Gabriel Izard Martínez

Gabriel Izard Martínez studied his degree and doctorate at the University of Barcelona. He is currently a junior lecturer in the Social Anthropology Department at the University of Barcelona. From 2000 to 2010 he was a lecturer and researcher in the Anthropology Department at the Autonomous University of Morelos State (UAEM, Mexico). His area of specialisation is Afro-American and Afro-Indigenous Cultures, and more concretely the dynamics of heritage activation and ethnicity. He has undertaken field work in black communities in Venezuela, Garifuna communities in Belize, and more recently, migrant African communities in Barcelona. He has diverse publications and has participated in projects financed by Mexican and Spanish institutions.

Participation in MEDIOS

URACCAN, the “intercultural community” university (as it is defined in its founding documents) arising from the heat of the process of autonomy on the Nicaraguan Atlantic coast, has the mission of promoting knowledge and mutual respect among its six ethnic groups who inhabit the region (Miskito, Creole, Sumu-Mayangna, Rama, Garifuna and mixed-race populations). To do so, as well as implementing a number of educational programmes centred around the idea of “development with identity” combining “ancestral” and “western” knowledge, in diverse localities, it has promoted a number of radio stations and television channels such as Radio Universidad (Bluefields), Caribbean Pearl (Pearl Lagoon), Radio Rosita (Rosita), Radio Siuna (Siuna), Wangkikarma (Waspam), Caribe TV (Bluefields) and Bilwivisión (Bilwi).

These are communications media defined as “community” – this means aimed at members of local societies and dedicated to dealing with problems in those societies. In this sense, the programmes are created in the region’s different languages and deal with political and cultural matters such as the struggle for autonomy, transcultural communication, indigenous and Afro-Caribbean traditions and festivals, traditional medicine, bilingual education, environmental questions, natural disasters, etc.

This ethnographic research has the main aim of exploring the meaning and content, in these community media, of the different ethnicities that inhabit the Atlantic coast, as well as the idea of interculturalism. Is the latter conceived as a juxtaposition of essentialised identities ascribed to some specific localities in which one or the other ethnic group predominates? Or is it conceived as an interethnic dialogue resulting in a new “coastal” identity thought of as hybrid?

Otros investigadores