Radio Tosepan Limakxtum

Facilitating Critical Discussions about Technology with the Masewal Community in Mexico

Radio Tosepan Limakxtum is a Masewal community radio station that involves the Nawat, Tutunaku, and Mestizo territory in Mexico that is part of the Union of Cooperatives Tosepan Titataniske. Through their offerings, they promote community values by creating their own content, listening and responding to needs of the communities, as well as promoting the way of life as Indigenous people.

Collage with mostly black and white photos of people and words such as "motivados", "fuerza", and "libre" Collage created during part of the workshop. Photo courtesy of Radio Tosepan Limakxtum.

“We strive to ensure that the technologies we create, such as the radio, audiovisuals and the community cell phone network services, always strengthen our knowledge and language, leading to the recognition of our autonomy as Indigenous people.” —Nicasia, Coordinator

In 2021, Radio Tosepan Limakxtum recognized that along with the arrival of the internet to rural and indigenous communities in the region, opening opportunities for discussions, reflection, and training would be important. In partnership with Tactical Tech in 2023, they researched and produced a radio series in local languages, reflecting on a balanced and critical use of the internet for Masewal communities.

People talking while sitting at tables in a colorful and naturally lit room Collaborative activity during part of the workshop. Photo courtesy of Radio Tosepan Limakxtum.

For their research, they did a review and analysis of Tactical Tech materials to find content suitable to the needs of their community. They also took field visits to six neighboring communities where they conducted 18 in-depth interviews with people from the union of the cooperative (12 members and six executives).

They also ran a collaborative workshop with 20 people from the union on approaches to using tech. The workshop helped them to understand how people see the internet and what connectivity looks like in accordance with their community values.

Three people standing at a window that has a poster with sticky notes on it, each with handwriting Collaborative activity during part of the workshop. Photo courtesy of Radio Tosepan Limakxtum.

Next, they planned, produced, and edited a three-episode radio program, based on the Data Detox Kit as well as the results of their research, for the Masewal community in two languages: Nahuatl and Spanish. Learn about the episodes:

  1. How do telecommunications work? — This episode focused on the function of telecommunications on global, regional, and local levels. They also shared local experiences that narrated how telecommunications reached the Masewal communities, discussing benefits and risks.
  2. Telecommunications and digital care. — This episode focused on the various risks present in the digital realm. Here, they also shared experiences and provided advices based on the Data Detox Kit and other sources to promote the digital wellbeing of the communities.
  3. Technologies for the Yeknemilis. — This episode revolved around key concepts in the Masewal philosophy, such as Yeknemilis, Tamakepalis, Tayolchikawalis, and Totasohtalis, using them as the basis to conceptualize what they call “Masewal Technologies”. They discussed here technological autonomy, and the best approaches to collective care.

Their show aired on the community radio station Radio Tosepan Limakxtum. The show provided advice and tips on current telecommunications questions and opened a space to critically discuss how to make the technologies more aligned with the communities needs and values, with inputs from community elders.

“Although communicating some concepts related to the use of data in a digital context can be a bit challenging, it is important to involve all people in a plural conversation, since it’s a topic that concerns all of us. [...] The project contributed significantly to the adoption of a critical perspective and to actively listening to the communities in order to shape the programs.” —Nicasia, Coordinator

Last updated on: 1/11/2024