[Payment-discuss] a bit overboard?
sheri at speakeasy.net
Thu Feb 15 21:11:40 PST 2007
thank you nick for bringing some higher perspective to these
examples. i find this to be a slippery slope, as dangerous as that
which some people claim is the problem of paying people. it is about
absolutism and fundamentalism of thought. when we think we are so
right that we use our self-righteousness against others who are part
of our collective, community or movement, then we know we are moving
into dangerous terrain.
when footage from the streets of seattle during the wto was edited
and uploaded nightly to be broadcast on public television stations
across the united states, and then those 2.5 hours was edited by jill
freiburg into a one hour documentary called showdown in seattle, we
used all of that money for our own collective gain and the indymedia
movement's benefit and the seattle imc's benefit and those first
imc's benefit. it is hard for me to see where the work of an
indymedia journalist who is compensated in some way for their work is
merely for their own gain. i have never seen this in all my years.
i know of no indymedia journalist, from those who went the path of
being filmmaker to that of being an organizer supporting the work of
many to be media makers who ever took this path. that path is not
about whether people take some kind of payment for their work or not.
the work of big noise films is all about documenting the oppression
of peoples around the world. they are also compensated for their
work and have worked within the context of indymedia centers on
numerous occasions. thank goddess for their work in the world. it
is because they are compensated for their work that they are able to
focus on the work they do.
indymedia is made up of many independent media makers who have
associated for different periods of time with a local imc. but they
have also maintained their independence and have been compensated for
their work documenting the things wrong in this world. in such a way
has indymedia supported the work of independent media and independent
pointing the finger too strongly at a local imc because you believe
they are going against a value that you hold is dangerous especially
when you yourself might be held to be going against another value of
someone else. i know of local imcs who have been criticized for
precisely the same fault libertinus mentioned - ownership over their
local imc. but this had nothing to do with money. this has to do
with those people who think differently than they do. they are then
removed from email lists and passwords are taken from them and more.
closed membership circles is an equally dangerous path to take and
one which in my mind threatens the value of the principles of unity
that comprise indymedia, whether they are all consensed or not.
> Deva wrote:
>> I could never make money by filming activists and comrades who are
>> struggling against oppression and then use their activity for my
>> own gain.
> Is a Zapatista collective that sells t-shirts with a picture of the
> woman Zapatista squaring off with the soldier to be chastised for
> exploiting the woman's struggle? Is the beehive collective corrupt
> for portraying the struggles of activists around the world and making
> money off the art? Should I be ashamed when someone puts a dollar in
> our tip jar after my band plays some music that was influenced by
> This is verging on saying that not only should indymedia folks not get
> paid for doing indymedia, that they also should not get paid for doing
> journalism at all, and perhaps any other form of work (basically all)
> that involve anyone else being oppressed or struggling.
>> I absolutely will not make a profit for myself off of the loving
> labor of others.
> This is coming awfully close to criticizing others for failure to live
> up to our own moral purity, and I don't like that. Some of us have
> privilege enough to do alot of volunteer work. In my opinion, we
> should be using every drop of that privilege to fight oppression. But
> it is not anti-oppressive to be comparing other activists to ourselves
> in this manner. And besides, from everything I have read so far,
> Sascha himself has never taken the salary he was allotted, so he too
> has not profitted "off the loving labor of others."
> I am of the non-payment camp in general, but this sort of criticism
> really turns me off, especially for failing to include a discussion
> about privilege.
> Vlax from Oaxaca is here in Houston and he is also basically in the
> non-payment camp, but he was mentioning that when media activists in
> Oaxaca sell a story to FSRN it manages to take the place of several
> weeks of work that they could do locally.
> If we were at least limiting these criticisms to apply to those of us
> who have enough money to buy an occasional plane ticket, or something,
> then I wouldn't be so alarmed by the direction of this discussion.
> Cat wrote:
>> i can't imagine ever trying to capitalize on the courage and
> sacrifices of the people whom i am usually filming. it's a gross
> I think connecting this with the idea of "gross" is inappropriate. In
> conjunction with my workshop (nickcooper.com/antipowerworkshop.htm) I
> have studied how labelling things as disgusting has been used
> throughout the history of oppression, so seeing that word here really
> caught my attention. I don't think of UCIMC folks as "gross."
> Payment-discuss mailing list
> Payment-discuss at lists.indymedia.org
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change
something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete…
We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.” – R.
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