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India’s Narmada dams controversy: interdisciplinary examples of global media advocacy

By Jane Chapman

Abstract

What sources will contemporary historians use when they reflect on resistance to globalisation by regional and environmental groups such as India's NBA (Narmada Bachao Andolan or 'Save the Narmada Movement')? As the country is the world's third most important dam builder, consistent mass protest against construction of the 3,200 Narmada dams in this enormous river valley over almost 20 years must surely merit further study. Campaigners seem to have developed a sense of history, but how do some of their most well-known international works of communication conform to existing models of media advocacy?\ud This article assesses the nature of two documentary films - Anand Patwardhan's (with Simantini Dhuru) A Narmada Diary (1997) and Fanny Armstrong's Drowned Out (2004) - and the writings of Arundhati Roy, all emanating from the Narmada Dams controversy. As works of advocacy, these media communications popularised the Narmada conflict internationally, and in the process also championed fresh styles of communication. These three works represent interdisciplinary examples which, through their narratives and styles, have brought an extended creative and political repertoire of 'engaged' journalism on development issues to mainstream outlets outside of India. These examples allow us to test the continuing relevance of certain aspects of counter-hegemonic discourses, as presented in existing academic work

Topics: V271 International History, P990 Mass Communications and Documentation not elsewhere classified, V243 South East Asian History, V147 Modern History 1950-1999, L321 Women's Studies, V320 Social History, V200 History by area, P590 Journalism not elsewhere classified, V310 Economic History, V210 British History, P300 Media studies, R130 French Society and Culture, V240 Asian History, V242 Indian History, V146 Modern History 1920-1949, V140 Modern History, R100 French studies, V221 French History, P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation, P390 Media studies not elsewhere classified, R190 French studies not elsewhere classified, P305 Paper-based Media studies, P500 Journalism
Publisher: Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:1413

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