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11721 - Subliminal messages: technology and the elders¿ knowledge.

This paper describes the experience of a group of indigenous youths of Colombian Amazonia for bridging the use technology and cultural learning, showing how these mediations embody particular views of and for the future that can actually transform indigenous youths’ future prospects in a global world. This experience takes place in a multiethnic reservation located at the fringes of the Amazonian town of Leticia, where indigenous traditional authorities (the elders) have been leading a process of self-governance that hinges on indigenous life-plans as a local alternative to development plans. This process articulates several aspects: among others, cultural reaffirmation, that engages the participation of youth as apprentices and researchers in recording, documenting and systematizing cultural knowledge; environmental characterization and map-making using GIS technology; and the design and implementation of productive alternatives, such as responsible tourism. The ways in which indigenous youths signify their newly acquired technological knowledge through reaffirmed cultural knowledge, and vice versa, seek out to transform the terms of recognition for indigenous youths, as much as to shamanically transform (through ‘subliminal messages’) non-indigenous perceptions of the world and the future.

Keywords: Indigenous people, technology, self-governance, Amazonia.

Author: Micarelli, Giovanna (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia / Kolumbien)

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