c y b o r g m a n i f e s t o 2 . 0
:: p r o j e c t s
:: i n d y m e d i a
Indymedia is a collective of independent media organizations and hundreds of journalists offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage. The Dutch branch of this network was set up by a dozen initiators, including me, from various anti-globalist, squat, anti-fascist and academic backgrounds. Indymedia claims it is a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth.
This mainly Internet-based concept of Indymedia, which gained huge reputation among various kinds of theorists and activists who envision different kinds of societal change, embodies an excellent opportunity to spell out, in its different contexts, both the subversive potentials and the hegemonic repetitions of and in the uses of this new medium and its texts. Indymedia first came into existence during the anti-globalisation protests in Seattle in 1996, and advances activist uses of all media (print, radio, video), though more specifically the use of the Internet as a tool for fast communication and easy dissemination of news and ideas that did not appear in the mainstream media. As such, the medium offers opportunities for marginalized groups to get their messages across and build both local and global alliances. Needless to say, also many feminist groups have showed great interest in Indymedia, though at the same time many were wary of its too readily made subscription to cyber-utopian ideas of common democratization and liberation through new technologies.
The Indymedia concept allows for a close integration of various types of activism, because it tries to combine local and global Internet activism with more material street activism. Its subversive potential, by allowing differential, temporal and partial alliances and by somehow 'parasiting' on the Internet, may show in the various uses and textual discourses that it renders available, therefore possibly providing useful opportunities for feminist strategies in the 21st century. Interestingly for this case, Donna Haraway points at the deconstructive potential of the cyborg figure, or the human-machine hybrid, and its usefulness for feminist theories and practices in being the 'illegitimate offspring' of militarism and patriarchal capitalism. However, since the Internet with its main features of speed, the fact that it is able to connect geographically far-away places nearly instantaneously, the partly non-hierarchical and decentralizing potential was initially developed in the West as a military tool and later as a tool for advanced capitalism, it would on the other hand come as no surprise that many of the underlying assumptions probably reflect Western notions of how 'liberation' should come about and subsequently in this rhetoric might invoke Western concepts of citizenship and subjectivity.
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