Conference inside our movements, and we talk about how to work with 'Hard Astrology' of which there is quite a lot coming our way over the course of the rest of this first year. This 90-minute conversation that we had really helped set the tone of the rest of the virtual conference, we hope that you enjoy our giddy, love filled talk with Chani as much as we enjoyed having it…

Welcome to the AMC 2020..."

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