Sparking Creative Rebellion: An Invitation
When I was really young, I loved recording radio shows using a cassette recorder and a friend/sibling or two.. (Yes, I'm mature, deal with it). The topics varied. Sometimes I would do fake news interviews, or tell spooky stories complete with sound effects. Sometime songs made appearances, sung with the enthusiasm of any young girl who already loved the idea of Broadway musicals. (The first album I ever begged to own was the original cast recording of Annie).
I bet, if I search my mother's house, I will find some of those tapes lying around. They are probably mixed in with old stories I wrote, pictures I made with paints or crayons. Maybe event a few broken down crafts.
Dusty remnants of the girl who was discovering a passion that would follow her through life. I see those tapes, as my first steps in recognizing the power of the media, story, the importance of being heard, and the joy of exploring the world in creative ways.
My friend Erika always tells me "I think you should start a media empire."
I, of course, laugh it off. It sounds ridiculous and utterly impossible.
Although, there's a part of me that thinks, why not? Would it be possible to develop a platform that supports the quality work of voices that don't often get heard? Would it be possible to spark new ideas and possibilities by amplifying the creative work of some of the millions of people in the world who are already doing amazing things but get lost in the chatter of the loudest and wealthiest voices? Would it be possible to share stories that build bridges rather than breaking us apart?
Is it possible to equitably support people who seek a world made better by creative and collaborative acts?
When I think of Media Empire, I think if the corrupt wealthy people (usually men) who seem to be controlling our world, manipulating elections, abusing women, and focusing on the negative or the sensational for money and clicks. Or, I think about the traditional world of publishing/entertainment/theatre/and film that focuses mostly on certain voices (often white male) to the exclusion of anyone else. That is not me, nor who I want to be.
What Erika means, though, is that she sees me as a person who has
" . . .moved through a variety of forms of communication, including fiction, non-fiction (all genres), blogging, artistic expression, theater, social commentary and discussion. A media empire can pull all those parts together, opening spaces for others to reimagine or contribute to that space.Dr. Erika Briesacher
She points out that, with the media landscape changing almost daily, there's no reason that I can't be part of that change.
Where I differ from traditional media moguls, though, is that I don't want to be the top point of any pyramid. I believe that its time for a societal shift, where people work collaboratively to build things together. Sure, I can serve as a guide point, but to make any truly democratic creative space requires a willingness to give and take, and work responsively.
It also requires a budget (because unfortunately we still live in a cruelly capitalistic world) and some guidelines, because so many seem to think that "free speech" means freedom from repercussions for hate.
Whew, this is really complicated. It's also slightly terrifying. And yet, I have recently realized that I simply have no fucks left to give. I am tired of seeing people crushed by systems that benefit only a few. I am tired of people struggling just to be heard. I am tired of the voices of hate winning.
So it is time for me to take a leap. And I would like to invite you to leap with me. Within the next few months, I hope to publish an e-zine (of sorts) that welcomes creative, insightful voices in many forms including essays, stories, podcasts, videos, artwork, etc. And, I plan on paying contributors for their work.
Let's make the impossible, possible together. Let your voice be heard!