AQ Feature

Innovators/Innovations

Angel Medina leads a program to instill cultural and democratic political empowerment among Ecuador's indigenous people. Soninha exposes the backroom politics of Sao Paulo for young voters. Diqui James runs a theater troupe that's winning kudos from audiences around the world.

Angel Medina

Ecuador

When he was 17, Angel Medina joined the Federación Interprovincial de Indígenas Saraguros, an indigenous advocacy organization in Ecuador. Four years later, he was the group’s president. Anyone who knows him wouldn’t be surprised. The indigenous leader, now 38, has a talent for bringing people together. Today, as founder and president of the indigenous rights organization Fundación Q’ellkaj (the Quichua word for “producer of knowledge”), he is putting that talent to use by bridging the racial divide in his country...


Soninha

São Paulo City Council

Many politicians create blogs to further their own careers. But Sonia Francine Marmo, known as Soninha, a member of São Paulo’s City Council, uses hers to educate a generation too disillusioned by the political process to get involved. “The more you hate politics, the closer you should get,” she explains. Her weblog reveals the often sordid “behind the scenes” world of politics in Brazil’s largest city. And people have responded. The reaction, particularly among the youth, has been positive.

The whole point of her blog is to translate—or, as she puts it, provide the “subtitles” to—a political process that often seems as if conducted in a foreign language. It’s a skill she learned growing up in the 1970s under the military government in Brazil. Her mother taught her how to understand the subtle half-truths and information vacuums of censorship of the dictatorship...


Diqui James

Fuerzabruta

An evening spent at Fuerzabruta, produced by 43-year-old Argentine former street performer Diqui James, can tire you out. Acrobats secured by bungee cords and harnesses leap across a billowing mylar sheet, followed by a scene in which a plexiglass pool is suspended over the audience, while performers swim like mermaids. If that isn’t breathtaking enough, members of the audience soon find themselves becoming part of the show, as they are invited to dance during the finale...

 

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Tags: Brazil, Indigenous Rights, poverty, Ecuador, Federacion Interprovincial de Indigenas Saraguros, indigenous, Fundacion Q'ellkai, Quichua, Sao Paulo, blog, politics, MTV VJ, MTV, Partido dos Trabalhadores, Partido poular Socialista, Argentina, Lula, Saragur



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