This is the third in a series of profiles intended to showcase the trainers who work with Small World News and StoryMaker. We are very proud of our network of local trainers and want to share their stories with the global community of mobile media activists and educators.
Name: Indira Cornelio
Professional Experience: Indira has been working in ICT 4 social change since 2010. She has lead workshops in Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Argentina, and Colombia. Her work most often focuses on communication strategies, metrics, basic digital security, and multimedia production. She is currently studying media practice for development and Social Change at the University of Sussex. Prior to beginning her work in media development she studied Advertising and Public Relations.
How did you get into media training?
I started working on media training in a Mexican NGO called REDDES, where we started exploring and training in the use of digital tools for advocacy. Since then I have been training different groups in the use of digital tools to promote their causes, and working with them to use the tools they have in their hands.
I have been working with NGOs and advocates in Mexico and Nicaragua. In Nicaragua I worked with transgender women in a campaign called Somos Iguales a Vos, where we worked in generating content like graphics and video, to share with the population of Managua what is like to be transgender in the country.
In Mexico I have worked with different type of NGOs and causes. One of the latest projects I worked on was Voices of Women, a project where we gathered 20 women advocates to improve their media skills. We had 4 encounters in different parts of Central Mexico, where we introduced them in the use of video, photography, social media platforms and digital security. The NGOs that participated in the workshops are SocialTIC, La Sandia Digital, Subversiones and WITNESS.
Why do you think media training is important for your country, regionally, globally?
I believe it is important for advocates to learn how to use media, as nowadays they have access to a great amount of production tools, like digital platforms that can easily help them produce posters and infographics to better communicate their idea. They have mobile phones and cameras that are more affordable and allows them to film for documentation, or to produce videos to share their messages.
That is why the media training is so important. Now the tools are in their hands but it is extremely important for them to learn how to use the tools strategically, how to create compelling messages and how to improve their distribution.
What was an experience that illustrates why training is important to you?
One of the greatest experiences was working with transgender women in Nicaragua in a campaign called Somos Iguales a Vos. I learned how meaningful and life-changing teaching digital media skills can be. It can help another person realize the many things she is capable of doing and a new way to share her story.
Somos Iguales a Vos is a transgender women initiative based in Managua, after working with them over a year, they learnt how to use video, how to create infographics, how to intervene streets to approach to the people and deliver their message. As we started with the process, the people that formed the collective started identifying what type of media they felt more comfortable with, some of them identifying blogging as a way to share their stories, some of them used more infographics, and others started working on ideas to produce vlogs (videoblogs) and to interview people in the streets about daily Nicaraguan issues.
For communities like transgender in countries like Nicaragua, it is sometimes hard to deal with the discrimination and violence in the street, so we worked on scripts to ask people about transgender rights as a way to get them to talk about the topic. Video became a tool for them to start a conversation.
Tell us one thing you would like to share with people who might be interested in media development but have no experience.
Sharing your skills and helping others take advantage of the tools they have already in their hands is one of the most enriching experiences.
Tell us about the media scene in Mexico.
The media collectives in Mexico are playing a very important role nowadays as witnesses and dissemination points of the hard human right abuses that are happening. Stories about gender violence, kidnaps, drug cartels violence are not being shared by mainstream media and now it is an alternative option or struggle to keep on telling these stories.
In cases like Ayotzinapa it has been the alternative media like Subversiones and collectives like Rexiste who have worked to document and keep on with the story, supporting the people involved.