ComDev lectures

Held on Friday, April 7 and Saturday April 8, ComDev’s teaching seminar for the core course Culture, Communication and Media Analysis offered students insights into both practical and theoretical aspects engaging with communication challenges in the field of international development.
Hosted at the Niagara Building in Malmö, the seminar brought together about 15 ComDev students on site and more than 30 online around the globe.

Anna Wachtmeister of Malmö University opened the seminar on Friday with a presentation on ‘Participatory processes within post-disaster housing,’ which captured her work in Haiti following the 2014 earthquake.
Her lecture was followed by the dynamic duo of Berndt Clavier and Asko Kauppinen both of Malmö University who explored  ‘Actor-Network Theory’ and introduced their research project on ‘Art & Governmentalization‘.
The first day ended with Linnaeus University’s Chris High’s presentation on ‘Understanding rural teachers’ practice in Malawi: Using participatory video and conceptual mapping in inductive research‘.

Saturday morning’s presentation from Malmö University’s Michael Krona on ‘Researching extremist propaganda – textual and visual analysis of ISIS media,’ was gripping and generated many questions from participants.

Finally, ComDev’s own Tobias Denskus brought the seminar to a close with an in-depth and interesting presentation on, ‘Aid worker voices and autobiographical writing of development-new avenues for research, teaching & communication.’

For ComDev student Paul May who travelled to Malmö from Germany, the presentation on participatory processes within post-disaster housing was captivating. “Anna’s talk on post-disaster housing in Haiti after the 2004 quake really stood out for me. It was refreshing to hear a candid account of the backstage dealings in disaster relief – that funding follows who parties with whom. Over the two days of seminars, I really appreciated the mix of practitioners and academics,” May said.

London-based student Patricia Whitehorne said of the seminar, “it was a rewarding and productive weekend. It was really valuable to interact with the speakers directly and being there in person means you can be much more engaged. The subjects covered were fascinating and gave an insight into first-hand experiences. And of course it was a great opportunity to meet staff and fellow students.”

Written by ComDev student assistant Yahneake Sterling who also contributed the photos.

Rotate the Cube…

… the art of unconventional storytelling

The key to crisis reporting is to ‘rotate the cube,’ Nigerian writer and journalist Eromo Egbejule shared during his ComDev lecture on February 23. Egbejule who was at Malmö University as a visiting lecturer during February was presenting on the topic: Crisis and Culture: Storytelling in Hostile Regions (Part 1 & Part 2).

Eromo, who has reported from humanitarian front lines conflict zones, including Ebola-hit Liberia and Boko Haram-ravaged North East Nigeria, said that there are many sides to the truth and one should go beyond the headlines and traditional crisis reporting. “It is not wrong to report on the negatives but a balanced reporting that also includes the positives and unseen angles on both sides should be integrated in the narrative,” he said.

This, he said, will guide against the danger of telling a single story. Two important areas he highlighted are mental health and cultural stories which are often under-reported in crisis areas. Blending in with the locals to get unreported information that mainstream media misses; circumventing army restrictions and getting into crucial territories are ways in which journalists can rotate the cube. His story on ‘Defiance on the dancefloor: clubbing in the birthplace of Boko Haram‘ is a good example of telling a more unconventional story, beyond the simple dichotomy of ‘conflict’ and ‘peace’.
He admitted that while there are dangers involved in crisis reporting, there are ways to stay safe including: following security protocol and by getting attached to VIP convoys.

During his one-month stay in Malmö, Egbejule researched and lectured on new reporting techniques and new narratives on ‘the new Africa’ as well as the paradoxes of contemporary Nigeria.

“The team really enjoyed Eromo’s visit,” remarked ComDev program coordinator Tobias Denskus. “His presentations and the discussions we had really capture the spirit of our program and the K3 faculty to provide open and stimulating spaces for visitors from around the world. Eromo’s engagement also emphasizes the philosophy of ComDev’s approach to communicating development between global and local cultural shifts, new forms of media and journalism and challenging perceptions of what the places look like where development is taking place.”

Based in Nigeria, Eromo’s work focuses on arts & culture, technology, business, human interest, conflict and the intersection with everyday living. His stories have been published in various platforms including The Guardian, Reuters, IRIN, Quartz, Africa Check and The Africa Report and have also been translated into a number of languages including French & Spanish.

In 2014, he was a recipient of the Ticket Fund of the Prince Claus Fund for Culture & Development, Amsterdam and in 2016, he was a finalist in the CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards.

Our ComDev 15th anniversary seminar is nicely taking shape and we would like to take the opportunity of returning from our summer vacation to share some updates with you. Below is the draft program for the 1.5 days in September. Our post from before the summer break outlines the rationale behind the seminar with some details. We also awarded the alumni travel grants and we are expecting a fantastic group of alumni, new students and colleagues from around the ComDev universe.

