This paper explores the way in which audiovisual media can become the most effective tool for intercultural communication when the traditional forms of communication fail. This paper draws upon extensive fieldwork undertaken with a group of indigenous communicators from northern Colombia, Zhigoneshi. They initiated their filmmaking practices as a response to the violence in the region but also repeated misinterpretations of their culture by external filmmakers. The newly acquired audio-visual literacy was the first step to secure a fruitful dialogue with international audiences. The second step was to manage the often limiting ‘indigenous’ label when showcasing their films at international film festivals. The practices of intercultural reception, reinforced by a set of preconceptions of what ‘indigenous’ media can offer, is often based on the division with the ‘Other’. With increasingly successful and far-reaching scope and ambitions of the Zhigoneshi collective, the visual media, narrative and storytelling practices proved to be the most effective form of communication with a potential to bridge the cultural divisions.
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