In the wake of globalization discourses and the so-called “spatial turn,” space and place have become central concepts in the social sciences and humanities and in migration studies in particular. Increasingly, and despite the widespread transformations in the ways we move and communicate today, place-making has gained important attention as a practice among diaspora groups, forced migrants, and refugees. To further advance insights in this field of research, the present study investigates the role of communication technologies in the place-making practices of the Yanacona indigenous community, which has been internally displaced in Colombia. In-depth interview data revealed that, for the Yanacona community, place-making is a collective process driven by cultural values of cooperation, collaboration, and solidarity. Building networks of support, protecting the community from disappearing, and restoring the collective identity are three practices that the Yanacona have adapted to make a place in the city of Bogotá. In this process, smartphones and social media are particularly relevant for many of the interviewees, who expressed both advantages and negative implications of these technologies for their community. Results also revealed how indigenous communities take on processes of social construction of technology, challenging the archaism discourse that hinders these communities, especially in the Global South. This study recognizes the relevance of paying attention to emergent indigenous media practices and networks in Colombia, arguing that they can be crucial for a community’s cultural survival after forced migration. This article is part of the Global Perspectives, Media and Communication special collection on “Media, Migration, and Nationalism,” guest-edited by Koen Leurs and Tomohisa Hirata.
Rebuilding the Yanacona Home in the City: The Role of Digital Technologies for Place-Making Practices of Displaced Indigenous Communities in Bogotá, Colombia
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Camila Sarria Sanz, Amanda Alencar; Rebuilding the Yanacona Home in the City: The Role of Digital Technologies for Place-Making Practices of Displaced Indigenous Communities in Bogotá, Colombia. Global Perspectives 11 May 2020; 1 (1): 13403. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gp.2020.13403
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