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Digital media initiatives as a resistance strategy by Indigenous peoples’ movements in contemporary Brazil

PhD project This research project investigates how Indigenous peoples use digital media as a strategy of resistance and political mobilization in contemporary Brazil.

Earlier studies reveal a routine of denigration of Indigenous peoples in dominant media and the use of stereotypes rooted in coloniality. Digital media brings new possibilities for Indigenous collectives to voice their narratives and strengthen connections between different territories. On the other hand, the logics of social media platforms often reproduces old asymmetries. The study looks at several digital media initiatives developed by Indigenous people in Brazil (e. g. Rádio Yandê, Mídia Índia, Rejuind, Ascuri) to reflect about how they construct their own discourses about indigeneity; how they use digital media to protest and claim for rights and how do they participate on the global dynamics of social movements. With this project I expect to contribute to the academic reflections about Indigenous owned media, digital media and the relations between social media and protest. In addition, I hope that this project also contributes to civil society dialogues about the importance of minority voices, in this case Indigenous movements, in a moment of political and environmental global crisis. The study is informed by earlier research about Indigenous owned media initiatives in different parts of the globe, literature on digital media, social media and radical media. The theoretical framework is also based on Indigenous research methodologies with the central concepts of decolonization, collaboration and specific ethics. The used methods are digital ethnography, qualitative interviews, observations and a critical discourse analysis approach to text.

Head of project

Camila Emboava Lopes
Doctoral student

Project overview

Project period:

Start date: 2018-01-01

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Culture and Media Studies

Research area

Media and communications