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n and t Media, Culture and Constitutional Jesus Martin-Barbero Conference (Culture and Constitutional Forum, published in Culture and Constitut ional Colcultura, Bogotá, 1990, and then in Excuses, University of Valle, Cali, 1995) "The proposal is then that the Constituent assume the defense and encouragement of the whole culture that does not pass by the media and all communication that is being abolished and dissolved by them, that is, the defense and encouragement of the forms primarily popular communication linked to the communal feast and i n the ways religious or secular, literary or musical, whether formalized or spon taneous. As against the privatization of life that drive the media, we need to e ncourage solidarity and community life, the creative role of associations and co mmunity organizations in the neighborhood or village. The State can not accept c ontrol the excesses of the media, must counter the privatization and dissolution of the social fabric that they reinforce, by developing and strengthening all c ommunications experience to encourage coexistence and democracy. " 2 Addressing the relationship between culture and the media in perspective as we w ork together "to locate the field today so nerve in the Constituent Assembly," r

equires us to raise before the meaning of the relationship between communication and culture. Strange as it sounds, one of the most serious dangers that threate n a legal proposal on the media is that they are decoupled from the social proce sses of communication. For the conception that dominates both in political as in other social sectors is a purely instrumental, it has to do with equipment, tec hnologies and effects and not the communicative nature of culture, but the fact is that culture implies the same dynamic communication, and we can not talk abou t culture without exchange and relationship with others. The relationship betwee n culture and communication brings us then to place the focus of any proposed an inclusive concept of culture, linking it with the communication culture is abov e all aware that the live cultures to the extent they are able to live and excha nge with others. And that hits so very profound and very strong with what has be en our education from primary school, a training that has taught us to affirm an d recognize the same only at the cost of denying and devaluing the other. What w e are proposing is to think of the communication culture is taking its plot as t here is no growth without trade and cultural relationship with other cultures. Media, Culture and Constitutional 3 Second, this relationship presents us with some of the most critical cultural ch anges that we are living today come from changes in the network communication te chnology, changes that affect the perception acquire major anthropological becau se it is not only changes in content or format of culture, but changes in the wa y of feeling, perception and construction of identities. To the extent that the changes of sensitivity pass through the fabric technology, it becomes necessary to question this conception of culture-still dominant among us, which leaves out the scientific-technological dimension, a dimension that has been linked to so fatalistic progress or failure, and now only needs to be rethought as a matter o f perceptual apparatus as an organizer and key design of new practices. The rela tionship between culture and communication have to do also with the "crisis of r epresentation" and what it implies in the reorganization of the political sense. Communication is not only a space now influencing policy-and in some cases even threatening to replace it-but in the process of communication networks today ar e woven construction of meaning that affect the constitution of the representati on social and thus to reconstitute the political culture. Used to associate the communication with the spectacle of politics, especially in the criticism of the role of television, we miss what is really at stake are not just there for show business purposes or trivialization of politics, but forms of reconstitution se nse of social and, therefore, the ways in which society represents a policy. www.mediaciones.net 4 The communicative nature of culture,€the anthropological scale changes that i nvolve new ways of communication and network communication policy issues constit ute the field of background from which should be thought of constitutional propo sals of culture in the media. Since then there, the question of the media could focus on three areas which in turn would lead to five proposals. The issue of media 1. The media as cultural pattern. The everyday culture of the majority, not only in cities but in the countryside, in a country as undeveloped as Colombia, is i ncreasingly shaped by the proposals, models and cultural offerings of the mass m edia. For more outrageous as it sounds, the Latin American majorities are access ing modernity not from the hand of the book, following the Enlightenment project , but from the formats and genres of audiovisual cultural industries. That the t ransformation of the sensitivity of the majority is carried out not from the lit erary culture but we audiovisual cultures poses some serious challenges, on the one hand, suggests that the majority fall into modernity while the oral culture,

