In Guatemala, a country where twenty-three indigenous languages are spoken, the official media transmits in one language, Spanish. An oligarchy monopolizes the mass media, restricting freedom of expression by auctioning radio waves at rates that only the extremely wealthy can afford. In a country where a significant percentage of the population is illiterate, radio remains a vital medium. Since the civil war’s conclusion in 1996, community leaders have united to form stations where news, educational programming, and traditional music are broadcast in local languages.
Yet because these stations pirate the waves, they are considered illegal. Officials may confiscate their transmitters at any moment, and often do. For many years the movement leaders have fought for recognition and representation.
Over the course of a few months, collaborators Lena Jackson, Monika Navarro, and I worked intimately with stations in the rural highlands to produce short television spots, destined for an urban, Spanish-speaking viewership. They have aired on local, Guatemalan news channels and on VEA Canal.
In this video we focused on the fight for women's rights.
In the video below, we focused on indigenous rights.