Awakening of true revolutionary spirit by online revolutions

The political history can be defined the history of total war across the globe that position itself the friends and enemy distinction and this characteristic always reproduced by the political thinkers that have problematic approaches to politics with their pessimistic sense. Therefore, in particular, in the contemporary world the pessimistic spirit walks around us both implicitly and explicitly as such an inheritance of these pessimistic political thinkers. However, without a shadow of doubt, today the necessary thing is not pessimistic spirit, on the contrary the revolutionary spirit that can provide salvation and emancipation from that pessimism that causes to forget our capacity in order to reach the true meaning of revolution and democracy.

Thus, does true revolutionary spirit hide itself behind the possibility of ‘online revolution’. At this juncture, new technologies have crucial contributions in order to discover this true revolutionary spirit in terms of ensuring democratic practices and productivity directly.  Therefore, with reference to motto of ‘revolution will be twitted’, social movements as third wave that return to politics of social issues by differentiated agent such as educated unemployment people, students and so on rather than practiced by only working class as old social movements implemented that within the scope of economic struggle, class and distribution. Above all, the significant role of the social media by comparison to the role of traditional media in old social movements, is the most influential characteristic of these movements especially in the sense of organizing and regulating people collectively. In relation to that, the traditional binaries between the interpersonal communication and mediated communication become blurred in new social movements by networked technologies and the usage of new media. Since, the new media started to set institutional structure themselves through creating online interaction, so the political, social movements are articulated themselves in structural way as online way and also in terms of action.

In terms of the relationship between activists and political movements, their action becomes to have different objection rather than past movements. In general, primarily there was the rise of Zapatista resistance with demand of global justice, likewise new politics aimed at benefiting from global justice with its self-organizing character and various political identities. Their protests manifests itself through the help of internet rather than traditional media and it is possible to say that these first anti-globalized movements can be defined as the  framework of first democratic experience that conducted by alternative media practices. As most importantly, internet as new technology not only used for the distribution, but also used for participating directly in order to protest through creating solidarity. Also internet ensures to organize activists in online way by mobilizing and organizing them by showing to them how to move and protest with its transnational and national dimension in general. Therefore, the relationship between new media and activism, in other words social media and contemporary protests provide umbrella for different social groups by emphasizing their social and political participations. In brief, it constitutes itself through participation, plurality and freedom as such an instructive to discover true revolutionary spirit.

Eros effect also on Gezi Resistance

If Gezi Resistance is evaluated under main approaches to the interaction between the new media and activism, it can classified in terms of the conceptualization of Gerbaudo ‘choreography of assembly’ due to emphasize on the performance and in particular the construction of public space through collective spirit. Also, in the sense of one of the parameters that emphasized by this approach, absence of leadership is important. Throughout the Gezi Resistance, there was no rise of the sense of leadership not only as individual hero but also the domination of one group that converts the movement to kind of despotism. Yet, it is impossible to ignore the emancipatory potential and contribution of new media and social media that manifests itself through twitter and facebook on this resistance, it is necessary to scrutinize the impacts and interaction of traditional media. Since the emancipatory potential of new media generates itself by the repressive role of traditional media, it means that the dialectical relationship between them creates possibility of emancipation actually. At this point, along Gezi Resistance, while the liberated potential of social media, traditional media manifests itself as an obstacle with its repressive role against its potential to discovery true revolutionary spirit. In regarding to context of Gezi Resistance, traditional media oppression manifests itself as a kind of political oppression, because the role of mainstream media is a kind of monopoly of state oppression or one of the ideological state apparatus as Althusser conceptualized that in Turkey. Once again, based on the dialectical relationship, this oppression gives chance to the usage of social media as public sphere for mobilization collectively for the resistance as performance. Consequently, it is possible to say that likewise ‘Eros effect’ on European social, political movements in contemporary times, in Turkey this ‘Eros effect’ shows itself through social media with its survival, emancipatory, especially true revolutionary spirits  characteristic by providing collectively organization and participation. In particular, quite the contrary of Thanatos effect which is conceptualized in Freudian sense as the death instinct that represented by the traditional media in Turkey.  In short, revolutionary spirit starts to discover its lost treasure thanks to interaction between the resistance and new media, even as still-continuing discovery.

