How do drama serials communicate development goals and achieve dramatic impact? What is involved in translating storylines, such as those from the BBC’s longest running radio soap opera, The Archers, for diverse local cultural contexts? Can drama serials bring about positive social change? This book offers unprecedented insights into the production and consumption of a range of popular radio and television drama serials, broadcast in places as diverse as Afghanistan, Burma, Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Nigeria and Rwanda. It brings into dialogue the perspectives of the creative teams who make ‘dramas for development’, the donors who pay for them, and the audiences who consume them. It also highlights the crucial role of audience research as a tool for making drama and as a resource for translating cultures.
This book emerges from a unique research collaboration over a three year period between The Open University, the University of Adelaide, and the BBC World Service Trust. This path-breaking initiative opens windows on the intertwined worlds of media and development for academics and audiences alike.
Cultural translation means different things for dramatists, development practitioners, donors, audiences, and scholars. Their interests may collude or collide. What accommodations and adjustments are entailed in transnational circuits of serial drama production? What imaginative investments are required on the part of dramatists unfamiliar with local cultures? What cultural assumptions need to be exploded to reach audiences? This book offers an innovative framework for analysing drama for development that will appeal to practitioners and academics alike.