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Accepted Contribution:

Scenes from El Alto: The potential of participatory video-making for a decolonial research praxis  
Philipp Horn (University of Sheffield) Olivia Casagrande (University of Sheffield)

Contribution short abstract:

We discuss how we promoted a decolonial research praxis among a team of Bolivian indigenous youth co-investigators and UK academics. We also share scenes from a docufiction film co-produced with indigenous youths to highlight how participatory video-making can generate counterhegemonic narratives.

Contribution long abstract:

As part of this horizontal exchange, we will share insights from a collaborative research project that foregrounds dreams and visions of indigenous youth in the Bolivian city of El Alto. We will discuss some of the tactics we used to promote a more decolonial research praxis within our team of Bolivian indigenous youth co-investigators and UK-based non-indigenous academics. We call for managing power relations through mixed forms of engagement. We also emphasise the need to consider (1) flexibility and process-oriented methodological approaches within grant applications and research project governance as this can set the basis for more experimental, shared, and horizontal knowledge co-production in subsequent stages, (2) internal work procedures that prioritise a situated construction of mutuality, and (3) shifting resources to collaborators based within the physical setting in which the research takes place. We will then reflect on the potential of participatory video-making – a method grounded in traditions of popular education, docu-fiction, and visual anthropology – in capturing the priorities of historically marginalised groups. Drawing on scenes from a docufiction film co-produced with our collaborators in El Alto, we demonstrate how indigenous youths enacted their problems and visions by deploying a particular urban Aymara film-making aesthetic that combines insights from indigenous and modern urban worlds without ever fully mixing them. By sharing and discussing some short film scenes, we demonstrate under what conditions and how participatory video-making can generate counterhegemonic narratives that challenge urban coloniality.

Panel P73
Experiences in decolonial research and practice: in search of connection and agency
  Session 1 Wednesday 28 June, 2023, -