The theme of the week is Images and Messages in Development. Images and Messages influence how people think and behave. They affect what we believe and how we act towards each other, including towards people from different parts of the world. From an early age we become aware of differences; our influences being family members, books, TV and so on. As we grow up, we develop stereotypes about people in distant places, most often from sensational news stories which can leave the impression that countries in the Global South in particular are ravaged by war, poverty and disease. We also see things from a cultural perspective. Understanding our own culture – our values, attitudes and beliefs – and how the dominance of Western perspectives influence our world view is an important step to critical analysis of images and messages about development.
An education resource, ‘Framing Our World – A youth work resource on the use of
images and messages in development’, has been published which aims to help us look beyond the images and messages we receive about the ‘Global South’, to develop critical thinking skills and to analyse what the reality of development might be and to ask why. The resource contains a set of 16 images which can be used to explore the issues raised.
The education resource contains a range of activities including games, role play, small and large group work activities, art-based activities and stories. It is divided into four sections. A number of warm up games are included in section one that can be used at any stage. Section One, ‘Introducing Culture and Development’ relates to how culture can influence our perspectives and condition our thoughts and behaviour. The section will introduce international development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Section Two, The Impact of Images and Messages – looks at the effect of the images and messages we receive on our thoughts and actions. Section Three, Images and Messages in an Unequal World, looks at the links between the images and messages we receive and global inequality. Young people are encouraged to take action in various ‘Action Ideas’ in each section.
Complementary to the education resource is the central action material ‘Unmasked! Lifting the lid on images and messages of development’ which uses mask-making to promote youth-led public awareness raising about images and messages in development.
Two exciting regional events took place to mark One World Week 2010. In Cork, youth organisations came together with NYCI and Mayfield Community Arts Centre at the Camden Palace on Saturday 13th November to showcase the fantastic work done by young people to highlight the OWW theme of images and messages in development. The event was officially opened by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork. At the event young people created colourful masks and badges, built a human wall with positive stories and stereotypes and took part in a street action led by EIL. The event was really well attended, with young people from YMCA, EIL Ireland, Limerick Youth Service and Limerick Best Project. Five visiting Zambian youth workers also participated in what was a fun and informative day.
In Dublin, youth groups from Ronanstown Youth Service, Ballyfermot Youth Services, Celtic Youth/HR Centre Bray, Congolese Anti-Poverty Network, ECO-UNESCO and St. Mary’s in Balbriggan all took part in a celebration of youth led action of the theme of Images and Messages in Development. The event, on Saturday 20th November, marked the anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Groups gathered in the Carmelite Community Centre to challenge stereotypes and promote positive views of ourselves and people around the world. Guest speaker on the day was Mbemba Jabbi from the Africa Centre, who are the lead agency in a European Commission funded project to promote balanced views of African people, living in Europe and in African countries. Young people showcased the work they did in their clubs around the theme and participated in mask-making, drama and rap/music workshops. There was also a very special musical performance by P-Starz. Learn more about P-Starz below.
Message from P-Starz:
“We are a young music band of 3 members based in Dublin called P-Starz, and our aim is to influence as many young people as possible through music, by going to different schools, youth work groups and organising music workshops for the young people. We emphasise positivity in every aspect of life, our music encourages young people on the importance of education for the future. We do not use bad language at all, and write many of our own songs. If you would like to learn more about what we do, or invite us to do a workshop with your youth group or class, please contact me (PJ) on my mobile: 086-8602537 or by email: email@example.com or see our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/P-Starz/201319099992“
NYCI’s feedback from the One World Week performance in Dublin on 20 November:
“P-Starz are an inspiring group of young people. We first met them at an IACI Youth for Integration Conference and then invited them to come perform and host a workshop at the One World Week Central Event in Dublin. They gave a one-hour workshop with about 20 young people where they answered questions on their musical influences, how to write songs and the social justice issues they deal with in their music. The young participants then had the opoprtunity to learn some lyrics and perform the male and female singers’ parts in the songs. Following the workshop, they performed a number of songs speaking out against violence, conflict and injustice in society. The young people really enjoyed, as did the adult leaders and NYCI staff. I would certainly recommend them to any youth group interested in music, hip-hop, performance and global justice issues, as they are very talented in music and in working with young people.”
P-Starz lead a workshop and performace at the NYCI One World Week central event, Dublin, 20 November 2010