“Vamos Descolonizar a Telinha:” Indigenous Women’s Social Media Activism in Brazil
Indigenous women in Brazil have found unique and revolutionary ways to resist the current national regime through their activisms on social media. These digital activisms involve women from multiple Indigenous groups across the country, along with non-Indigenous Brazilian supporters and international organizational allies. The purpose of this study is to consider how Indigenous women have used social media to resist the first two years of Jair Bolsonaro’s administration, with a focus on the knowledge that emanates from their compelling concerns and the specific digital strategies they have employed in Brazil and beyond. Using a decolonial feminist practice that centers Indigenous women’s experiences and framings, this thesis offers a Critical Discourse Analysis of selected representative digital initiatives, together with visual analysis where relevant, drawing upon theories developed within Indigenous feminisms and movements, as well as feminist and queer media studies. This study focuses on five crucial online and related events that took place between 2019 and 2020, in which Indigenous women activists played key leadership roles, producing data materials in formats ranging from social media posts to live broadcasts. Results indicate that Indigenous women activists are pushing back against the fascist forces currently shaping Brazilian politics, while exposing the limitations of social media platforms in conveying Indigenous activists’ values and causes. Their strategies are informed by ancestral and land-based relational connections, supported by intergenerational spiritualities, and shared in creative solidarities with Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous supporters. By engaging meaningfully with Indigenous women’s relational values and connections and the solidarities they have developed with anti-capitalist and anti-racist allies, settler societies in Brazil and elsewhere have a stronger chance of securing more promising futures and improved wellbeing for all human and more-than-human lives.
Indigenous women, Indigenous feminisms, decolonial feminisms, social media activisms, Brazilian politics
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity
Women's and Gender Studies