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Responding to Hate, Disenfranchisement, and the Loss of the Civil Sphere

By Carol Vernallis.

Many of us are terrified by the rise in Islamophobia and other racisms, misogyny and homophobia, threats to the environment and increased possibilities for nuclear war, the rise of surveillance and the limits on freedom of speech and movement, demagoguery and the production of ignorance, increasing income disparity, to name but a few. What can we do? What might be most effective? How can we remain engaged in the face of a possible new normal?  Should we march? Litigate and impeach? Unleash a “beautiful Twitter storm” of #swampyTrump? Visit Appalachia, the Rust Belt, D.C. and Silicon Valley (like in the Civil Rights Movement, sharing experiences face to face)? Connect through Facebook (with its false facts and siloed communities), prank, make art, forge connections with corporations and celebrities for new kinds of transparency, ads and media campaigns, enlist the wealthy and the powerful, or the religious or the poor? Concede on cherished issues? Hire lobbyists? Give money to causes and groups, like the ACLU, Green Peace, the Sierra Club (though might donating money to separate groups risk splintering us)? Collectivize to launch a responsive, fleet, academic, interdisciplinary online journal? Does this moment call for new forms of identity and collectivity?

Please post about your projects in the comment section below (35-800 words). We hope you’ll be able to attend our Society for Cinema and Media Studies panel on Wednesday night, March 23, at 9pm in Chicago – Collective Action in 2017: Responding to Hate, Disenfranchisement, and the Loss of the Commons. We’re gathering two-slide presentations from scholars who are engaged with projects to protect the commons; we hope to present them as time permits (perhaps as a quick slideshow and/or handouts).

If you’re interested in participating (time permitted), please also include a link to your two-slide presentations with an email contact. After the session the Re.framing Activism website (see @re_activism) would like to publish PDF versions of the slides – we’ll let you know how to submit these for publication at the session.

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