Behind the democratizing facilities of open-source projects

 

The alternative computing practices especially with the contribution of the usage of the internet gave chance to challenge to the main characteristic of mainstream media in terms of many aspects. All along the latest period of the twentieth century, it becomes possible to come across lots of facilitates also on the operating systems that derived from these kinds of aspect on the newly developed software projects. At this point, these software projects came into existence as free software and open-source software projects and they demand the direct participation which necessities self-correction and self-direction. However many users cannot get used to these kind of software programs because of the familiar with the another ones that does not expect the direct participation. At this juncture, the critical question is that what makes it alternative although in general users do not be accustomed to engage with these kinds of projects? As free from any doubt, besides its low cost and being non-profit organization, its egalitarian potential makes it alternative obviously.

The emphasize on being alternative as the most distinctive characteristics of these kind of projects is much more expended issue than it is predicted. In order to specify wide-ranging issue, it is necessary to mention its challenge with the hierarchical way of communication in brief its challenge sense of expertism in the way of communication. It means that, it tries to subvert being expert in terms of hierarchical production and distribution of the knowledge and so on.  Through the contributions of all users as participants, the creation of such a recognition that make realizable each one’s contributions becomes possible and this characteristic directly is an evidence of its egalitarian potential. As most importantly, in compare to software programmes that in the grip of capitalist way of communication, aimed at public good rather than economic interest. This framework of open-source software projects render itself as standing apart from the following commercial way, being intend to pursue economic profit and the destruction of the produced material by commodification process.

Therefore, clearly these characteristics attribute this project both being egalitarian and democratic. In addition that, in the sense of creation and share of the work, open-source projects not demands copyrights, instead of it, they carries with it alternative approach copyleft that was equated with the Creative Common License. In relation to this, Both traditional commonsense collaborative projects and also newly commonsense collaborative websites like Wikipedia that emerged as necessity of the Internet technology has potential to exchange of ideas by participants without commercial purpose as collective participation , create public production  as deliberative in the framework of participatory democracy. Although the existence of positive side of open-source projects and websites that gives them democratic potential, there are also some aspects of them that open to critics. For instance, if we discuss within the framework of Wikipedia that define itself free encyclopedia has some problematic practice in distribution process. Since, the distribution and production of the knowledge throughout the world does not spread equally, because in terms of the creation and the distrubition of the common knowledge under the domination of English language. It directly led to the minor participation by the other parts of the world in particular the eastern part of the world as realized that. That’s why, it can be extend all the way to reproduction of Orientalist approach and essentialist sense of modernization in the Western countries consciously and unconsciously in the flows of knowledge. Likewise, In terms of translation of one language to another one because of the lack of self-regulating process, there can be possibility of construction of exclusive language that affected by the dominant discourse. Thus, it causes some kinds of stereotyping and biased production of knowledge that derived from racism, sexism and so on.  Consequently, while the democratizing facilities exist, it is necessary to be awake against these kind of threats which remove themselves being alternative.

Flickr as Collaborative Project 

Flick has user generated content that encourages to user participation for creating of own content.  The motto is that ‘Share and connect with the Flickr Community’ emphasize the collaborative work through focus on the Flickr community.

Also it provides  ‘Creative Commons license’ that ensures the copyleft in the process of communal production obviously.  

“Creative Commons is a non-profit that offers an alternative to full copyright.”

Link: https://www.flickr.com/

 

Emancipatory Potential of Non-Linear Narrative in Digital Storytelling

 

“My practical experimentation has led me to believe that when movie sequences are linked together non-linearly, under computer control and with possibilities for user interaction, new forms or paradigms can potentially emerge.” Chris Hales

In the framework of digital storytelling, the first thing should be questioned is that to what extent it can ensure its creative potential. Therefore, probably when mentioned about digital storytelling, it perceived as linear that constitutes fixed narrative in general terms.  As it known as likewise writing, it has specifically introduction, body and conclusion parts, so digital storytelling comprehended as juxtaposition of in sequence moving images, combining sounds and so on that accessible by means of one click. However, it is not simple that as predicted, because in the sense of digital storytelling, the non-linear narrative with its disruptive characteristics comes into existence in order to challenge the linear narrative that only move from beginning to end.

