Appalshop at Allied Media Conference in Detroit June 17-20


Appalshop’s Thousand Kites project has organized a conference track on Communication Strategies for Ending the Prison Industrial Complex for the 2010 Allied Media Conference. This track will bring together urban and rural community media organizations to explore the power of narrative campaigns that combine hands on media-making (flip video, radio, web, phone, and viral communication) to organize both inside and outside the prison walls.

Appalshop staff and board members are also presenting a session on Common Ground: How community media and community businesses can work together to foster transformative public discourse.  Click here for the complete Allied Media Conference Schedule

Appalshop staff sessions

Communication Strategies and Movement-Building: A Case Study of the Dignity Not Detention Campaign

Presenters: Detention Watch Network, Progressive Technology Project, Grassroots Leadership Texas, Thousand Kites

How can we use media technology, in particular digital databasing, to build grassroots power without losing momentum on pressing issues?  This workshop will kick off with a brief panel of prison activists who are addressing the issue of Immigration Detention Centers through a “Dignity Not Detention” campaign.  They will be followed by a presentation by the Progressive Technology Project to discuss emerging practices in communication strategies

Community Radio Against Rural Poverty and Prison Expansion

Presenters: Amelia Kirby (Appalshop, Summit City Lounge), Sylvia Ryerson (Appalshop, WMMT-FM Mountain Community Radio), Helia Rasti (Critical Resistance)

This open strategy session will bring together organizations and individuals who are fighting against the prison industrial complex. The session will be centered on how community and low power FM radio stations can be used in a multi-sited movement that connects the struggles against poverty and mass incarceration. We will discuss how to build a nationwide radio campaign that increases awareness, dialogue and solidarity around the devastation caused by the prison system; and that strengthens the alliances between urban and rural activists who are working for positive rehabilitation, community development and societal transformation.

Common Ground: How community media and community businesses can work together to foster transformative public discourse

Presenters: Amelia Kirby (Appalshop, Summit City Lounge), Sylvia Ryerson (Appalshop, WMMT-FM Mountain Community Radio), Marcie Crim (Appalshop, WMMT-FM Mountain Community Radio)

Nationwide, issues of social, environmental and economic justice are framed in polarizing terms. In Central Appalachia, this has especially been the case around the issue of coal mining. Community media outlets and community businesses play a critical role in fostering public dialogue that moves people beyond their poles, towards collective social change. This session will highlight two powerful examples of this in the coalfields communities of eastern Kentucky, WMMT – FM community radio station and Summit City Lounge – coffeeshop, bar, gallery and live music venue. Sharing clips of radio and film, presenters will explore the ways in which open media outlets and open spaces can collaborate to find common ground in polarized, marginalized communities. Participants are encouraged to come with examples from their hometowns of for-profit/non-profit cultural collaborations that have resulted in stronger communities.

Appalshop partner sessions

From “My Story” to “Our Story”: Collective Narrative Campaigns to End the Prison Industrial Complex

Presenters: Critical Resistance, People Against Injustice, Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged

This workshop will put low-cost video and radio tools into the hands of participants as they train in using a Narrative Campaign model of organizing.  We’ll hear from Critical Resistance, People Against InJustice, and Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged on current struggles against the Prison Industrial Complex.  Then, using cell phones, web tools, and low-cost video tools, we will learn how to conduct interviews on the impacts of the criminal justice system, and upload the content online.

Online Infrastructure for Media-based Organizing Against the Prison Industrial Complex

Presenters: Prison Legal News, Detention Watch Network, AdvoCare

How can we build an online platform for collaboration, organizing, communication, distribution, and building momentum around campaigns that address the Prison Industrial Complex?  How can local grassroots efforts, non-profits, artists, and media products continue growing the movement against the PIC by reshaping our communication strategies? Representatives from Prison Legal News, Detention Watch Network, along with prison reform activists Keith Deblasio and Armando Sotelo will address these questions.

From Page to Stage: Turning Prison Writings into Dynamic Performance & Organizing Tools

Presenter: Bruce Reilly (Direct Action for Rights, Equality/1000 lbs Guerilla)

This session will present a blueprint for generating maximum impact from the literary talents that live behind the walls.  Bruce Reilly has produced three prison-themed plays since 2006 including Voice of the Voiceless, a collection of writings edited into a reading, then retooled into a full play for multiple venues.  As a formerly incarcerated writer, Reilly learned how to produce with no budget and no connections, and how the promo and talkback are as important as the performance.

Prison Poster Project: Understanding the Big Picture (Kid Friendly)

Presenter: Lizzie Anderson (Prison Poster Project)

The Prison Poster Project (PPP) is a collective of artists and activists working in collaboration with prisoners across the U.S. Our mission is to create a public education tool to expose how the prison industrial complex affects our diverse communities and to challenge current reliance on prisons as a solution to social problems. With imprisoned artists, we are creating a mural that will be used by prison activists, educators, incarcerated people and community leaders. Currently, this presentation’s images are in digital form with an accompanying booklet of prisoner writings and stories.