WAIRA JACANAMIJOY, radio producer, lobbyist and regional cultural co-ordinator with indigenous populations

WairaEverything I do I do it with love, that’s what gives me this energy: love for myself but also for my indigenous communities. I am motivated because in everything that I do I can help make the world better and contribute to peace.

Supporting the indigenous cause teaches me more about my culture everyday. I contribute to the cause with all the skills and knowledge I have gathered through my previous radio and artistic projects, my own education and my understanding of the area, and it makes me happy to see happiness in the faces of the people with whom I am sharing this journey.

What have I learnt from my work? As an indigenous woman I keep learning from the experiences and opportunities life throws at me during my stay on earth. Life is a learning path. I am very proud of my parents and grandparents, who have taught me to value the respect of earth’s creation. Also, by being involved in a creative process during war time (Colombia has suffered decades of civil conflict between the Colombian government and insurgents including the FARCs), I have learnt to transform the horrors of war into audio and artistic creations, especially through the investigative work I have done with the Onishka Ovoro production and artist Emilie Monnet, ‘The Muted Song of the Indigenous Women’, on women who have experienced violence.

My advice for anyone who wants to dedicate themselves to a social mission is that you need a lot of clarity in your mission, in the subject you want to support, a good understanding of the political and cultural context, and above all humility and a good spirit to adapt to anything that will come in the way.

 

Waira Jacanamijoy lives in the Caqueta department in Colombia. She is a strong advocate of the indigenous cause, dedicating her life to it through local, regional, cultural and artistic projects.

 

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