Media Democracy Days 2019 will mark the 18th anniversary of the MDD program, a signature event for independent and democratic media in Canada.

In 2019, the MDD program will explore Counter Populisms! as a response to the rising tide of authoritarian, right-wing populisms that aim to limit democratic action and threaten social change. Populist actions have a long and honourable history among progressive social movements around the world, and yet, in recent years, populism has come to be identified almost entirely with a politics of reaction, authoritarianism, and the rise of strong-man politics. In response, the mobilization of a popular politics ready to respond to the devastating implications of climate change, while mobilizing progressive voices and actions in support of indigenous communities, democratic media, and a politics of equity and justice is vitally important for our shared social futures.

Toward this end, MDD 2019 is organized around the theme, Counter Populisms!, in order to highlight actions, ideas, resources and networks that aim to reclaim populism for those concerned with democratic social action in response to the pressing concerns shaping our lives. MDD 2019 will host three events including:

April 10, 2019 4:00-6:00 PM

When Facts Fail: Competing Visions of Climate Populism
With Shane Gunster, Bob Neubauer, Paul Saurette and Shannon Daub
SFU Wosk Centre, Room 320

April 16, 12:00-1:15 PM

Face to Face(book) with Christopher Wylie
A student-exclusive event with the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower
Main Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, Alice MacKay Room.


Both of these events are united in offering a platform to explore how popular actions and alliances can be mobilized together, to challenge and contest the alignment of populism with right-wing movements, including the alt-right. At the centre of this work is the need to change how politics is imagined today, to know the media, in order that we can be the media that will change the media and our hopes and possibilities for the future.

These events are co-presented with SFU Public Square as part of the 2019 Community Summit. To view and get tickets to all Community Summit events, click here.