Conference “Communication in the Context of Citizens Protests: Experiences from the SEE Region”

Conference “Communication in the Context of Citizens Protests: Experiences from the SEE Region”

As a conclusion of the project Communication Practices in the Context of Social Uprising and Requests for Public Accountability the conference was organized in Sarajevo, January 21, 2016 gathering partners from BiH, Albania, Macedonia and Slovenia to discuss the mediatization of protests in the region.

The project recognises the need to examine the communication practices during the social movements/initiatives in order to understand how the government officials responded to the calls to accountability, what were the practices of citizens/activists in terms of promotion of the movement and its goals, and which role did the mainstream media took when reporting on the protests and  mobilisation.

The project explored the opportunities for activist engagement, especially in the context of increased relevance of ICTs and social networking, but also addressed the structural constraints, such as those that arise from the politics and practices of mainstream media.

The research reflected on communication practices during various civic initiatives, including social uprisings in 2013 and 2014 (in Bosnia and Herzegovina), protests focused on specific issues, such as imprisonment, student protests, pollution (in Macedonia), dismantling of chemical weapons, student protests (in Albania).

The conference was attended by the PI researchers, partners and mentor to the project, Mojca Pajnik, Marko Ribać and Mojca Frelih. Participating guests included Simona Zavratnik Zimic and Boris Mance from the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, and Gorazd Rečnik, journalist of Radio Slovenia. Conference participants discussed issues of mediatization of protests, public accountability, including opportunities and constraints for communication during the protests.

Foundation Mediacentar Sarajevo
School of Journalism and Public Relations, Skopje
Albanian Media Institute, Tirana

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Regional Research Promotion Programme Western Balkans, in cooperation with the University of Freiburg