EMPOWERING INDIGENOUS YOUTH THROUGH DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING
Local communities and indigenous peoples are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts because they rely on fragile ecosystems for their livelihoods, but they also hold many of the solutions to the climate change crisis. Despite this fact, mainstream media under-represents Indigenous communities reproducing stereotypes and ignoring unique knowledge.
Lack of representation in media production results in reduced diversity of ideas and perspectives in the media. This often results in manipulation, lack of political participation and knowledge about rights. It lessens opportunities to engage in politics or to assume responsibilities in government. Indigenous people or underrepresented groups (ie refugees, Roma, immigrants, etc) who are denied their voice will find it difficult to fight oppression, work with allies, or maintain their culture.
Without the means to make their voices heard, communities become atomized within themselves and invisible to the outside world. Aid and development efforts in these communities often fail for lack of appropriate problem/need identification. Specialized traditional knowledge can be lost and the value of modern experience in combatting climate change may never be shared.
Voces Indígenas is the first step towards empowering underrepresented voices. As a pilot project, Voces Indígenas – Peru, will give a voice to indigenous youth and bi-lingual teachers of the Peruvian Amazon Region/Loreto through training in indie documentary filmmaking.