Media is about educating, informing and entertaining people, to shape their awareness, attitudes, opinions and judgements.
Media includes publishing and printed media, which involves making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public – for sale or no charge. Printed media includes books, press and other forms of printed publications.
Media also includes audio-visual productions, which are electronic media that have a sound and visual component (such as film, television, radio and other broadcasting); and audio recordings of spoken voice, songs, instrumental music or sound effects.
Media is a very accessible way to enjoy the creativity of others, immerse ourselves in other cultures and ‘feel’ what it is like to live in another place or time (such as in a Brazilian favela, Mexico’s art scene in the late 1970s or an indigenous theatre company on Rapa Nui). Film and television are especially popular ways to consume stories about other people, cultures and places. Filmed documentaries are a captivating way to share other people’s experiences with a large audience, highlight connections between them, and educate them about interesting and concerning subjects and issues.
Academic texts, books, novels, poetry and translations are forms of printed media that give us access to alternative cultural perspectives and meaning. They encourage us to consider the importance of others’ views and help us understand other cultures. Meanwhile, music and other forms of audio recording are not only entertaining and enjoyable, they also enable us to learn the traditional rhythms that are the heartbeat of another culture. Through this media, musicians and narrators can share aural traditions and musical styles with their audiences, or fuse their styles into new creations.
“Mediums like novels, non-fiction, dramas, documentaries, music, stories and the recorded sounds of nature, give us access to different cultural perspectives and encourage us to form an understanding about life that is broader than our own.”
New Zealand and Latin America have collaborated on some beautifully filmed documentaries, such as Tom Who? The Enigma of Tom Kreisler, The Inside Guide: Exploring Kiwi Success in Brazil and Amazon – Raised Up Sky. Each year, New Zealand’s highly popular Latin America and Spain Film Festival brings Latin American, Spanish and New Zealand communities together through the big screen, to watch films about Latin American and Spanish culture, history and languages. New Zealand filmmakers have also supported audio-visual projects in Latin America, such as 72HORAS, to nurture new filmmaking talent and develop a creative community.
In the area of printed media, New Zealand and Latin American authors have worked together on publications such as Cosmopolitan Ambassadors: International Exhibitions, Cultural Diplomacy and the Polycentral Museum and Rosa’s Singable Translations, while other New Zealanders have used printed media to share information about Latin America, such as Dr Moira Fortin Cornejo’s book Rapa Nui Theatre: Staging Indigenous Identities in Easter Island. Exhibition publications, such as the one that accompanied Space to Dream: Recent Art from South America, are effective for sharing artists’ essays, interviews and meditations with art lovers.
New Zealand and Latin American musicians have well-established relationships. They have worked together on audio projects – such as Irisado, Tutakitaki and Kaleidoscope, which draw on our respective musical styles and traditions – and narrations of indigenous stories in multiple languages, such as Legendary Links – A Muysca x Māori Collab.
Currently, New Zealand’s strongest media links are with Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, but our joint projects have also involved Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru and Uruguay.
Introduction by Nicole Freeman