David McGillivray

Professor, interested in events, culture, digital participation & sport.

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#media2012, Amplification and Animation

On Wednesday I attended a regional meeting of an emerging network called #media2012 (http://www.media2012.org.uk/) in Bristol. You’ll have seen me blogging about it in the past but as a reminder, #media2012 is a citizen media network which is concerned with amplifying what I would call alternative Olympic Games’ narratives around a series of regional (and international) ‘hubs’ across the UK. I’m the designated lead for the Scottish region (well, nation) and I found the engagement with others hubs both enlightening and exasperating. ‘Enlightening’ because the South West (Bristol, Weymouth etc), North West and Midlands are already ‘active’, running festivals or delivering projects which can be vehicles for the #media2012 agenda of citizen media and amplifying the normally unvoiced before and during the London Games. ‘Exasperating’ because my thoughts were turning to what #media2012 would mean to Scotland and how might it become a model for wider citizen engagement with Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games? No easy challenge as the Olympics is a controversial topic in Scotland (concerns over the redistribution of Lottery monies to (London) and we are a fair distance away from the Games’ epicentre. But perhaps that’s a strength – maybe the suppressed voices of the disenfranchised will be bursting to get out and we can facilitate this by providing a platform (perhaps venue based – as in somewhere like the CCA) to feed non sport Olympic content with a distinctively Scottish accent to it. But that’s not enough – we also need to look outside the physical space of a lone venue to ‘animate’ the unvoiced. As Professor Andy Miah (who developed the #media2012 blueprint) suggested at Bristol University, ‘we are the media’. My vision is for students attached to courses in media and digital culture at universities and colleges in Glasgow and beyond can populate the Scottish hub and go out into the communities normally absent from discussions of Olympic Games and the like and develop their capacity to tell the stories that matter to them. The promise of digital media is its democratisation. If #media2012 is only about the usual suspects amplifying the usual issues then we will have failed. It’s not going to be easy and there will be lot’s of obstacles on the way but if we coordinate activity and utilise the enthusiasm and capabilities of our existing networks then perhaps #media2012 can be handed over to #media2014 with an enhanced cadre of citizen media adherents. If you’re interested in making a contribution, join, forward on, retweet or mention…

David McGillivray • January 27, 2011


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