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  • Radio Lucha: Broadcasting Kukama Language, Culture, and Contemporary Issues

    In preparation for documenting the 2015 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, I eagerly absorbed all the Perú: Pachamama online content in both excitement and effort to better understand what I would be filming. As soon I read about Radio Ucamara, I was hooked!

    Through participatory methods, this radio station in the Peruvian Amazon works across generations to keep their community’s Kukama culture and oral traditions alive.

    I wanted to meet them and ask for an interview. I wanted to know how they used storytelling as a form of protest, survival, and a way to organize community. As a film and digital media student committed to using film for social justice and representing my own cultural identity, I felt an instant connection to their work.

    I had the privilege to talk with Leonardo Tello, Maria Nashnato , José Manuel, and Danna Gaviota to learn more about their work. Their incredible synthesis of oral history and programming about social issues through radio has inspired me to continue documenting the stories of my ancestors. Thank you, Radio Ucamara.

    Production, editing: Marisol Medina-Cadena
    Filmography: Claudia Romano, Marisol Medina-Cadena, Kevin Trower, Albert Tong, Charlie Weber, Pruitt Allen
    Photography: Cristina Díaz-Carrera, Create Your Voice
    Translation: Marisol Medina-Cadena, Laura Melissa Vega Meza

    Marisol Medina-Cadena is video production intern and currently studies film and digital media at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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