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Posted on 29/6/13

There is a strong prejudice against the use of technological innovations by indigenous and other traditional peoples. It is very strong the idea that the Indian “ceases to be Indian” when they have contact and use modern devices like the computer and the phone. Unlike other countries in Latin America, in Brazil, there is a view that the Indians should keep exactly the same ways of life they had before the arrival of the Portuguese. In this direction, there are people who insist on a view that defends the Indians need to be “preserved”, as the animals of he rain forest made famous by huge advertising campaigns.

But this way of thinking is far from the indigenous ways of life in Brazil today, and in fact, it sets up an continued imposition of Western culture to the Amerindian cultures, dictating witch paths they should and should not follow. Remains intact the colonial perspective based on the annulment of the of the indigenous as subjects able to decide about their own life and culture, including what technologies will they adopt, when, why and how. Technology is not good or bad in itself, but it is not neutral, and the consequences of its entry into any territory are not predetermined, it is incorporated differently in each social scene, according to the uses and limits of each context. Technology has always been a part of Tupinamba life, whether in the production of tools for the reproduction of culture, hunting, agriculture, etc., or in social and family organizations and thus the technology built and continues to build the Tupinambá life, just like it builds life in big cities.

In the Tupinambá territory technology has been widely incorporated as a fighting tool: they use cameras and mobile phones to record, email and phone to send messages about the ‘retomadas’, they publish their acions on blogs and social networks. The Tupinambá use the information and communication technologies to counter the media attacks linked to the interests of farmers and also seek support for their struggle. The main example of the use of these technologies by Tupinambá is the ‘Indios Online’ network, website that contains information about the indigenous communities and managed by the Indians themselves. It is a network composed by volunteers Indians of different ethnic groups, with the support of the NGO Thydewá, the Ministry of Culture and other partners. It was created with the intention of being a communication channel capable of giving voice to indigenous peoples, usually “invisible” to the large media coverage. According to the description on the site:

Our goals are: To facilitate access to information and communication for different indigenous peoples, stimulate inter cultural dialogue. Promote research and study of our cultures. Rescue, preserve, update, enhance and project our indigenous cultures. Promote respect for differences. Know and reflect on our current situation. Safeguarding older intangible assets of this land Brazil. Make available on the internet files (text, photos, videos) about our people for Brazil and the world. Complement and enrich the processes of indigenous multicultural differentiated education. Qualify us to ensure our rights.



During the residence period, it was installed a free radio in one of the villages, aldeia Tamandaré. The experience was very positive and aroused the desire to continue making free radio. At the end of the residence villagers from the aldeia Tamandaré said they had the desire to get a transmitter and other equipment needed to make a free radio.






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