Pop Culture with a Purpose
Using Edutainment Media for Social Change]
We are proud to present this publication and DVD on edutainment for social change.
“Edutainment” is an abbreviation for “Entertainment-Education” and is a communication
strategy that is gaining popularity as its impact is proven over and over again.
What you have in your hands is the fruit of an inspiring collaboration between three
outstanding organizations: Puntos de Encuentro (Nicaragua), Breakthrough (India and US) and
the Soul City Institute of Health and Development Communication (South Africa) supported by
Oxfam Novib KIC learning initiative1. We are happy and proud to work in partnership with these
organizations and excited to be part of this adventure.
When I started working for Oxfam Novib in February 2008, these organizations and their
representatives were among the first I had the honor to meet in person. I am impressed by the
way they are able to get sensitive and often taboo issues on the political and public agenda.
For example, Breakthrough reached more than 35 million people through Is This Justice?
India’s first multi-media campaign to challenge the stigma and discrimination faced by women
living with HIV/AIDS. With a campaign recall value as high as 73%, Breakthrough succeeded in
transforming attitudes and building support for women who are unfairly expelled from their
homes when their husbands die of HIV/AIDS.
The massively successful ‘social soap’ TV series Sexto Sentido (Sixth Sense) produced by Puntos
de Encuentro in the Western Hemisphere’s second poorest country, Nicaragua, had the audacity
to portray lesbian, gay and transgender characters and take on such polemic issues as sexual
abuse, emergency contraception, rape and abortion in a country dominated by the traditional
Catholic Church – all without getting censored or losing their sense of humor. Showing how
domestic violence affects South African women in their primetime TV series of the same name,
Soul City has had massive influence on the perception of people towards violence against
women. The pot-banging by neighbors as a response to domestic violence in the series was
thereafter often seen in the townships in South Africa. There are many more compelling
examples of edutainment’s impact included in this publication.
When these organizations started out, they believed that to bring about not only individual
change but also social change, they needed to be able to reach people on a massive scale and
that the best way was to use the power of popular culture mass media in conjunction with
other educational and community mobilization strategies. In the beginning they didn’t all
know that what they were doing was labeled and theorized as Entertainment-Education or
‘edutainment’, but now they are leaders in the field.
Click on the link below and it will give you the whole document.