Fellow Since 1995
This profile was prepared when Igor Guayasamín was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1995.
The New Idea
Igor Guayasamin is a documentary filmmaker who has combined his talents with a vision of the power of television to change attitudes of racial discrimination. He has launched a weekly television program by and about Ecuador's indigenous and black peoples, focusing on their history, education and culture. The programs encourage them toward pride and knowledge of their heritage and tell their stories in their own voices. "Without knowledge there is no respect. The public, observing how each group uniquely confronts everyday issues, learns to respect and value the differences that enrich us," says Igor. Nearly half of Ecuador's population is indigenous or black. Igor has given these oft-ignored peoples their first systematic access to the media and the power of a technology that attains broad impact immediately.