Siguiendo la discusión sostenida en la última clase, les propongo que piensen sobre lo propuesto por Marisol de la Cadena en su artículo en relación con el papel de Google (referido abajo) en las tribos amazónicas:
De la Cadena dijo…
“Letting Indians die was necessary to achieve progress; moreover, it was achieved through cultural technologies, via alfabetización and urbanización. Presented as literacy and urbanization, the death of Indians was, in fact, their birth as mestizos and, only as such, citizens of the nation. The same belief holds for Portuguese speaking Latin America. According to Azelene Kangiang, an indigenous sociologist from Brazil, in her country, “the state tells the Indian: if you are incapable and live in the forest then I protect you, if you get your education and live in the city, then you become Brazilian, and do not have a right to your culture or territory anymore”
Google breaks Amazon tribe’s isolation
Anastasia Ustinova, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, July 3, 2008
On a recent afternoon deep in the Amazon’s rain forest, members of the Surui tribe, which made contact with the outside world less than 40 years ago, could not resist the urge known to modern man – they googled themselves.
Then they looked up football.
Computers with an Internet connection, video cameras, Global Positioning System devices and other hightech gadgets are replacing bows and arrows in the small indigenous village about 1,600 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro, which has teamed up with Google Earth to help protect its 600,000-acre reserve from illegal miners and loggers.
“Since the Surui and other indigenous people were given training tools by Google, our land has received more visibility,” Chief Almir Surui said in an e-mail written in Portuguese. Surui is both the common surname and the name of the tribe. “All the information is shedding light on the invasion of our land … and giving our people the responsibility for their own future.”
The collaboration between the Mountain View high-tech giant and one of the most remote tribes in the world is the brainchild of Almir, the first Surui to graduate from college, who traveled to the Bay Area last year. During his visit, Almir met with officials at Google Earth, asking them to provide high-quality satellite imagery that would allow the tribe to monitor illegal loggers and raise global awareness about the destruction of the Amazon’s rain forest.
Last month, a small group of scientists from Google Earth Outreach, the company’s philanthropic arm, traveled to Brazil to conduct a crash course for the Surui people on how to surf the Web and use map data, YouTube and blogs.
Now, armed with the satellite imagery, videos and photos, Surui tribespeople hope to tell stories about their culture, history and traditions through the virtual world of Google Earth. The maps will also provide updates on the planned reforestation project of the 7,000 hectares the tribe has lost to illegal logging.
Though the project is still in the initial stages, once the Surui are done, “it will be a very rich layer unlike anything anyone has ever seen before,” said Rebecca Moore, project manager at Google Earth Outreach.
“We traveled to the Amazon rain forest expecting to be the teachers,” Moore said. “But the story of the Surui as they engage with the modern world holds lessons for all of us, and if we pay attention, we may have more to learn from them than they from us.”
Since the Surui tribe made its first contact with civilization in 1969 during the construction of the 2,000- mile Trans-Amazon Highway, it has been fighting for its survival, with various diseases devastating its population. And while the Brazilian Constitution guarantees indigenous tribes the right to live on their
lands, the government lacks resources to protect them from the intrusion of illegal loggers and ranchers, who are after the valuable hardwoods.
The technology is helping the tribe fight back. Recently, Surui spotted several miners and sent guards to protect the tribe’s borders, all thanks to high-tech satellite imagery, said Mark Plotkin, president of the Amazon Conservation Team, an Arlington, Va., organization that provided the tribe with handheld GPS devices, laptop computers and satellite maps. “One of the stated goals of the Brazilian government is digital inclusion,” Plotkin said. “Indians have less economic resources, so this project is helping the Brazilian government to achieve that goal.” Google Earth, which has previously collaborated with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to map destroyed villages in Darfur in Sudan and with the Jane Goodall Institute to follow chimpanzees in Tanzania, among other projects, hopes its Brazil initiative will be a model for other indigenous tribes worldwide, Moore said.
“There are a number of Amazon tribes that have become extinct, and many of these tribes just have a handful of people,” she said. “Now they are using … Internet technology to become a part of the (global) dialogue.”
Chronicle staff writer Jack Epstein contributed to this report. E-mail Anastasia Ustinova at email@example.com.