New Awasqa Web Site for Linguistic Justice and Participatory Communication

After a long hiatus, Awasqa is on its way to a new phase. Based on its original objectives of promoting linguistic justice and participatory communication for indigenous peoples in Abya Yala, at Awasqa we took the initiative to redesign its website. This will allow us to create a more collaborative process to make Awasqa a shared communication space.

The purpose, also, is to liberate grassroots organizations and activists from corporate-dominated social media and the whims of its multimillionaire owners abroad.

Thanks to a grant from Swift Foundation, this dream is now becoming a reality.

Our new website

Awasqa’s new website allows for:

  • creating accounts for users and customized pages for grassroots organizations.
  • upload news and events to the website with greater independence, based on user participation privileges.
  • translating news thanks to a WPML platform for professional translators.
  • new ways to search for articles by organization, author, country, and categories.
  • participating in a forum to share ideas and strategies.

The idea behind the redesign was also to give greater visibility to the work of community organizations and communicators, in order to make it easier for funders to finance their projects.

Awasqa’s structure

Awasqa, based in the U.S., has a different structure. After two years as a pilot project, we made an assessment of how much we would need to run an NGO in the U.S. and discovered that this would require a budget of, at least, close to a million dollars! Our immediate thought was, how many community radio stations could people build in Latin America with a million dollars? (The answer is more than 50). Structured this way, Awasqa was simply unsustainable.

The idea behind Awasqa has always been to break down linguistic barriers between the peoples in the north and south of the continent, and to give grassroots organizations and indigenous communicators greater visibility so that their projects can be funded directly.

Therefore, during its redesign, with the exception of the contract with Common Knowledge, all staff became volunteers. In the last six months, we also hired a communications manager from a Kichwa community in Ecuador to help with this transition. The ultimate purpose and shared dream: to make Awasqa a tool for linguistic justice and participatory communication.

Thus, we moved away from being an NGO, as such, which significantly reduces our costs, to invest our limited budget in culturally appropriate translations by professional translators and minimal staff to maintain the flow of communication and development of our website.

Editorial line and editorial board

An intrinsic part of Awasqa is to make this platform a safe space for user participation. Our editorial line is designed to inspire alternatives to hegemonic and extractivist policies, and to avoid the possible appropriation of this space by agents opposed to our vision and mission.

Our editorial board will be a space of trusted people from experienced grassroots organizations to make decisions on content and so on, as needed.

In this sense, we invite you to join us, to create together in Awasqa a communicational network, to strengthen our collective voice and allow us to weave stories and social struggles throughout the continent.

  • Awasqa is a digital platform that seeks to democratize the media through the construction of a collaborative network with indigenous and environmental movements and organizations of the continent, generating a free space for publication in which to share written, audiovisual, visual and sound information, recognizing the diversity of languages and forms of communication, and breaking…

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