Resistance on the Air: Indigenous Radio and the Struggle for Social Justice in Colombia

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9780896087866: Resistance on the Air: Indigenous Radio and the Struggle for Social Justice in Colombia

Colombia is a besieged and deeply misunderstood country. While hostage negotiations and the “war on drugs” make headlines, indigenous Colombians are actively building an alternative battleground for justice and peace—and they’re using the airwaves to do it. Award-winning journalist Mario A. Murillo introduces the world to Colombia’s popular media movement, a fierce and creative force of change in this war-torn nation, linking the global struggles against media, corporate, and state plutocracy. Voices of Resistance vividly chronicles an indigenous-led, broad-based national effort to effectively transform society through media and organizing.

The storytelling focus in these pages is indigenous radio, particularly the community-built media hub Radio Payu’mat. In one example of grassroots innovation, an indigenous reporter rides alongside a march on a radio-cicleta—a tandem bicycle with a loudspeaker and small transmitter. His bike-radio sends reports back to a student-run radio station, which relays that signal to Radio Payu’mat’s 2,000-watt transmitter. As a result, a much larger audience suddenly has access to an event typically ignored by Colombia’s commercial media.

Unfolding against a backdrop of corporate globalization, militarization, and a racist media and political system, Murillo documents a community’s resistance to a long history of undemocratic media that has deliberately excluded marginalized voices from the national airwaves. Voices of Resistance is the first book in English to reveal the convergence of a powerful movement with a national campaign for media and, ultimately, social justice.

Mario A. Murillo is a host of WBAI’s Wake Up Call and the author of Colombia and the United States and Islands of Resistance.

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About the Author:

Award-winning journalist Mario A. Murillo has worked in commercial, public, and community radio for over 22 years. He hosts and produces Wake Up Call on WBAI-Pacifica in New York. An associate professor at Hofstra, Murillo is also the author of Colombia and the United States and Islands of Resistance and contributes to El Diario/La Prensa and NACLAReport

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