20 april - Seminarium

Media Representations of Ecuadorian Cultural Identity: Looking at ourselves through a foreign gaze. PhD Hugi Burgos, Colegio de Comunicatión y Artes Contemporáneas, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito, Ecuador.

This presentation analyzes three sources of media representations of Ecuadorian cultural identity:

  • Ministry of Tourism promotional video clips
  • TV comedy show - "Vivos"
  • Tecnocumbia music videos by Delfín Quishpe

This audiovisual material has been aired in Ecuador (national television) and abroad through international tourism fairs, satellite TV stations and YouTube.

The presentation will analyze how these TV clips incorporate the gaze of early 18th Century European travelers that visited South America, and how they naturalized discourses defining Ecuador based on its natural resources, its naive indigenous inhabitants and lack of "civilization". A critical reflection on this matter establishes that for long, Ecuadorians have been consuming media images that represent them from a foreigner's point of view; local media internalized this colonial gaze. This notion invites to think about what local producers, media outlets and audiences need to do to create images that are ethically responsible to the social and cultural diversity of the country's people, that is, to their own gaze.