This kind of narrative does not have any concern about neither linear chronological sense such as flashbacks or flashforwards techniques in the cinema nor cause and affect relation within the storyline, on the contrary through the pieces of narrative that combined unconsciously or consciously in order to make narrative meaningful story.  In particular, the most distinctive characteristic of non-linear digital storytelling is that providing interactive media with respect to participation of audience in production process. Therefore, it does not practice one way flows of communication in opposition linear digital storytelling and through two ways flows of communication narrative can be created by audience own. In this way audience does not force to be interested in selected narratives, so it is possible to say that this non-linear story telling has emancipatory potential also that gives freedom to narrate and choice to audience. This non-linear digital storytelling as an experience can offer story about memory that reanimated by voiceover or educational purpose and so on. As most importantly it gives chance to combine different digital elements that constitute storytelling that reflect your experience. Consequently, it is possible to think about non-linear digital storytelling under the root of alternative media with its emancipatory potential, while linear storytelling refers to mainstream media due to its repressive potential especially in terms of creativity.

Case Study

https://www.nfb.ca/interactive/

This web site under the ‘interactive’ category provides lots of example of non-linear digital storytelling experience. Above all, not only provide participation interactively, but also ensure creation of own story.

It define core objective in that way:

“But when things evolve and paradigms shift, we get a chance to try new things, to meet new people, and go to new places…

It’s the result of artists and storytellers of all sorts utilizing new technology, to explore new forms of creation, for a new kind of Canada.

The stories they’re telling here are new, but share a lot in common with the work that came before: they present distinct voices, strong points-of-view, and unique perspectives. They also share the same ambition to provoke discussion, spur debate and challenge the way we think.

So let the conversation begin. The digital space, more than anything, is the new meeting place – the school gymnasium or church basement of our time. It’s where we connect as a community, look forward to the future, and embrace change together, in order to make change happen.”

  • Territories :  “An exploration of new urban landscapes that records the passage of time and the encroachment of consumption on the spaces in our lives.”

http://territories.nfb.ca/#/territories

  • The Hole Story:  “The Hole Story Interactive is a geolocation web project through which visitors experience the stages of the mining cycle right where they live.”

http://theholestory.nfb.ca/#/theholestory

In this digital platform, all experiences can give chance to audience whose story will follow. Their interfaces also part of the storytelling. Through providing interaction, it give sense of connectivity to audience at the same time.

Political Freedom within the frame of New Agoras

The role of new technologies has an importance in considerable level so as to provide crucial transition from repressive use of media to emancipatory use of media. While there are some limitations for totally emancipation, they has potential to create interactive communication which can ensure two way flows of communication, collective mobilization, reaching to many people and so on. In fact, this emancipatory use of media became possible with the birth of the personal computer technology that provides individual use and contribution to communication networks in the second half of twentieth century. Above all, this emancipatory potential of media promotes the rise of new public spaces, new agoras in terms of democratization process. At this juncture, creating new agoras firstly in local level in other words from micro to macro level, the real democratization can be exist in today’s world. Since this form of democracy does not imposed from top to below, contrary it rises from below to above that derived from grassroots. Therefore, when electronic democratic projects became part of democratization process in 1990s, also facilitated local authorities through new form of communication that also ensures more participation by individuals.

As known that the form of nation-state maintains itself as dominant form of state and it makes recognizable itself via the claim of representative democracy from the beginning of twentieth century to present time. However, the critical thing is that can representative democracy provide political freedom for everyone if and to what extent and unfortunately political freedom is not possible in the frame of top-down form of regime that ensure freedom only elites. That’s why, at that point, the role of new media technologies is crucial as means for the participation in political process for everyone in new agoras. Because, this participation to political process originally refers to direct participation to the decision making process that is the key characteristic of real democracy. Undoubtedly, it is impossible to talk about political freedom without participation in decision making process.

In addition, these new media technologies through direct political participation, also gives chance to citizens more control over information (CMC).  Thus, these new media technologies not only give access and control of information to citizens, but also participate political process in order to form agenda. Actually this advance political practice by citizens ensures first and foremost decentralized form of media as the important aspect of new media techologies like Internet. At the same time,  rather than vertical communication, it provides more horizontal way of communication that eliminates hieararchy. In regard to context, citizens can directly and actively participate more through skips the mediators such as journalists, parliamentary representatives, opinions leaders and so on that distort the process of political participation and create illusion of representation in terms of democracy.  In this level, new technologies provide tools which give chance to Agenda setting, proportinal voting and so on in order to perform new strategies for putting away the main lacuna of representative democracy. It is necessary to emphasize that most importantly, giving more room to local participation for rational formation and exchange of opinion in new public spaces, it is possible to reach enlarged scope of representative democracy that can provide real political freedom. Consequently, through developing new kinds of practice in new agoras, also bridges over in order to fill the gap of representative democracy in the democratization process.

