This week ICC member cities, regions and a few Council of Europe member states got together in the ICC Academy on Alternative Narratives and Intercultural Communication. Proactive intercultural communication has been raised as a topic of interest by our members in the ICC annual survey; and to this end, the ICC started work already in 2020 to prepare research on inclusive and alternative narrative production, tailored for the intercultural city.
In the time of fake news, polarisation of debates, hate speech and dividing discourses, cities face a growing need of telling their story. This need has also created an increased urgency in building bridges within and outside the city, in joining forces to share the message of equality and diversity in all communication.
Under the notion “what story does your city tell?” the Academy examined which narratives work and why, how to tell the intercultural story, what to consider to ensure cities’ communication is inclusive as well as what to do when faced with negative stories in our daily life. When telling our stories, we must always start with knowing our audience – it is they who determine which stories are of interest, which background information the story will be interpreted through and the means of communication which should be used. Hence, one of the sessions of the Academy was specifically aimed to address the relationship between the city and the journalists from the mainstream media.
The ICC wishes to thank the experts who contributed to the success of the event, and all participants for the lively discussions. In the coming weeks, materials relating to the topic of intercultural communication and alternative narratives will be published on the ICC web. In addition, a training course will be published for ICC members.
So what story does your city tell? Is it an inclusive one? As ICC, we look forward to continuing the discussion!