CARE Director’s article on Al Jazeera: ‘A window of opportunity’

‘A window of opportunity’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But some analysts have been more explicit in their analysis, and suggested ending the threat posed by the alt-right and Islamophobia will only be achieved by shifting existing mainstream narratives about Muslims, both locally and internationally.

“The terrorist attacks in Christchurch reflect the global rise in Islamophobia – hatred toward Muslims – cultivated by political parties, media organisations, and a wide range of hate industries,” Mohan Dutta dean’s chair in communication at the New Zealand-based Massey UniversityUniversity, wrote last week.

Dutta also called for discussions “anchored in the voices of Muslims experiencing hate” as the “starting point to halting the global spread of Islamophobia”.

Mire agreed and called on New Zealand to set the standard in battling back Islamophobia and the rise of “alt-right extremist ideologies”, which he said threaten minorities “everywhere” in the world.

“It’s sad to think that a situation like this is what drives us to have these difficult and hard discussions,” Mire said.

“But we have a small window of opportunity, right now, and we must take it in order to ensure that such events never happen again.”

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Read the detailed news article on #ALJazeera‘s website.

#CAREDirectorsBlog– Mohan Dutta ‘s article on Al-Jazeera #Islamophobia #NewZealand
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Sue Bradford takes up residence as Massey University’s activist at CARE

“Activists and academics are not typical bedfellows, but Sue Bradford is making sure the two parties can learn from each other.

The well-known activist and former Green Party MP is the activist in residence at Massey University in Palmerston North for a week. Bradford was asked about a month ago by professor Mohan Dutta​, who is the dean’s chair of communication for the new Centre for Culture-Centred Approach to Research and Evaluation, to take the position.

The two are producing a paper on the partnership between academics and activists in struggles of the oppressed.  Universities often have an artist in residence, but having an activist is not as common. “This question around the relationship between people who are active outside in grassroots organisations and how people inside the universities can work together is quite fraught and difficult because there are often problems,” Bradford said. “But there are also huge advantages to both. It has never been an easy path in this country.”

She said this week was an opportunity to explore the relationship between activists and academics.”Often, academics are seen as people that come in and do research on us, do their PhDs on us.” She wasn’t given any instruction about what she could do while being the activist in residence. Bradford said there wasn’t the same level of political activity in this generation of students as there had been in the past.

On Wednesday, she spoke to students about her background in the 1980s and 1990s working with an unemployment workers group and unions, and on Thursday she held a workshop with Manawatū activists and students. At 2pm on Friday she is speaking about social movements and her history in and out of Parliament, having previously been an MP for 10 years.

“It’s a completely new experience but at the same time I’m into new experiences and finding out about new people.”

Bradford said the CARE centre worked on transforming structures through communication, culture and community, and that’s what she had spent her life doing, so was keen to be involved. Bradford works for the Kotare Trust in Auckland, which does research in education for social change in Aotearoa.

Dutta brought the CARE centre with him to Massey from the National University of Singapore and he is a leading scholar for health communication and is a researcher of indigenous rights and activism. He said the work of CARE was about creating communication platforms for democratic spaces so communities in disenfranchised places had a voice. The centre also looks at poverty and health for migrants and refugees.”

Article Source: www.stuff.co.nz 

Article Link: https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/107443172/sue-bradford-takes-up-residence-as-massey-universitys-activist 

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“Food Insecurity in Singapore: The Communicative (Dis)Value of the Lived Experiences of the Poor”

“Food Insecurity in Singapore: The Communicative (Dis)Value of the Lived Experiences of the Poor” – This journal article co-authored with Naomi Tan, Satveer Kaur, Prof Mohan Dutta, and Nina Venkataraman just got published in the Health Communication! Here is a link for 50 free downloads. Link:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10410236.2016.1196416 Abstract: “Food insecurity is a form of health disparity that results in adverse health outcomes, particularly among disenfranchised and vulnerable populations. Using the culture-centered approach, this article engages with issues of food insecurity, health, and poverty among the low-income community in Singapore. Through 30 in-depth interviews, the narratives of the food insecure are privileged in articulating their lived experiences of food insecurity and in co-constructing meanings of health informed by their sociocultural context, in a space that typically renders them invisible. Arguing that poverty is communicatively sustained through the erasure of subaltern voices from mainstream discourses and policy platforms, we ask the research question: What are the meanings of food insecurity in the everyday experiences of health among the poor in Singapore? Our findings demonstrate that the meanings of health among the food insecure are constituted in culture and materiality, structurally constrained, and ultimately complexify their negotiations of health and health decision making.”

NUS CARE researchers assisting Willing Hearts charity to prepare and distribute food to recipients in Singapore

NUS CARE researchers assisting Willing Hearts charity to prepare and distribute food to recipients in Singapore

Brave

Brave /brāv/ verb. Endure or face unpleasant conditions or behavior with courage. This week, we had our very first focus group with 10 women who are domestic helpers in Singapore, and we are also continuing to interview women who are currently working in their employers’ homes. “Brave” only scratches the surface in describing the stories we heard. Together, the CARE team and the focus group discovered that there are so many problems, injustices, and issues to tackle together and through all the tears in the focus group, mine included, I was confronted with how different our worlds are but how similar our hearts are. At the very core, regardless of socioeconomic status, occupation, or culture, people want to be treated like real people, with respect and dignity, and as we all know, it’s painful when it is not afforded to you.