This profile was prepared when Vincent Carelli was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2009.
The New Idea
Vincent recognizes the important role video can play in raising public awareness about indigenous issues throughout Brazil. He introduced video technology to indigenous communities in order to help them assert their cultural identities and preserve their traditions for future generations. These videos help shift public opinion and influence policies that affect these communities and their rights as citizens.Since oral traditions and storytelling are fundamental aspects of many indigenous cultures, video was quickly accepted by native communities as a powerful tool to transmit traditional knowledge and break stereotypes. Vincent s Indigenous Cinema School and the Video in the Villages (VNA) program trains indigenous people to produce audiovisual materials that empowers their communities and challenges misconceptions about nativesways of life. Vincent has distributed VNA films in their original languages with Portuguese subtitles and special educational manuals to indigenous schools as intercultural educational tools.VNAs work over the last 15 years has facilitated Brazilian indigenous groups to become acutely aware of the power of mass media and to shape the way they are depicted. For the first time in Brazilian history, a new public policy will give indigenous groups a space on public national television to broadcast their own programs. Vincent plans to create a national coalition of indigenous groups to make this initiative a reality.