Word. I'm loving John's riff and Christina's post. This is something me and
my crew have been discussing and I'm glad the topic was brought up here. The
community that comes together under this music is extremely powerful. I
realize that a shared musical vision oftentimes does not simply translate
into a shared political vision, yet there are networks of local and global
communities that connect in interesting ways to participate in this music
culture. As producers, djs, heads, and organizers in the music realm we have
experience in motivating large numbers of people. We can get ideas out there
with our websites, promotions, lists, and events.
It's definitely a challenge, since many folks, perhaps some on this list,
want to keep their music and politics seperate. We all run the risk of
alienating someone if you bring these worlds together explicitly. This is a
tough decision to make, especially when you're trying to use your networks
to touch as many people as possible, but it is a choice, we can decide. I
happen to believe that our music IS political, maybe not explicitly, but
it's history and future is complex and exciting and tocuhes our larger
culture in interesting ways.
-Fundraise and donate proceeds of your events, everyone is stressed and
times are hard to generate minimal revenue, but think creatively about
partnerships, sponsorships, etc. with folks you've never worked with before.
-Think of a new movements to support, doesn't have to be traditional 9-11
funds charities whatever. Look at poverty awareness, human rights, women's
healthcare, education, housing activism, damn there are many folks who would
love to have your energy.
-Circulate info, petitions, etc. around the dance floor, yes the dance floor
is often for escape, but think about how many folks sign your email list at
-Find / create new online communities to discuss your ideas. This site
popped up as an early response, contribute, modify, keep this discussion
going: http://www.warisnottheanswer.com/index.html there's mad info out
Bottom line cynicism is easy, I fall prey as much as anyone else.
Unfortunately the popular perception 'round my way is that dance music
activism is associated with rave-y, fringe-y elements in some galaxy far far
away. I'm not the biggest fan of those movements myself, but it doesn't have
to be just this or that. I'd encourage folks to be real to what you care
about, be focused and specific. It's not some whole-save-the-world
peace-and-lovism, but direct discussion and focused strategies that will
connect heads bit by bit.
In the end, dance more, but talk more. Established media are not going to
present multiple perspectives and critical voices for us. The good thing is
that our dance floors, especially in this music, are political. The music is
drawn from, and builds upon, complex histories and diverse cultures. The
people coming together at our parties and in the clubs are coming from a mad
variety of places and perspectives, especially in some of the scenes that
represent on this list; NYC, SF, LA, London, TO. That's real power.
-embe in nyc
From: John C. Tripp [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2002 9:03 AM
Subject: Peace & Music
Six months after 9-11...It's so easy to be cynical about the events of the
past six months or to just drop out from caring. But these are just acts of
desparation and despair. It's so much more difficult to care and to do
I believe there is a place for "peace activism" within our universe of
music. After all, it has united everyone here and it unites people of all
types around the world. The act of enjoying music as a diverse group is in
itself a powerful statement of its universality. Taken a step further it can
be an agent for change.
So, why not make the dancefloor a place for peace?
How about a "movement for peace"? This could be something like "Red Hot &
Blue", but in this case the beneficiary would be peace organizations. As
corny as it sounds it could be called something like "Give Peace a Dance" or
"Beats for Peace" or something like that (any ideas?). It could be a
non-hierarchal organization and could encompass everything from benefit
events to CDs to merchandise.
This is just something that came to me, and I'll let the idea circulate. If
anyone wants to pick up on this, go for it.
The other action anyone can take is to simply right their representatives or
a local newspaper. Let people know that the world needs peace, not war. So
simple, yet so empowering. What's stopping you?
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