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Abundant Bodies: Media making and movement building

May 30th, 2014     by Asam Ahmad     Comments

Photo featuring Virgie Tovar as part of the Abundant Bodies Track fundraising campaign

The Allied Media Conference is a collaborative laboratory of media-based organizing strategies for transforming our world, held every summer in Detroit, Michigan. For the first time this year, there will be a track (a series of workshops/panels/sessions) that will explore body positivity in our movements and create media that resists dominant narratives about body size.

Body-positive media is so important and yet so rare. All of us, whether we are fat or not, are inundated with messages every single day informing us how many different ways we should hate our bodies. Whether it comes to the colour of our skin, the amount of flesh we carry, or even how much hair we have on our bodies (to name just a few examples), we are told every single day by the media that we aren’t good enough – that if we just changed this one thing about our bodies everything would be okay.

The Abundant Bodies track will produce a space to challenge these messages and create new fat-positive, anti-racist media and build linkages and intersections with broader organizing and movement-building in North America. Some of the most well known fat activists (including Dr. Charlotte Cooper, Amanda Levitt & Jill Andrew) will be sharing their brilliance alongside up and coming young QTPOC (queer, trans, people of colour) fatties. Some of the topics and issues folks are exploring include race and fat activism, the “dangers” of excessive selfie consumptions, exploring fat and kink, building an inclusive fat community online, body autonomy vs. body positivity, reimagining desirability, fat activism for unruly people, and so much more.

Given the amount of fatphobia and ableism that exists even within so much of our organizing and movement building spaces, we all need to think more critically about how to support folks with different sizes and challenge our own ideas around what a “good” or “healthy” body is supposed to look like. Different bodies exist in different shapes and sizes and they always will – no matter how much we are taught to hate certain bodies and no matter how much we hate ourselves for being embodied in a way that is unacceptable to mainstream discourse(s).

Of course, like all grassroots organizing we need your help to make it happen. If you are able to, please help support this rare and magical track by donating to our online funding campaign (there are lots of amazing perks for you in return as well). If you are unable to donate at this time, please spread the word. We are also putting together a performance night on Tuesday, June 10 in The 519 Community Centre ballroom in Toronto, Ontario to help raise funds for presenters, coordinators and panelists to get to Detroit. Contact if you want to perform or to learn more about the Abundant Bodies track.

To donate and help get our presenters & panelists to the conference, spread the word about our Indiegogo campaign.

Asam is a writer who still has a really hard time trusting words and the things they do. He is a tumblr, dim sum and reading addict, and is a co-founder of the It Gets Fatter Project.

Tags: activist report, body politics, media savvy

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