Mano Talks about Decoloniality and Democratisation at IAMCR

6 October 2023

CAMRI’s Winston Mano presented a paper entitled “Decoloniality and Democratisation of African Media Are Not Strange Bedfellows’ at this year’s International Association of Media and Communication Researchers (IAMCR) meeting in Lyon, France. The conference was held under the theme, “Inhabiting the Planet: Challenges for Media, Communication and Beyond” and was the first face-to-face meeting after three online editions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The programme took place from 7-15 July. It had pre-conferences, plenary sessions, roundtables, special sessions, verbal communication workshops and a conference dinner at the Muséedes Confluences, Lyon cultural hotspot. After participating in pre-conferences held from 7-8 July, Mano presented his paper on the 12th July as part of a panel organized by the Media Sector Development.

Mano discussed decoloniality and democracy in terms of commonalities but also sharp divergences. On the one hand, decoloniality challenges the legacies of colonialism, power domination, and inequality. It upholds recognition and respect of diverse cultures, histories, and knowledge systems to signify conditions of dignity and re-existence, especially for those  previously under the yoke of colonialism. Democracy, on the other hand, fosters popular sovereignty, equality, individual rights and privileges, political participation, accountability, and the protection of civil libertie,s among others. Decoloniality and democracy, for example, similarly deal with inclusivity, equality, and respect for diverse perspectives. The tensions especially arise when the democratic processes ignore or reinforce colonial legacies. Mano’s point was that decolonising democratic systems can make media development more inclusive, equitable, and respectful of diverse histories and cultures.

The presentation was part of a panel entitled “Action-oriented research for healthier media ecosystems”, chaired by Prof. Jairo Lugo-Ocando (United Arab Emirates) and Nick Benequista (CIMA). Other panellists included Prof. Herman Wasserman from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, Dr. Ana Jacoby from the Universidad Autónoma de Campeche in Mexico,  Prof. viola milton from the University of South Africa;  Dr. Mary Myers and Dr Martin Scott from the University of East Englia in the UK, Prof. Mel Bunce from City University in the UK, Ms. Lina Yassin from the University of Oxford, Ms. Ica Fernandez from the University of Cambridge and Prof. Rachel Khan from the University of the Philippines.


Image: IAMCR, with kind permission

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