Citizens’ Media against Armed Conflict
Disrupting Violence in Colombia
Publication Year: 2011
For two years, Clemencia Rodríguez did fieldwork in regions of Colombia where leftist guerillas, right-wing paramilitary groups, the army, and drug traffickers made their presence felt in the lives of unarmed civilians. Here, Rodríguez tells the story of the ways in which people living in the shadow of these armed intruders use community radio, television, video, digital photography, and the Internet to shield their communities from armed violence’s negative impacts.
Citizens’ media are most effective, Rodríguez posits, when they understand communication as performance rather than simply as persuasion or the transmission of information. Grassroots media that are deeply embedded in the communities they serve and responsive to local needs strengthen the ability of community members to productively react to violent incursions. Rodríguez demonstrates how citizens’ media privilege aspects of community life not hijacked by violence, providing people with the tools and the platform to forge lives for themselves and their families that are not entirely colonized by armed conflict and its effects.
Ultimately, Rodríguez shows that unarmed civilian communities that have been cornered by armed conflict can use community media to repair torn social fabrics, reconstruct eroded bonds, reclaim public spaces, resolve conflict, and sow the seeds of peace and stability.
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
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Life at the Crossfire: An Introduction to Colombia’s Violence and Its Context
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...and terrorize small towns isolated by Colombia’s impossible geogra-phy with a frequency that has granted a perverse everyday-life feel-ing to such violence over the course of the country’s forty-year armedconflict. The scene is well known in Colombia. The armed ones (losarmados) cut off the electricity and dozens, sometimes hundreds, of...
1 Drugs, Violence, and the Media of the People in the Colombian Amazon
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It is June 1976. I am sixteen years old and a school friend invitesme to come along on her family’s holiday trip to Caquetá, in southernColombia. On a warm afternoon, visiting the municipality of Mon-tañita, we walk along a wide pasture, behind a guy who’s showing usaround. We visit the ruins of what used to be a huge hacienda mansion...
2 Nation Building, One Voice at a Time: Citizens’ Communication in Montes de María
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...capital of Colombia) I can see the geography change below me. Thethe Colombian Caribbean. I am flying to Cartagena, and from thereI will travel to the region known as Montes de María.1 It’s 2004, andfor months I have attempted this field trip, but the situation of un-rest kept me from making the trip until now. Things seem to have...
3 Radio, Resistance, and War in Magdalena Medio
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...an orange juice vendor in Cerro Burgos, a small river port in Mag-dalena Medio. It is late 2005, and I wait for a chalupa (small passengerreturn to Bogotá. The juice vendor has arranged a bench and someplastic chairs around his juice-making cart in order to attract cus-tomers. I order a fresh-squeezed orange juice and sit on the bench, sur-...
4 Media Pioneers Respond to Armed Conflict
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...school, I take a taxi through the crowded streets. I ask the driver totake La Circunvalar, a narrow avenue that, perched on the city’s east-ern Andean mountains, circumnavigates the worst traffic with a ser-ies of brutal curves. Toward the end of the dizzying journey, we godown Eleventh Street at the height of Egipto, one of Bogotá’s oldest...
5 The Doing Is Everything! Toward a Theory of Citizens’ Media in Contexts of War
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...nar on media and violence in Hermosillo, Sonora, a northern Mexicanstate on the border with the United States. I still cringe at the memoryof what I witnessed on the second day of the seminar, when a humanrights expert led a workshop among local reporters and media pro-ducers. During the three-hour workshop, she went through detailed...
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First and foremost, so many thanks to all the citizens’ media pio-neers for allowing me into their lives, their communities, and theirmedia initiatives. In Montes de María, Soraya Bayuelo Castellar, Bea-triz Ochoa, Modesta Muñoz, la Chichi, Wilgen Peñaloza, and Leonardade la Ossa each taught me that, even when hit by tragedy and sur-...
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Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2011