Media for Social Change Unconference (#M4SC)

By BCMCR Alumni on July 9th, 2016

Join us for a full day of exciting talks and discussions at the Media for Social Change Unconference event at the Birmingham City University, organised by the Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research and Meedan.

This event is an opportunity to informally exchange ideas and information with leading academics, research students, political activists and media practitioners, and is aimed at anyone interested in the role of media in building communities, supporting development or bringing about political change. 

This Unconference will take our work in the MENA (Middle East and North African) region as its starting point to discuss how ideas, methodologies and practices emerging from our research can be applied elsewhere. If you want to know more about the Unconference format and how to prepare for your attendance ahead of your registration, click here.

Here are the four main themes we will be exploring together:

Citizen Reporting & Social Change

How can we begin to re-think the relationship between new information and communication technologies and social change? Case studies taken from the aftermath of the 2011 uprisings in the Arab region will be discussed, provoking discussions into how the knowledge and experiences gained from our studies may help inform your own. 

Language Mediation

Our research has led us to a number of questions: How can we enhance the creation of better Arabic content online? What are the main technical barriers facing Arab activists in terms of access to online tools and media literacy skills? Practitioners and activists operating with marginalised groups of any description are invited to contribute their experience here. 

Media in times of conflict

Here we will be reflecting on the use of new media tools by activists to organise humanitarian aid in situations of political unrest. In an open forum that could look at anything, from the rise of Food Banks in the UK, to the humanitarian effort in the Philippines, to the organisation of field hospitals during the #Jan25 revolution in Egypt on Twitter accounts & hashtags like @TahrirSupplies and #TahrirNeeds, we hope to explore with you new ways of operation for media activists in times and areas of crisis or conflict. 

Video for social change

The increasingly democratised nature of video production and distribution in the digital age make it a potentially powerful tool for social change. Our Unconference will be attended by a number of renowned activist-filmmakers, and this is an opportunity to work through ideas and problems together with them. 

Places for the Unconference are free but extremely limited, so register today to ensure you are able to join us. There are a number of ways you can register for this event. You can sign up on Eventbrite, or you can visit the the Media for Social Change Unconference Wiki and suggest a session. By suggesting a session you automatically become registered for the event.

In the meantime, please help us spread the word amongst your networks of activists, media practitioners, students and lecturers. In order to make all postings related to this event searchable, please tag everything with: #M4SC

We look forward to working with you and hope to see you on 3rd May.


9:00 – 09:30 | Registration

9:30 – 10:00 | Welcome note

10:00 – 12:00 | Opening Panel and Q&A session (moderated by Dr. Dima Saber)

Prof. Tim Wall, Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research

Ed Bice,

• Raja Al-Thaibani,

• Dr. Michele Aaron, University of Birmingham

• Signe Byrge & Rami Farah, producer & director of the film documentary The Street of Death. A tale of the Syrian revolution

12:00 – 13:00 | Lunch

13:00 – 16:00 | Unconference sessions

14.30 – 15:00 | Coffee break

16:00 – 17:00 | Group discussion & wrap-up