Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What democracy?

I didn’t need to look up academic readings on democracy to see that it is not happening in South Africa. If it means equality to all anyway. Driving with Edith, a Hospice care worker, through some of Grahamstown’s poorer areas, it was not the tin shacks and the lack of infrastructure, hygiene, and basic dignifying needs that I noticed. It was deeper than that. We were driving to visit someone who had his leg amputated because it was infected with cancer, someone who is diminishing in form due to HIV/Aids, and someone who lost her house to the tornado, has 3 HIV positive children, and is living in what could loosely be described as a box.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Latest and greatest

I’m trying to get my head around a project that only properly gets going next term. It’s tough putting something intellectually together now when the practical side of things only kicks in later on. At least though, my work with Hospice is related in that my documentary and my participatory project will be similar. Recording for one might yield well for the other. So the latest is promising. On Thursday morning and afternoon I was out with Edith, a Hospice professional nurse, who cares for adult patients.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The latest lightbulb

So having done a whole lot of readings about media, democracy and development and trying to find myself in an intellectual space at the same time as a practical one, i have found a lot of inspiration for my Participatory Project (PP). My idea is still looking towards Public Service Announcements (PSA's) regarding Hospice and what they do. hearing directly from caretakers such as Serelda, Trish, others i have and will encounter, and patients who talk of their experience.

Somewhere between Giles Mohan's critiques of Participatory Development and Tanni Haas's Alternative media ideas, there is a real space for me to aim for. It reminds me of the realism I am dealing with but also doesnt't restrict my hopes for top-quality and far-reaching work.

The aim is to get people to hear about Hospice through the directness of the PSA's and they should be challenged to think about their own stance on this fine example of truly humble alternative media. Hospice is an example to us all of how an organisation can perform what they are out there to do without being noticed and threatened by the notions of democracy and development. They ARE developing people's lives, and they ARE helping people in terms of democratic rights. People don't know much about Hospice and this project is really a chance for me to make an impact, even if for a few weeks of playback, on the alternative, civic, and hopefully commercial scene of radio.