Introduction. Making Culture Visible
1 When I write ‘‘indigenous media is,’’ as in ‘‘indigenous media matters be-
cause it is a form of self-determination,’’ I refer to the social process and
practice as a whole, whereas when I write ‘‘indigenous media are’’ (indige-
nous media matter, too), I am referring to the actual programs producers of
indigenous media make, though the two aspects are obviously separable
only for the purposes of discussion.
2 ‘‘Indigenous Peoples,’’ Amnesty International, Accessed Feb-
ruary 4, 2013.
3 It deserves to be said that the war in Chiapas is only one example of the ways
the Mexican state has acted rather brutally against its own people. Patterns
of corruption and fraud are often punctuated by cycles of murders and
disappearances that have perhaps not enjoyed the kind of visibility the
‘‘narco’’ violence of today does, but have nonetheless been steady and
equally horrifying over time. Military and paramilitary forces are to blame
for most of the human rights abuses in Mexico, not to mention the violent
repression of peasant organizations and peaceful movements like the teach-
ers’ movement in Oaxaca in 2006. Indigenous people are directly affected by
this brutality, especially in the states covered in this book, but it is the
hegemonic sphere of state penetration with which I am most concerned as I
situate indigenous video in terms of indigenous demands for self-determi-
4 Elsewhere, writing about the production of indigenous identities on tape, I
offer a similar notion that identities are ‘‘plurally produced,’’ as a way to
acknowledge the wide range of social actors that participate in video indíg-
ena, from indigenous activists themselves to scholars, funders, and bureau-
crats (Wortham 2005).
5 Juan José García, interviewed by Cristina Propios, 1999, Oaxaca City, Mexico.
6 The Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas (cdi),
the post–2003 ini, devotes a substantial amount of its website to their
national network of ‘‘cultural indigenous radio stations,’’ or srci, which
began in 1979 with the installation of the first indigenous radio station in
the state of Guerrero. Currently the cdi streams radio from twenty of their
stations online, at Antoni Castells-Talens
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