In this issue (August 2007)


  • Florencia Enghel


In the first issue of La Mestiza, a publication recently launched by four social organizations based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in an unprecedented collective effort, art and social transformation are discussed as interrelated. Art is tackled, not as a tool, but instead as a strategy for transformation.

Inés Sanguinetti, a member of La Mestiza’s editorial board on behalf of Crear vale la pena, an organization that impels a series of community cultural centers in contexts of poverty north of the greater metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, argues: “These displacements of art towards non conventional spaces, like the excluded communities, are also an original way to offer new languages for participation and political action”. In discussing art’s real potential for change, Sanguinetti also refers to the fact that artists sometimes end up isolating themselves in a tribe of their own.

I reflect on these matters as I introduce you to this new issue of Glocal Times, in which four articles originally prepared for the Memories of Modernity (MoM) project debate the power of words, explore the strong impact of architecture in people’s lives and share their views on commonalities and differences between two cities seemingly distinct. From South Africa, Michael Chapman proposes a provocative reading of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long walk of Freedom, and explores the dimensions of local and global, of individual ad community, of memory and oblivion, of self and other, of center and periphery, making a call for infusing with new contexts of complexity “our ongoing interpretations and reinterpretations of memories of modernity”.

Franco Frescura, in turn, discusses memories and amnesias in architecture, in the context of the ideological power and impact of building, ‘recovering’ or demolishing –buildings or landscapes- on people, communities, nations.

From Sweden, Ingrid Elam introduces us to the views of progress –or the lack of it- communicated by the Swedish modern and postmodern novel, drawing a line between fiction and social contexts. Oscar Hemer, instead, explores what the social impact of fiction’s truth could, should be, and why it matters.

Beyond the MoM-related articles, two other contributions compose this new issue of Glocal Times  From Bolivia, Canadian April Pojman uncovers the difficulties faced by young shoe shiners struggling to express their voices in the streets of La Paz and unveils their uniformed images.

From The Netherlands, Niels Keijzer shares insights, accomplishments and challenges of a ‘networking for learning’ initiative called Pelican. These two contributions signal an enormous gap in terms of unresolved needs at very basic levels in terms of human security, against possibilities brought by thoughtful application of technological developments. The gap brings to mind Amnesty International’s 2006 campaign: “It’s not happening here, but it is happening now”. The next issue of Glocal Times will be online in November 2007, looking into the history and future of the Participatory Communication Research Section of The International Association for Media and Communication Research –deeply imbued with communication for development and social change- and highlighting the outcomes of its recent reunion in Paris.










In this Issue