The newspaper will address culture, health, sports, and general news of the ethnic groups
Indigenous men, women, elders, and youths of the Venezuelan ethnic groups of the Warao and the E’ñepa, who live in the Pintolândia Shelter, in Roraima, under the management of the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF), in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), have created a community newspaper “Deje Nome” with the intent of publishing real news and with the objective of affirming the identity of these peoples.
The first edition was launched in June of this year, and will be published monthly or bi-monthly. An online version will also be produced, to expand its reach. It is divided into editorials, such as General News about the tribes outside of Roraima, Health, Culture, and Sports. “The idea is that it contains who they are from different perspectives,” explains Gabriel Tardelli, collaborator of the Fraternity (FIHF), the one who created the project.
The initiative emerged after those in shelters were uncomfortable with the negative image about their tribes which was generated by the dissemination of news where the content limited the existence of the refugees to negative aspects such as the use of alcoholic drinks and alleged crimes.
“An indigenous leader came to talk with me about the negative image of the Warao and to say that they are more than what is said,” says the anthropologist and field coordinator of the Janokoida Shelter, Gabriel.
“The indigenous people are not like what some people think; we also know how to do many things, for example, in agriculture, fishing, building families, among many things,” writes Euligio Baez, a Warao aidamo (chief) who has lived for three years in Brazil, in his story about handicrafts.
In this edition, the community newspaper “Deje Nome” addresses traditional songs that affirm the Warao identity, the myth of the E’ñepa, the challenges in the production of handicrafts in Brazil, and a soccer championship played in the shelter. It also had a small Spanish-Warao dictionary of terms in the traditional medicine of the tribe, and a review on the movie “Dauna, what the river carries,” a Venezuelan feature film in the Warao language and winner of several awards.
Communication, a Human Right
With the broad dissemination of false news, called ‘fake news,’ the vulnerable populations are faced with another challenge: that of having a media representation compatible with their realities – their past, their present, and their future prospects.
A popular and community communication is consolidated as an important tool in guaranteeing human rights, enabling access to information and news production, giving voice to traditional communities, social movements, vulnerable groups and minorities. In short, it represents a space for democratic participation of the population, who can tell their stories and share information useful for their groups.