Language is part of a cycle that retains and reinforces historically rooted unequal power relations, which are often expressed and reinforced in colonialist, racist, sexist and other forms of oppressive practices.
This Future Brief takes both a historical and cultural approach. We will demonstrate how communication by and about development cooperation and humanitarian aid is part and parcel of the unequal power relations established by colonialism and development. In doing so, this brief discusses the history and the current debate on humanitarian communication in order to understand the present and move ahead towards a future with more ethical, sensitive and inclusive communication.
It looks into language, meaning and power, the imagery debate, communication codes, stereotypes and provides a wide range of resources.
This brief is the first in a trilogy developed by Partos and the Expertise Centre Humanitarian Communication that aims to support development cooperation practitioners in their quest to more ethical, sensitive and inclusive communication. In the next future briefs, we will dive deeper into the current trends and challenges in communication in development cooperation as well as explore the way forward.
Join the CoP on Inclusive Communication
In the Community of Practice (CoP) – Inclusive Communication Partos, together with partners, strives to make an inclusive, just and sustainable world by implementing communication. The aim of this CoP is to explore in which ways we can make our communication more ethical, inclusive and just in all senses.
If you are interested in co-creating discussions and learning sessions on inclusive communications, please contact Sera Koolmees. Together with The Expertise Centre of Humanitarian Communication, Partos will facilitate this CoP. Our intention is to get together once per month and create an online space for sharing and learning. Feel free to join if you are a member, partner organisation or specialist working on this matter. By sending an email to Sera Koolmees (email@example.com) you will receive an invitation to upcoming sessions.
Image source: Chris Hardy