but it is a "secondary orality" (Ong W.) grammaticalized by the devices and the syntax of the radio and television. The challenge that cultural transformation means for our educational systems is a big one, because unless we close our eyes , we follow is very difficult crossing of uncultivated sensibility that defies o ur notions of culture and modernity, and from which are becoming ways of seeing and representing the world, to feel and enjoy. I think what that brings impoveri shment of human experience, which means reduction of the cultural universe, but I think also in the Media, Culture and Constitutional 5 inescapable need to ask what they mean for these new urban cultures and educatio n systems of cultural policies so far mostly limited to ignore, condemn, and pro tect. 2. The media as a space for art in the industrialization and commercializa tion of culture, space industrialization increasingly rationalized, in which the logic of production in conflict with the autonomy of culture, while a commodifi cation shameless deeply degrades the meaning of the dynamics and movements, prac tices and cultural consumption. What does it mean that the means are within our societies edge space of cultural industries? Means above all the permanent displ acement of cultural production in the field of communities to specialized instit utions. Faced with the culture that had as origin and source initiatives and ski lls of the community, today we have a culture produced by institutions and priva te companies that respond to technological devices and economic interests increa singly hooked on the transnational logic of the global market. Engage in turn is not possible without this secularization of symbolic worlds that separates the cultural production of any religious or transcendent instance to link to explici t criteria for social engineering. Responding to the industrial logic of product ion and engineering secularized today regulates the movement of the social, cult ure does not lose its autonomy but only just become the most effective device fo r adjusting the daily life. Is that the question requires us to link the cultura l industries with what the media may have to "end" at the time to understand the meaning of cultural production in our society. www.mediaciones.net 6 3. The media as a space for the reorganization of the cultural field and in pa rticular of identities: if you talk about mass media has almost always meant to speak of homogenization, it's time to pull that expression of his usual vaguenes s and unbundling integrated operations. In the strong sense-trans-action homogen ization of the media has as reference processes and mechanisms of destruction an d deformation of difference and cultural diversity, and processes of degradation and neutralization of both their own and the other, ie, loss the sense of excha nge between different cultures from the imposition of a culture that integrates disintegrating, which subordinates undifferentiated. Secondly, deterritorializat ion involves homogenization, cultural emergence of subcultures without memory fl ush or territorial. For those who start from an idea of culture are inextricably linked to language and therefore the territory, these new cultures, linked to t he music and video,€certainly appear as a threat of dissolution of the national , but in the new perception of young people not necessarily a territorial sensit ivity is a sensitivity not unpatriotic. The cultural deterritorialization is req uiring us to rethink the ways they are produced and perceived identities, not to load up so fatalistic negativity in the ambiguity of this challenge is the iner tia of our own ways of perceiving and thinking. This is what we put that another "operation" also linked to the action of the mass media, but in no way explicab le only from them: the breakdown of temporality, of modes of relation to time. I refer to the "mixing time", and the breakdown of the continuities, the looting of the traditions and the mixture of historical or mythical past with the future of science fiction in a dangerous loss of consciousness and historical consciou sness. However, disorganization and fragmentation that comes not only from the

Media, Culture and Constitutional 7 media but with the reorganization and shuffling-cultural migration and flows occ ur in large cities. Analyzed from there, the aesthetics of pop music video-its t ime and space images, would be talking about sensitivity in the strong sense, th at which is produced by changes in modes of inhabiting the city, new ways the ci ty pops the "old" forms of community and identity, which, nationally, has been c alling cultural habitat fragmentation. As new communication technologies do not work with the model and undifferentiated mass audiences, the same segments and r adio difference every day audiences, and through cable and satellite dishes so d oes television. How is it affecting the fragmentation of national identity?, And I ask not in a "reactionary", but referring her to the need for citizens to hav e a chance to meet and communicate in a common cultural space. Do not confuse th is fragmentation with decentralization, as paradoxical as it may seem, the new c ommunication technologies enable and encourage some degree. In its way, these te chnologies are enhancing the reunion with regional and local levels, forcing him into conflict with the centralization and impersonation that made them national , a "national culture" unable to meet, respect and value difference and wealth r egional. Fields of proposals Conclude by stating five fields of proposals that could lead to concrete initiat ives for the Constituent Assembly. www.mediaciones.net 8 1. To avoid repeating today in Colombia the failure of