What is AIC?

The history of Associação Imagem Comunitária (AIC) started in 1993, when a Communication Science students’ group from Belo Horizonte (BH) took on the task of creating expression and visibility channels that could engender new ways of appropriation of the media. The goal was to build plural and positive images about the culture, the suburbs and the city’s communities.

It was in the TV Sala de Espera, an extension project of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), that the group got the tools and support needed to start this work. The project, which was also the first communitarian TV from BH, was based on the production of TV programs shown in waiting rooms of public health centers in the northeast region of BH. The major difference of the proposal, however, was not the issue discussed neither the video exhibition spaces, but the production process of the TV programs, that involved and sought to give voice to the neighborhoods residents – especially public school students and young people connected to cultural movements of the communities.

The TV Sala de Espera experience inspired the group to develop participatory approaches of work and public sensitization. The effort was not only making these actions spaces of collective elaboration of media products, but also to unfold critical processes and creative construction of ideas, knowledge and collaborative networks, which we call “media-process”. This is the basis of our work still today, and is revealed in projects involving media production, mobilization and public education, covering the cities of Minas Gerais and other states.

Among the various actions that our organization has developed, the highlights are the partnerships with popular collectives, cultural organizations and youth movements working for the promotion of citizenship, performing audiovisual, print, radio and web productions, always collaboratively. It is also important to note the formative processes in the fields of media education and communitarian media production. Moreover, since 2007 we provide services and offer consulting in the areas of education, communication and social mobilization to companies and public entities.

Everything that we built together with our partners has contributed to the strengthening of our NGO and the consolidation of our projects. Today, the work of AIC is recognized by various bodies and institutions, such as the Human Rights Secretariat of the Presidency, Ministry of Culture, ECLAC-UN, UNESCO, UN-HABITAT and UNICEF.