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International public seminar on the new forms of protest and their media, hosted by De Balie, centre for culture and politics in Amsterdam, on Friday September 30, 2011.

Social protest has become almost inseparably linked to a plethora of media images and messages distributed via internet, mobile phones, social media, internet video platforms and of course traditional media outlets such as newspapers, radio and television. A popular category to have emerged recently is the 'twitter-revolution'. In almost all cases (Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, London) the role of the platform turned out to be less than essential in retrospect. Protests mostly manifested on the streets and particularly the public squares ('Take the Square'). Deeply rooted blogger-networks did however play a mayor role, preparing the protests that have now been dubbed the "Arabian Spring'. And internet played a crucial role in the organisation and co-ordination of the European 'anti-austerity' protests (Spain, Greece, UK, Italy).

This international seminar brought together theorists, artists, designers, activists and media specialists to develop a critical analysis of the new forms of social protest and their media dimension. The program divided into two blocks. The first block focused on an in-depth analysis of the evolving WikiLeaks-saga, while the second block  examined the remarkable string of protests in the Mediterranean region. These discussions were interrupted at times by startling artistic interventions in current social and political debates.

Participants in the program:

Daniel van der Velden (Metahaven), Geert Lovink (Institute of Network Cultures, INC), Aalam Wassef (Ahmad Sherif), Omar Robert Hamilton (Mosireen / Tahrir Cinema, Cairo) Nat Muller (independent curator), David Garcia (Chelsea College), Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges / Blog Theory), & Democracia Real Ya - Barcelona, Gahlia Elsrakbi (Foundland), Nadia Plesner (Darfurnica), Florian Conradi and Michelle Christensen (stateless plug-in), Oscar Pretel (15 M .nl).

Moderator: Eric Kluitenberg (Tactical Media Files)

The seminar is part of an on-going research into Tactical Media, the fusion of art, media, politics and cultural activism, centred around the "Tactical Media Files", an on-line documentation resource of Tactical Media practices world-wide.
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Program Overview:

10.30 - Opening / Introduction: Eric Kluitenberg (Tactical Media Files / De Balie)

Part I - Repositioning WikiLeaks

11.00 - 11.20 - Presentation: Daniel van der Velden (Metahaven)
11.20 - 11.30 - Responses
11.30 - 11.45 - Discussion

11.45 - 12.05 - Geert Lovink (Institute of Network Cultures)
12.05 - 12.15 - Responses
12.15 - 12.30 - Discussion

Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges / Blog Theory), David Garcia (Chelsea College of Art & Design)

12.30 - 12.45 - Artist presentation: Nadia Plesner - Darfurnica

Part II - Revolution in the Mediterranean

14.00 - 14.20 - Presentation: Aalam Wassef (Ahmad Sherif)
14.20 - 14.30 - Responses
14.30 - 14.45 - Discussion

14.45 - 15.05 - Presentation: Omar Robert Hamilton (Mosireen / Tahrir Cinema)
15.05 - 15.15 - Responses
15.15 - 15.30 - Discussion

Ghalia Elsrakbi (Foundland), Nat Muller (Independent Curator)

15.30 - 15.45 - Artist Presentation: Florian Conradi and Michelle Christensen (stateless plug-in)

16.00 - 16.20 - Skype session with & Democracia Real Ya, Barcelona
16.10 - 16.10 - Responses

Oscar Pretel (15 M .nl)

16.25 - 17.00 - Closing Discussion


Metahaven & Jeff Khonsary: Smashing Windows with Windows: Transparency, Design, and WikiLeaks

Twelve Theses on WikiLeaks - by Geert Lovink & Patrice Riemens

Hans Ulrich Obrist in Conversation with Julian Assange
(includes proposals for WikiLeaks corporate identity redesign by

Tahrir Cinema:


Take the Square:

Democracia real Ya!:

Nadia Plesner - Darfurnica:

stateless plug-in: