- published by LaborMedia 97 oraganizing committee in Seoul,
written by MJ Kim and JY Lee
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Dear freinds and comrades
This is the third issue of newletter on LaborMedia 97. In this issue, we
hereby included the suggestions and proposals on the subjects which can be discussed
during the conference. We thank you, all the activists around the world and
hopefully get more specific opinions and thoughts on the various issues. Our
conference and the festival is now at the final stage of preparation and shaping
the concrete structure gradually. We encourage all the people participate in
In the next issue, we will propose more specific but temporary proposal on the conference to build the final plans for the conference. Thank you for all the participation from all around the world.
* If you want to send the mail to directly all the people listed in this
newsletter, you can use the mailing list :
Firstly, we are going to report on the our preparation for workshop. The subjects of workshops and sessions based on the preliminary meeting of organizing commitee and conference subcommittee are as follows.
W-1 : Media and Labor Movement
W-2 : Labor Movement and Information
W-3 : The current condition and the tasks of the international labor video movement
W-4 : Final debate : The tasks of labor movement for organizing, solidarity and extension
Each workshop includes the presentation of six or seven organizations. Approximately
15 min will be given to each organization's presentation.
We hope the organizations from other countries will participate in it positively. If anybody wants to participate in the workshop, please contact us in advance. And it would be all right if the document for a presentation is sended to the organizing committee up to the end of October. Even if those who want to participate in the conference can't come to Seoul, it will be possible to carry the document in our report or to represent it on behalf.
Now we are going to report specifically on what have been proposed and discussed
through e-mail on the conference by many activists all around the world as we
promised in the last issue. Since we started to organize LaborMedia '97, various
suggestions have been made by many activists.
Here, this report is going to classify those suggestions into some similar subjects so that it can be easier for us to think and discuss them.
Before we start the discussion, one thing we mustn't forget is that we should consider a different cultural tradition, specific situation and political context. Seeing the following suggestions, you will find that each opinion reflects the environment where it was constructed.
1. Developing Labo(u)r Media on a global scale -Larry Duncan (U.S.A) -Alfonso Gumcio-dagron (currently, Haiti) -Marcus Toerien (South Africa) -Steve Zeltzer (U.S.A)
2. The opinion on the usual use of films in the labormovement -Anand Patwardhan (India)
3. For international solidarity -Luis Fernando Baron(Colombia)
4 The proposal for the live online event in parallel to the LaborMedia '97 -Eric Lee (Israel)
5. The discussion around the Labo(u)rnet -Chris Bailey (U.K)
6, Japanese case on labor use of communication - Akira Matsubara (Japan)
7, Next Labor conference on communication - Marcus Toerien (South Africa)
Concerning this subject, Larry Duncan launch into a discussion. His thought focused on the problems of labor media on a glbal scale. And if we may make his suggestions brief, it would be ®Áthe assement of the monopoly on television network, ®Ťthe consideration of its own, independent labor media, ®ťhow to tackle the difficulties caused by the different video systems, ®Íthe fast-turnaround video to lessen the difficulties caused by a translation problem, ®Žconsidering the political opportunities for workers to gain access to and control of the major television broadcasting facilities.
Firstly he suggests that we should assess the monopoly on television network. "We need to have and international assessment and description of the monopoly on television which the international corporations and national corporate monopolies have."
Second issue is how the organized labor movement should approach to the problem of the anti-labor bias of the commercial media. He examplifies the issue to be discussed in the US. "Should the AFL-CIO develop its own, independent media targeting the masses, or should it continue to just rely on purchasing some Ad time from commercial media and developing on the good will of corporate news to occasionally put on some favorable pieces about labor?" In his view, this question is connected to the larger political question in the US. Their own labor party or a politically corporatist strategy?
Third issue is a technological one. Video format is differences according to the country. Those are NTSC, PAL, and SECAM. He points out that these various system makes it more difficult to exchange labor video between the different countries. The case of labor video exchange between the UK(PAL) and the US(NTSC) is exemplified. He suggests one possible solution which is "through internet VDOLive and other similiar technology, where videos can be viewed via websites." However, the disadvantage on this solution is that "this technology is available to only a miniscule percent of labor activists globally, and the frame motion technology is still not adequate."
He also mentions the importance of language translation issues (in addition to video signal translation). The works which are not translated for the viewers of different language used countries could lose their effectiveness. It is not easy for a labor federation to consider a language translation of a video amidst all the other problems of labor movement. Nevertheless, it needs to be considered. He suggests one consideration which is 'for a production group to make even a shorter, international edit of a fast turn-around labor video. This would then be translated into, say English, and then sent to the US. There, after copies were made to get to key programmers and presenters in the US, PAL copies could be quickly made in the US to send to the UK (then, beyond to other PAL, English speaking countries).'
Finally, he suggests that we should not limit the possibility of labor media. "We should not rule out considering political opportunities for workers under certain political conditions who may gain access to and control of major television broadcasting facilities. Such opportunities will vary internationally."