Culture Jamming: Subversive Movement

‘‘Jamming’ as Disturbing Practice’

Jamming is not a novel concept that comes into appearance as rootles. On the contrary the notion; cultural or political jamming has long-termed history which was derived from the beginning of twentieth century. In particular through subcultural movements with own subversive, interfering, sarcastic characteristics. The key function of culture jamming is subverting meanings that are produced by dominant forces and discourses through combining social, political struggles and art. Also, in this way it aimed at demolishing the elitist approach to art and culture via participation by individual or groups especially excluded one. While doing it, cultural jamming practices resistance in order to challenges dominant discourses via disturb it with some strategies.

As mentioned before, it is possible to this characteristic of jamming since the beginning of twentieth century, especially its disturbance characteristic manifests itself with the birth of Dadaism in Europe between 1915 and 1925. At that period, the rise of industrialization accompanied with mass consumption, mass production in brief massification in many sense, therefore Dadaism against this dehumanization aimed to shock, disturb society in order to make possible for society to see what is happening. In relation to Dadaism, Fluxus Movement rises as an avant-garde art movement in the second half of twentieth century through inspiring from Dadaism and Futurism. The main purpose of movement was abolish elitist attitudes for the definition of ‘artist’ and distinction between high and low art, thus it emphasized everyone can be an artist, it is not only peculiar to elites.  There, it is necessary to emphasize that, the influence of Dadaism and Fluxus movement still maintains its influence even today with similar strategies in the context of tactical media. At this juncture, the central tactic of it with the usage of art to break common places  for creating radical sense for realizing illusion of reality in the modern life.

As one of the example from Turkey: ‘Yıkılan Bellek Evleri’ ‘Destroyed Memories of the Houses’ project define itself in that way:

“This is a project which questions time and space. We find buildings which are going to be destroyed by the government as part of its efforts to ‘urban transformation’ in Turkey. We use this space to create art just before the government tear them down. This space is open for everyone with any kind of art. For us, the meaning of it is to reconsider urban transformation and the unbalanced economical situation behind it. We believe these buildings have symbolic meaning of the life which had changed by the hand of government and our aspect of art. It is because of the creation process is totally not cares any economical return of art and we know our works are going to be destroyed so it is the questioning of possession at the same time. In the other hand we believe art should be attainable for everybody. That’s why we use these free spaces which are going to be collapsed for art to create.”

‘Üret ve Git!’& ‘Produce and Go!’

Because of the its dada aesthetic sense and rebellious characteristic that against urban transformation by Government in Turkey, this project manifests itself as both political and culture jamming. Also, with the motto of ‘we believe art should be attainable for everybody’, it shares same concern with Dada and Fluxus movement. Apart from this, they bring together new media technologies and different art forms like painting, dance, sculpture, painting, theatre, performance and so on. As necessity of contemprary cultural jamming, this project use the internet for distribution its jamming practices.

Public Spaces as the Realm of Resistance

In order to completely understand the phenomena ‘culture jamming’ refers to what in today world, it is essential to comprehend contribution of Situationism especially Guy Debord with their tactic ‘Detournement’.  According to them mass communication formed the ideological ‘spectacle’ which conform dominant discourse again and again, so mass media productions has become prevalent. Therefore, there is only way to resist against the ideological ‘spectacle’ that when people construct alternative situation in their everyday lives, can disrupt the power of ‘spectacle.’ Above all with the use of hybrid tactics likewise tactics of Dada it can be possible. In particular the tactic of ‘Detournement’ refers to subvert the authentic meaning through montage, collage techniques in order to create novel works that give sense of situationist art. Art performances are most known used technique by situationist art and in 1968, the period of Civil Right Movements, there were many examples of art performance interventions in the public space. Through these performances, art returns directly forms of a political action.

