Public Service is a web zine inspired by the Jamaican-British cultural theorist Stuart Hall, who believed the media could shape our social imagination in favor of diverse publics, rather than perpetuating a monocultural ideal. Hall argued that the medium of television—if redirected towards “the public service idea”—could address one of the most critical lessons of the 21st century: “the art of living with difference.”
Public Service takes up Hall’s prompt by revisiting the genre of the public service broadcast in the context of digital culture. Operating in a lineage of artistic interventions in television and mass media, Public Service reconsiders the Internet as a space for engaging creative ideas for liberation and practicing transformative modes of sociability.
Each one hour episode of Public Service features conversations between notable BIPOC practitioners and archival footage of influential BIPOC cultural figures introduced to new audiences. Season One’s episodes address topics such as the politics of race and representation in the culture industries; creative models of self-determination for communities of color; the beauty of envisioning diasporic identities; and innovative strategies to design equitable systems in support of collective realities. Through a lively format, Public Service invites its participants and viewers to imagine how we can dream of wildly experimental forms of mutuality. We want to promote inclusive systems that can heal and support our planet, as much as they can innovate.
Season One participants include Grace Wales Bonner, Deanna van Buren, Esther Choi, Angela Dimayuga, Heather Fleming, Andrew Thomas Huang, Jaffer Kolb, Anamik Saha, Antwaun Sargent, and Guillaume "Gee" Schmidt.
The first season of Public Service was made possible with support from The Ford Foundation.