The Allied Media Conference emerges out of 20 years of relationship-building across issues, identities, organizing practices and creative mediums. Since the first conference (then the Midwest Zine Conference) in 1999, people have been compelled by the concept of do-it-yourself media. The zine conference was rebranded as the “Underground Publishing Conference” for a couple years and then became the Allied Media Conference in 2002. The shift to Allied Media attracted more people who were interested in using participatory media as a strategy for social justice organizing.
Allied Media Projects and the AMC moved from its home in Bowling Green, OH to Detroit in 2007. The move facilitated more young people, queer people, people of color and low-income communities to participate in the conference. More artists and organizers from Detroit were participating, and people from other places were excited to learn from Detroit’s legacy as a Black Power and Labor Movement city. Detroit offered many examples of visionary organizing models emerging in the midst of post-industrial crisis; at the same time, out-of-town visitors to the AMC brought with them skills and experiences from their home communities that were valuable to Detroiters.