national communication policies of the seventies in other Latin American countries, we need to rework t he concept of the public from which it has described the media as "public servic e." That is, redefine the public both in the light of historical experience of i ts subsumption within the state, and the temptation today for its dissolution to the minimization of the state. It is essential to rescue the meaning and scope of the public to avoid confusion with the state continue or disappear in the log ic by which the market is looking to replace the State. A redefinition of the sp ecificity of public space is subject to the possibilities of both the State and the media, the private company assume some minimum rights obligations and collec tive interests, rights that are at different levels: The right to media presence of the diversity of ideas and voices, and social conceptions of the social acto rs that make up the political culture and social life. For the privately owned m edia can not prevent or deny the right of the various voices and actors will sha re to be present and speak their word, that is, made public both through the pri vate media and other forms of collective ownership or community. The right to cu ltural expression of the heterogeneity of the country, both in terms of cultural differences that shape as a nation, ethnicity, class, region-, and at the level of diversity that other cultural production comes from the world and we are bei ng denied, as especially true of the cinema through a purely commercial operatio n of the media. Media, Culture and Constitutional 9 The right to differ with ethnic minorities, sexual or artistic, and not only wit h respect to content relating to them where they are not ridicule or degrade, bu t issued a right to see their own creation€access to the means of their languag e and cultural productions. 2. The second area for proposals is made up of the c ontradictions generated by the separation between policy making bodies and those

cultural producers are playing to the media. It is unjustifiable that today the state has to think about agencies and regular radio and television, cable or sa tellite, do not play well there. We need to bring to the Constituent Assembly a proposal for the integration of cultural policies, as in the case of policies af fecting the culture of the majority she breathes more than the opera or folk in the media. We can not continue with policies schizoid and often contradictory. W e can not think of changing the state's relationship with the culture without in tegrating a cultural policy that takes seriously what the media has to do with t he culture and people. 3. If it is true that the media presents a lot of what pe ople live today as a culture, so is that this leads to a huge depletion of their cultural experience. The proposal is then that the Constituent assume the defen se and encouragement of the whole culture that does not pass by the media and al l communication that is being abolished and dissolved by them, that is, the defe nse and encouragement primarily forms of popular communication linked to the com munal feast and in the ways religious or secular, literary or musical, whether f ormalized or spontaneous. As against the privatization of life that drive the me dia, we need www.mediaciones.net 10 foster solidarity and community life, the creative role of associations and c ommunity organizations in the neighborhood or village. The State can not accept control the excesses of the media, must counter the privatization and dissolutio n of the social fabric that they reinforce, by developing and strengthening all communications experience to encourage coexistence and democracy. 4. The three p roposals outlined above come into play and undermine the education system. It is too dangerous for the cultural life of the country continue to keep the margin and out of the education culture that was developed or are associated with the m edia. It is necessary that the school takes the cultural challenge that mean the media, or at least they open the gap between the culture from which teachers te ach and that one from which the look and perception of students, young people. T his implies that the school believes tematicen spaces where new cultural dynamic s, and provide a minimum of training and ways of active and critical reading of what young people watch daily on television, hear on the radio, read in the pres s or see in the movies. The potential for a transformation in patterns of mass m edia relations depend largely on the ability of the education system to take car e of what they mean and culturally. 5. Finally, democratic politics in the media , what some call the "communicative democracy" lies primarily in expanding liber al or neo-liberal conception of the means that along with freedom of expression is entitled the right to communication, which implies Constituent lead to the pr oposal not Media, Culture and Constitutional 11 is reduced to a state policy (and paternal) control of monopolies and concentrat ion, but is able to enable and ensure the participation of civil society in both the regulation and control of the media and in the exercise of the right to com munication. For only the security and empowerment of civil society organizations to defend and exercise their rights will mean a real breakthrough in the redefi nition of the ways to communicate and live in the country, which is what ultimat ely identifies a culture gives meaning to democracy and a constitutional. Bogotá, November 1990. www.mediaciones.net