°‹Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron (Haiti : currently)
Concerning this subject, Alfonso Gumucio makes a suggestion in a slightly different ways from Larry duncan's. Alfonso focuses on the contexts. "Very often films are done for very a particular historic moment, and they are not easy to "read" in other context. Besides the problems of language, there is a whole culture that may be difficult to translate in terms of contents.
................The real problems of .... distribution are cultural and have to do with the capacity of alternative distribution in each country, and with the interest that films produced in other context can arise. In other words, what is "exchangeable" in terms of productions?"
In addition to this, he suggests some topics to be discussed :
- Modalities of production and distribution,
- Relation between filmmakers and the labor organizations,
- Importance of cultural activism within labor organizations,
- Common platform across countries
He thinks it could be more desirable to discuss what are the alternative rather than what are are difficult to change. "For example, in Latin America you have universities that own TV stations, or small private national companies that are still possible partners. The "multinational" TV trust is obviously present through the cable TV and the satellite dishes, but that doesn't get to the masses, only to those in the upper classes that can afford to pay for the service."
°‹Marcus Toerien (South Africa)
Marcus Toerien also suggests one idea to enable a gloval labor communication. On a satellite TV channel, he shows an hopeful idea based on South African situation.
"In the longer term, an idea I would like to experiment with is to lease spare time on a satellite TV channel to beam appropriate films and videos to many centres simultaneously. I think all of us are frustrated that our public and commercial TV networks pay so little attention to issues affecting workers and their lives."
He introduces the situation of labor media in South Africa.
".... the radio/audio unit of the CDC already operates its own analogue audio channel on the Pas4 satellite, enabling community radio stations to 'download' programmes for simultaneous relay, or for re-broadcast at a later time.
The method I envisage is fairly simple. Each centre is equipped with a decoder and satellite dish, and if possible, a video projector. In South Africa it may not be necessary to purchase or hire these. Many institutions already own such equipment. It would be a matter of negotiating use from such institutions in different centres around the country."
He suggests the possibility of it that this experiment can be expanded.
"If the will exists (because the technology certainly does), this is possibly an experiment that can be replicated regionally ie. South East Asia, Latin America, Southern Africa."
Based on these arguments, we come to a more broad subject on the networking of the labor communication activists. Steve Zeltzer told about this as follows.
°‹Steve Zeltzer (U.S.A):
" Out of the LaborMedia conference should come some proposals for joint labor video collaboration world wide. It is another important opportunity to make direct links and concrete agreements for collaboration."
°‹Anand Partwardhan (India)
Anand Partwardhan suggests a point for discussion on the usual use of the films and the impact of the films on organizing the people. This maybe one of the difficult situation faced by the labor video and film activists, kind of "reality bites".
"Labour groups and left groups in general always relegate films to the last thing on the agenda and so late at night when all are tired of talk talk all day they run the film and people see this as a form of relaxation and entertainment, ie, not as serious as the speeches they made all day. they dont recognize that especially for new people films are so much more effective."
Concerning this, he said he has some articles. So it is expected for us to see the further thoughts later.
ALso he add " some tips on how to overcome language barriers. with videos and films from other languages one should stop after 10, 15 minutes, and translate/explain freely then start again. where u already know the film well and fluent in both languages u can do simultaneous translation by getting a mike and mixer so u can overvoice. to overcome the low attention span inculcated by tv, one has to work hard at contextualizing what is being shown and bringing it home to the audience.
i often carry chaplin films like modern times as well as my own work. these films incredibly powerful and relevant even after all these years and they cut across all barriers, language, age, everything."
°‹Luis Fernando (Colombia) :
Luis Fernando makes some suggestions for international solidarity.
-to persist in the right to inform and to be informed :
"I think that it's so important to persist in the right to inform and to be informed, how a way to build a democracy, a new develop conditions and to look for better relationships between states and civil society."
-to build a new situation where all kinds of forces in the society can communicate
"Moreover, could be important to show the video, t.v. and journalist movement like an interesting contribution to built a new situation (a fair situation). Not like an enemy. I believe that it is no easy, but our violence experience in Colombia show us the necessity to look for conditions to trade between all kind of forces in the society. Because lot of people is dying, without meaning."
- "working around the relationships between new social movements and media in a globalization context."
"Like a minority, we have to work to strengthen:
1) Spaces like festivals, seminaries, etc.
2) National, regional an international groups and organizations in spite of differences (context, culture, development...).
3) Information networks.
Moreover it's necessary to design new ways to built effective forms to lean (politic, operative...) all kind of activities like LaborMedia 97."
"The URL for the Labour Webmasters' Forum is:
http://www.village2000.com/labour/forum/index.html The same site which hosts the Forum -- Village2000 -- also offers us an HTML based live chat room. We could actually use this during the time ofthe conference at certain pre-determined times to conduct live onlinedialogue between participants there in Seoul and those of us who cannot attend. ............I suggest that we conduct our discussions about the conference in the open, in the Labour Webmasters' Forum, where other interested trade unionists can listen in and give us their input. "
His improved proposal also arrived.
