Project to build capacity of Indigenous communication in northern Argentina
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Project to build capacity of Indigenous communication in northern Argentina

Indigenous communication rights and community identity are being strengthened through a WACC-supported project in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy in northern Argentina.

The Argentinian human rights organization Encuentro Solidario y Democrático is working with the network Mesa de Comunicación Popular e Indígena de Salta y Jujuy to build the capacity of Indigenous radio stations, which play a key role in regional and national networks taking action against inequality in rural areas such as those in Argentina’s far north.

Indigenous broadcasters have suffered from a lack of support from authorities even while the 2009 Audiovisual Communication Services Law, a framework for communities to realize their human right to communication, has had a strong impact in Salta and Jujuy, two of Argentina’s most ethnically diverse provinces.

WACC and funding partners Cultural Survival and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung are helping the Mesa network offer 15 trainings in content generation, basic technical maintenance, and production for five Indigenous radio stations in the two provinces.

The training sessions are exploring the history of community, popular, and Indigenous communication in Argentina, stressing the need to change the social paradigm by promoting the right to communication.

A core focus is gender equity in the media — increasing women’s participation, fostering the creation of editorial lines that promote gender equity, and providing training to bolster efforts to prevent gender-based violence in communities.

Other project activities to further Indigenous communication include an itinerant audiovisual fair highlighting topics from the training sessions and other activities of the Mesa network, and “Popular Communication: Territory of Democracy,” the ninth in a series of public meetings on communication and rural contexts.

Importance of Indigenous media

The project is founded on helping Indigenous radio broadcasters become aware of their importance in a context of democratization and plurality of voices.

“These media have made a significant contribution to Argentine society, accounting for an enormous diversity of identities, cultures, languages, and histories that have been invisible for decades,” notes the Mesa network.

“To accompany them, providing tools and meeting spaces, is to strengthen and deepen the fundamental role they play in their communities, understanding how, from there, they contribute also to the democratic and pluralistic processes of the country.”

Partnering with the Mesa network with this project to strengthen Indigenous radio will enable nearly 558,000 members of communities in Salta and Jujuy, particularly women and girls, to access their right to public communication as guaranteed by the Audiovisual Communication Services Law, says Lorenzo Vargas, WACC’s Communication for Social Change program manager.

WACC and the Boston-based Indigenous rights organization Cultural Survival have partnered for nearly eight years to promote the vital role of community radio to defend communication rights and work towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals at a community level. The Mesa network project is part of WACC’s Communication for All Program (CAP) funded by Bread for the World-Germany.

Scenes from the Ninth Meeting on Communication and Rurality in August 2023.
Photo: Mesa de Comunicación Popular e Indígena de Salta y Jujuy

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