Of Rhizomes and Radio: Networking Indigenous Community Media in Oaxaca, Mexico
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In the face of a shifting political climate in Latin America, movements for indigenous rights and autonomy are leveraging community media in new ways transcending the state-market binary. Through ethnographic research with Zapotec media producers in Oaxaca and the supportive organizations forming points of connection between radios and activists, I argue that the strength of the indigenous community media movement in Oaxaca, and its potential to build a movement to resist destructive state and market forces, is best explained by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s concept of the rhizome, which portrays Oaxacan indigenous media as a map of heterogeneous interconnections defying structural hierarchies and binaries. With this picture of a rhizomatic media movement, I demonstrate how radios have paved the way for innovations, revealing creative ways that indigenous groups are connecting with each other and the outside world, while asserting agency in their interactions with the market and the state.