Designing with indigenous communities
This research explores how local resistance practices, material and symbolic, challenge the dire conditions and social exclusion that affect indigenous university students in the Ecuadorian amazon. The aim of the project is to support and collaboratively develop processes and tools that can contribute to representation and intercultural communication, with and for indigenous communities, as research on knowledge construction otherwise —to dispute hegemonic narratives, and actively work towards social change.
The framework of the project draws from Participatory Design from the Global South —particularly in relation to Popular Education experiences—, Indigenous Community Communication and design for advocacy. While, the research design builds on collective interventions supported by a multidisciplinary approach, where researchers, indigenous leaders and activists from Ecuador and Finland, join efforts to learn with indigenous students. Interventions are thought of as a creative inquiry process that strives for encounters where processes and design tools are continuously constructed and used as devices for dialogue. In this socio-technical process, visual materials are created together with indigenous students and their communities, and mobilized to learn about indigenous communities’ complex knowledges and needs; to support the reactualization of representation processes; and to prepare to protest supporting larger advocacy actions around for example public policies.
Funding: Ecuadorian Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación – SENESCYT grant. Partial funding also granted by Academy of Finland (Grant Number 318665)