Saturday, March 7, 2009

Culturas al Aire! Cultures on the Air!

The Collaborative Research Project, and The Provostial Funds for Arts and Humanities at Harvard University sponsored a Symposium and Workshop, ¡CULTURAS EN EL AIRE! / CULTURES ON THE AIR! this weekend, March 6-7, 2009. It was an open discussion on Indigenous Radio in the Americas, and ways to strengthen networks, build solidarity and open more spaces for indigenous community radio in the north and south.

Spearheaded by Mapuche scholar Luis E. Cárcamo-Huechante, Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, at Harvard (lcarcamo@fas.harvard.edu), the inter-disciplinary symposium had three goals:

1. To open up a broader discussion on the presence and role of indigenous voices—as “sounds,” as languages, as cultures—in the Americas.

2. To make this initiative open to students and faculty on campus, and in the broader community of Boston area, especially to community leaders, students and scholars who may want to participate not only in the symposium but also in the workshop on the following day.

3. To allow indigenous radio producers and broadcasters to share with our community their knowledge and experiences in indigenous community-oriented radio.

J. Kehaulani Kauanui (Hawaiian, host and producer of the radio program “Indigenous Politics: From New England and Beyond,” Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA), Tiokasin Ghosthorse (Lakota, First Indigenous Radio, New York, USA), Margarita Martinez (Journalist and Documentary Filmmaker, Colombia); Elías Paillán (Mapuche, Observatorio Ciudadano and Founder of the Radio Program “Wixage Anai,” Chile), Mark Camp (Director, Cultural Survival), Bruce Curliss (Nipmuc, Outreach Project Director, Educational Outreach WGBH), and Joanne Dunn (Mi’kmaq First Nation, Executive Director for the North American Indian Center of Boston).

I'll have more about the event in the coming days because it is about mobilizing all our forces to promote and build on the community media networks that are presenting an alternative narrative to the commercial, corporate culture promulgated by the mass media.

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