It’s complicated.

On the weekend of January 17th, 2014, 1Love Movement members from across the country convened in a big old farmhouse just outside of Philadelphia, PA for the 1Love National Arts, Culture and Media Retreat. Taking time away from our cities and our lives, we spent two full days breaking down what movement media means for us, our families, and our communities. We analyzed how mass media simplifies who we are in a corporate system that doesn’t want to tell our true stories, and how we have to challenge that system by creating our own media and expression. And we have to bring it the way it really is: complicated, messy, confronting, beautiful, powerful, and human.

Mass media portrays us as uneducated, irresponsible, violent, threatening, gang affiliated, “others”, criminal aliens, drug users, foreign, different from everybody else, undeserving, and simple.

As a movement of people and families effected by an incarceration and deportation crisis, our truth is that we are Americans and also products of U.S. militarism and war in the world; we are struggling everyday with the weight of our histories and our intergenerational trauma; we are displaced but still powerful enough to build homes and communities wherever we are; we are not perfect and can make mistakes that harm others, but recognize our human ability and responsibility to change; we are culturally complex and honor our identity and traditions while creating new ones; we are loving, and show each other that by building spaces for us to heal together; we are resilient and fighting back to keep our families together in a system that wants to tear us apart.

Our truth is that: It’s complicated.

We commit to showing the world the truth. And we call for something very simple – for our complicated truth to be honored in the policies that affect our families and our communities.

So here’s a preview of the art, culture and media to expect from us this year, nothing but the truth.

I’M FROM…

by Suzanne, 1Love Member, San Diego

SuzanneRefrainImFrom

C’ODE SWITCH

by Liz, 1Love Member, Los Angeles

LizRefrainPoem

Β Much love to our allies and friends who spent the weekend with us, and supported us as we found our collective expression and movement media: Bryan and Alix of Media Mobilizing Project, Betty of Center for Media Justice, Mari of Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, and Coriel O’Shea Gaffney. ❀