Brazil’s more than two hundred indigenous peoples are largely voiceless and suffer from the country’s worst living conditions. They are often perceived by mainstream society as unusual, primitive, or violent. Vincent Carelli battles such prejudice and discrimination with Video in the Villages. He recognizes the important role video can play in raising public awareness about indigenous issues. This led him to introduce video technology to indigenous communities in order to help them assert their cultural identities and preserve their traditions. These videos could also help shift public opinion and influence policies that affect these communities and their rights. Furthermore, since oral traditions and storytelling are fundamental aspects of many indigenous cultures, their communities quickly accepted video as a powerful tool.
Vincent Carelli’s Indigenous Cinema School and the Video in the Villages (VNA) program trains indigenous people to produce audiovisual materials themselves; he has distributed VNA films in their original languages with Portuguese subtitles and special educational manuals to indigenous schools. VNA’s work over the last fifteen years has facilitated the growing awareness of the power of mass media in Brazilian indigenous groups. For the first time in Brazilian history, a new public policy will give indigenous groups a space on public national television to broadcast their own programs. Native peoples are trying to find ways to assert their identities in an increasingly globalized society and fight discrimination and marginalization. With Video in the Villages indigenous populations learn how to value their cultural heritage and be able to present themselves to Brazilian society.
A great story (in portuguese)