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“Women are identified as representing the territory, so women are sacred”

The Reframed Stories Project asks people to respond to dominant themes and issues that appear in news coverage about their communities. These stories are reflections by people who are frequently represented by others in the media. Word clouds are created using the Media Cloud platform, a data analysis tool which examines a collection of media outlets over a specific period of time, allowing participants to analyze and discuss the preliminary insights into how they might be represented in the media. The project refrains from making conclusive pronouncements about the data, and instead is a starting point that creates space for discussion about how they can help shape their own media representation through digital media.

Yessica Paola Izquierdo is an Arhuacan leader and part of the Cultural Advisory Committee of the Mamos. The following is a transcript of the video above about Yessica's analysis of the word cloud for the term, “Sierra Nevada,” a mountain range in Colombia which is also home to several indigenous communities.

Dominant words from articles published between January 2017 and April 2018 found mentioning “Sierra Nevada” (mountain range in Colombia) in 1,187 articles within five Media Cloud collections of Colombian’s Spanish-language media outlets. (View larger image)

Como mujer pienso que también se debe resaltar nuestro rol y lo que significamos y lo que representamos. Como mujer, nosotras las arhuacas, tenemos una gran importancia. La mujer es identificada como representación del territorio, es decir, lo que representa el territorio, así que las mujeres son sagradas. Las mujeres somos el equilibrio para el hombre, para dar ese impulso espiritual para que el hombre cumpla sueños.

Las mujeres indígenas somos ese querer que cumple sueños también en la casa, y de igual forma tenemos nuestro rol del tejido que es importante para nosotros, porque tejer significa pensamiento, significa territorio, significan nuestros sueños, significa nuestros pensamientos. Entonces, es muy importante también resaltar el trabajo de la mujer.

As a woman, I think our role, our meaning, and what we represent should also be highlighted. We, the Arhuaco women have great importance. Women are identified as representing the territory, that is, what the territory represents, so women are sacred. Women are the balance for man, to give that spiritual impulse for man to fulfill their dreams.

Indigenous women are those who also want to fulfill dreams in our households, and in the same way, we have our role of weaving together that which is important to us because weaving means thought, it means territory, it means our dreams, it means our thoughts. So, it is also very important to highlight the work of women.

What words or terms should an ideal word cloud representing the Arhuaco People in the media include?

  • Saberes ancestrales
  • Cosmovision arhuaco
  • Importancia del territorio
  • Autonomía política
  • Consulta previa
  • Independencia economica
  • Defensa a la Sierra Nevada
  • Ancestral wisdom
  • Arhuaco worldview
  • Importance of territory
  • Political autonomy
  • Prior consultation
  • Economic independence
  • Defense of la Sierra Nevada

This is part of a Rising Frames series developed with Mónica Bonilla, who organized and facilitated a workshop held on May 18, 2018 at the Center of Internet and Society at Del Rosario University -ISUR- in Bogotá, Colombia that brought together representatives from the Arhuaco and Wayuu indigenous communities to take part in this digital storytelling activity.

Mónica Bonilla assisted with the transcription and translation, which was edited for clarity and length.

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