By Johannes Mertz

By Johannes Mertz

  • Have you ever asked some of the following questions? Is your project culturally intelligent?
  • How do media work and communicate in different cultural contexts?
  • Do you know what medium is likely to be most effective?
  • Or how to gain cultural insider insights?
  • What happens when Scripture, media, and culture collide?

If any of these sound interesting, or if you are intrigued in how anthropology can contribute to the production of better media products, join us for Culturally Intelligent Media. This four-day training course seeks to discuss media from a cultural perspective with the goal of increasing their communicative effectiveness. It will be offered at the pre-EMDC (March 21-24, 2018), in Chiang Mai, Thailand. If you are interested in hosting the Culturally Intelligent Media course somewhere else, please get in touch with me. Together with Sharon Merz, I recently taught Culturally Intelligent Media at IMS in Waxhaw, NC, May 16-19, 2017. During the course, we adopt a current anthropological perspective of media. We work on two main premises: That it is essential to know your audiences, and that media in themselves are never culturally neutral. We mainly draw on examples from the richest of the media, namely film, in order to learn more about the crucial role that culture plays in media, and in communication more generally. We address how you can learn about your audiences. This is important in order to maximise the Page 3 of 11 communicative effectiveness of media adaptations, translations, and new media products. We also look at the material aspect and technology of media and discuss how they always add an important culturally determined twist to the communication process. In the various stages of media design and use, it is always important to test and adapt media as we prepare them for wider use. Although the nature of this training course is more theoretical, it equally includes practical activities, discussions, and lots of interaction. For further information, please contact me at johannes_merz@sil.org.