Panel: Mediated Nations
MED TV is a UK based Kurdish language satellite station which seeks to provide a normal range of news, entertainment and cultural programmes to Kurds, to all those in its footprint of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The unique history of the Kurdish people, divided by territorial borders and dispersed as refugees around the world, is what makes MED TV an extraordinary enterprise. Satellite technology of the modern world, often seen as an implement to abolish cultural differences, can also be a tool to preserve them. MED TV has followed a policy of giving equal prominence to all Kurdish dialects and makes special provisions for the religious interests of different Kurdish groups. The service is valued alike by Kurds in Europe, cut off from their native region and by Kurds in Turkey, where education, broadcasting and publishing in Kurdish is illegal. MED has received reports of Kurds listening to the station even in Iran — where all satellite dishes are banned. The use of Kurdish and the assertion of Kurdish identity is the subject of intense political controversy; and MED TV, from its beginning in 1995, has to develop in the face of a well-funded campaign to close the station down. Yet still MED TV has survived and flourished and is now in its fourth year of transmitting to a potential audience of 30 million, 18 hours a day. During the !SEA Mediated-Nations panel we all have an opportunity to participate in one of MED’s programmes — Zaningeha MED (University MED). The panel of invited guests in our Brussels studio together with all the viewers will have the opportunity to look at the impact of technology on cultural identity.
- Hikmet Tabak (Kurdistan/Belgium), Director, MED TV