The DUT Journalism and the Gandhi Development Trust will hold the 8th annual Mahatma Gandhi Media Lecture to be delivered by Professor Aashish Kumar on Thursday August 18 at 11:00.
The topic is: Click Here to Spin Gandhi’s Charkha: Self Reliance and Modern Media.
Professor Aashish Kumar, Associate Professor in the L. Herbert School of Communication, Hofstra University, New York, is a visiting Fulbright Specialist at DUT Journalism. He is working with staff and students on documentary and advocacy media projects. Prof Kumar has been in higher education for over 20 years. His documentary films have won national awards, screened at international festivals, and used in countless grassroots workshops and awareness campaigns. He has developed a model for departments at universities to engage in service-learning projects using electronic media to produce documentary and advocacy films in collaboration with grassroots organizations. This is Prof Kumar’s second Fulbright.
The lecture will explore the resonance between Gandhian ideals of self-determination and the post-70s movement for equitable communication rights. This period marks a shift in global communication discourse whereby grassroots activists, recognising the importance of mediated communication in the shaping of the public sphere, began advocating for community ownership or control of electronic media. The emphasis on citizen participation in creating and disseminating community stories reflects a core Gandhian principle that true emancipation begins with emancipating the self. In tracing the evolution of such a rights–based discourse in electronic media, the following case studies will be used: National Film Board of Canada’s “Challenge for Change” program, the Southern Indian Deccan Development Society’s “Community Media Trust,” and “Working the City: Experiences of Migrant Women in Johannesburg,” a collaborative project involving the Market Photo Workshop, the Forced Migration Studies Programme at the University of the Witwatersrand and the Sisonke Sex Worker Movement.
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