Glocal Times

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) email.

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

Friday 18 September

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)


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

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)

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)

Issue No. 21 of the Glocal Times can be read in full here.

Six months have passed since the publication of Issue No. 20 of Glocal Times. In the meantime there has been plenty of activity within the field, including the Voice & Matter conference, held in September of this year by the Ørecomm Centre for Communication and Glocal Change. Issue No. 21 of Glocal Times brings us four reports of other fora across the world where communication for development was both practiced and debated in recent months.

To begin with, expert practitioners Birgitte Jallov and Sofie Jannusch share rich details about a worldwide two-week debate on community participation for radio sustainability that took place in April 2014 through the online networking tool LinkedIn. Organized by the Catholic Media Council (CAMECO), and facilitated by Jallov and Jannusch, the online debate was a pilot experience for gathering, sharing and discussing experiences on the matter from around the world. The authors reflect on the communicational aspects of the experience, on what worked and what didn’t work according to plan and on the themes that emerged, and advance ways forward for the conversation to continue.

Next, scholars Verena Thomas and Clemencia Rodríguez give us a thorough account of the 10th OURMedia conference, held in July 2014 at the University of Goroka (UOG) in Papua New Guinea. Organized by the Centre for Social and Creative Media, which is a media research center of UOG, the conference was important for rendering visible and analyzing the situation of community and alternative media in the Pacific. The ideas put forward by the participating scholars, activists, and community media practitioners call our attention to the potential of media-bound efforts undertaken on the margins of institutionally-driven development, and to the challenges they face.

Then, two articles contributed by Ph.D. candidates introduce us to discussions of (or around) communication for development in recent events in which they participated. Paola Sartoretto, based at Karlstad University in Sweden, tells us about the conference “Media and Governance in Latin America – Exploring the role of communication for development”, organized in May 2014 by the University of Sheffield and the Sheffield Institute for International Development in the UK. Mery Perez, based at the University of Guelph in Canada, refers to the newly-created network “Redecambio”, a network of graduate programs with a focus on communication, development and social change convened in August 2014 in Colombia by the tertiary education institution Uniminuto.

Last but not least, two recent graduates from Malmö University’s Master’s program in Communication for Development introduce us to the main features of their respective theses. Sofia Hafdell investigates the potential and limitations of activist use of social media to report on the Gezi Park protests in Turkey in 2013 in the absence of mainstream news coverage. Based on critical discourse analysis of alternative media texts and qualitative semi-structured interviews to activists, Hafdell analyzes the complicated relationship between media and the state and its consequences for open, democratic debate in Turkey. YeeYin Yap enquires into how modern ethnography museums, and certain exhibitions in particular, frame their messages about Self and Others. Based on on-site observation, textual analysis and interviews to museum visitors, Yap discusses the importance of contextualization in order to engage audiences in ways that acknowledge past inequalities, allow bottom-up views of history and bridge differences.

We hope that you will find this new issue of Glocal Times both informative and thought-provoking, and we welcome your views on the matters raised here, and your suggestions for future issues.

By Florencia Enghel, editor of Glocal Times


Issue No. 20 of the Glocal Times can be read in full here.

Nine months have passed since the publication of Issue No. 19 of Glocal Times, and in the meantime there has been plenty of activity within the field. To mention but a few examples: in November 2013, the Second Nordic Conference for Development Knowledge “Knowing Development – Developing Knowledge?”, held in Finland, included a Working Group on Communication for Development chaired by Hilde Arntsen that looked into the practice of communication of development and social change in a critical vein. In May 2014, the University of Sheffield in the UK hosted the conference Media and Governance in Latin America: Exploring the role of communication for development. On the publishing front, the Handbook of Development Communication and Social Change, edited by Thomas Tufte and Karin Wilkins with Rafael Obregón, has just been released. Pradip Thomas has recently published a chapter entitled “Theorizing Development, Communication and Social Change” in the collection Communication Theories in a Multicultural World, and Martin Scott has just written Media and Development. Malmö University’s Master’s program in Communication for Development in turn has been busy with the Glocal Classroom project and preparations for the Voice & Matter conference, to be held in September of this year, arranged by Ørecomm.   

Amidst what may be described as a flurry of activity, Issue No. 20 of Glocal Times once again engages with communication for development from a threefold perspective: as a field of study, as professional practice and as an institutional project.

Three articles speak to the richness of the field of study. To begin with, Poul Erik Nielsen exemplifies and discusses the challenge of how to investigate the technological, financial, political and socio-cultural dynamics behind the development of ‘locally specific’ but ‘globally influenced’ media environments, with an eye to the link between individual and collective appropriations of the media available in specific scenarios. Next, two recent graduates from Malmö University’s Master’s program in Communication for Development introduce their respective theses. Charlotte Jenner investigates audience engagement with the novel audiovisual media genre of interactive web documentary. Combining the use of surveys, individual semi-structured interviews and focus groups, Jenner identifies modes of, and barriers to, engagement among audience samples from Norway, Sweden and the UK. Pearl Jones studies the role of the visual arts and of film among North Korean defectors/refugees. Jones explores visual representation from the combined perspective of production and consumption, supplementing her interpretation of the cases selected with interviews to artists and questionnaires to audiences.

Two articles consider varieties of the professional practice of communication for development. Gareth Benest walks us through the process of facilitating a capacity-building program in participatory video in Myanmar (Burma) and shares his reflections on the experience, which constituted the first venture into the country of InsightShare, an organization based in the UK that specializes in the use of participatory video for community development. Nubia Rojas starts from an interview with filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer, the director of the documentary “The Act of Killing”, and considers the film’s impact in the process of social change taking place in Indonesia.

Last but not least, an article contributed by two members of the Communication for Development Team of the Food and Agriculture Organization introduces us to the Team’s goals and activities for 2014, declared by the United Nations International Year of Family Farming. Here, communication for development as an institutional project comes into view.

We hope that you will find this new issue of Glocal Times both informative and thought-provoking, and we welcome your views on the matters raised here, and your suggestions for future issues.

By Florencia Enghel, editor of Glocal Times