I'm attending a conference on re:Activism which is held at the Central European University, Budapest - Hungary.
It feels right to speak about media activism here, in this city, in this institution, because indeed the sphere of activism is so thick. The conference has 'free' spirit. While it successfully brought so many prominent thinkers (such as Saskia Sassen, Jochai Benkler, Larry Lessig, etc) and representatives of some very important media activists/practicioners (such as wikipedia, indymedia, creativecommon) and provides great conference facilities, this conference is amazingly free of charge. It also provides free wireless connection and even free food! No wonder there are many students coming to the conference.
The conference is much bigger than I previously imagined it would be. Unlike so many association conference (which can be thousands of participant and hundreds of papers), this 2-days conference actually only have 4 panels per day, with 4-5 presenters and 3-5 panelists per panel. So, in term of presenters, it's a relatively small conference. However, there are more than 100 participants. I think there are about 150-200 participants.
My panel is held on the first day. It concerns about the dynamics relationship of new media activism and urban fabric. Interestingly, I am perhaps the only academic presenter in that panel, the rest are media activists. It is enjoyable of course to be among activists. While I can only 'talk' about urban activism -- street arts, popular/cultural urban activism, locative media -- these media activists can actually inform me about the reality of doing activism.
All in all, this is a great conference. It feels good to be able to enjoy my first conference this year, after intentionally being off from conferences for nearly a year (I sadly rejected some invitations this year, duh!!)... and of course my first conference as a non-student too..:P