Ayoreo Video Project
The Ayoreo Video Project is an experiment in visual anthropology and political advocacy through collaborative video-making with Ayoreo-speaking people. Developed over two years in collaboration with Totobiegosode-Ayoreo leadership and the organization Video Nas Aldeias, the project taught Ayoreo to make their own videos. It began with a video workshop in a remote village, which trained a select group of fourteen Ayoreo from five villages, three sub-groups and both sides of the Bolivia/Paraguay border in the basics of digital filmmaking. The project assisted Ayoreo filmmakers as they conceived, shot and edited videos on the topics and themes of their choice. The result is a set of four feature length films, meant as stand-alone parts of a quartet, that revise previous images of Ayoreo. These include the first three Ayoreo-made videos and an ethnographic documentary about the process. Together, the films allow Ayoreo to tell their own stories about themselves, to speak back to impoverished representations of their humanity, and to facilitate cross-cultural dialogue in a context of violent dispossession. At the same time, the films open new directions for future reflection, research and advocacy.