Voices aloud: making communication and change together (PLA 50)
People are always talking but it is a common observation that people's voices are ignored and not heard when they are crying against injustice, oppression and suppression of freedom. Authorities would normally prefer to ignore voices when they are calling for change. Based on our experiences of working on issues of development failures and on issues of disenchantment with political practice, we have come to understand the difficulty of communication, especially when the aim is change. The manner and structure of popular communication for change must therefore respond to the context in which the work is taking place; for it is determined by the nature of the society, community and target groups in which one is working.
Abah describes how different forms of communication - such as story telling, songs and dance, through to the use of television, radio and videos - can help to reach a wider audience and frame broader debates that focus on rights, citizenship and development - and how learning together through participatory communications can also help to create new consciousness and empower people to make change.
This special anniversary issue of Participatory Learning and Action contains articles by previous guest-editors and authors from the last 20 years who were invited to revisit their contributions and provide an update on current thinking. The overview reflects on the overlapping themes and parallels in the lessons learnt and suggestions for ways forward.
Guest editors: Robert Chambers, Nicole Kenton and Holly Ashley
Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board.