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“The word ‘indigenous,’ is rather like an imposed word…”

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 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.

Martín Quintana Elgueta is a Spanish language professor and academic researcher in the Education Department at Los Lagos University in Osorno, Chile. The following is a transcript of the video about Martín's analysis of the word cloud for the term, “indígena” (indigenous).

Dominant words from 2,957 articles published between May 2017 and May 2018 mentioning “indígena” (indigenous) within two Media Cloud collections of Chile’s Spanish-language media outlets. (view larger image)

Llama la atención aquí en esta nube la asepsia de la palabra ‘indígena’ con respecto a otras palabras que también hemos indagado, como por ejemplo la palabra ‘mapuche.”

Aquí la palabra indígena aparece asociada fundamentalmente a conceptos institucionales, a conceptos vinculados a la participación, la democracia, y algunas estructuras de gobierno, pero de alguna manera, desatendida de su condición más propia. Así, la palabra ‘indígena’ de aquí, resulta más bien como una palabra impuesta, una palabra reconocida como externa y curiosamente desprovista también de otras  señales de tensión, de crisis, y de violencia, que sí aparece en otras palabras, como ‘mapuche’. Creo que eso demuestra de alguna manera también lo externo de la palabra ‘indígena’ en la cosmogonía y cosmovisión mapuche, y de alguna manera también le otorga una impronta de institucionalidad aprendida.

The asepsis of the word “indigenous” calls attention here in relation to some of the other words we have also investigated, such as the word “mapuche.”

Here the word “indigenous” appears to be fundamentally associated with institutional concepts, with concepts related to participation, democracy, and some governmental structures, but somehow, it is unattended from its own condition. Thus, the word ‘indigenous,’ is rather like an imposed word, a word recognized as external and curiously also devoid of other signs of tension, crisis, and violence, which does appear in other words, such as ‘mapuche’. I think that this also shows in some way the external meaning of the word ‘indigenous’ in the mapuche cosmogony and worldview, and in some way also gives it an imprint of learned institutionality.

This is part of a Rising Frames series developed as part of an activity organized by Fernando Carías. He helped organize a workshop held on May 26, 2018 in Osorno, Chile that brought together representatives from various collectives and groups to examine how they or issues they care about are represented in a collection of Chilean media and created stories in response to that representation.

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

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