 As one of the hybrid form of art performances is that pantomime. For instance, İlker Kılıçer as an activist performs pantomimes in public spaces such as public transport vehicles, streets and so on in İzmir. His performance generally relates with the coverage is excluded by mainstream media and social movements in Turkey. Likewise, Justice for Roboski, Say No Bloody Law, Occupy Gezi are some of titles of his performance. He disturbs his performance through Internet. However, while his jamming manifest itself in an autonomous and counter public spheres, at the same time after he was fined with ‘noise punishment’ by government, manifests his performance in the mainstream media, CNN Türk as mainstream public sphere. It shows us that rhizomatic approach and forms allows also interaction between new media and old media in the contemporary world conditions.

Street arts are also early form of cultural jamming as the realm of resistance. For instance,  Martha Cooper and Elle “Unextinguished” Installation project is one of the contemporary example of street art (2014).  Martha Cooper was the only women photographer in the 1970s ‘New York Post’ newspaper. Because of the men domination in hard news area, she had to perform her photojournalism in the area of soft news. However she fights against the patriarchy through resisting in streets with street artist Elle via combination of their skills under the project of “Unextinguished” .  They bring together old photographs and artistic interventions like merge of new ideas and old ones and through montage technique, this art form manifest itself as juxtaposition of styles in billboards and so on.

They define this project in this way: ““We thought this had to do with a sense of history, through different generations. My pictures are all from 1978, so we are using some old school pictures but re-invigorating them with some new school techniques – like splattering them with a fire extinguisher with a sort of abandon.”

watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-43xO-p_1aE

Related Links

  • ‘Destroyed Memories of the Houses’ : 

http://vimeo.com/91776852

http://www.facebook.com/bellekevleri

  • Pandomime, İlker Kılıçer: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2SwiLTw7Og

  • Unextinguished: http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/

Interactive Communication as the New Dimension of Radio

In the contemporary world the crucial role of radio is neglected through being exposed to under the category of traditional media. However, besides this general tendency, it is necessary to comprehend features that make it alternative and preferable even if today. Primarily, although technology has been developed day by day via constituting new forms of medium, radio still can be more available and useful than press or other forms in some parts of the world especially rural areas because of the high rate of illiteracy. Besides this characteristic radio is substantially convenient media in terms of being easily comprehensible for operation, portable and affordable to everyone. In this regard, it is certainly not that isolating radio from the technological developments, therefore as Brecht noted that “radio technology does not presuppose a certain form of broadcasting, but allows for its exploitation in various cultural forms.” Yet, it is thought as the medium that has to supplement only distribution of information, actually it is also convenient so as to facilitate process that provide interactive communication beyond the distribution. This new dimension makes people participate actively through connecting them rather than isolating them under favour of advancing technology.

Internet Radio as Community Radio

Therefore, at this juncture Internet radio occupies important place with its existence as a kind of community media in digital age. The link between community and radio is crucial in order to understand alternative side of radio that makes possible to challenge the traditional understanding of radio that is even today general tendency undoubtedly. The definition of the term ‘community’ gives clues about the concept of ‘community radio’ obviously, so community not only refers to geographical closeness, but also it is kind of clustering in the sense of language, culture, ethnicity and common interests. Regarding this, the internet provide space in order to have common and open platform form everyone as one of the essential condition of community radio. In this way, through its emancipatory intentions, ordinary people as amateurs can be included in the production process. At the same time, Internet radio as a community radio with its hybrid format provides alternative contents that relevant to ‘community’ sense.

Examples from Turkey

Within the historical and cultural context of Turkey, it is possible to mention about the transition from state regulated monopolized radio broadcasting to community radio. The initiation of radio broadcasting based on foundation of Ankara TRT radio station as public service broadcasting when at 1927. At that time, this radio station only was voice of the government and likewise in the Democratic Party period (1950-1960) the same situation manifested itself again and again. Also, in the time of military coups and memorandums government or military has control over the radio station in Turkey. In 1992, through the foundation private service broadcasting radio stations, the monopoly of TRT was broken. However it was not totally rupture in the sense of community radio. Therefore, at the beginning of 21th century, some examples of community radio can be observed in Turkey in particular as the form of Internet radio. These examples do not practice all of the necessary conditions of community radio understanding, but in one extend they can be successful to perform some conditions. For instance, Radyo Azelya is located at Bingöl that eastern province of Turkey, defines itself is ‘the address of authentic and ethnic Kurdish music’ through targeting the Kurdish community with its alternative content as a kind of local radio. On the other hand, it finances itself with advertisement and so on rather than non-profitable way. As another example, Özgür Radyo founded at 2010 with the motto of ‘different voice and different comment’. While it provides content that concerned ethnic minorities issues in Turkey and also supply non-professional media producer participation. However, this radio station is not listener-supported. In addition, as different from Özgür Radyo and Radyo Azelya, Radyoksit manifest itself is the ‘first non profit making radio station in Turkey’ as ad-free radio station. Also it offers common interest as hybrid music format that collates from Indie to Ethnic Jazz.

