[Payment-discuss] a bit overboard?

deva drdartist at riseup.net
Fri Feb 16 08:42:32 PST 2007


Nick,

Yes, those are my feelings and what I have decided for myself in  
regards to indymedia work. I made no prescription for everyone  
everywhere. Please try not to put words to my mouth. If you are not  
certain what I mean, then you can ask.

I said what I said to give some background on my experience and my  
choices and that I have put those choices into practice in my life,  
and they have been fruitful.

My general criticism is regarding the impulse to get paid in  
indymedia, which is centered in the US. That is what we are  
discussing. We are not talking about the Zapatista, or any other  
effort around the world. I'll remind you that I suggested there be  
payment in indymedia but not in the US.

I am talking about specific circumstances and you are interpreting  
them into a broad general sense and then accusing me of being overly  
broad. In otherwords, your argument is your own internal dialog, not  
a dialog with me.

regards,
deva



On Feb 15, 2007, at 5:58 PM, nick wrote:

> 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
> Fela?
>
> 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
> thought.
>
> 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."
>
> peace,
> Nick
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