Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Reclaiming Historical Memory

Brown's own Maia Chao, a senior concentrator in Cultural Anthropology, is currently in Guatemala through funding of the Brown International Scholars Program, where she is performing ethnographic research on community radio for her thesis:
"My project examines the impact of community radio as a means of revitalizing Mayan spirituality, language, and culture, while simultaneously promoting development, education, and equality. Through participant observation and interviews, I will examine how listeners and programmers integrate discourses of indigenous rights activism and cultural revitalization into current notions of Mayan identity."
Maia posts regularly about her activities and most recently about a community radio workshop, during which participants discussed the knowledge and stories about the recent history of Guatemala in relation to indigenous identity and the armed conflict, specifically the potential of community radio to help revitalize cultural pride, as one participant expressed: 
"Our customs, dress, and languages are disappearing. Community radio is a fundamental tool in fighting the causes of the armed conflict." 
Find Maia's great reports here.

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