• Florencia Enghel


October 27, 2006. I sat in the impressive plenary room of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) headquarters in Rome during the final session of the World Congress on Communication for Development while participants raised their arms, more or less frantically trying to call the master of ceremony’s attention. In this very civilized manner, they struggled to be given the floor and have a chance to address the panel regarding the Congress’ recommendations. Some were lucky. Some were not. At that stage, the well-known device did not allow for much input. Staring at the FAO, World Bank and The Communication Initiative representatives situated atop of us, I couldn’t help thinking: are they listening?

In his article “How can the global be local?” (2005) [1], social anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen states: “This is a world of impurities, grey zones, uncertainties and ambiguities, were the belief in progress is being replaced by ambivalence, where selfconfidence is replaced by anxiety, where trust is threatened by suspicion, and where the ability to listen has become a more important faculty than ever before in history”.

How can we develop and nurture that faculty? How do we make ourselves better able to listen? How do we make ourselves heard? How do we give dialogue every possible chance?

Our sixth issue of Glocal Times is grounded in contributions from authors located in the Scandinavian region, many of them closely affiliated with Malmö University’s Master course in Communication for Development. With a common geographic locus, our guest contributors aim at the global scene.

Rikke Andreasen takes us to Brazil, to present the collaborative work developed by the Danish art group Superflex with a group of farmers in Maués: the Guaraná Project, a provocative experience in the realm of art for social change (make sure to check the video footage included in the article for a series of four commercials developed within the project). Kerstin Gossé takes us to Tanzania, to discuss the power of words in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the role of the media. Anders Hog Andersen takes us to Israel, to explore the boundaries and potential of an alternative education project aimed at addressing conflict between Jewish and Palestinian Arab youth.

We thank Cecilia von Feilitzen, who on behalf of The International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media, a joint effort of UNESCO and the Swedish government based at the Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research (NORDICOM), Göteborg University, Sweden, introduces us to media literacy. We also welcome Malmö University’s graduates from the Master course in Communication for Development. Maud Hell discusses the situation of school libraries in post-apartheid South Africa. Ann Jornéus Tenfalt makes a case for the implementation of community radio in development programmes based in her fieldwork in Uganda and Tanzania. Johanna Stenersen explores Kyrgyztan’s venturing into community-based tourism and its implications in terms of social identity.

Please contact us with your comments, questions and suggestions while we write down our experience of the Rome World Congress on Communication for Development (WCCD) and look into its immediate effects and outcomes[2]. A new issue of our webmagazine will be online early in 2007.

[1] Thomas Hylland Eriksen 2005 “How can the global be local?” in Media & Glocal Change/Rethinking Communication for Development , Hemer, O. and Tufte, T. (eds.), CLACSO-Nordicom: Buenos Aires.

[2] Although we intended to provide coverage in this issue, the time available since it took place proved to be too short to do it adequately.






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