How do you explain the growth of corporate media and viral marketing in a country where ‘Star Wars’ never even hit the theatres, and brand names like Nike and Gap are both made and pirated routinely? A country where punk rock never made a splash because there was a war going on? Where most print media comes from what could be termed ‘independent publishers’ simply ’cause the market isn’t that big or consolidated?

'Unmarketable' talk

Anne Moore gave it her best shot last night at Pannasastra University in a talk about her latest book, ‘Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing and the Erosion of Integrity‘. At turns amusing, engaging and enraging, the presentation raised lots of questions about the decline of freedom of speech in the States and beyond, without easy answers.

[Update Jan 18: go & read a précis of the talk here:]

(Now if we can just get some copies of the actual tome to bookstores here… please? Above: a parody of the Starbucks logo.)

'Unmarketable' talk

Above: explaining exactly what a zine is.

'Unmarketable' talk, Pannasastra

(Above: detailing how Nike violated band Minor Threat‘s copyright with their ‘Major Threat’ ad campaign.)

Here the media landscape is different, but the underlying challenge is the same – how to protect freedom of speech, and create an environment where people are comfortable to speak freely? Despite linguistic and cultural challenges, the students quite willing to discuss the issues at hand, and there were a number of interesting questions in the discussion that followed. The audience also gobbled up the ‘How to Make this Very Zine‘ handout that was passed around – there could be some interesting results from that.

Anne will soon wrap up the inital stages of her work developing locally made zines in Cambodia, which are now available at Monument Books and Java, possibly more to come. More on the book:

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