"I'm now using software called ICQ--it's free and allows us to conduct online chat very simply.To download the software, visit Http://www.icq.cam I've already opened a chat room there called &Labour/Labor and we can use that."
And up to now, some suggestions on LaborMedia were carried.
Here, we are going to introduce the discussion around the Labo(u)rnet.
°‹Chris Bailey (U.K)
Recently, Chris Bailey suggests a number of points for discussion. He thinks that Labo(u)net has played a important role for developing labor communications, but the scale of its activities became so large that labo(u)rnet can't cope with the whole work. So he came to the conclusion that they need to involve wider layers in their work. In his view, three major sources for involving wider layers in their work are the newly opened Labour Webmasters'Forum, the list created from LaborTech '97, and the activists in South Korea. In addition, he shows some labour communications tasks.
"These are a labo(u)r links site, a diary of international labo(u)r events and an international strike page.............. "
Japanese activists will be the parge part of the participants for the conference
Akira Matsubara (Video Press) male
Yumi Sasaki (Video Press) female
Tetsuo Anzai (Publishing Union `NETS') male
Mr.Domatsu and Nitta of Ogawamachi-Cineclub
Akira Matsubara proposed their subject of presentation
" In the Seoul conference, I would like to report how we use videos and the internet to strengthen solidarity between the Liverpool dockers and Japanese sacked workers (Kokuro). Both were faced the same problem, that are deregulation, privatization, casualization. Oct 12th, there will be held the Solidarity Festival sponsored by Kokuro, there two Liverpool dockers and member of KCTU also partipated."
And alrready (!) the next step for our actions is porposed by South African
colleague Marcus Toerien.
" I can assure you that we have a team of people very committed to working towards such an event.In '99 we will be on the threshold of a new century and it may be opportune to investigate progress since '97, and plan ahead. You will recall that I mentioned to you that we at the CDC had thought about organising an international event like LM '97 (under the broad theme "Communicating Labour's Agenda in the Globalising World Economy"). Personally speaking, I am more fired up since the International Workers' Film Festival was staged here in SA. Locally, we have identified many new potential co-operating partners, such as elements within our Ministry of Labour, officials and leaders from a number of unions (such as Kubeshnie Govender, but many others too), SACOD (the Southern African equivalent of Videazimut), Open Windows Network (OWN), and the comrades from the Workers' Library and Museum whom I've mentioned before. I ask you to communicate and discuss this suggestion with the comrades attending this year's event, and that we will be able to explore it in more depth when (hopefully) we meet at Videazimut in Cape Town in March 98."
Thank you for all the suggestions.
- Video clips on Turkey labor movement sent by Onder Ozdemir (Turkey)
- Videos on Palestine labor movement sent by Assaf Adiv (Israel)
- Videos from Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU / South Africa)
-Videos from Colombia
Besides these works, we are expecting that some more works from Brazil, the Republic of Ireland etc will participate in the festival.
Steve Zeltzer : Labor Video Project, LaborNet-IGC, UPPNET
Larry Duncan : Labor Beat, UPPNET
Daymon j. Hartley : Detroit newspaper worker
Appalshop : Non-profit media organization, distributor of
Kelly Anderson and Tami Gold : Director of
Mike Konapacki : Director of
Michael Moore : Director of
David G. Ohlenroth : Labor Beat
Chris Bailey : LaborNet
Greg Dropkin : Video activist
Ken Loach : Director of
Anne Marie Sweeney : Director of
Eric Lee : Author of
Assaf Adiv : WAC
Akira Matsubara : Video press
Rodrigo Assump : Videazimut
Anand Patwardhan : Director of
Julius Fisher : Director of
Tom O'Brien : Canadian Labor Congress/Director Communications
°› South Africa
Marcus Toerian : Center for Democratic Communications (CDC)
Kubeshni Govender : FAWU Media Officer Food and Allied Workers Union (Head Office)
°› Haiti (currently)
Luis Fernando Baron
The belows are those who we are trying to contact but haven't got reply from
Eric Finch : PRIDE, the Lesbian and Gay Labor caucus.
Colleen M. O'Neill : Director Of Commuications International Union Of Electrical Worker
Tom Schram : Sunday Journal Detroit
Tony Greer Ass : Editor NATCA Journal
Anita Sandell : Head Of Press And Information Swedish Confederation Of Professional Employees
* If anybody wants to contact any of them individually, please contact us.
** Contact point of the conference organizer
Seoul International LaborMedia '97 Committee
tel : +82-2-855-1913
fax : +82-2-858-1913
e-mail : email@example.com
www : http://lmedia.nodong.net/l997/
** Contact point of the festival organizer
--> (Attention !) Those who want to participate in the festival or are interested in the presentation related with visual media, please contact the festival organizer.
Labor News Production
Myoung Joon Kim
address : 102, Jihoon Villa, 482-2, Sangdo 1 dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, Korea
fax : +82-2-826-0151
e-mail : LNP89@chollian.net
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