If you have not filled out the registration form yet, please do so. It helps us to keep track of numbers and we will send those who expressed their interest a message with a few more details, encouraging you to share your ComDev, C4D, professional and/our academic insights with us. The #ComDev15 hashtag will be ‘soft-launched’ these days and you can always contact us @mahcomdev or through the comdev(AT)mah.se email.

ComDev 15th anniversary event, Malmö Högskola, 18-19 September 2015 (Program PDF version)

Friday 18 September
Morning

8:45-9:15: Registration & mingle ‘Niagara’ building, 5th floor landing

9:15-9:30: Welcome, & overview of the day (ComDev team)

9:30-10:30: Morning keynote Vicensia Shule (University of Dar es Salaam/TZ): Communication and Democracy-The role technology in enhancing citizens’ participation in monitoring and observing electoral processes in Tanzania

10:30-11:00: Coffee break

11:00-12:00: Participatory introduction of alumni, students & participants

12:00-1:15: Lunch (Niagara)

Afternoon

1:15-2:15 Around the world ComDev-style: Input from alumni

2:15-3:45 C4D Network panel & discussion Celebrities and the development industry (Lisa Richey, Roskilde University/DK, Annika Bergman Rosamond, University of Lund/SE, Tobias Denskus (ComDev)

3:45: 4:30 Coffee & cake break

4:30-5:00 Glocal Times 10th anniversary special issue (Florencia Enghel & Oscar Hemer (ComDev)

5:00-5:45 How will we celebrate ComDev’s 25th anniversary? Reflections on the future of C4D (Tobias Denskus (ComDev)

6:00-6:45 Evening keynote Thomas Hylland Eriksson (University of Oslo/NO): Culture as a commons of humanity

7:00-9:00 Dinner Niagara

Saturday 19 September
Morning

9:30-10:00: Coffee & mingle (Orkanen)

10:00-11:30 Media, Globalization & Development-a discussion on ComDev’s core themes and how they are relevant in the future
(Susanne Schech (Flinders University/AUS), Thomas Hylland Eriksson (University of Oslo/NO), Michael Krona (Malmö University/SE). Hugo Boothby (ComDev)

11:30-12:15 Around the world ComDev–style II: Input from alumni & students

12:15-1:15 Lunch (KP Brasserie)

Afternoon
1:30-2:45 PhD research panel
(Erliza Lopez Pedersen (Malmö University/SE), Jonas Agerbäck Jeppesen (Roskilde University/DK), Molly Schwartz (Malmö University/SE), Mery Perez (Guelph University (CA), Johanna Stenersen (Örebro University (SE)

1:30–2:30 ComDev Degree Project examination seminar (parallel session) (Tobias Denskus)

‘Learning for change’ conference: ComDev student reflections on online learning

by Tobias Denskus May 26, 2015 ComDev lectures

ComDev student Muhammad Al-Waeli participated online in the ‘Learning for Change’ conference hosted by the Nelson Mandela Institute of Science and Technology in Arusha, Tanzania. We re-publish his reflections that originated from discussions on our itslearning platform and his subsequent blog post. Muhammad’s reflections are not only relevant in the context of the Glocal Classroom […]

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Glocal Classroom: Seminar at Flinders University

by Rebecca Bengtsson November 26, 2014 ComDev

Voices from Timor-Leste Seminar and Simulation Three days of intensive collaboration has come to an end – for now. Everyone agreed that both the seminar and the following simulation were successful, and that there lies a lot of potential in developing the concept further. Below are a few voices about the three days. A big thank […]

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#voiceandmatter: 4 weeks to go!

by Rebecca Bengtsson August 15, 2014 ComDev lectures

This year’s Ørecomm Festival, Voice & Matter is drawing close – 17 to 20 September will be interesting days. With little more than four weeks to go, as many as 50 speakers from 20 different countries are confirmed. Almost 30 speakers have been accepted to present papers during the conference, and we are happy to announce that abstracts and bios now are […]

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ComDev at Stellenbosch Seboka 25 March

by Rebecca Bengtsson March 25, 2014 Alumni

Four universities on four continents have decided to build a global platform for collaboration and interchange on web-based learning.  As part of the Glocal Classroom project, ComDev is visiting Stellenbosch University in South Africa from 25 to 26 March, continuing in Guelph, Canada, in May, Malmö, Sweden, in September and ending at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, in November. […]

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Open Lecture: Resistance technologies and civic engagement – using livestreaming for social change

by Rebecca Bengtsson February 22, 2014 ComDev lectures

We are happy to invite you to an open lecture on Resistance technologies and civic engagement next Tuesday, 25 February, 6-8:30 pm (CET). The lecture takes place at Radiostationen at Malmö University, but will also be livestreamed at www.mah.se/comdev. The seminar will include a talk with one of the founders of Ana Mubasher, a livestreaming […]

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