[NetBehaviour] Interface – A Journal For and About Social Movements.

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Mon Feb 8 15:52:01 CET 2010

Interface – A Journal For and About Social Movements.

Call for papers – vol. 2 issue 2:

Voices of Dissent. Activists' Engagements in the Creation of 
Alternative, Autonomous, Radical and Independent Media.

Interface is a new journal produced twice yearly by activists and 
academics around the world in response to the development and increased 
visibility of social movements in the last few years – and the immense 
amount of knowledge generated in this process. This knowledge is created 
across the globe, and in many contexts and a variety of ways, and it 
constitutes an incredibly valuable resource for the further development 
of social movements. Interface responds to this need, as a tool to help 
our movements learn from each other’s struggles, by developing analyses 
and knowledge that allow lessons to be learned from specific movement 
processes and experiences and translated into a form useful for other 

We welcome contributions by movement participants and academics who are 
developing movement-relevant theory and research. Our goal is to include 
material that can be used in a range of ways by movements – in terms of 
its content, its language, its purpose and its form. We are seeking work 
in a range of different formats, such as conventional articles, review 
essays, facilitated discussions and interviews, action notes, teaching 
notes, key documents and analysis, book reviews – and beyond. Both 
activist and academic peers review research contributions, and other 
material is sympathetically edited by peers. The editorial process 
generally will be geared towards assisting authors to find ways of 
expressing their understanding, so that we all can be heard across 
geographical, social and political distances.

Our fourth issue, to be published in November 2010, will have space for 
general articles on all aspects of understanding social movements, as 
well as a special themed section on Voices of Dissent. Activists 
Engagements in the Creation of Alternative, Autonomous, Radical and 
Independent Media.

In the last decades, there has been a considerable amount of both 
activist and academic publications on alternative, radical, autonomous, 
and independent media. Keeping in mind the broad range of alternative, 
radical, autonomous and independent sites of media production and 
consumption, this issue of Interface intends to engage critical 
knowledge about media practices developed in social movement contexts 
all around the world. The primary goal of our journal is to contribute 
to the development of knowledge "from and for" social movements and 
encourage dialogue between movement participants and outside 
researchers. Thus we ask for contributions which are able to cross the 
separation between the movement and academic milieu when addressing the 
topic of alternative media in contemporary societies, underlining both 
theoretical and practical challenges that developing alternative media 
pose nowadays. In particular, we encourage contributions that explore 
some crucial questions which can further develop activist and academic 
literature about alternative, independent, radical and autonomous media.

A crucial topic is related, for instance, to the symbolic and material 
places and sites of the media environment where alternative media 
develop today: for instance, what is the nature of the interactions 
between a profit-oriented online platform such as Facebook and the 
alternative media messages which are sometime spread though it? This and 
other similar questions in the field remain   unanswered. The 
proliferation of cheap and easy-to-use technological devices make it 
easy for everyone taking part in a demonstration to record and then 
spread the demonstration itself. It would be interesting to explore how 
these increasingly common practices impact the idea and the role of 
‘media-activism’. With the flourishing and spread of information and 
communication technologies in particular many activist media 
practitioners and progressive academics have focused on the use of such 
new technologies in social movements. Alternative, radical, autonomous 
and independent media messages, however, are still produced and diffused 
using a variety of different technologies - from the press to the 
internet to rudimentary broadcast stations. There are community radios 
and radical magazines, street televisions and alternative stickers. They 
often intertwine and produce hybrid spaces of communication which are 
worth continuing to explore worldwide. In short, some of the questions 
we would like to address are:

·         What are the places and sites in the media environment where 
alternative media develop today?

·         Does it still make sense to speak about ‘media activists’ in a 
technology-saturated environment? Who are today’s media activists and, 
more broadly speaking, who are the alternative media practitioners and 
how are they connected to different social movements?

·         How are traditional media (radio, magazines, television, 
print) used as alternative means of communication nowadays? Are there 
instances of media convergence in this respect? What effects does this 
have on the communication practices of existing social movements?

·         What are the challenges, problems and issues that alternative 
media have raised and still raise within the social movement milieu?

·         Do alternative media present a gender-neutral context? Or, are 
alternative media practices embedded in the same patriarchal discourse 
that envelops mainstream media?

·         Do technical criteria and the logics of media production 
necessarily win out in the long run over questions of alternative 
production processes and attempts to treat media as the voice of people 
in struggle?

We particularly encourage the submission of articles originated from 
practical-critical activity and engagement with movement media. We 
welcome especially "action notes", "teaching notes", activist interviews 
and good practice pieces which can help media activists learn from each 
other's struggles. This list of questions is not exhaustive, but it is 
merely meant as a set of potential topics. Other perspectives on 
alternative media are welcome and encouraged.

For more details on Interface, please see our website at 
www.interfacejournal.net, particularly the "Guidelines for 
contributors". The deadline for initial submissions to this issue (vol. 
2 no. 2, to be published Nov 1st 2010) is May 1st 2010.

Department of Sociology
National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Co. Kildare
Republic of Ireland

Tel. (+353-1) 708 3985
email: laurence.cox at nuim.ie

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