Philosophy and citizen media

Authored by: Omid Tofighian

The Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138665569
eBook ISBN: 9781315619811
Adobe ISBN:


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Community-led and grassroots mobilisation are associated with long established intellectual traditions, combine theory and practice in transformative and empowering ways, and intersect with philosophy positioned in the academy. Multidimensional forms of knowledge production, documentation and cultural expression are central for community advocacy and often synthesised in practice; they not only have continuities with everyday life and struggle but are also sources of epistemic liberation and empowerment. However, questions remain why significant forms of resistance have not been sufficiently recognised for their philosophical potency; community actors have yet to be counted as pivotal interlocutors in dominant epistemic practices or as creators spanning diverse knowledge systems. This entry explores the possibilities for philosophical practice within community-led resistance. In the context of philosophical inquiry the communication emerging from these advocacy spaces allows for rich and compelling dialogues in their capacity to amplify subaltern counterpublics and cultures of resistance. Special attention is placed on the knowledge ecologies, accounts of lived-experience, and cultural forms of non-citizens, stateless peoples and colonised populations. By examining the interdependent relationship between community advocacy, media and philosophical ways of knowing this paper makes two interventions: 1) it challenges the marginalisation and limitations in professional philosophy by exploring the philosophical work done in particular community-led and grassroots organising; and 2) it illustrates how their social-cultural-political spaces and communicative practices are sites of philosophical discovery. Using case studies involving the Black Panthers, Haitian Revolution and the work of Behrouz Boochani, this contribution motivates critical questions about methodology, history and canonisation in philosophy.

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