Voices of Mesoamerica Caravan hits the road
WITNESS is excited to announce that we have joined the Voces de Mesoamérica (Voices of Mesoamerica) Caravan, a collective of independent filmmakers, videographers, activists and media producers traveling to Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras through October 2017. Voces de Mesoamérica will be working directly with grassroots initiatives across Central America to help them effectively tell their stories and expose injustices in their communities.
This Caravan is the newest iteration of an international cohort of media activists borne out of the Video For Change (V4C) network. In 2013 WITNESS co-organized the first pan-American regional V4C convening in Mexico City. It spurred lasting relationships and collaborations which led to the 2016 Mutirão media convening in Brazil to expose the injustices faced by favelas during the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio, and most recently the powerful video advocacy work and indigenous rights victories secured by the work of V4C trainee Tlachinollan and Mexico’s Júba Wajiín community.
In 2016, a convening was hosted in exchange with communities and organizations in Honduras. The organizers quickly recognized the increasingly alarming landscape of human rights violations in the country including evictions, criminalization of human rights defenders, and direct threats to land rights protectors. This year, The Latin American Coordination of Film and Communication of Indigenous Peoples (CLACPI) has provided a framework and activities for Voces de Mesoameríca to address those threats in Honduras, in addition to similar challenges in Mexico and Guatemala, with participants hailing from across the Americas including Red Tzikin, COPNIH, and Article 19.
The Caravan will offer various spaces for collaborative exchange, sharing of participatory methodology, and practical workshops on video techniques and media production. It will also work with community initiatives to bolster more independent media broadcasts and exchange of content on various platforms including community radio and social media, covering land rights and indigenous land protectors. Further training topics will include:
- Video editing
- Community television
- Video as evidence
- Digital photography
- Journalism (genres, formats, reporting)
We look forward to sharing back stories, learnings, and experiences when our Program Manager and V4C organizer Laura Salas (below) returns from her Caravan travels. You can follow updates from the Voces Mesoamericana Caravan on their website (en Español). In the meantime, here’s a hello from the road.