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“It is surprising not to find terms related to social demands and the communities’ defense of the territory”

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.

Verónica Aguilar Martínez is Mixtec and a post-graduate student in linguistics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM for its initials in Spanish) in Mexico City. The following is Verónica's analysis of the word cloud for the term “mixtec*” The asterisk is used in the search to include all of the terms that may end with different letters (for example, mixteco, mixteca, etc).

Al hacer la búsqueda de “mixtec*”, con resultados del último año, sobresalen dos temas: el lingüístico y el cinematográfico. Notamos que, en el lingüístico, se relaciona al mixteco con otros idiomas indígenas, probablemente porque enfrentan problemas similares, pero también porque se les suele meter a todos en el mismo costal. En cuanto al cinematográfico, parece que los medios prestaron mucha atención a la película protagonizada por una actriz mixteca y que concursó en los premios Óscar este año.

Sin embargo, sorprende no encontrar términos relacionados con las demandas sociales y la defensa del territorio en comunidades que han sido amenazadas por proyectos mineros recientemente. La lengua y la cultura se celebran, pero ¿cuándo se atiende lo político?

When conducting the search for the term “mixtec *”, with results from the previous year, two themes stand out: linguistic and cinematographic. We note that, in the linguistic one, the term Mixtec is related to other indigenous languages, probably because they face similar problems, but also because they are usually put in the same sack. As for the cinematographic one, it seems that the media paid a lot of attention to the film starring a Mixtec actress who attended the Oscars (Academy Awards) this year.

However, it is surprising not to find terms related to social demands and the communities’ defense of the territory that have been recently threatened by mining projects. The language and culture are celebrated, but when will the political aspects receive attention?

Palabras dominantes de 10.619 artículos publicados entre 12 de noviembre de 2018 y 12 de noviembre de 2019 que mencionan a “mixtec*” en dos recopilaciones de Media Cloud de los medios de comunicación en español de México.

This is part of a Rising Frames series developed as part of an activity held at the Festival of Indigenous Languages on the Internet held on October 27, 2019. The workshop brought together representatives from various collectives and groups to examine how they or issues they care about are represented in media collections in Latin America and created stories in response to that representation.

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