Listener-sponsored Internet Radio Station: ‘Radio Paradise’

Radio Paradise established at  2000 by Bill Goldsmith and his wife Rebecca Goldsmith in Paradise, California. The main characteristic that makes it community radio is obviously founding as listener-supported station.  Also it defines itself as an ‘eclectic online rock radio’.

Consequenlty, as Bill Goldsmith stated that “It’s radio-as-art, rather than radio-as-marketing”.

Related Links:

  • http://www.azelya.com.tr/azelya-radyo.html
  • http://www.ozgurradyo.com/
  •  http://www.radyoksit.com/
  •  http://www.radioparadise.com/rp_2.php?#
  • http://planet-geek.com/2004/11/27/geekitude/interview_with_1/

Video Activism as Witnessing

Social movements have the crucial role not only in terms of transforming society, but also with reference to transforming both the mainstream media and audience. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to identify social movements with the transformative characteristic and because of it, especially in the time of social movements, media gains alternative, radical position both in itself and for itself. At this juncture video movements and video activism as form of the alternative media manifested itself in particular more specifically in the second half of the 20th century in most part of the world including Turkey. From feminist, black, student, LGBT movements to many leftist movements was able to find a radical meaning in the beginning of video production through video activism.

The significant growth in the number of producer is one of the main purpose for alternative media in order to practice its emancipatory potential and ensuring democratization of communication. Likewise ‘author as producer’ conceptualization, video activism aims at increasing participation in production process in order to gives voice and reflect demands of opposite, minority, powerless people and most importantly activists in themselves. In terms of agents of video activism and its reactionary history against the mainstream television broadcasting, video becomes a kind of participatory media. These participatory videos do not funded by state or private enterprise on the contrary of public service broadcasting channels and private service broadcasting channels and also through the usage of new media technologies these videos can be shared by many people. It means that the alternative ways of distribution gives chance to video activism makes itself visible without need of government, advertisements or any other commercial funding practices.
In addition, these participatory videos emerged as the consequence of necessity, in particular need of every people for sharing their voices, providing participatory witnessing and a kind of second stream against the mainstream media. However, video activism not only practices itself against the dominant one, but also aimed to seize and record the moment as such a memory particularly in social movement times. For instance, in the period of Gezi Resistance, one of the video activism platform KameraSokak has this motto: “sokağın bellek tutucuları”, “memory guard of the streets”. This motto makes clear how video activism has role of recording, streaming and transmitting the reactionary soul of social movements contrary to mainstream media.

As similar to KameraSokak example, this kind of participatory videos do not have an aesthetic concern mainly, because these are shoot by activists that makes activist directly producer of participatory video in order to become witness of the radical experience. Also in Gezi Resistance due to lack of the mainstream broadcasting channel in terms of reflecting police violence and resistance directly, some websites make live broadcasting in order to fill this lacuna like nabermedya. Actually this live broadcasting intend to reflect the social reality rather than aiming at aesthetic concern.

However, some examples of participatory videos are shot with targeted aesthetic concern at the same time. As an example, ubuweb that define itself as a: “completely independent resource dedicated to all strains of the avant-garde, ethnopoetics, and outsider arts. All materials on UbuWeb are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights belong to the author.” This website has a video & films category that includes participatory films and videos that produced with both aesthetic concern and video activism. Because producers of these videos, made an effort as video activists beforehand.

Related Links:
1) KameraSokak: http://kamerasokak.org/category/video/
2) NaberMedya: http://nabermedya.tv/hafiza.html
3) Ubuweb: http://www.ubu.com/film/
http://www.ubuweb.com/film/eriksson.html

General Overview to the Underground Press

The history of the underground press can be defined in connection with the beginning of the history of the printing press, because the importance of the underground press emerged as a kind of opposition against the established ideas in particular with its radical perspective. Therefore from the Middle Age, Enlightenment period to contemporary times, underground press manifests itself as the reactionary one against the dominant one. In the beginning of the practice, it calls into being through social, political and reformation movements so as to provide accessibility for the people, challenge the dominant ideology and so on.

