“Yes, the Afro people are music, dance, culture, but they are also are a creator of knowledge”

The Reframed Stories Project asks people to respond to dominant themes in news coverage about themselves or issues that affect them. The stories center on the reflections of persons who are more often represented by others than by themselves in media. Through the creation of word clouds using the Media Cloud platform which searches media collections from a particular part of the world, participants were able to reflect and analyze this representation and respond through this digital story. The project allows provides a space to look forward how they can help shape their own media representation through digital media.

Jaqueline Gallegos is a member of Afro Comunicaciones, an organization that works in the localities of Quito, Muisne, Carchi-Imbabura creating written and audio-visual products about Afro-Ecuadorian People's knowledge. The following is a transcript of the video above.

Yo elegí [la palabra] afrodescendencia/afrodescendientes. ?Qué me sorprende de esta nube? Como al inicio siempre la palabra afrodescendiente está ligado a cultura, manifestación, en un inicio, verdad? Pero al final de esta nube se encuentra lo que es conocimiento, educación, desarrollo. lo que te deja ver más bien es como nos están viendo entonces sí, el pueblo afro es música, es danza, es cultura, pero también es proveedor de grandes conocimientos científicos, también es generador de conocimientos y eso no se lo dice o está en los espacios más bajos.

I chose [the word cloud for] “afrodescendant.” What surprises me about this word cloud? At the top, the term “afrodescendant” was linked to culture, manifestations, right? But at the bottom, one could see knowledge, education, and development. That lets us know how they see us, but yes, the afro people are music, dance, culture, but they are also a provider of great scientific knowledge, they are a creator of knowledge, but that is not seen or it is near the bottom [of the word cloud].

Dominant words from 116 articles published between January 2017 and April 2018 found mentioning “afrodescendiente” (afrodescendant) within four Media Cloud collections of Ecuador’s Spanish-language media outlets. (view larger image)

How have the Afro-descendent People been represented in Ecuadorian media?

Más bien [han sido] invisibilizado toda la lucha de los pueblos. No se dice todo lo que se hace ni estar registrado todo lo que se hace y se dice desde el pueblo afro. El pueblo afro no solo [son] los negros que hacen deporte, los que hacen baile y no más. El pueblo afro es un generador de conocimientos, es una cultura que tiene sus propias formas y manifestaciones en muchas áreas.

The People's struggle has been made invisible. Everything that the Afro Peoples are doing and saying is not being told or documented. The Afro People are not only the blacks that play sports or dance. The Afro People are a creator of knowledge, it is a culture that has its own forms and displays in many areas.

How should the Afro-descendent Peoples be represented in the Ecuadorian media?

La representación debe ser desde su cultura, debe ser desde esas riquezas que también te dan y te identifican distinto y diverso. Entonces se debe enriquecer eso no debieran ser unas cosas que te excluyan sino al contrario que te sumen.

The representation must be from their culture, must be from those riches that also provide to you and identify you as different and diverse. Then you should enrich that, it should not be those things that exclude you, but on the contrary, that add to you.

What terms should appear in a word cloud for Afro-descendant Peoples?

Deben estar “luchas,” deben estar “logros,” deben estar “mujeres,” deben estar “niños,” deben estar nuestras abuelas deben estar nuestros “varones”, el “deporte,” pero también debe estar la “ciencia la investigación”, los aportes que se han hecho que se siguen haciendo y que han aportado a la historia no sólo de Ecuador sino del mundo.

The words, “struggle,” “achievements,” “women,” “children,” should all appear. Words about our grandmothers, men, “sports,” but also “investigative science,” are contributions that have made or continue to make history not only of Ecuador, but of the entire world.

This is part of a Rising Frames series developed in close collaboration with the organization El Churo based in Quito, Ecuador. They organized a workshop held on April 21, 2018 that brought together representatives from various collectives and groups to examine how they or issues they care about are represented in the Ecuadorian media and to create stories in response.

Eduardo Avila assisted with the translation of the quotes.

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