A Reflection on Indymedia at the 2015 World Social Forum (WSF) in Tunis

Wed, 2015-04-29 22:27
Submitted by sphinx

It was great that indymedia organizers from Sub-Saharan Africa made it to the Tunis forum seeing how much effort we put in the past into trying to network organizers from North and Sub-Saharan Africa. Tunis offered a chance as well for networking and solidarity between groups from different countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where the lack of a good road and communications infrastructure has made it difficult for cross borders organizing, networking, solidarity and even intercultural understanding.

Tunis2015: 4th World Forum of Free Media (WFFM) opens with a moment of silence for victims of Terrorist attack from Sphynx Indy on Vimeo.

Tunis2015: Panel on press freedom in the Magred at the fourth World Forum of Free media (WFFM) from Sphynx Indy on Vimeo.

Another big plus of Tunis was imc-africa organizers participation in the fourth World Forum of Free Media (WFFM), especially as it rounded-up work on the first phase of the World Charter of Free Media, presenting the imc-africa organizers an opportunity to engage in a global project that has direct bearing on the conceptualization of the future of grassroots media organizing.

In addition, Tunis offered an occasion for face-to-face meetings of imc-africa organizers present, an opening for outreach to organizers from other communities in Africa present at the forum, a chance to learn new skills and information from the several events happening in town, and also exchange ideas at the workshops we ran, the panels were on, and networking opportunity with free media makers from around the globe.

Also very important is the fact that at the time when The New York times had put Tunisia in the limelight as the biggest source of ISIS fighters in Syria, despite acknowledging in the same article that only a small minority of the population supported ISIS—which has moved to target progressive politicians for assassination, the presence of independent media makers in Tunis from around the world including imc-Africa organizers showed solidarity with the social movements in Tunisia; which is a big deal when one remembers the horrible experience of progressive activists in Algeria not too long ago.

Tunis2015: Tunisians continue with their lives from Sphynx Indy on Vimeo.

On the shortcomings, the Radio studio for hands on training and the planned presentation of imc-Africa at the youth camp did not happen for logistical reasons. The WSF organizers could not get us a room at the site for the studio and the youth camp was not organized as initially planned. Next time it seems we will have to take full responsibility for the logistical side of things when we plan activities or workshops at such public events.

And just like everything organizing the full impact of the presence of IMC-Africa organizers in Tunis will take a while. That notwithstanding I think it was really great that we had a strong presence in Tunis.