Diasporic Contact Zones at the BBC World Service
From rural Afghanistan to urban Nigeria BBC World Service audiences have been tuning-in to mass mediated drama with 'instructive' messages for many years. Each 'drama for development' reflects the interweaving of development goals, donor objectives, processes of cross-cultural translation, creative dialogue and debate between local and expatriate dramatists and, not least, the responses and interpretations of dramatic narratives by audiences. From such a perspective, organisations such as the BBC World Service Trust, the BBC World Service's charitable arm, can be seen to be actively engaged in crafting complex development concepts and issues into local frames by applying specific cultural, social and political filters to render these concepts and narratives intelligible.
BBC World Service Trust drama is informed by formative and ongoing audience research and evaluation that feeds into production in ways that enable audiences to play an active role in the evolving serial narratives.
For the past three years (2006-2009) a group of international researchers and the Research and Learning unit of the BBC World Service Trust have been engaged in a critical dialogue relating to the key research questions outlined below. This dialogue has yielded conference papers, forthcoming journal articles and book chapters, as well as a dedicated 'drama for development' volume Broadcasting Social Change: drama, development and cross-cultural translation that details the findings of this research and which, is to be published by Sage India in 2010.
In assessing the scope of BBC World Service Trust drama this research attempts to understand:
Dr Andrew Skuse, firstname.lastname@example.org, +61 8 83034285 or +61 409 699305
A large repository of approximately 200 pieces of primary and secondary data derived from the BBC World Service Trust and relating to dramas produced in Afghanistan, Burma, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda can be accessed on request. Please contact Andrew Skuse for further details.