Films can be a powerful medium to bring about social change, simply by showing us stories that would otherwise go unnoticed. This week, CARE rubbed shoulders with notable Singaporean filmmakers Boo Junfeng and Tan Pin Pin, who came down to NUS for screenings of their films and to chat with the audience. The common thread running through both of the films screened was one of individual histories which often differ from official accounts. More about the screenings and Q&A’s to come!

Community Media to Enable Citizen’s Right to Information

The role of community media in enabling communities to ensure transparency and accountability was the theme of “People’s Right to Information and Community Media” workshop, held on the sidelines of the two-day National Convention on People’s Right to Information, Hyderabad on February 17, 2013. The workshop was coordinated by the UNESCO Chair on Community Media, University of Hyderabad (click here for the summary of the workshop). Briefly, the workshop focused on the need and potential of community media to enable communities and individuals to effectively use the Right to Information Act, a 2005 act that empowers citizens to petition and access information from public agencies. Community media, specifically community radio, can potentially serve as the “third voice” (Servaes, 1999; Pavrala & Kanchan, 2007), centering community concerns that are often ignored by both the private commercial media and the centralized state media.

Vulnerable to avoiding vulnerability

I recently started my first interviews with the Domestic Helpers living in Singapore for one of our CARE projects. It is hard to put to paper the range of thoughts, emotions, interpretations, methodological battles, etc. that I have experienced in even my first two interviews.

“A great and lasting story is about everyone or it will not last. The strange and foreign is not interesting-only the deeply personal and familiar.” (John Steinbeck, East Of Eden, p. 268).

Films for Social Change

The screenings and panel sessions are open to NUS staff and students only. To register, please leave your full name and matriculation/staff number on our Doodle poll. For example, “John Tan (A1234567B)”. Registrants with missing information will be removed from the list.

Only 50 registrants are permitted for each screening. Registration closes February 24, 2013. For enquiries, please click here.

Interrogate the 1%

As part of a CARE project with women farmers adaptation strategies to climate change impacts in south India, we partnered with Deccan Development Society (DDS), a grassroots organization based in Pastapur village, near Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. As part of the project, on January 2, 2013, we set up an advisory board meeting with about 15 women farmers on January 2, 2013 at DDS office in Pastapur village, Zaheerabad Mandal, Medak District in Andhra Pradesh. On our journey from Hyderabad to Pastapur, we saw several cotton farms, which we came to know later were all Bt cotton crops, and that Bt cotton was making a comeback in the state.