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Tale of a city: Communicative Encounters in the Public Space: Constructing Cultural Citizenship in Bogotá, Colombia

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Abstract:

Bogotá, Colombia’s capital, used to be one of the most chaotic and dangerous Latin American cities. In the last seven years a profound transformation had taken place. As a result of an unorthodox governmental strategy that mixed education and communication interventions plus “rehabilitation” of public spaces, the citizens have reported positive changes in their relationship with the city. The program called Cultura Ciudadana (citizenship culture) showed results in the way people relate to the notion of the “public” (public space, sources and institutions), but most tangible, after 2 years of Cultura Ciudadana the numbers of violent deaths dropped significantly, and the Bogotá’s mayor initiative gained the applause of the international community, particularly public health organizations.
According to the program, citizens need to interact in the public space (public sphere?) thought situations of “intense communication”, participate in “symbolic and pedagogical encounters” and be exposed to “communication campaigns of conviviality” in order to make sense of minimum agreements of coexistence.
This essay is not just a description of the uniqueness of Bogota’s case. My attempt is to narrate a tale of the city that critically raises questions about the gains of this program (increasing of social capital, trust, healthy social environment, behavior change, etc.), but also to discuss the limits of this top-down strategy, its tensions between the discourse of the civic, “modern”, liberal city, and what it is left aside, the extreme exclusions, the unorganized civil society, the other languages and ways to participate and communicate that belong to different cultural and social experiences of the marginalized population. This essay uses mainly cultural studies tools to interpret the strategy.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

cultur (77), citi (69), public (63), bogot (56), citizenship (51), citizen (41), space (40), mockus (37), law (30), cultura (30), ciudadana (29), program (29), new (29), violenc (28), communic (28), colombia (27), one (27), peopl (26), de (25), use (25), 2002 (24),

Author's Keywords:

cultural citizenship, communication campaigs, public space, social capital, Colombia
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MLA Citation:

Porras, Estella. "Tale of a city: Communicative Encounters in the Public Space: Constructing Cultural Citizenship in Bogotá, Colombia" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, New Orleans Sheraton, New Orleans, LA, May 27, 2004 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112596_index.html>

APA Citation:

Porras, E. , 2004-05-27 "Tale of a city: Communicative Encounters in the Public Space: Constructing Cultural Citizenship in Bogotá, Colombia" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, New Orleans Sheraton, New Orleans, LA Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112596_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Bogotá, Colombia’s capital, used to be one of the most chaotic and dangerous Latin American cities. In the last seven years a profound transformation had taken place. As a result of an unorthodox governmental strategy that mixed education and communication interventions plus “rehabilitation” of public spaces, the citizens have reported positive changes in their relationship with the city. The program called Cultura Ciudadana (citizenship culture) showed results in the way people relate to the notion of the “public” (public space, sources and institutions), but most tangible, after 2 years of Cultura Ciudadana the numbers of violent deaths dropped significantly, and the Bogotá’s mayor initiative gained the applause of the international community, particularly public health organizations.
According to the program, citizens need to interact in the public space (public sphere?) thought situations of “intense communication”, participate in “symbolic and pedagogical encounters” and be exposed to “communication campaigns of conviviality” in order to make sense of minimum agreements of coexistence.
This essay is not just a description of the uniqueness of Bogota’s case. My attempt is to narrate a tale of the city that critically raises questions about the gains of this program (increasing of social capital, trust, healthy social environment, behavior change, etc.), but also to discuss the limits of this top-down strategy, its tensions between the discourse of the civic, “modern”, liberal city, and what it is left aside, the extreme exclusions, the unorganized civil society, the other languages and ways to participate and communicate that belong to different cultural and social experiences of the marginalized population. This essay uses mainly cultural studies tools to interpret the strategy.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 29
Word count: 9074
Text sample:
Tale of a city: Communicative Encounters in the Public Space Constructing Cultural Citizenship in Bogotá Colombia August 2003 Paper Submitted to the ICA Convention 2004 2 Abstract Bogotá Colombia’s capital used to be one of the most chaotic and dangerous Latin American cities. In the last seven years a profound transformation had taken place. As a result of an unorthodox governmental strategy that mixed education and communication plus “rehabilitation” of public spaces the citizens have reported positive changes in
PAHO Data 2001. http://www.paho.org/English/SHA/prflCOL.htm Putman Robert. “Bowling Alone: collapse and revival of American community” New York: Simon & Schuster 2000 Rojas Clara. Forcing civic culture in Bogotá Colombia. Tokyo and Kobe September 2 – 6 2002 Romero José Luis. “Latinoamérica Las Ciudades y las Ideas” editorial U. De Antioquia Medellín 1999 Shapiro Mark. The Atlantic Monthly; September 2001; All the City's a Stage; Volume 288 No. 2; 28-32 Stevenson Nick Culture and citizenship London ; Thousand Oaks Calif. :


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