Remember “Making the World Safe for Democracy”?

Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 15 November 2014 episode and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the full interview:

 

“So I’m standing there on the bridge in Sarajevo where the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand happened. It’s June 28th, 2014—the exact 100th anniversary of the assassination—and ISIS is live-tweeting their invasion from Syria into Iraq. Under the hashtag #SykesPicotOver.”

Chuck Mertz: This week we honor the anniversary of World War I ending on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It was supposed to be the “war to end all wars.” Instead, the peace that ended hostilities wound up being the peace to end all peace. Especially in the Middle East.

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Building Cultural Sustainability in the Digital Age

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AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.

On 19 April 2014 Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) interviewed author, filmmaker, cultural critic and musician Astra Taylor about imagining new models for digital media that reflect truly revolutionary cultural values.

Although she does not attempt to provide specific solutions, we appreciate her impulse to work collectively on developing them and we are struck by the simple elegance of her observation that the tech ‘revolution’ has not been all that revolutionary—yet.

Frequent visitors to Antidote as well as our growing network of invaluable collaborators will already be familiar with our obsession with this issue and our own efforts at cultivating a more cooperative rather than competitive spirit in the production and dissemination of culture and information. As we emphasize repeatedly, we won’t overcome the prevailing commercial media model by imitating its most pernicious attributes (in way, we have been painfully reminded of this once again by the fall from grace of Chris Hedges. Competition, ego, position leverage, fetishizing status…need we go on?).

Astra Taylor takes us a few steps further in this thinking by identifying a few more of these attributes and inviting us to imagine, more concretely, what we would like to see in their place.

“‘Innovation,’ ‘disruption’ and ‘openness’ are all terms that can be twisted to serve business imperatives.”

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Decline of Free Speech

by Alexander Podrabinek for the Institute of Modern Russia

On April 29, Russia’s Federation Council passed a law that tightens government control over the dissemination of information on the Internet and treats bloggers as journalists. A week earlier this so-called “antiterrorism package” was adopted by the State Duma. According to writer Alexander Podrabinek, this law fits in with the current trend in Russia of giving the government a free hand while imposing restrictions on citizens.Continue Reading

Lack of Diversity in Policy and Media has Consequences

Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 12 April 2014 episode and printed with permission. Listen to the full interview here.

Argun, Chechnya, 2002. International Women’s Day. 12 Chechen women showing portraits of their missing male relatives. Source: Thomas Dworzak via Fotojournalismus (Tumblr)

Argun, Chechnya, 2002. International Women’s Day. 12 Chechen women showing portraits of their missing male relatives. Source: Thomas Dworzak via Fotojournalismus (Tumblr)

“The mistake people make is to say that there’s violence in Chechnya because Chechens are violent. Politics is what motivates ethnic conflict. Ethnic conflicts don’t happen because a particular ethnicity is inclined to violence.”

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