‘Autonomy On-line’: Indymedia and Practices of Alter-Globalisation
AbstractThe paper examines Australian Indymedia collectives as a means to improve understanding of the practices of alter-globalisation movements. Indymedia, which emerged around the anti-World Trade Organisation protests in Seattle in 1999 is an attempt by media activists to offer new forms of alternative media using the internet and to widen the possibilities for those on-line to participate openly in its construction Two key questions are explored. The first examines the politics of the alter-globalisation movements – what they demand and how they practice their aims. The second concerns the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to provide a space within which to build a radical politics. Several dilemmas facing Indymedia and alter-globalisation movements emerge from this analysis. First, there remain many limitations of using ICTs as a space for the constitution of a radical politics. Second, Indymedia collectives have had success in aligning their aims to their practices however informal hierarchies did form around editorial decisions and technical skills. Third, there is continued potential for these movements to appear exclusive. In this respect simply being ‘open’ is not enough to widen these spaces of resistance. Fourth is the continued importance of structure to strengthen the ability of groups to operate non-hierarchically. Despite these dilemmas many of the alter-globalisation movements’ practices are proving workable. It is the ability of participants to acknowledge these dilemmas and to continue to be reflexive about their practices that is one of the greatest strengths of these emerging movements.[Due to appear in Environment and Planning ,forthcoming.]
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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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alter-globalisation; globalisation; Indymedia; ICT; information and communication technologies; radical politics; Political Science; Geography;
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