“It is as if Participatory Video was created by Indigenous Peoples!”

– Anabela Carlon Flores, Yaqui Indigenous Facilitator, Mexico

What is the Living Cultures Indigenous Fellowship?

The Living Cultures Indigenous Fellowship is InsightShare’s groundbreaking strategy for opening access through the internet, to Indigenous Peoples, wishing to harness the power of participatory video as a tool for engaging and mobilizing their communities.

Indigenous Peoples, and the cultural traditions they belong to, have much wisdom and experience to offer human society at this critical crossroads. Yet, Indigenous Peoples remain the most marginalised and the least heard: 80% of the world’s biodiversity is on Indigenous lands, but Indigenous Peoples are often criminalised and even killed for protecting these territories. These issues are compounded by lack of access to communications technology and connectivity, low literacy and the erosion of traditional languages and knowledge.

So, how can we best provide remote training to our Indigenous partners and support them to use communication technologies safely for self-determination, self-representation and positive local action?

A woman and a man in Northern Kenya attach a camera to a tripod during a Participatory Video project

Over the next two years, we will be taking on this challenge. Together with a select team of designers, facilitators and Indigenous changemakers we are co-designing an online and offline programme which will share the powerful participatory media tools and approaches that InsightShare have developed over the last 20 years.

We are building on InsightShare’s established international network of autonomous Community Media Hubs, spanning 3 continents, 8 Indigenous communities and 2 urban centres. These hubs amplify voices, empower communities to lead their own development processes, build solidarity and forge connections with stakeholders. The Living Cultures Fellowship will support our hubs in furthering these goals and reach new communities.

Follow this journey as it unfolds on our social media and newsletter.

We want to challenge ourselves

Our current resources, toolkits and online courses are well loved, but they are created for people with a formal education, written in the dominant languages and designed by professionals for professionals. We are addressing this and challenging ourselves to further decolonise our training and support of Indigenous facilitators.

To achieve this we will be guided by a “design thinking” or “human-centred design” approach. Together with our indigenous fellows we will build a learning model and resources that will be tested in some of world’s most extreme contexts, by people who know the real needs and constraints and who are deeply engaged in creating local positive change. We want to open the channels of real collaboration, social innovation, and true change for a better system.

“Since starting Participatory Video five years ago, we have been able to tell stories from our perspective. These stories – that we make, we document – have even reached the UN.” – Samwel Nangiria

Ambitious actions need collective support! You can donate and become part of this exciting journey or follow the story on our social media and our newsletter.

“Unlike other kinds of documentation where the outsider documents the stories of the insider, Participatory Video empowers local communities because it is based on participatory approaches – from concept to execution, the local community takes charge. This and the transfer of technological skills and equipment adds up to the empowerment of participants.”

– Seno Tsuhah, Programmes Director NEN Nagaland, India

Support for this programme is spearheaded by the Bertha Foundation.

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