We will work to empower residents of Villa Inflamable (VI), a slum on the outskirts of Buenos Aires facing eviction, to act as citizen journalists and advocates for themselves and for similar communities. Our communication team and media experts will hold blogging/podcasting workshops together with VI’s Neighborhood Council. The content will both be disseminated within VI and outside the community, raising social awareness of this struggle.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Villa Inflamable, Avellaneda, Province of Buenos Aires
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
The 7,000 residents of VI live in a slum settlement by a chemical site near Argentina’s most polluted river. Suffering from health problems due to the pollution, they are to be relocated by the state, but have not been allowed to participate in the relocation process.
Although VI residents have a Facebook page for sharing info, they have no formal media training and their small online footprint prevents society from hearing their story.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The content will include a) news and updates about the relocation process; b) personal profiles/stories of VI residents; and c) reports of community conditions (health, environment, etc).
Content will be presented in two ways; in blog form (writing/photo) and in audio (to be distributed to radio stations) designed to reach “offline” residents.
The platform will serve as a key resource for communities at risk of eviction across Buenos Aires
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established that will contribute to the success of the project.
ACIJ has worked with VI for 1.5 years, supported the Neighborhood Council with legal and organizing resources, and developed a strong partnership with community leaders. Our 7 year trajectory of defending social rights in other slum communities around Buenos Aires has led us to develop contacts with local media and NGOs who will help publicize the project. The existence of the VI Facebook page, with 625 friends, is also a positive precedent.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
We estimate that 20-40 residents will be trained in citizen media creation via workshops, and we will ensure that there is diversity of gender, age, and national origin among participants. As these residents share their skills with others, the number of contributors to the project would rise to at least 100, with a particular focus on youth involvement. As they are already mobilized against the eviction, their participation will be sustained.
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices can provide visibility for the struggle of VI residents by sharing their media on its networks. It can also provide us with information and opportunities to link with other communities at risk of eviction using new media as a tool of empowerment and resistance, as well as models for successful media training.
Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ)