Global Indigenous Media

Cultures, Poetics, and Politics

Global Indigenous Media

Book Pages: 376 Illustrations: 30 illustrations, 1 table Published: August 2008

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Media Studies, Native and Indigenous Studies

In this exciting interdisciplinary collection, scholars, activists, and media producers explore the emergence of Indigenous media: forms of media expression conceptualized, produced, and created by Indigenous peoples around the globe. Whether discussing Maori cinema in New Zealand or activist community radio in Colombia, the contributors describe how native peoples use both traditional and new media to combat discrimination, advocate for resources and rights, and preserve their cultures, languages, and aesthetic traditions. By representing themselves in a variety of media, Indigenous peoples are also challenging misleading mainstream and official state narratives, forging international solidarity movements, and bringing human rights violations to international attention.

Global Indigenous Media addresses Indigenous self-representation across many media forms, including feature film, documentary, animation, video art, television and radio, the Internet, digital archiving, and journalism. The volume’s sixteen essays reflect the dynamism of Indigenous media-making around the world. One contributor examines animated films for children produced by Indigenous-owned companies in the United States and Canada. Another explains how Indigenous media producers in Burma (Myanmar) work with NGOs and outsiders against the country’s brutal regime. Still another considers how the Ticuna Indians of Brazil are positioning themselves in relation to the international community as they collaborate in creating a CD-ROM about Ticuna knowledge and rituals. In the volume’s closing essay, Faye Ginsburg points out some of the problematic assumptions about globalization, media, and culture underlying the term “digital age” and claims that the age has arrived. Together the essays reveal the crucial role of Indigenous media in contemporary media at every level: local, regional, national, and international.

Contributors: Lisa Brooten, Kathleen Buddle, Cache Collective, Michael Christie, Amalia Córdova,
Galina Diatchkova, Priscila Faulhaber, Louis Forline, Jennifer Gauthier, Faye Ginsburg, Alexandra Halkin, Joanna Hearne, Ruth McElroy, Mario A. Murillo, Sari Pietikäinen, Juan Francisco Salazar,
Laurel Smith, Michelle Stewart, Pamela Wilson


Global indigenous Media is a remarkably eclectic and timely group of essays that are presented and arranged into a fascinating collection with a thorough and insightful introduction by the editors Wilson and Stewart. This book will be of significance to ethnographers and anthropologists with interests in the scholarship and practice of indigenous media, visual anthropology, communications and media studies, as well as indigenous artistic practice and production, to name only some of the fields on which this collection touches. — Paul Wolfram, Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology

Global Indigenous Media is certainly an important contribution to knowledge regarding Indigenous media, and I do not hesitate to recommend it strongly to scholars in relevant areas of study.” — Ross Watson, M/C Reviews

“[Global Indigenous Media] offers well-researched case studies and is thus of great value for all interested in media studies, the study of political movements as well as development studies.” — Tilo Gratz, Social Anthropology

“[T]he collection successfully contributes to our understandings of Indigenous mass mediations, both as a diverse range of products and processes. . . . [T]he strongest essays in Global Indigenous Media should remind all communication and media scholars that they should be reading about Indigenous media experiences.” — Vicki Mayer, Global Media and Communication

“[T]his volume is a brilliant exploration of the complexities of indigenous media around the world that will undoubtedly become a seminal work in visual anthropology. I highly recommend it for anthropologists interested in questions of the politics and poetics of indigeneity, indigenous engagements with the national and global politics of settler states, questions of indigenous citizenship and sovereignty, as well as indigenous aesthetics and cultural traditions taking shape in new digital technologies.” — Kristin Dowell, American Ethnologist

“The editors have done a marvelous job. . . . For this reason, scholars of Aboriginal/Indigenous/Native American studies, communication and media studies, anthropology, cultural studies, linguistics, political science, journalism, and sociology to name just a few, will find this book deepens their knowledge of Indigenous media and their role in supporting, expressing and even remaking Indigenous culture, identity and life today.” — Jean-Paul Restoule, Canadian Journal of Native Studies

“All scholars and practitioners interested in the global Indigenous mediascape will want to have access to this excellent volume packed with original contributions from all over the world.” — Harald E. L. Prins, former visual anthropology editor, American Anthropologist, and past president, Society for Visual Anthropology

Global Indigenous Media is a necessary, urgent, and conceptually brilliant volume. Each essay is a gem. Taken together, they change how one thinks about Indigenous media and they reveal its importance in the transnational media landscapes of the twenty-first century.” — Patricia R. Zimmermann, author of States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, Democracies


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Pamela Wilson is Associate Professor of Communication at Reinhardt College in Waleska, Georgia.

Michelle Stewart is Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at Purchase College, State University of New York.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Indigeneity and Indigenous Media on the Global Stage / Pamela Wilson and Michelle Stewart 1

Part I: From Poetics and Politics: Indigenous Media Aesthetics and Style

1. Imperfect Media and the Politics of Indulgence Video in Latin America / Juan Francisco Salazar and Amalia Cordova 39

2. "Lest Others Speak for Us": The Neglected Roots and Uncertain Future of Maori Cinema in New Zealand / Jennifer Gautheir 58

3. Cache: Provisions and Productions in Contemporary Igloolik Video / Cache Collective 74

4. Indigenous Animation: Educational Programming, Narrative Interventions, and Children's Cultures / Joanne Hearne 89

Part II: Indigenous Activism, Advocacy, and Empowerment Through Media

5. Media as our Mirror: Indigenous Media of Burma (Myanmar) / Lisa Brooten 111

6. Transistor Resistors: Native Women's Radio in Canada and the Social Organization of Political Space from Below / Kathleen Buddle 128

7. Weaving a Communication Quilt in Colombia: Civil Conflict, Indigenous Resistance, and Community Radio in Northern Cauca / Mario A. Murillo 145

8. Outside the Indigenous Lens: Zapatistas and Autonomous Videomaking / Alexander Halkin 160

Part III: Cultural Identity, Preservation, and Community-Building Through Media

9. The Search for Well-Being: Placing Development with Indigenous Identity / Laurel Smith 183

10. "To Breathe Two Airs": Empowering Indigenous Sami Media / Sari Pietikainen 197

11. Indigenous Media as an Important Resource for Russia's Indigenous Peoples / Galina Diatchkova 214

12. Indigenous Minority-Language Media: S4C, Cultural Identity, and the Welsh-Language Televisual Community / Ruth McElroy 232

Part IV: New Technologies, Timeless Knowledges: Digital and Interactive Media

13. Recollecting Indigenous Thinking in a CD-ROM / Priscila Faulhaber and Louis Forline 253

14. Digital Tools and the Management of Australian Aboriginal Desert Knowledge / Michael Christie 270

15. Rethinking the Digital Age / Faye Ginsburg 287

References 307

About the Contributors 335

Index 341
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-4308-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4291-5
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