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Voice of the voiceless: agency and power struggles of indigenous filmmakers in Colombia.

LULKOWSKA, Agata (2019) Voice of the voiceless: agency and power struggles of indigenous filmmakers in Colombia. In: MeCCSA 2020 (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association), 8 January 2020, Brighton University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract or description

Using the example of collaborative indigenous filmmaking of the Zhigneoshi Collective lead by the Arhuaco community of Colombia, this paper explores the power struggles involved in gaining the auto-representation agency by indigenous communities. How do the voiceless gain their voice? What does this voice say, and where is it heard? International media landscape often become the primary distribution ground for such productions, taking audiences from across the cultures on the journey to ‘discover’ the ‘original voice’. This creates new contexts for the complex power relations and fresh definitions of ‘otherness’ in the politics of representation. In such circumstances, what is the legitimacy of self-representation tendencies among the indigenous communities? Also, how are they perceived in the ever-changing media landscape with its demanding and rigorous rules and requirements of appropriate timing, narration and length of films? And, finally, how can the ‘voice of the voiceless’ compete with professional filmmakers who are well-familiar with the rules of distribution, marketing and public relations? This paper, supported by the documentary film focused on the Arhuaco filmmaking and their struggle for the control of the images depicting the community, is an interdisciplinary commentary on the complex interrelationship between intercultural communication and politics of representation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Faculty: School of Computing and Digital Technologies > Film, Media and Journalism
Event Title: MeCCSA 2020 (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association)
Event Location: Brighton University
Event Dates: 8 January 2020
Depositing User: Agata LULKOWSKA
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2020 11:21
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2020 11:21
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/6139

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