Vivimos Aca (We Live Here): A Video Documentary on a Community Experiencing Marginalization in Bañado Sur, Asunción Paraguay Open Access

Comstock, Thomas Williams (2015)

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Background: Bañado Sur is an informal settlement in the flood plain of the Paraguay River in Asuncion, Paraguay. The community is next to the municipal dump and most families derive their income from processing trash. They are marginalized in Paraguayan society, where they are considered "good for nothings." The literature on the Social Determinants of Health shows that marginalization can have a negative impact on physical health. This project sought to understand how local youth themselves understood and experienced marginalization.

Methods: Photovoice is a participatory research technique that has been used in marginalized communities around the world. This project is a video documentary about the Bañado Sur using an adapted Photovoice methodology to illicit an emic perspective from participants. Ten young activists were asked to photograph meaningful things in their community. They then selected their favorite 3-7 photos and were interviewed on camera about what the images represented for them. For the documentary, clips were assembled with an eye towards maintaining the fidelity of participants' statements and intentions. Additional material included interviews with key informants at Emory who have worked in this community, additional footage of the Bañado, and context for audiences outside of Paraguay.

Results: Participants spoke to a deep sense of marginalization and a strong desire to define their future on their own terms as a community that is full of both struggle and hope. Participants discuss the floods that force families to leave their homes and discuss the hardship and lack of government response. They highlight that the motivation for their activism is the children in their community, so that they can grow up with dignity and hope for the future.

Discussion: As Asuncion develops, the residents of Bañado Sur live increasingly in the city's waste and risk losing their homes to further development. Participants spoke of marginalization - as well as abiding hope. Hopeful future expectations are linked to the core elements of positive youth development approaches - competence, confidence, character, connection, caring, and contribution. Despite harsh conditions, hope and solidarity may be the Bañado's greatest resource.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction ...1

Chapter 2: Review of Literature ... 3

Social Determinants of Health ... 3

Photovoice as Emic Discourse ... 3

Context of Bañado Sur ... 7

Chapter 3: Methodology ... 10

Chapter 4: Script of the Documentary... 13

Episode 1... 13

Episode 2... 24

Chapter 5: Discussion, Conclusions, and Recommendations... 37

References... 43

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