Imaginaries of Data and Digital Rights among Latin American communities: A podcast series

The project “Imaginaries of data and digital rights” aims to create spaces for generating and promoting conversations about local imaginaries of data and digital rights among local artists, community media producers, indigenous language activists, practitioners and academics in Colombia. The dialogues explore how media literacy and digital literacy can promote the development of local knowledge and critical awareness about data rights, responsibilities, and governance.  This project is part of Tierra Comun Network‘s “Amplifying alternative approaches to data and power in Latin America” initiative and has been funded by a SHHRC grant managed by Simon Fraser University’s School of Communication.

One of the goals of the project was to co-produce of a series of mini-podcasts experimenting with non-traditional formats. Instead of the usual podcast format that is structured by a narrator that guides the conversation, we tried to amplify the voices of the participants without that much commentary or interpretation. Each episode is built as a conversation among the members of two communities: the audiovisual collective La Boquilla TeVe from Cartagena de Indias and the Wayuu Digital Network from La Guajira. The conversation is presented around a major theme, and compiles excerpts from semi-structured interviews I conducted with members of these communities during 2023.

The first episode focuses on the theme of Territories and Communities, and functions as an introduction to the particular contexts where the two communities are located, with particular attention to their culture, history, and processes of resistance against various forms of colonialism. Both communities are located in Northern Colombia, and represent different ethnicities. The one from La Boquilla is composed by afro-descendants, and the one from La Guajira by the Wayuu indigenous people. You can hear (in Spanish), this first episode below or directly on the Internet Archive project page:

The second episode develops around the theme of digital technology appropriation. We learn about the different practices the communities have advanced as they use computers and mobile phones in their everyday lives and for specific projects. Moreover, we hear members of the communities share their particular imaginaries about data, digital rights, and the values their communities try to embed in their technology mediated projects. For instance, we hear about how the Wayuu community has been able to build and design a wikipedia in Wayuunaiki, their own language, embedding their own values of respect, memory, orality and commonality.

The two episodes of the podcast series feature Leonardi Fernandez, member of the Wayuu Digital Network, and Rony Monsalve, Harold Acosta, Rodain Martinez, and Elías Herrera, members of the audiovisual collective La Boquilla TeVe, and were co-produced by Julian Jaramillo and myself, professors-researchers from the Faculty of Communication and Language at Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia.

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