Monday, March 26, 2007

Cultural Exchange is Breaking Out All Over!

(Dateline: Johannesburg. Posting from the World Summit on Media for Children)
The excitement of kids talking to other kids is creating an energetic buzz that we can all feel. Everyone’s first instinct seems to be to talk to other kids about who they are…..two South African girls interviewing their counterparts from Al Jazeerah Children about their Arab cultural experience for a story to run on Radio JoJo, a community radio station here in South Africa….a Japanese girl interviewing her Ethiopian peer about their different cultural experiences….young radio journalists from Bush C.R.E.W. in Capetown (English speaking) and Kid Waves in Burkina Faso (French speaking) collaborating, with the help of translators, in amending the Children’s Radio Manifesto to incorporate themes of Democracy and Peace.

Most interesting to me is a project being undertaken by IPTV Ireland, who are creating a channel totally devoted to programming created by young people. This non-profit group, based in Kildaire, have brought together two groups of kids from Ireland and Tanzania who will each be shooting a video program about their initial impressions of the other group during the week. These two groups will continue to collaborate over the next six months, via the internet, to produce video programming together. It is a global, video version of the “community radio” phenomenon that is so prevalent and empowering for youth here in Africa. And, it will be available to all teens on IPTV.

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