Move! Guerrilla films, collaborative modes, and the tactics of radical media making
Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation is an ethnography of video activists with the Independent Media Center (also known as IMC or indymedia) creating collectively made videos aimed at affecting political change. I explore the larger Independent Media Center Network, beginning in the Zapatista Encuentros of the late Nineties, the "trial run" in Seattle during the meeting of the World Trade Organization in 1999 and the subsequent growth into a world wide network with almost 200 local collectives producing radical news and providing distribution outlets for media makers. Indymedia is situated within a social movement, commonly known as anti-globalization, but more properly termed the global justice movement. I investigate indymedia videos as insider media; videos that come out of are circulated within and support the social movement. Indymedia videos are political interventions, but they also constitute a social intervention as IMC videographers make politically informed choices to shape the filmmaking process itself. Social movement based media is not a new phenomena, and as part of this dissertation, I explore several examples of other radical film collectives operating in different historical periods with different technological apparatuses. I treat the complication of being a group committed to openness and democracy in an environment of political repression and surveillance. Finally, I discuss doing contemporary experimental ethnography within this complex environment and my role as both an activist and an academic.