Video Highlights: Music, Indigenous Initiatives, Indignation and Wonder

This section aims to showcase interesting and recent posts in Global Voices that show the many ways in which videos are helping people tell stories all around the world. You can follow the activity by regions in our YouTube channel or by clicking on the regional header links.

Music and Indigenous Initiatives

Latin America

Brazil: Cultural Debate as ‘Oh if I Catch You’ Song Goes Global

Music has spurred an ongoing debate in Brazil, as netizens realize they have a new cultural ambassador which they may not have chosen themselves. In this case, it is Michel Teló's song ‘Ai se eu te pego‘ which not only became the rhythm played over and over during the end of the year festivities, but has also crossed borders, even getting its own versions in English, Polish and Dutch.

Peru: Cápac Raymi, The Andean Christmas

In Peru, the Incan culture is still alive in most of the Andean region, and Christmas is a time when they have united their pre-Columbian traditions with the later Christian festivities. The festival of Capac Raymi takes place in December coinciding with the Winter Solstice and honors the Sun. Although the holiday is no longer observed as it was during the reign of the Incas, it has transformed into an Andean Christmas, where Christmas choirs sing in Quechua with Andean musical instruments and dances:

Another strong cultural group in Peru is the Afro-Peruvian community and they have also left their mark in how Peruvians celebrate Christmas:

Peru: Afro-Peruvian Christmas Music

The song “Black Christmas” by Cesar Calvo is a lament, where they sing to Baby Jesus who was born in a manger, but with a slight difference, he is black as the people surrounding him:

Washed by the night
Just like you and me
Born among blacks
the Baby Jesus.

Don't come down, Baby,
from your altar,
lest the master
has you whipped.

Venezuela: The Essence of African Music in Videos

African heritage in Venezuela has also strongly influenced the music, and online video is being used to spread the knowledge of the African Diaspora and Afro-Venezuelan Caribbean culture.

From Canada comes a video journalist with a project: To visit one country per week and to record the stories of under-reported minorities.

Video: One Year, One World and 52 Different Stories

So far she is still raising funds for this one year journey where she would be recording, editing and producing short documentaries from the road. A short video of her visit with the Embera indigenous communities in Panama gives us a promising look into the type of content she'd be delivering once her project takes off:

Video: Online Media by and for Indigenous People

Check out the list of 12 recommended films on indigenous issues that Indigenous Cry shared.


In Guatemala, indignation has overwhelmed citizens after investigative journalism uncovered that the President of the Chamber of Agriculture of that country had children under 14 years of age working in his sugar cane fields. Cane cutting is considered very physically demanding even for adults, and the conditions under which the cane cutters work contrast with the growth of the sugar industry.

Guatemala: Child Labor in the Sugar Cane Fields

The video, made under the guise of a photographic project to make portraits using an old fashioned camera shows the workers, including children who work long days without even making minimum wage:

In Brazil, the indignation has been caused by the violent forced evictions in what is being called a massacre:

Brazil: “Massacre of Pinheirinho” Causes an Uproar

Urbanist and UN Special Rapporteur Raquel Rolnik reported:

Thousands of men, women, children and elderly residents of the Pinheirinho occupation are surprised by a siege consisting of helicopters, armored vehicles and more than 1,800 armed men of the military police. In addition to the exits of the occupation being blocked, the water, electricity and telephone were cut, and the order was for families to gather to begin the process of retreat. Determined to resist – as the repossession had been suspended on Friday – the residents did not accept the command, initiating a dramatically violent situation that lasted all day and that has resulted in homeless families, people injured, arrests and rumors, including of the existence of fatalities.

East Asia

Hong Kong residents are becoming outraged: the cultural clashes have citizens and bloggers in a tense situation where any event is cause for fury:

China and Hong Kong: Train Scuffle Ignites Cross-Border Fury

Hong Kong Rethinks its Relationship with Mainland China

While bloggers in Hong Kong complain about their stretched resources and bubble economy, seeing the mainlanders as the intruders and sharing music videos where Mainland Chinese are compared to locusts, others such as Grey Reporter see both parties as victims of the system:

Actually, Hong Kongers and mainlanders share the same destiny – to end the authoritarian rule of the Chinese Communist Party and the collusion between the rich and the powerful.


Middle East & North Africa

Jordan: Let it Snow

Snow in Jordan had people whipping out their mobile phones and documenting the long awaited snow fall, even if it didn't stick.

But in case you are in a place where the snow does stick, what about checking out the video tutorial on how to build an igloo with just snow and a knife?

Eastern and Central Europe

CEE: A “Safe House” and an Igloo


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