Prisons and Open Source Media

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Prisons and Open Source Media-

The Entire Presentation is avalible here on Google Docs.

My first objective was to examine how marginalized groups organized through media. Specifically our readings on reactionary media lead me to further investigate how fascists, islamlic extremist, and other invisible networks exisist in the Middle East and Amsterdam. Open sourcing in these places have evolved and changed the way that insurgent and jihad messages spread their message to supporters and inform their enemies of their intent as well.

Those terrorist organization essentially using open source media as a tool for community organizing,  albeit those motives facist or not. Azzam the American's messages can be viewed easily on MEMRI. The Middle East Media Research Institute is a non-profit TV monitoring center that operates 16 hrs a day and oversees every major Arab channel. Thus the source has become so open that rants from Azzam and others may be researched unbiasedly, academically, and for kicks appear in the New Yorker.

From there I was drawn to look at how communication systems from the outskirts of society function. Azzam and Al-Queda have the ability to disappear and still desiminate messages to a willing and unwilling public. The only other people, apart from maybe monks, with the ability to exist in such isolation from the "real world"- Bey's mediated world, were of course prisoners. Almost all aspects of the corrections system in the U.S and abroad are inheriently political.

Politicization, Alienation = PRISON. Part of being radical is defined by our environment. How do prisoners communicate? Can prisoners be radical when they only exist within a sphere where Freedom has been inherently stripped of them? Does their attempt to be radical make them more free or vice-versa?      

Took on the lens of Deep Dish Tv and the Portable Channel- and open source media - both invovled in documenting the Attica prison uprising in September 1971

. DEEP DISH TV::: ATTICA PRISON<<<<<<<<<<<< Peep the Video Here

Deep Dish is a 23 years grassroot satellite network. Deep Dish has been a laboratory for new, democratic and empowering ways to make and distribute video. It is a hub linking thousands of artists, independent videomakers, programmers and social activists. The network has produced and distributed over 300 hours of television series that challenge the suppression of awareness, the corruption of language, and the perversion of logic that characterizes so much of corporate media.

Portable Channel- 
 Portable Channel, a community documentary group in Rochester, New York, was one of the first small format video centers to have an ongoing relationship with a PBS affiliate (WXXI). Portapakers interviewed Sinclair Scott, a member of the negotiating team that went into Attica when the prisoners' rebelled at the federal prison in September 1971. Thirty-eight guards were taken hostage after prisoners' demands to improve their conditions were ignored. After a three day stand-off between inmates and authorities, Governor Nelson Rockefeller called in the National Guard. During that action, 39 prisoners and hostages were killed. Culpability surrounding the deaths is still being argued in federal court today. The events at Attica brought national attention to conditions in and policies regarding American prisons.

1,500 inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

        The question I ask is is this radical?
        It breaks from the mode of the traditional complex.
        It seeks to achieve comfort, self- expression, and happiness which is something.
        However, perhaps it is not radical at all because the prisoners, who by nature are being held against their will, have no say in the creation or distribution but
        only performance itself. They are not the hunters as David Garcia decribes in the reading but indeed the hunted. The spectacle.

       " [Migrant media practitioners have] studied the techniques by which the weak become stronger than their oppressors by scattering, by becoming centreless,   by moving fast across the physical or media and virtual landscapes. The hunted must discover the ways become the hunter."- David Garcia

        They are turned into the spectacle for FREE citizens and  youtube viewers to laugh and mock. They or rather their warden and administration are now  transmitters, yet the have no opportunity to recieve.

Next I examine how prisoners both reach out and recieve information through media.
The Prison Radio Project is a San Francisco-based radio and activist project that produces the commentaries of several prisoners considered to be political prisoners, most notably Mumia Abu-Jamal. Multiple radio stations across the United States broadcast these commentaries. The project's political aims include analyzing the prison-industrial complex and attempting to present a more humanistic view of prisoners to the public.

Featured here is a clip from Lori Helene Berenson a U.S. citizen currently serving a 20-year prison term in Peru after being convicted of unlawful collaboration with a terrorist organization. Interestingly enough, the audio is being read by a speaker in Berenson's place.
Electric Radio in Brixton Prison is run by the Prison Radio Association.

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