File spoon-archives/seminar-13.archive/cyberfem_1998-2000/seminar-13.9810, message 3

Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 08:12:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: [GKD]: Re: Technologies to give 'voice' (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 12:56:16 EDT
Subject: [GKD]: Re: Technologies to give 'voice'

Dialogue, different voices and representation: developing protocols that
pressure the privileged in the direction of providing resources that
enable the poor. 

Three minute video clips are a beginning.  Not the end. But they should be
there at each and every international meeting: I want to know what
Africa's female farmers say about extension agents who are male and the
consequences for their household food security. 

By beginning with the video clips, humanising the distribution of
resources begins.  I see poverty in the concrete when I see video footage
of sewage seepage in a damaged Dominican village. 

Linking the voices of the poor to the centres of wealth and creating
transparency about the circumstances of the poor are vital steps to self-
empowerment and valid challenge to existing arrangements.  From video
clips voices can expand into other channels: invisibility on the technical
stage and at international meetings means the neglect of the true clients
of development.  At major technical meetings, it is rare to invite the
clients on whom techniques are practised: funds are rarely available for
user group attendance for instance.  Video voices can begin to mount the
challenge to this convention: for convention is precisely what it is - an
accepted protocol. Technical experts are those who have voice and are
voices through institutional resources such as conferences. 

Most definitely the great debate is about inequity in resources and the
resolution of that state. By linking the voice of the developing world to
centre of power at the level of client feed back in operations is a step
towards such resolution not the whole agenda. 

Harnessing a three minute video clip certainly links to my specific
development dialogue but creating a legend around the inevitability of the
uselessness of such a step simply is an element in somebody else's
development dialogue. 

My vote and voice and action goes with as many channels for the voicing of
clients and as many resources as we can raise.  Playing broker is
unavoidable:  the alternative is inaction. 

Margaret Grieco
Professor of Organisation and Development Management
the Business School
University of North London


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