Audiovisual Activists from the Heart of the World: Interculturality and Knowledge Otherwise

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 11:45
Location: Hörsaal 23 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Paula RESTREPO, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia
Juan VALENCIA, Universidad Javeriana, Colombia
Since the beginning of the 21th century, some collectives belonging to indigenous communities in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia, South America) are working together and have been creating their own digital audiovisual productions. So far they have produced eleven audiovisual pieces, amid the conflicts, controversies and divisions surrounding Colombia’s and the Sierra’s geopolitics. These original productions place issues of representation, self-representation and knowledge generation and communication in the forefront. The production processes have demanded intercultural interactions among different indigenous peoples that live in the Sierra (Kogi, Arhuaco, Wiwa, and Kankuamo, to a lesser extent), as well as with external supporters, government officials and other stakeholders. These production efforts emerged as a political tactic (De Certeau) that sought to defend both the lives of these communities and the life of the "Heart of the World" as its original inhabitants call the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, currently under all kinds of threats. The main goal of this tactic is to create and expand intercultural networks with whom they call "younger siblings" (non-indigenous people), so that they help them to generate possibilities of resistance and re-existence (Escobar).

This paper seeks to explore the diverse communication practices (Martin-Barbero, Couldry) that have taken place in the production of these eleven  audiovisual pieces and reflect on their intercultural (Fornet-Betancourt, Walsh) and decolonial (Mignolo, Mora) capability potential. For this we use a methodology described as an issue-centered impact analysis (Whiteman, 2009), reconstructing the various issue-networks emerging at different times of the processes of preproduction, production and circulation: audiovisual and knowledge tactics, alliances with mestizo documentary filmmakers, cultural change, educational processes and transnational intellectual practices (Mato).