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The first thing to my mind is that narratives are imposed on us by those in power (political/military/corporate/financial) through the echo-chamber of the media - either compliant or manipulated, doesn't matter which. I think it's important to deconstruct and deny these narratives.

The second is that, though I think we should be clear about the message we want to give (what is this all about?), we need to be very wary (and very smart) in using narrative ourselves. To put it bluntly, we'd better be damned right in the story we choose to tell. It had better correspond to reality. Because we don't have the power they have to go on churning out hype. And because successful stories (by which I mean stories that grab people's imagination enough to move them even to action) are a responsibility.

Your example of Latin America is a good one. Dare we say that it's a continent rising up and throwing off its chains? That's a powerful narrative, but I wouldn't want to take the responsibility for trying to sell it. OTOH, stating the facts and linking up the dots (that the Ecuador uprising cut off oil supplies) corresponds to reality and tells the true story -- and therefore informs people usefully (which, we agree, the media are not doing).

I think what I'm saying is we need to dig out the facts and present them without manipulating them in some search for a compelling storyline. Otherwise we're just "framers". True stories is what we want, and, in a sense, they tell themselves...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 16th, 2005 at 05:31:20 AM EST
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