Netroots Nation

Screening Liberally: Using Social Media for Social Change


by Hale Thompson, Guest Blogger for the Network at Netroots Nation 2011

Where are the soundtracks and films for our movements? Although creative voices from the social margins do not get much play via mainstream media outlets, social media has proven to be an excellent way to disseminate our stories.

Here are the inspiring works that we saw in today’s session, ‘Screening Liberally’:

  1. Jasiri X is one artist blazing this trail; check out his youtube channel. Jasiri X is a young, African American rapper from Pittsburgh who raps the news with critical insight, humor and rhymes. You may remember his piece, “What if the Tea Party was Black?”
  2. Also featured is a documentary, Hip Hop Rev (go to the web site if you’d like to obtain the doc and a toolkit to screen locally), about the Hip Hop Caucus and the Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr. The Hip Hop Caucus is engaging youth of color and catalyzing the green movement with solutions for rebuilding poor neighborhoods and communities of color with green jobs, clean air, and sustainable energy sources.
  3. The Ironic News Report, also on Youtube and Firedoglake, features comedian Julianna Forlano. Forlano uses satire to underscore the lack of critical news media outlets and to highlight the most pressing current events that are not getting sufficient coverage.
  4. The final film trailer featured is Ron and Laura Take Back America. This piece is a mockumentary told through the eyes of a wholesome Tea Party couple who take on the culture wars in order to save their country and their gay son. Look out for it on the festival circuit in the next year.

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