ComDev teaching seminar focuses on participatory development

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.

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