Doctoral Student in Anthropology
My research examines how participation in recent digital technologies of communication such as social media is transforming the linguistic and social practices of the Shipibo-Konibo indigenous society in the Peruvian Amazon. Shipibo-Konibos are eager users of social media platforms which allows them to maintain connections and engage in inventive forms of social intimacy with those who are physically distant. How do social media platforms afford Shipibo-Konibos displays of social intimacy? What linguistic practices become relevant to convey friendship and care online? How has social media participation transformed Shipibo-Konibos’ notions of social intimacy and the communicative practices through which care and unity are expressed? These are some of the main questions my research aims to explore.
At the same time, my research seeks to raise awareness about the challenges and exclusion that indigenous societies need to overcome to become participants in digital technologies. For instance, lack of internet access, the high costs of computing devices, lack of adequate literacy and software that caters to non-indigenous cultures and languages. I investigate how tech companies, governments and other institutions can mitigate such biases to better support indigenous communities.