"Axenon Ikanwe" is the first indigenous language radio to produce entirely in Shipibo. This project will support Shipibo language revitalization throughout the Peruvian Amazon. Radio has always been an effective way of reaching and incorporating indigenous communities living deep in the rainforest as well as in urban settings. Axenon Ikanwe works to recover ancestral knowledge and affirm Shipibo cultural values through encouraging Shipibos to be proud of speaking their native language.
The Shipibo peoples of the Peruvian Amazon have suffered from centuries of systemic discrimination and marginalization. Even today, Shipibo peoples experience fear and shame when they speak in their native language. There are very few places for Shipibos to speak in their mother tongue and younger generations face immense pressures to distance themselves from their language, their heritage, and their identities as Shipibos.
Axenon Ikanwe, in the past three months, has proven to be a participatory space for Shipibos from all over the Peruvian Amazon to listen, learn, and take pride in their native language. The program has significant reach already and will only grow in the year to come. With this audience, Axenon Ikanwe will strengthen Shipibo language practice and educate Shipibos on ancestral traditions in a current, relevant context.
Through strengthening Shipibo language practice and pride, Axenon Ikanwe aims revitalize Shipibo 'buen vivir' or 'good life.' This means using the radio to discuss themes like public health, intercultural education, gender equality, and family structures in indigenous communities. Axenon Ikanwe aims to create a public space for Shipibo language practice and ultimately work in the field of intercultural education to secure bilingual education materials for Shipibo communities.