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The Discursive-Material Knot

Cyprus in Conflict and Community Media Participation

Nico Carpentier

The theoretical framework of the discursive-material knot consists out of a non-hierarchical ontology of the interactions of the discursive and the material, articulating the assemblages that are driven by this ontological setting as restless and contingent, sometimes incessantly changing shapes and sometimes being deeply sedimented. This book acknowledges the importance of discourse studies, in having produced a better understanding of the socio-political role of frameworks of intelligibility, and of materialism theory in highlighting the importance of the agentic role of materials. Still, the combination of the discursive and the material requires our attention in a much more fundamental way; that is where this book’s first platform aims to provide a contribution.

These ontological-theoretical reflections are not produced in a void, but they are put to work in this book, first in platform two, which consists of a discursive-material re-reading of three theoretical fields, dealing with practices that are all highly relevant in contemporary democracies: participation, community media and conflict (transformation). Finally, in the third platform, this book turns its attention to a particular social reality, analyzing the logic of the discursive-material knot in the particular context of the Cyprus Problem. This case study fills a gap by bringing community media and conflict transformation together, through the analysis of the role of the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC), and its webradio MYCYradio, in contributing to the transformation of antagonism into agonism. Deploying a discursive-material analysis to study the participation and agonization (and their articulation) in CCMC/MYCYradio shows the complexity and richness of conflict transformation processes, in combination with the importance of organizations such as CCMC/MYCYradio for the betterment of society.

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3.1 MYCYradio’s Agonistic Signifying Practices as Contribution to Conflict Transformation

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The analysis of MYCYradio’s signifying practices, and their reception, will focus on a series of re-articulations of the (post-)antagonistic discourse, which are connected with agonism’s nodal points. But as these signifying practices are interventions, embedded in the logic of conflict transformation, the notion re-articulation is preferred here. In the case of the analysis of MYCYradio’s signifying practices, four main re-articulations were identified, which were also present in the reception study. In the latter case, though, a fifth re-articulation was identified, which will be addressed later. In the third subpart, the material component will be added to the analysis, but first comes the analysis of MYCYradio’s signifying practices.

3.1.1 Production and content

The analysis of MYCYradio’s signifying practices will study the agonistic re-articulations that can be found in the broadcasts of the three programs, ← 348 | 349 → One Percent, Cyprus Oral History Project, and Downtown Choris Bakira. This analysis is complemented by the analysis of the interviews with CCMC staff members, MYCYradio producers, and their invited guests. In this analysis, as mentioned, four main re-articulations are distinguished. These re-articulations are: The overcoming/decentering of the divide, the reconfiguration of time, the deconstruction of the homogeneous self, and the elaboration of the cost of the conflict.

Overcoming/decentering of the divide. While antagonistic discourses emphasize radical difference, agonistic discourses focus on conflictual togetherness. In a first set of re-articulations, the existence of a togetherness is emphasized, without ignoring differences and the conflicts this generates. These re-articulations,...

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