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Indigenous Media and Political Imaginaries in Contemporary Bolivia

Gabriela Zamorano Villarreal

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 07/2017
Pages: 378
Subject: Social Science
eBook ISBN: 9781496201706


Fray Bernardino de Sahagún-INAH Award in Mexico for Best Research Work in Anthropology Gabriela Zamorano Villarreal examines the political dimension of indigenous media production and distribution as a means by which indigenous organizations articulate new claims on national politics in Bolivia, a country experiencing one of the most notable cases of social mobilization and indigenous-based constitutional transformation in contemporary Latin America. Based on fieldwork in Bolivia from 2005 to 2007, Zamorano Villarreal details how grassroots indigenous media production has been instrumental to indigenous political demands for a Constituent Assembly and for implementing the new constitution within Evo Morales's controversial administration. On a day-to-day basis, Zamorano Villarreal witnessed the myriad processes by which Bolivia's indigenous peoples craft images of political struggle and enfranchisement to produce films about their role in Bolivian society. Indigenous Media and Political Imaginaries in Contemporary Bolivia contributes a wholly new and original perspective on indigenous media worlds in Bolivia: the collaborative and decolonizing authorship of indigenous media against the neoliberal multicultural state, and its key role in reimagining national politics. Zamorano Villarreal unravels the negotiations among indigenous media makers about how to fairly depict a gender, territorial, or justice conflict in their films to promote grassroots understanding of indigenous peoples in Bolivia's multicultural society.


Gabriela Zamorano Villarreal is a professor-researcher at El Colegio de Michoacán, Centro de Estudios Antropológicos in Zamora, Michoacán, México. She is the coeditor of De frente al perfil: Retratos raciales de Frederick Starr, a book in Spanish on racial photographic portraiture.


"Indispensable reading for anyone interested in the social, political, and cultural transformations taking place in Bolivia at the beginning of the twenty-first century. . . . A tremendously important contribution to the field."—Freya Schiwy, author of Indianizing Film: Decolonization, the Andes, and the Question of Technology  

"The author's extensive ethnographic fieldwork in this area, deep connections to the networks of indigenous media makers she interviews, and her deft and insightful grasp of the theoretical frameworks shaping this media are key contributions to the academic literature on indigenous media. Quite frankly, our field needs more ethnographies like this one!"—Kristin L. Dowell, author of Sovereign Screens: Aboriginal Media on the Canadian West Coast