The Chiapas Media Project is now a project of the Americas Media Initiative.
The Chiapas Media Project (CMP) was an award winning, bi-national partnership that providee video equipment, computers and training enabling marginalized indigenous communities in Southern Mexico to create their own media.
Begun 1998, CMP instructors worked in close collaboration with autonomous Zapatista communities. Indigenous youth with little formal education, and often working without reliable electricity, have produced videos on agricultural collectives, fair trade coffee, women’s collectives, autonomous education, traditional healing and the history of their struggle for land.
Why video and internet in the middle of Mexico’s southern jungles? The Zapatistas are the most documented indigenous movement in the history of the world, with hundreds of videos, films, books and websites created by people looking in from the outside. Until recently, these temporary visitors have controlled the medium and the message. With the introduction of video cameras and professional training, the communities can tell their own stories from their own perspectives. The impact has been profound.
Since 1998, the CMP has distributed over 6000 indigenous produced videos. These videos have been screened at universities, museums, and film and video festivals worldwide. CMP now functions solely as a distributor of the Zapatista productions and other documentaries from Mexico. There is now a separate organization, Promedios de Comunicación Comunitaria that continues to work with the Zapatista communities.
Over the years CMP has been funded in part by:
Daniele Agostino Foundation
Fund for Global Human Rights
Fund for Human Rights
Honor the Earth Fund
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Joshua Mailman Foundation
Peace Development Fund
Reebok Human Rights Award
Riverside Sharing Fund
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
US-Mexico Fund for Culture Vanguard Foundation
William H. Donner Foundation