Prof. Oliver Inchody , Department of Environment, Atheneo Manila University, Philliphines rendered an exhaustive lecture on Media Ecology and its various spheres.
The Prof. belongs to the CMI congregation. He is a specialist in Environmental Science.
Starting the session he stated that Ecology stood for Sensitivity.
He said that the areas in ecology are spirituality. Being an earlier visitor to the institute in the form of a guest last year he recalled the documentary film about Rickshaw wallas produced by ex-students , he added that ecology of Delhi was shown through the video as the garbage on road side was shown .
He informed that the spectrum of Media Ecology came into being recently. It was a development of 1970 by Neil Postman. In 1976 , it earned global significance, he quipped.
For better comprehension, the Prof broke the words(Media and Ecology) and disseminated its meaning. According to this understanding, Media stands for being aware of, concerned of a concept.
He stressed that Media and Ecology are gigantic disciplines. Talking to students he said Ecology gives background of the Earth dealt here as a household. He put this propsition in a simpler way by adding that: " If something happens to the house, the person there is also affected."
He clarified that Ecology and Environment are different concepts. He stressed they cannot be used interchangeably. He added that both have different connotation.
He drove home the fact that Media environment is getting stronger and stronger in India. At this juncture he pinpointed that this affirmation of his stands out yet both concepts ( Ecology and Environment complement each other.)
He summarised the processing of Media by stating that its module comprehends as CAP , the expansion of which would be Collection, Assimilation, Presentation.
He stated that it is " We who can facilitate and destroy."
He stressed that in this age of new technology which is digitised the importance of the machine exists but at the same time one can't ignore the humans who operate these machines. They are also important, he added.
The aspect of media following public who are the audience are someone who can think of and feel of, he added. Elaborating on the topic, he put forward this question to the students: Why did Slumdog Millionaire earn controversies ?
He claimed that the answer to this question lies in the fact that India does not want itself to be projected in the fashion the slums of Mumbai were portrayed in the production.
Through the Production knowingly or unknowingly some aspects of India's situation came out in the global arena. The director, Danny Boyle's success from this effort was that he made people think about some idea by disturbing the movie watching public, he added.
Elaborating on this aspect, he said that they( the audience) were disturbed in such a manner that slum population came forward to protest against the production. In this manner Boyle, somewhat succeeded in relating the audience to the movie, he added.
He stressed the production brought about attitudinal and behavioural change.
He informed that Thinking, feeling and behaviour were important aspects of Media Ecology. He clarified some vague concepts as Praxis-Nature i.e., Practice found in this vast topic.
He pinpointed that Amoeba, Bacteria, Virus are co existing with Multi cellular organisms.
Pertaining to contemporary media formats, Documentaries, movies are cut off from the world.
He warded off generalised notion on this aspect by adding: " It is, of course according to the title of the production or work. " To prove this, he cited an example of a Documentary on Science and technology.
Elucidating further, he said that the production may be a silent video, which touches an issue or a concept in a subtle manner: it touches the triumvirate of thinking, behaving and feeling. He said that once it meets these three criterias, it has succeeded in finding its audience.
He said Monocellular, Non-cellular organisms originate in this earth and we humans are not alienated from others.
He reportedly said that We ( human beings) are driving away other organisms and in a way taking over the reality. " We are playing a monocultural role " he added.
He put a subquestion by stating that in Election times, " how many organisations come forward to give human rights ? "
Elaborating this somewhat philosophical talk, he gave students attending the programme an example of a documentary based on a cat somewhere in the West which was brought at $ 5o,000.
The same documenary again showed the stark contrast of a cat living in a shanty area, he added.
Crossing over from these, he cited some organisations which protected and took care of animals.
He affirmed the connection between life and earth by throwing light on the complementing role of human lives and animal lives.
He threw light on concepts and extensions as JPIC ( Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation). He stressed that Creation is " Earth ."
He claimed that Nature can't be compartmentalised, though it is essentially being put under one umbrella. Unknowingly, we are creating a crisis situation to make the other person aware of.
The reason he cited for such a trend to take place is to bring about attitudinal and behaviural changes.
Dwelving into the intricacies of the subject he threw light on the logistics of Media Ecology which are its areas i.e., " Sensitivity " with regard to Media + Ecology which again is a Keyword.
Sensitivity should be kept in mind while producing an Audio-Visual presentation, he added.
Throwing light on the criterias of a documentary video he said that the filmaker should be sensitised on the area filmed, besides being focussed on the same.
Mr. Oliver claimed that following these would bring about an effective change. Shifting to other logistics, he said that " audacity " which means boldness is the ability in a filmaker to face legal consequences of his work.
Last but not the least, he wrapped up his lecture by giving the example of social activist, Medha Patkar, adding that when he was through his research formalities , she was leading her activism.
He claimed that she personified the logistic of what was known as " Committed. "
Answering to a question put forward by Jeffrey Tomjose, a 2nd year student of Broadcast Journalism that besides the logistics of the three C's there was also place for what was known as " Reception ? "
He replied: '' Reception is a seperate entity and is a corollary to Communication . "
With this the exhaustive lecture came to a conclusion with it still being a developing concept that has much to be researched and worked upon.
Thank you all.