If you’re in the Champaign-Urbana, IL area (my home base) there are some interesting independent media-related events going on in the next couple of weeks. Sorry to be parochial for those of you not from ’round here… but them’s the breaks.
A public display of personal cinema in action. This is free film festival featuring 12 radically independent films, sponsored by Micro-Film the magazine of personal cinema in action. Click here to see a schedule. It happens Sat. April 21, 2001, 11:30 am to 5:00pm at the Highdive, 55 E. Main St., Downtown Champaign, IL. Did I mention it’s free?
Introduction to the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center
This is a two-hour introduction to the world-wide Independent Media movement, and to the local IMC’s operations. You’ll learn how to get involved in the IMC’s news, video and audio production initiatives, as well as the IMC’s progressive library and other programs. This is also free, happening Sat. April 21, 2001, from noon to 2:00pm at the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, 218 W. Main St., Downtown Urbana, IL. I’m coordinating this, so if you’re in the area you can come on down and say “hi.”
This isn’t exclusively about independent media, but there are workshops about media, poetry, writing, music, community radio production, in addition to art showings and benefit concerts. It’s all about girls — empowering girls to have a full-range of opportunities and skills available to them, and celebrating the things they do and make. Grrrlfest runs from April 20 through 29 at a whole variety of places thoughout Champaign-Urbana — go to the website for more details. I think this is one of the most interesting and well-run programs in the area. I especially like and support it’s goals of empowering girls to do whatever they want, throwing off stereotypical gender roles.
This one is global, but also local: the meeting for the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA)
The FTAA is a new trade treaty that intends to extend NAFTA-like free-trade to all of the Americas. Representatives from all the American countries, except Cuba, will be in Quebec City, Canada April 20-22 to negotiate this treaty. Although it threatens to impact the whole western hemisphere, little is actually know about the details of this treaty. Activists from all over the Americas plan to descend on Quebec City, where local officials plan to seal tightly shut to keep the activists far away. Independent journalists will be joining the ranks to provide grassroots street-level coverage–there will be a contingent of journalists from the Urbana-Champaign IMC going, too.
Live on-line radio coverage can be had at microradio.net, which will also be streaming a teach-in this coming weekend from 11am-7pm EDT. These programs are being picked up by unlicensed microbroadcasters and community radio stations around the country, so check out the website to see if there’s one in your area. You will also be able to get constantly updated coverage at the Quebec Independent Media Center and the Global Indymedia sites.
For more on the FTAA check out www.a20.org.