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Argentina’s social dialogue heading the wrong way

Productive dialogue: Friends from my university in Berlin

This is my last entry before we will all be writing from the Global Media Forum in Bonn (Germany). I was shocked to hear that Hellgurd’s entries will not be published any more due to the severe threats he received. It made me go back to the very beginning of the project and look at Hellgurd’s video presentation. He speaks of music as a universal language that can bridge the differences among people.
I believe that the chance to take part in an international dialogue is, in a way, trying to find a shared code. This doesn’t always have to do with speaking the same language, but, rather, building a dialectical context in which each element can express ideas and be understood in its individuality. Values like tolerance, empathy and modesty are a must. Violence should be out of the question.

The problem is when we grow so acclimated to violence that we are not sensitive to it any more. This touches me because Argentina is going through a very difficult process of social change right now. The current administration is taking radical action in the areas of business and economics, and ever since the beginning of Kirchner’s presidency there has been a divide in society. Nowadays, aggression storms the sky like bullets, and you are either on one side or the other.

Participants in the Salzburg conference

Sharp words are aimed at people’s feelings, their identities, their day to day worries, but the discussion never seems to focus on ideas. This is the main problem: We are not discussing ideas for a developed society; we are stuck in the small talk of prejudices and, in most cases, uniformed opinion. As I said in my second entry, our society has gone through a lot, and its wounds will take years to heal. This kind of violence in public discourse is nothing but detrimental.

One of the reasons I’m so excited to attend the GMF is that this international dialogue will be expanded and take on new life. I have had chances to experience exchanges like this before. In 2008, I won a scholarship to attend the Salzburg Global Seminar on Media and Global Change, and I spent three weeks discussing the main areas of journalistic ethics together with students from different parts of the world. Then, in 2009, I spent a year studying liberal arts in an international college in Berlin. Those experiences help you develop an attitude towards the other that has to do with listening, understanding more deeply, and comprehending your own reality from a different perspective.

Date

June 25, 2012 | 8:36 am

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