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Shared communication launched for 2008

Thursday 25 January 2007, by Lina Rosa , Thais Chita,

Fotos: Frineia Rezende

While the percussion group The Drum Beat Of Uganda From Uganda played, over 30 alternative media activists from Argentina, Uganda, Cape Verde, Kenya, India, Pakistan, Tanzania, Sweden, the US, and Brazil took part in a meeting proposed by Ciranda, within World Social Forum, held in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, from January 20th to 25th.

They met up in order do discuss how to make real the shared press coverages of the global gatherings presented at the WSF for 2008. The dream is to build up “another” communication and media. To do so, the group gathered in Nairobi has already started to form a horizontal network of communicators, including those who is linked to social movements that do not have the practical know-how nor founds to set up a structure of an alternative media mean. The first step and home work left at meeting was to invite and mobilize those organizations to join up the Ciranda, a shared communication project born in 2001 at the first World Social Forum, in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

At the meeting, the participants decided to extend the Ciranda through a virtual discussion group with the goal of establishing a great commitment towards shared network they dream of - a kind of letter of principles like the one that exists to rule the WSF since 2001. The media activists planned as well a reorganization of the current network for the actions expected for 2008.

From Pakistan, Ghwam Muhammad, representant of South Asia Partnership Pakistan, brought the propose that the alternative media networks must be strengthen in countries where there are dictatorial regimes.

Indian activist Deepa Menon, from World Dignity Forum, pointed out that alternative communication movements should act both globally and locally. “We should cover the themes discussed at the WSF, without putting aside the particularities of each place”, said Menon. She also said that Ciranda could build up regional media alliances, not only act in countries.

A welcomed propose came from Patrick Koch, Kenya activist of Hip Hop Ukooflani MauMau. According to him, alternative communicators have to think of producing different formats of information to reach a great number of people. “We can distribuite audio files by internet to community radio stations all around and also leaflets, which are cheap and quick way to spread the news”, said Koch. Kenyan Hnery Tho added that it is an important contribution as many people do not have access to the web. A way out to this is the use of free software such as Wiki. Edgard Amaral, from Ciranda Afro, said that motivating ethnic movements to take part in the Ciranda shared communication is fundamental. The Ciranda’s team also pointed out that the project is a permanent counterpoint to mass, corporate midia, which turns the information into merchandise.

The meeting started with an explanation of Brazilian journalist Rita Freire, one of the founders of Cirand, in 2001. She recalled historical aspects, goals, and the mission of the Ciranda.

Translated by Luciano Máximo