América Latina

Manifesto #TheWordAtRisk: Mother Earth speaks. Let’s listen!

May 3, 2024 Compartir

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On World Press Freedom Day, we share this collective message to invite you to listen more to Mother Earth and to continue to protect those of us who care for her and tell her stories.

With the statement “without the voices of storytellers there is no complete history” and the question “how do we protect #TheWordAtRisk?,” the independent media Agenda Propia together with its Tejiendo Historias Network (Weaving Stories Network) co-created its third manifesto in defense of the care of journalists and intercultural communicators who, with our stories and reports, make visible the realities of the peoples, preserve biodiversity and protect the legacies and living memories of the territories.

This statement began to be woven through dialogues and collective writing exercises in the city of Mocoa, in Colombia’s Andean-Amazon region, where more than a hundred participants –from rural and urban areas and from campesino and indigenous communities– of the Spiral of Stories Festival (Festival Espiral de Historias) added their voices. The process then reached the Weaving Stories Network, made up of more than 400 people in 17 Latin American countries (Abya Yala), through an online form and a virtual Word Circulation

This initiative, which starts from local experiences of journalism and community communication, recognizing the diverse origins of our peoples, carries a message of solutions, healing and positivity in the midst of this environmental crisis, relying on “all these voices that we are.”

In the Manifesto #TheWordAtRisk: Mother Earth Speaks we declare that: 

We recognize “our Mother Earth as a spiritual being that connects us from the visible and the invisible. From her is born water, which is life, fire, which is strength, air, which is oxygen. If we do not listen to our messengers, the earth speaks for itself. We have to respect its beauty, not to alter the order and the natural system.” 

We understand that “the challenge of intercultural collaborative journalism and communication is to awaken a real sense of belonging in the communities. We have to feel-think what is happening around us in order to express it.

We work collectively and through our knowledge to “care for, protect, safeguard, defend and manifest the importance of life and all beings in our territories.”

We create relationships that allow us to weave bonds and new forms of communication where we coincide through words. We unite divergent universes.

As journalists, communicators and intercultural storytellers we commit ourselves and recommend

  • To listen more and talk less (in order to better feel and think about the call of Mother Earth).
  • To recognize diversities and build from differences.
  • To learn and unlearn in order to narrate the realities of the peoples.
  • To continue reaching indigenous, Afro-descendant and campesino territories to learn about their roots.
  • To include narratives and approaches that contribute to healing the land and its ecosystems.
  • To take into account all voices, following the path of the wise women and men.To narrate, communicate and dialogue in their own languages.
  • To insist that the knowledge of native peoples is as important as scientific knowledge.
  • To co-create from spirituality and the earth.
  • To reforest the heart of our own families and communities.
  • To recover and apply ancestral knowledge. And to put orality and the word at the center.
  • To train the younger generations in intercultural narratives and journalism.
  • To support communication from our own territories so that voices are not distorted or silenced.
  • To talk to indigenous and non-indigenous leaders, storytellers and journalists who have been forcibly displaced. Listen to them in exile. 
  • To take advantage of technology to preserve knowledge and wisdom.
  • To continue creating networks and strengthen those that already exist in order to articulate and work collectively.

May 3, 2024, Latin America.

This manifesto is published with the aim of being heard, welcomed and made visible in the region by more communicators, journalists, storytellers, media, collectives and different organizations. Intercultural collaborative journalism communicates the messages of the territories, strengthens communities and dignifies the journey of the peoples.

Our manifestos

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day in 2022, the Manifesto "#LaPalabraEnRiesgo: Voces del territorio por la vida" was published, and in 2023 "#LaPalabraEnRiesgo: Comunicamos para sanar la memoria". In both, the Weaving Stories Network exposed the challenges and risks that threaten the life of nature and those of storytellers and defenders. Our regions face socio-environmental conflicts, organized crime, human rights violations, migration and extractivism, while their inhabitants resist and weave transforming narratives of hope. Therefore, it is urgent to improve the conditions of security and physical and spiritual harmony to make better intercultural collaborative journalism.

We thank

  • Mother Earth, the spiritual beings and the communities that allow us to narrate them.
  • The 200 people who participated in the Spiral of Stories Festival held in Mocoa, Putumayo, Colombia, on February 29 and March 1, 2024.
  • The journalists of the Weaving Stories Network from Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Bolivia, Panama, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica and Brazil, who were present in the Word Circulation co-creation session and answered the participatory form.
  • The different allied media that join the dissemination of the Manifesto 2024 #TheWordAtRisk: Mother Earth speaks. Let’s listen!
  • The Agenda Propia intercultural team.

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