This project aims to contribute to the strengthening and preservation of Tsotsil language, through the articulation of a group of young tsotsil artists who, through podcasts, share their experiences, knowledge, concerns and opinions, which can be shared through local radio systems and of course, internet. Everyone is an expert in their own native tongue. Therefore, it is very important to actively involve tsotsil young people in this process. The goal is not only to preserve this language, but help to find new paths for its evolution in this century: that's why is a living language.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
San Pedro Chenalho, San Miguel Mitontic & San Pablo Chalchihuitán.
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
The Tsotsil region of Chiapas is one of the poorest in all the country. It is the second most widely spoken indigenous language in the state and despite that, the spaces for its dissemination are scarce. Young people want to speak their own language but cultural hegemony that Spanish language exercised over them, is so strong that for many of them it is shameful to speak in Tsotsil. Not coincidentally, the EZLN was born in this region. We believe tsotsil young people already have the power for recover their own language, its just matter of bringing them all the necesary tools for achieve this. It's a new century, so, we must think in a different way. Besides, Tsotsil people enliven the wheel business and their economic contribution for the region, is the most important after tourism.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The project aims to empower Tsotsil speakers and to create spaces for Tsotsil dissemination. We have a thematic proposal for creating the podcasts (news, oral traditions, community problems, tongue twisters, jokes, poems, tsotsil-spanish lessons, etc.) but we know that to get young people excited and involved in the project, should be them the ones to propose topics that will be addressed during the project. This is their project, we are just a support for them. In fact, the idea for this proyect was born from them. So, only they know what's going to happen.
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.
Currently, we are developing with the WKKF’s help, a program in several municipalities, where young people develop activities as proposed in this project. Also, we collaborate with Mozilla in translating the Firefox to Tsotsil and we have a wide network of partners with whom we are developing various educational materials in tsotsil. We also have the support of the municipal authorities and the young people parents. We hope to begin the coordination of a network of young Tsotsil radio and tv with another organization's help, as soon as possible. We already are in contact with a few radio stations all around the state, who will help us to disseminate the podcasts. We are also making “Acción Poética Tsotsil”, a latinamerican urban poetry movement in the 4 biggest cities in state.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
In first place, the project includes working with at least 100 youths from 3 different municipalities, providing training on how to produce podcasts. In its 2nd phase, the project seeks to select a group of at least 15 young designers to produce podcasts. Convene youth to participate is simple because we had worked with them for the last 5 years, which has allowed us to create a network of collaboration and trust strong enough. All our workshops have a games-based pedagogy focus and a inter-generational one. Besides, this project is an initiative of them.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
During the first workshops will be used games-based pedagogy and experiential tools, and techniques for proper voice modulation. Work done by others will use to illustrate and support the learning process, like the “Radialistas” work. For recording podcasts we'll use Audacity and Rosegarden as auxiliary software.
The organization has all necessary experience to carry out the project. We recorded in 2010 a hip-hop album with young people in jail (not an easy job) and we are currently developing the digital version of the Tsotsil traditional musical instruments.
The organization's operational team has one person with experience in radio, a musician and producer (myself), An intercultural communicator, a writer, besides 3 Tsotsil speakers.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The organization has a program called “Estación Juventud” (Youth Station) in 9 municipalities in the region. This program consists of the articulation of public spaces for the benefit of young people, which are trained on a variety of topics such arts, technology and human development. The first stage of this project will be held in the facilities of the Youth Station in each municipality. The second stage, in the facilities of the Chenalho's Youth Station, currently, the best equipped. And has 6 PCs, mobile broadband connection, speed of 1mb, enough tables and chairs, two 5-inch audio monitors and the necessary software. We also count with a projector and a massive sample and loops storage.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
The organization has been working for the last five years in the region, making it possible to establish bonds of trust and strong collaboration with communities. We are one of the first organizations that identified the need to work in the region and one of the most experienced. We are currently looking to sign (in some cases have already been signed) cooperation agreements with local authorities to guarantee the existence of the “Stations” for the next ten years. It is noteworthy that the “Stations” are part of a larger plan that involves the construction of a university in the region. Not a traditional university, but something we called p2p university, which has started to come alive since last year and includes the use and development of new technologies. New paradigms, rather.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The only obstacle identified is related to weather conditions. The rain could temporary hinder access to communities, an issue that could solve by changing the schedule, even changing the venues.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
) At least 100 young people receive workshops on developing podcasts.
2) At least 15 young artists involved creating podcasts.
3) At least 15 podcasts be transmitted in at least three different radio stations.
4) At least 100 people listen the podcasts on the web site created for that.
5) At least 5 young people continue creating podcasts once the project ends.
Besides, The organization will develop the reports of each workshop, the photographic record and a brief visual record of the process, including the experiences of young people and the views of some listeners.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
May: 2 how-to-building podcasts workshops in Mitontic by may 13th and 20th, respectively.
June: 2 how-to-building podcasts workshops in Chenalho by june 10th and 17th, respectively.
July: 2 how-to-building podcasts workshops in Chalchihuitán by 15th and 22th, respectively.
August: 3 building podcasts sessions in Chenalho by 12th, 19th, 26th, respectively.
September: 3 building podcasts sessions in Chenalho by 9th, 16th, 23th, respectively.
October: podcasts post-production and publication.
November: Publication of the project's report by november 18th.
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
1) Hardware (1 desktop PC) – 600
2) Hardware (Podcastudio) – 400
3) Stationery (Pens, – 400
notebooks, flip chart,
4) Computer supplies – 300
(USB stick, CDs, DVDs)
5) Travel (Gas, -1500
fuel additive, tolls,)
6) Internet service – 300
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
Undoubtedly, it is very helpful for us if you can linkage us to international actors who may be interested to join the project and to enrich and expand its scope. Besides, any learning material is very helpfully.
Jesús Gil Alfaro
Proyecto DIFA Alternativas y Actualización A.C.