BROWNTOURAGE AT THE ALLIED MEDIA CONFERENCE
This conference, and Detroit in general, is a hot bed of fringe ideas lingering the forefront of advances in social justice, art, fashion, and media. Some of the workshops were really intense journeys into land injustice, colourism in the media (which we’ve definitely experienced), historical trauma, storytelling via zines courtesy of the POC Zine Project, and re-framing activism through art.
One of my favorite moments was gathering on the lawn with some babes and skipping out on a couple workshops to discuss spirituality, ancestry, grief, relationships to healing, and decompressing from the intensity of the weekend. People came in and out of our conversation and it felt like an awesome space to connect with like-minded people.
My presentation went over a lot of personal stories with media making and tools to create interactive experiences online. After the session, conversations spilled out into the hallway for close to an hour, talking to people interested in, and seeking advice from, Browntourage. I met a guy who runs an organization that speaks directly to my experiences growing up Muslim, and I was on my tippy toes with excitement, knowing I’d found the solidarity I’ve always been looking for. I was even asked to speak at Southern Oregon University on Browntourage. So humbling to hear people wanting advice on how to combat a white agenda in Oregon!
After an exhausting Sunday, I ended up having lunch with Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes in the building at this sushi spot. It was awkward to be jolted out of workshop mode and seeing “celebrities” chillin in a desolate area of D town. The contrast of the work I was doing in comparison to them trying to find the most corner/secret table felt like the ultimate joke of feeling what it is to cultivate and curate a lifestyle devoted to dismantling mainstream conceptions of media.
To end the trip off, I found myself at the culmination of a 3-day free electronic festival, Tec-Troit, with legendary Detroit DJs and producers. I swapped knowledge with one of the wifeys on democracy of fun and keeping music free and sustainable.
Holding it down in Detroit while Tonia is venturing through Iran, this is just the beginning of our worldwide subversive agenda. Thanks for sticking it with us and inviting us to be resources. The work we do, so integral and dear to our lifestyle, is for you <3
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