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Paraguay: Citizen Media Workshops with Aché Communities

The first actitivies for the 2012 class of Rising Voices grantee projects are soon to be underway. In Paraguay, the project Ache djawu/palabra Aché (The Aché Word) has announced on their project blog [es] that its first workshops are scheduled for April 28 [es].

The purpose of the project is to identify several young people from each of the six Aché communities to take part in intensive skills-building workshops in the use of blogs, digital photography and video, as well as social networking, as a way to preserve and promote their language and culture. Tamara Migelson, who is accompanying these communities in these workshops writes about the potential to benefit their communities:

De esta manera se planteó una “urgencia” histórica, ya que tras cuarenta años de adaptación compulsiva a los modos de vivir occidentales, los ancianos y ancianas que vivieron la experiencia de la cultura plena en el monte y que hablan la lengua Aché “original” tienen hoy más de sesenta años y pueden testimoniar sus vidas, sus formas de significar y su cultura. Surgió la necesidad imperiosa de recoger su legado en peligro y unir estos relatos en materiales impresos y audiovisuales para fortalecer la lengua y la cultura Aché.

In this manner, an “urgent” history arose, because after forty years of compulsive adaptation to the Western way of living by the elderly members of the communities who lived these cultural experiences firsthand in the bush. These residents, who are sixty years and older, also speak the “original” Aché language and can provide life testimonies, and what their culture means. The need arose to recover the legacy of this culture at risk and pull together these stories in written and audio-visual materials to stregthen the Aché language and culture.

Beginning on April 28, this three-day workshop will bring together a representative from six different Aché communities, as well as one invited leader to take part in these citizen media activities. The participants will be:

  • Ricardo Mbekrorongi of Kuetuvy, Canindeyú Department.
  • Marciano Chevugi of Chupa Pou, Canindeyú Department.
  • Demecio Urugi of Arroyo Bandera, Canindeyú Department.
  • Santiago Urugi of Ypetimí, Caazapá Department.
  • Franciso Kandegi of Puerto Barra, Alto Paraná Department.
  • Raquel Eiragi of Cerro Morotí, Caaguazú Department.
  • Margarita Mbywangi Kuetuvy leader, Canindeyú Department.

The workshops will take place in the capital city of Asunción and will introduce the participants to one another, and demonstrate how use citizen media to responsibly construct these stories so that they can become spokespersons for their individual communities. Specific topics will focus on the creation of blogs, digital storytelling, and the use and editing of photographs.

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