Particular target audience

 Although even if today it still maintains them, at the same time it has another distinctive characteristics. For instance, in relation to giving voices to minorities, underground press should has the particular target audience as quite the opposite of the mainstream media and its commercial interest. With reference to Khibiany’s case study the monthly ‘Red Pepper’, the irony is that, while the Comedia strategy of a broad-based, professionally produced publication failed miserably, concessions to the much more traditional strategy of publishing on a shoestring and addressing a relatively small audience of those interested in leftist ideas have at least managed to provide a way for Red Pepper to survive. (Khibiany: 461). That’s why its failure because of commercial strategies of Comedia especially aimed to reach the wider audience is really crucial example in order to understand the importance of specifying the target audience for the underground press.

‘Author as producer’

In terms of dimensions of the underground press, its content and organization have the considerable importance most importantly in order to provide counter-information through filling the lack of the mainstream media with its political, anti-commercial and non-hierarchical characteristics. Indeed, these parameters obviously make the underground press as under the root of alternative media, however not only its content and organization makes it alternative, but also process in itself has importance for providing way of survive. Above all, the revolutionary characteristic of the underground press with its political ends can return to the counter-revolutionary. According to Walter Benjamin, “revolutionary it may seem, has a counter revolutionary function as long as the writer feels his solidarity with the proletariat only in his attitudes, but not as a producer.” (Benjamin: 72).  Therefore, it is obvious that his conceptualization of ‘the author as producer’ comes into prominence again and again. Besides their political tendency, it is necessary to the have productive apparatus for production that make possible more blurred distinction between consumer and producer rather than bourgeois apparatus of production.

References:

. Khiabany, G. (2000) “Red Pepper: a New Model for the Alternative Press?”, in Media, Culture

  & Society, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 461

. Benjamin, W. (1970) “The Author as Producer”, in New Left Review, pp.72

The first experience as the author as producer in the alternative media platform: Flows

Alternative media is much more comprehensive issue than it is predicted. In the literature, it is possible to mention about the various perspectives in order to conceptualize the alternative media. Consequently, it should be considered as the general umbrella that gathers different perspectives and paradigms through challenge to the dominant power in terms of its production, content, participation, form, distribution and so on. Beyond the mass communication, it asks different questions so as to constitute itself with its distinctive features that provide being the alternative. From how can include everyone into the communication process as participatory, how media can provide the space for minorities to express their opinion, how unequal flows of communication regulated to how citizens can attend public affair. The critical thing is that these questions are kind of reflections of the main concerns of the alternative media, from this point of view, providing emancipatory and democratic potential of the new media and communication can be considered as main concerns.
First and foremost, through providing two-way communication, alternative media annihilates the sharp distinction between producer and receiver. As Benjamin conceptualizes that the author as producer, receiver gains active role as a subject, because they become included the both production and participation process. The author as producer manifest itself in non-hierachial and horizontal structure as Deleuz and Guattari emphasizes with the notion of rhizome. It means that without no hierarchy and domination, everyone can reflects opinion in order to raise discussion in the public sphere regardless their gender, religion, ethinicity, social classes and so on. This situation also ensures the empowerment of the receiver, because it makes possible to reflects their experience in the large extent interactively and in this way they learn how contribute and participate the media in order to provide democratic attitudes from micro level to macro level, from media to politics.
In addition, in general tendency, alternative media is defined especially as except the mainstream media. However this kind of approach to the alternative media is not enough in order to comprehend its meaning entirely, because it causes the restriction of its meaning. In particular, if critical media product has potential to make the medium as critical medium even if produced in traditional/mainstream media, it can be categorized under some circumstances as alternative media. It means that the audience realizing or without realizing may be in the process of production of critical media as the alternative media although other qualities for being alternative still can not achieved. For instance, recently after the death of Berkin Elvan, radio programmer Arzu Çağlayan in Best FM, throughout three days, memorialized him via emphasizing his death by police officers in Gezi Resistance. In the framework of this example, while Best FM is known as one of the mainstream radio channel in Turkey, remembrance of Berkin Elvan can be thought as critical media product that make Best FM alternative media under this circumstance. Also she was fired from her job because of questioning domination and it shows that how mainstream media can return the alternative media through producing critical medium now and again especially in the social movements times.