Alternative Narratives and Intercultural Communication: Building Bridges Between Intercultural Policies and Communication, An Intercultural Cities Academy, Council of Europe, 12-21 April 2021, Online.
What story does your city tell? All cities have a history; a sequence of concrete facts that are known, and that have brought us to where we are today. However, how we tell the story of our city, how we choose to frame it, the narratives we choose, will impact how that story is perceived and understood. Our story is but a puzzle of many small, diverse and intertwined pieces with different shapes and forms. The story of our city is in fact not one, but many. Do you know what stories are told and listened to? How are they told, and by whom? Is the same story told by everyone, in the same way? Herein lies the art of narrative – while we cannot change facts, we have the power to choose how we communicate about them, ensuring all stories of our city are told. We understand we can enrich our communication with multiple perspectives, fill it with many voices and value the diversity of our city. Through this, we share our history while adding more pieces to the puzzle.
When to tell that story? For intercultural inclusion to occur, city authorities shall adopt a clear and well-publicised message emphasising their commitment to intercultural principles, on all occasions, in all their communication. Every story is intercultural in a diverse city and can contribute to achieving a climate of public opinion more conducive to positive intercultural relations.
Who should that story target? All residents, regardless of their nationalities, origins, languages, religions/beliefs, sexual orientation and age group. This is not to say that every communication needs to be intended for every resident, as the most effective communications are those that target audience segments defined by particular core values and daily concerns.
Target group? Communication staff, press officers, coordinators and other relevant city representatives of cities that are members of Intercultural Cities Programme.