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I am, Still

This project explores the daily life of the younger generation of indigenous people in Ecuador who are charting a course that is free from the legacy of colonialism. It engages with young indigenous people who decide to stay on the land, with their families, developing a way of life that blends modernity with ancestral knowledge, exploring 'mistizaje', or mixed race culture. Through their engagement with their indigenous tradition they find new ways of living in harmony with nature and with ourselves.

When I started this project, my childhood memories came back to me; the mountains, the family meals, and those cold mornings with the sound of the river. My memories are becoming more and more blurred but in this community, among these young people, these experiences are not forgotten or left to become a thing of the past. They spend their days between trips to the mountains, YouTube videos, on WhatsApp and working with animals.

In Ecuador, around 7% of the population is of indigenous extraction. During the past century, racism, discrimination and inequality forced many indigenous people to abandon their homes and their culture and migrate to the cities. Globalisation diminished the indigenous identity but the youth is putting a stop to this trend. Indigenous youths are leading a renaissance by staying in their communities and defending their land and their culture.

Johis Alarcon, 2021
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