Challenging grand narratives on the nation: ASEAN independent filmmakers’ indirect participation in development discourse
Veronica L. ISLA
Development Communication (DevCom) conceives of the different forms of mass media as integral to development plans or efforts. Informed by different disciplines and theories, DevCom as a concept is far from being unproblematic and unambiguous. Despite the numerous permutations that it has undergone, it remains to be an umbrella term to designate communication interventions designed to improve the economic, social, political, and cultural conditions of peoples and societies in the non-Western world. It is an indigenous response to challenges besetting newly-independent developing nations that emerged at the end of World War II including widespread poverty, social inequality, and ecological and environmental deterioration (Jamias 2007). In sum, from a process whereby ideas are transferred, transmitted or disseminated from a source (change agents) to a receiver (target beneficiaries) with the intent to change behaviour, it has evolved into a process where participants (source and receiver) create and share information in order to reach a mutual understanding, and into a process whereby individuals and communities are empowered to counter dominant ideas, intervene and transform their own situation. It recognizes the importance of media in raising awareness and creating knowledge because of their capacity to convey ideas to a mass of people, and thereby, generate conversations among audiences. As groups and societies progressively and increasingly interpenetrate each other due to globalization, the advancement of which had been precipitated by the synergy of information and communication technologies, the concept of DevCom continues to evolve and reinvent itself.
Dr. Veronica L. Isla is a full time faculty member of the University of Asia & the Pacific’s School of Communication. For academic year 2006-2007, her dissertation entitled, ‘Representations of the Urban Poor in Lino Brocka Films’ received the Best Dissertation Award and the Gloria Feliciano Award from the University of the Philippines’ College of Mass Communication. She obtained her M.A. in Education, major in Values Education from UA&P; her M.A. in Communication from the Ateneo de Manila University; and her B.A. in Broadcast Communication from the University of the Philippines.