TV’s Role in Communicative Peacebuilding: Hugo Blick’s Netflix/BBC Production, Black Earth Rising (Contains spoilers)
By Tom Butt, JNL61004, MA International Public and Political Communication, University of Sheffield (UK).
The TV drama Black Earth Rising (BER) portrays the effects of civil war on Rwandans to encourage peacebuilding in the present day. Set two decades after the Rwandan civil war and directed by Hugo Blick, BER stars John Goodman (Michael) and Michaela Coel (Kate) (Black Earth Rising, Netflix). BER deals with questions of whom should prosecute war criminals, and whether post-civil war societies have the capacity to do so whilst ensuring peace (BBC, 2018). By using the BBC and Netflix as a platform, Blick was motivated by contributing to a worldwide understanding of Rwandan trauma and peace. By highlighting the Rwandan civil war (1990-1994), provoked by colonial frameworks and ethnic divisions, and all its collateral cultural damage, Blick uses his storytelling medium to advance the pursuit of peace
The Centre for Freedom of the Media Hub for the Study of Hybrid Communication in Peacebuilding is now active and running its first online events. This week on Monday July 20th and Tuesday July 21st, we ran two virtual meet ups with over a dozen of our hub members and had a fantastic time.
Local peacebuilding practices involving civil society are often perceived to be just that – civil, respectful, and lawful, often involving benevolent external partners to work at a grassroots level to assist in the transition of a state of conflict to peace. However, this popular concept of more formalised local peacebuilding excludes the informal, individual attempts to contribute to wider social discussions of peace, including street art and graffiti.
We are very excited to announce that we are launching our new Hub – The Hub for the Study of Hybrid Communication in Peacebuilding. The Hub brings together researchers and non-academic organisations that are concerned with the role of communication in peacebuilding.
The visual turn in the social sciences focusing on photography, film and video has led to a number of engagements with visual representations of violence. Yet, work on the visualization of peace is conspicuous mostly by its absence. Photographs (and other images) “reinforce the invisibility of some things” – peace, for example – “by overtly focusing on others” (Smith 2013: 14) – violence, for example; photographic discourses do pretty much the same thing. Images showing peaceful interaction do, of course, exist. They are, however, seldom acknowledged as images of peace. In consequence, the...
Of all the different reactions to difference two distinct possibilities emerge like forking paths after encountering the unknown. The first is fascination, stimulating curiosity and a catalyst for learning and appreciating those who are not like us. The second path however is fear, triggered by initial uncertainty, often emotionally stirred up by myths about ‘the other’ and potentially escalating into hate and anger. While a singular conception of identity may seem to offer safety and security it can also shut down perspectives, sending us further down the path of fear. How then can...
Frank Möller together with his colleague Rasmus Bellmer, KONE Foundation grantees from Tampere Peace Research Institute, have created a new website which focuses on visual culture in peacebuilding. It serves as a hub for researchers, artists and anyone interested in the link between visual culture and peace, exploring the role of images in peace and peace processes.