The NPCU will run a workshop on 30 November and 1 December 2009 at the University of Western Sydney examining how news and drama contribute to multicultural life, based on audience research in the UK and Australia. The workshop includes a special focus on the acclaimed SBS drama, East West 101.
The event is in partnership with SBS (Special Broadcasting Service), CCR (Centre for Cultural Research) and CRESC (Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change), and funded by Royal Holloway's Research Strategy Fund. For further information contact Ben.OLoughlin@rhul.ac.uk.
Many thanks to Greg Noble and David Rowe at CCR, and above all Georgie McClean at SBS, for helping to make the Precarious Citizenship workshop in Sydney a success this week. I left with a number of questions to confront as we think about media, multiculturalism and cultural policy:
- If on-demand media is the default condition for teenagers now, and scheduled media seems bizarre to them, how can media provide shared resources for citizenship? If Turkish teenagers in Ohio, Hamburg and Melbourne download US miniseries and discuss them online, but have no idea about public or commercial broadcast media in the places they actually live, how can they engage in public dialogue and how can political representatives find ways to address them? Is post-broadcast citizenship necessarily transnational, and maybe local too, but not national?
- Have moves to provide forms of cultural citizenship really increased minority citizens' sense of belonging? Do 'worthy' dramas about Muslim discrimination offer recognition or just compound a sense of alienation? Does cultural citizenship really overcome people's post-9/11 sense of precariousness as their legal and economic rights unravel in many countries?
- What is the point of producing multicultural and multilingual TV if majority (e.g. white/Anglo) populations don't watch it? What makes a majority population 'porous' to new perspectives? Where does the responsibility lie for making 'everyday multiculturalism' work?