Happy Monday, everyone! Here’s another update to the goings on in MASC Lab at Teachers College, Columbia.
We have a lot of great equipment that we’re itching to get out into the streets and produce popular media, so we gathered in MASC Lab headquarters last Wednesday for a media technology workshop. We talked technical about frame and shot sizes. Then we broke into teams, story-boarded our shots, and made small films. Soon we’ll be working with software and practicing some basic editing techniques and hopefully we’ll have some small experimental films to post on here for all to see.
At MASC Lab one of our missions is to use media in ways that push back on the normative function of corporate mass media. This “popular media” is media made “by the people” with a critical understanding of power and a sense of social justice. In Storytelling for Social Justice, Lee Ann Bell makes distinctions among stock stories, concealed stories, resistance stories, and emerging/transforming stories. Where stock stories fall in line with dominant narratives of rugged individualism, historical amnesia, a blindness to social and cultural critiques, and hope devoid of action, the latter forms of storytelling complicate, critique, and disrupt this ideology. Popular media expands our ways of knowing and being and embraces diverse experiences in the movement toward liberation.
With the freedom of the Internet and the ubiquity of digital media devices, a tremendous opportunity exists for people to move from consumers to producers of media. But unless we are willing to critically examine our own understandings of the world and media we run the risk of reproducing the same messages that saturate us daily. At MASC Lab we not only hope to teach and develop the skills of making media, but also to generate ideas that will make media a democratic space of participation and dialogue.