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Minority, Media and Representation Across Europe

Final Activity Report Summary - MINORITYMEDIA (Minority, media and representation across Europe)

MINORITYMEDIA's project was founded on the point that multidisciplinary approaches on the media as well as the topic of national cohesion overwhelmingly relate to mainstream media. They are not, however, the only ones to question nations. Alongside them coexist a multitude of cultural productions led by ethnic or religious groups which, both in their existence and by their positions, contribute to the redefinition of national identity, identities of minority groups, and individual identities. Among these productions, researches on ethnic minority media have shown their historically rooted characteristics as they are contemporary of the first waves of migration - both internal and external - as well in Europe as in North-America. Nowadays products of global migration and proliferation of minority cultures, analogue and digital ethnic minority media are both producers and containers of identity.

The EU Marie Curie excellence project MINORITYMEDIA has contributed to analyse the crucial role of ethnic minority media in identity production and representation. It helped to understand that the orientation and production of ethnic minority media must ultimately be understood within a transnational field of informational flow, diasporic/identity engagement and self-(re)presentation. Even most notably, it has also helped to spot new trends regarding cultural communication in the European public sphere. That is to say the emergence, in most of the post-colonial immigration countries, of renewed mediated forms and practices of cultural production addressing ethnic/religious, cosmopolitan/diversity, and citizenship/anti-discrimination issues.

The widespread use of ICTs and the advent of Web 2.0 have particularly amplified the expression of cultural and religious actors in the sense that they have introduced new facilities and new tools. The year 2005 is emblematic of this e-revolution, with the birth of thousands of blogs and forums dedicated to cultural and religious matters. Minorities are particularly implicated in the use of Web 2.0 thanks to simple, democratic and open conditions of the flow of information. Cyberminorities, cyberdiasporas and cybermigrants, stakeholders of the Web 2.0 are experiencing 'cultural extraversion'. By its extreme flexibility and adaptability, the Web 2.0 became the 'resistance identity' of minorities. The Internet is, for all minorities, a way to intervene in public debate, sometimes using anonymity as a resource for speaking up in the public arena.

Online connectivity, alongside a differentiated understanding of mobility patterns, plays a shaping role in the making of cultural and religious belonging while academic debates on diversity, simultaneously, poses both challenges and opportunities to the ways in which belonging is created and experienced. Thus, we arrived to the conclusion that there is an increasing importance of communication technologies and that the "homing work" is possible in online communication.