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Free Media organizes International Seminar

segunda-feira 27 de janeiro de 2014, por Diane Garceau, Terezinha Vicente

Todas as versões desta matéria: [English] [Português do Brasil]

The construction of the World Charter for Free Media, proposed during the 3rd edition of the World Free Media Forum held in Tunis in 2013, is the main topic of debate at this seminar, which will take place together with the Social Thematic Forum in Porto Alegre.(Translation by Diane Garceau)

The seminar, will be held on January 25th in the Dante Barone Auditorium of the Legislative Assembly of Rio Grande do Sul. The meeting, which will include a major international presence, is a step in the development process for the 4th edition of the World Free Media Forum; prior to this, other steps will occur this year at the regional level in Tunisia, Morocco, and Paris. Development of the World Charter for Free Media, proposed in Tunis, will begin at the seminar and will be completed and adopted at the 4th edition of the WFMF. The Charter is seeking a common tool for different regions of the world to reflect on the standpoints and concerns of various forms of free communication. The Charter also seeks to collaborate jointly with social movements from around the world.

Plenary on the 3rd WFMF

Building a World Forum

The third and latest edition of the WFMF took place together with the 2013 World Social Forum in Tunisia. Connecting the countless actors, activists, organizations, and alternative independent media in the region of North Africa and the Middle East – that are at the centre of the revolutions presently occurring in Magreb-Mackreck – with the international movement in defence of the right to communication was one of its main objectives, in addition to giving visibility to its demands as part of a movement towards international solidarity, without which no struggle can, in fact, be victorious. The fight for freedom of expression and for the development of free, alternative and independent media, is becoming more and more strategic in the region. Also, for this reason, we are continuing on the path of uniting more people and movements under this cause.

Africa and Latin America on the table

After two editions in Brazil (Belem 2009 and Rio de Janeiro 2012), where the debate centred around the efforts to build democratizing regulatory frameworks in Latin America, this time, the WFMF was established in a space of exchange and knowledge building around this global agenda. Whether in Tunisia, with internet censorship, whether in the repression of community radio stations in the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, in new or old media, the challenge is enormous. In occupied Palestine, one of the central themes of this edition of the World Social Forum, alternative communication has proven to be fundamental to demystifying what mainstream media reports homogeneously.

Memory and Free Knowledge

In one of its most symbolic moments, at an exhibition conceived by the Ciranda International of Shared Communication, the 3rd WFMF honoured those, throughout the world, who fell while exercising their freedom of expression. One of those named, Fidan Dogan, of Kurdistan, activist who participated in the previous WFMF, held at the People’s Summit Rio+20, was seeking visibility for the struggle of the Kurdish people which has been ignored by traditional media. The increasing threats to internet freedom throughout the world, together with the issue of technology, were topics of numerous debates in the Free Media Forum in Tunisia.

Unveiling of the tribute to media activists

Other priorities in this seminar, in addition to the collective elaboration of the World Charter for Free Media and the selection of the date and location for the 4th WFMF: “We would also like to make progress in appropriating technology for those movements and collectives that are boring holes in the barricades of mainstream media and shuffling the cards “do big date,” said Rita Freire, of Ciranda of Comunication and of the WFMF organization. “Ultimately, the debate is not restricted to platforms, but to values that we want for the world.”