The next edition of the World Forum of Free Media (WFFM) will take place in Montreal from August 7 to 14, 2016 within the framework of the World Social Forum (WSF). The first two days will be dedicated to the WFFM while the other activities will be included in the regular program of the WSF.
The World Forum of Free Media was born as part of the World Social Forums thanks to the coming together of activists seeking to guarantee freedom of expression and the struggle for other forms of communication. The militants promoting the WFFM were involved in the countless experiences and struggles led by independent media. Aware of the importance of the role of the free media in the face of the rise of conservatism and of reactionary and xenophobic media, as well as the place of Internet and the social networks in our methods of informing and communicating, the WFFM seeks to be a space for shared experiences, convergening various struggles and alternative proposals.
In each edition, the WFFM brings together journalists, associations, developers, hackers and both academic and independent researchers. The abundance of initiatives allows for enlightening exchanges on the freedom of expression, the monopolization of knowledge, the challenges posed by Internet, community radios, the re-appropriation of information, the production of free technologies (including free software), and other themes. The previous editions of the WFFM were also very rich in exchanges and points of view that help to continue the fight for the right to communication and information around the world. In 2015, the participants adopted the World Charter of Free Media. The next edition will also provide an opportunity to assess the progress made by this instrument of pressure and struggle.
The various actors involved in organizing the WFFM are happy to invite all of you to the 5th edition to be held in Canada in 2016.
How to propose an activity?
The WFFM has been established and supported by the initiative of the actors involved in it: journalists, associations, bloggers, producers of information, NGOs, representatives of social movements, developers of free technologies, etc.
You and your organization are invited to propose activities (or to join those proposed by others). Nothing could be simpler: visit the FMML site fmml.net. Choose the option “Propose an activity” and fill out the form.
Four subjects are already under preparation with the participation of guests from some ten countries:
A. Free media 2.0: Community media in the digital and multiplatform environment
B. Whose security? The impact of social and state violence on the freedom of expression
C. Autonomy and economy: The sustainability of free media and technology
D. Community communications: Decolonising the media and technology.
The activities proposed can be classified under one of the following specific areas:
1. The role of the free media in popular struggles as a tool for the expression of social and citizen movements.
2. Violence against journalists and activists: until when?
3. Regulatory frameworks for the promotion of diversity, plurality and freedom of expression.
4. Decolonisation of the media, inclusion and the diversification of voices, points of view and cultural expressions
5. Public policies and the sustainability of the free media
6. Access to internet: a fundamental right in the 21st century
7. Free networks, free software and the struggle against mass surveillance on Internet
8. Facebook, Google and the new gatekeepers: how to deal with monopolies in convergence?
9. Social networks: freedom of speech or discourse of hatred?
Deadline for the presentation of proposals: 1 June 2016
The proposals will be studied and grouped (according to the principle of agglutination). Please note, all proposals will be accepted provided they respect the principles and values outlined in the WSF Charter and the World Charter of Free Media.
In preparation for the WFFM, we acknowledge these events are proposed to take place on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawks). The island of “Montreal” is known as Tiotia:ke in the language of the Kanien’kehá:ka. Historically, this location was a meeting place for other Indigenous nations, including the Anishnabe (Algonquin) peoples. We invite participants to learn more about resistance to colonization and the role of communication technologies in these struggles--one theme being prepared for the Montreal WFFM events.
If you should have any questions or concerns, please contact the WFFM organising committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.