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Organization: Associação Imagem Comunitária, AIC
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?

Once one understands the importance of media in social life, one will notice that education must incorporate elements which will enable people to express themselves in a wide range of ways. With this on mind, Associação Imagem Comunitária (AIC), a not for profit non-governmental organization from Belo Horizonte (Brazil), promotes workshops of mediatic education, researches and advisories on the area of communal communication. It also produces communal educative audiovisual products and organizes meetings and conferences to discuss issues related to the democratization of communication. Finally, it tries to foment the creation and establishment of communal medias.

AIC promotes and supports the creation of means of communication and communicational products entirely managed by the communities. The association has been developing projects in the communitarian communication area since 1993 aiming visibility to the initiatives related to citizenship promotion and social mobilization. Therefore, AIC strengthen the public debate of important issues for the communities through media, contributing to the democratization of means of communication, of citizenship and of culture of nonviolence.

Researches about the projects impact on the youngsters’ lives demonstrate improve in the participants’ self-esteem; participative conduct; disposal for collective and cooperative work; fluency in expressing ideas through written texts and audiovisual languages; interest and search for information on subjects related to culture and citizenship; improve in the performance at school – more motivation and involvement with curricular and extra-curricular activities, bringing up new issues and subjects for discussion. Besides, they are more active in the processes of local communitarian mobilization, such as contact and participation in association’s activities, cultural groups, social projects, and acting as regional representatives in children and adolescent Human Rights defense councils.

OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?

Belo Horizonte is a 2,1 million inhabitants city, 29,9% of which are 10 to 24 years old. Recent studies (data from Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) – Population Counting 1996, Belo Horizonte City Hall 2000 and Lúmen Research Institute 2000) show that 42% of this audience consider the neighborhood where they live to be insecure; 41% consider it to be violent and 72% consider Belo Horizonte to be a violent city.

Fear of a hostile and dangerous city, isolation and need of sympathetic relationships are factors that make a culture of fear to last. A determinant intervention factor is to encourage youth leadership projects promoting citizenship. The city has about 500 organizations that involve children and adolescent, promoting social and cultural projects to improve the quality of life. Most initiatives, however, are not valued by the mass communication mediums. Without visibility, these entities have difficulties promoting their projects and their citizenship and cooperative projects.

ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?

AIC works mainly with groups disadvantaged socially. It was born in 1993, in a project called TV Sala de Espera (Waiting Room TV): an experience of communal television in the northeast of Belo Horizonte. The idea was to produce with the community, a television program that was shown in the health centers’ waiting rooms of the region. Ever since, AIC develops workshops and create publicly accessible means of communication, with the participation of numerous groups: homeless, mental health service users, slums’ inhabitants, schools and NGO’s, as well as communitarian groups that struggle for human rights and promote cultural and mobilizing projects. The main objective is to promote exchange between subjects as members of a collectivity who work towards a more nesting city, creating a network of solidarity and citizenship. It is only the expansion of this spontaneous network to will enable to conquer effective and long-lasting results in the process of constructing and settling a culture of peace.

AIC is strongly active in the media education field, through the development of communication workshops in public schools. A communitarian video produced in one of those workshops, “Fight between Schools” (“Briga entre escolas”), was the winner at the Hague Youth Video Festival, International Video Festival Youngsters for Peace: “My vision of a world without war”, USA/Netherlands, 1999. It is important to highlight that the organization’s work priority aims children and adolescents. Throughout its history, it has developed several actions targeted to people from 12 to 24 years old.

Throughout its history, AIC has been recognized by several prizes and awards. Some of them are the Human Rights Award 2003, Journalism category, awarded by the Special Secretariat for Human Rights (SEDH) from Brazilian Presidency; International Betinho Communication Award 2003, promoted by the Association for Communication Progress (APC); Social Technology Certificate, awarded by Banco do Brasil Foundation and Unesco; classification amongst the NGOs with better inclusive practices for youth in Latin America, by Educative Action NGO (ONG Ação Educativa); finalist at the Yeomans Award for Local Contents, promoted by the international networks Open Knowledge Network and Global Knowledge Partnership; selected by the UNESCO program “Se Buscan ! Searching for Good Ideas and Best Practices in Local Content Production and Distribution in Latin America”.

