“Despite my age I remember many important moments from Velvet revolution (1989). After Iron curtain fell down (and also later – after Czechoslovakia break up in 1993) many U.S. volunteers arrived to my home country / Slovakia as English-teachers. They didn’t know anything about our history or culture. Therefore they filled their luggage with purification tablets, soaps, shampoos, even toilet papers – just in case if there is nothing to buy in this little post-communist European country.
Slovak citizens do the same mistake by making assumptions and supporting stereotypes about other countries, most likely from Global South (development assistance beneficiaries). With ongoing “refugee crisis” and migration phenomena many Europeans are afraid of unknown and still think that Africa is one country with all its citizens poor, illiterate, lazy having many malnourished children, or that all Muslims are polygamists and terrorists etc.. My mission is to change this perception.
As a former development field worker, responsible development journalist and global education teacher I produce the articles at our „Media about Development“ blogging platform and conduct trainings on responsible development journalism for development volunteers and young journalists in Central Europe. Thanks to that people can better understand current events and issues of the developing world. To see media makers creating media products without discrimination of vulnerable people from local communities would be great satisfaction for me.
Two years ago I moved to Auckland and I love that vibrant mixture of people with different background, from various ethnic groups, religions, subcultures here. Even though, I’m ready to postpone my career of journalist and university teacher and to invest all my energy to the brand new role of being mother in my late 30s, I will continue in this stereotypes-breaking and media-producing approach in New Zealand. I do believe that it‘s wise (and courageous at the same time) to change the way how media inform about global issues and to educate volunteers, as well as young journalists despite current media rules in post-truth era and environment.
I am glad I will be able to talk about my personal and professional life at PechaKucha Night Auckland vol. 55 with catching topic „Courage“ in the Navy Museum soon (on 7th of September).” – Boba Markovic Baluchova (#MediaAboutDev editor-in-chief)