This August, Local Futures will hold a critical media literacy workshop in Ladakh – in partnership with the Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation (LAMO) – exploring the psychological, social and environmental impacts of commercial media in Ladakh today. The incursion of corporate media and new media technologies into Ladakh in recent decades has, in tandem with other forces like tourism and imported, subsidized food – contributed to profound cultural and ecological changes, spreading unhappiness and insecurity and undermining Ladakh’s age-old, land-based way of life.
In the workshop, we will:
- Examine the political-economic forces that control media in India and around the world;
- ‘Unpack’ and critically analyze the content of media messages, advertisements, news-casts and the like for hidden biases, prejudices, techniques of persuasion and manipulation, cultural assumptions, etc;
- Explore the psychological, social and environmental impacts of media content, consumption and technologies;
- And finally, move towards becoming critical media activists.
The workshop will be primarily geared toward young Ladakhis, and a few select participants will follow it up with a month-long filmmaking intensive, producing independent short films that document the effects of screen culture and corporate media on their lives, their communities, their culture and their future. These films will then be screened at schools across the region. Funding for the filmmaking intensive comes from Davis Projects for Peace.
Our hope is that this workshop and intensive will help young Ladakhis understand and communicate the importance of Ladakh’s traditional culture, and reclaim control over a medium that is often used as a tool of domination and globalization.
We’ll also continue holding our daily film screenings of Ancient Futures and The Economics of Happiness from July through September, and we will continue our collaboration with Flowering Dharma and Juley Ladakh by holding another Mindful Futures workshop at Raku House – a restored traditional house in the city of Leh. Read more about our 2017 Mindful Futures workshop.