Horizontal Networks and Radical Politics

[reposted from femmetech.org]

I just finished a few proposals for the Allied Media Conference — which I swear I will co-work on organizing one of these years! — and one that I’m particularly excited about is called “Out of the Streets and Into the Networks: Horizontal Digital Collaborations for Radical Projects.” I’ve been growing in my comfort level as a network-loving enthusiast, a little shamefully since it’s rooted in so much anarchist theory. But, I am ready to cast the spectre of that shame aside, toss off the troubles of the tyranny of structurelessness, and embrace the fact that I Am A Skilled Transformative Organizer. I believe, and enact, power-sharing through digital technologies, understand that crowd sourcing and outreach must go hand-in-hand, and have researched, tested, tried out, and group processed many accessible methods of using technologies to get group organizing, activism, and art done.

Why? As my proposal says, as creative and political projects grow larger, campaign wins more crucial, and the moving parts of our projects get more complicated, the need to share access and maintain diverse contributors on projects remains critically important to work that is grounded in transformative and social-justice praxis. Translation: if the barrier to participation is too user-unfriendly, folks won’t jump it, but if there is no structure in place to foster collaboration, folks *can’t* jump in. Continue reading →