Amongst the projects supported by the organization, we highlight:  

Rede Jovem de Cidadania (Young Web of Citizenship)
Through Rede Jovem de Cidadania, project developed since 2002 and sponsored by Petrobras, adolescents that belong to cultural and social movements from the nine regions of the city of Belo Horizonte (Brazil) create communicational productions, which reach large audiences. The proposal is developing spheres of expression so that youth movements which usually have scarce visibility on conventional media make their ideas public. The youngsters produce a weekly television program (broadcasted by Rede Minas de Televisão, a public, educational and open channel), a weekly radio program (broadcasted by local educational stations), a newspaper (freely distributed, in the public schools of Belo Horizonte), a website (www.redejovembh.org.br), a webzine (www.aic.org.br/rede/webzine) and news agency (that sends weekly bulletins to conventional media and NGO’s).

Juventude e Direitos Humanos (Youth and Human Rights)
Promotion of Human Rights by active groups and movements is the base of the project started in February 2005, targeting young people. With the support of Ecumenic Service Coordination (CESE), the project involves creating a educative campaign including documentaries for television, radio shows, a website and a CD-Rom. While developing and producing the campaign, the youngsters are intended to increasingly assume the role of creator of his/her own means to understand acquired rights and to organize themselves to conquer new rights.

Cuco – Juventude, Cultura e Comunicação (Youth, Culture and Communication)
Fostered since 2004, and financially funded by Instituto Credicard, Cuco is a project in which young multipliers implant, through a partnership with popular movements and public schools, experiences of communal radio stations spread over the whole city of Belo Horizonte. The experiences vary from school radios until web-radios, including also mobile stations and programs to be transmitted on already existing local communitarian stations.

Rádio São Rafael (São Rafael radio station)
Supported by Instituto Ester Assumpção, this Project takes place on Instituto São Rafael, an educational institution dedicated to blind people from Belo Horizonte. From the year 2005, a group of blind youngsters has been passing through an educational process in which they produce radio programs to be broadcasted on an internal communal station. The programs will also be recorded in CDs and distributed to other communal stations. The main goal is promoting a discussion about the social inclusion of this public.

Recording Fight between Schools” ("Briga entre escolas"), winner at the Hague Youth Video Festival - "My vision of a world without war".

Adolescents producing a radio show for the Young Web of  citizenship (Rede Jovem de Cidadania), at Radio Favela, in Belo Horizonte.

Brazilian teenager, part of the Young Web of Citizenship project producing a television program.

ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?

Communal Image Association will continue working toward the democratization of the means of communication and promoting citizenship among the socially excluded groups. Part of AIC’s plans include the expansion and strengthening of communitarian communication networks that are being created and effective implement of new alternatives for public access to communication.

PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

The hundreds of communitarian workshops in video, radio, newspaper and internet promoted by Communal Image Association have educated an audience of about 2,5 thousand people towards a critical and effective relationship with the social communication means, targeting the promotion of citizenship and of a peace culture. By having access to media products, the information broadcasted by the solidarity networks reach thousands of people more.

Besides the companies and institutions that support the projects, Communal Image Association has partnerships with institutions and organizations for Human Rights and Citizenship promotion. There are over 250 partners, to be quoted specially: Special Secretariat for Human Rights, Health Channel (Canal Saúde, Health Ministry, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation), National Forum of Youth Movements and Organizations, National Forum of Human Rights Education, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), State Forum Against Child Labour For Child Protection, Child and Adolescent City Board, Youth Observatory, Belo Horizonte City Hall, among others.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?

Communal Image Association will continue working toward the democratization of the means of communication and promoting citizenship among the socially excluded groups. Part of AIC’s plans include the expansion and strengthening of communitarian communication networks that are being created and effective implement of new alternatives for public access to communication.

Postal address of organization

Rua Tabaiares, 62, 2º andar. Bairro Floresta. Belo Horizonte - MG / ZIP CODE: 30150-040

E-mail address of organization


Website address of organization


Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

Free flow of information and knowledge

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

Democratic participation

Highest priority country of action (or international)

Brazil (Belo Horizonte)

Second priority country of action (or international)

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Organization: Associação Imagem Comunitária, AIC

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