Podcast – Weaving waters

This podcast is inspired by the idea of weaving, an activity undertaken since ancient times by the indigenous peoples of Latin America and Asia. It involves arduous, manual and creative work, which is performed mostly by women. As has been documented in several archaeological and anthropological studies, weavings have historically been, for indigenous peoples, “the mirror of their cosmovision and identity and a form of trans-generational communication”. On the other hand, we also invoke the meaning of weaving from a political perspective, in which it is linked ‘to the exchange of words, to community processes and practices of resistance and transformation and to their construction and reconstruction.

Weaving Waters, seeks to weave a mosaic that brings together the diverse voices of filmmakers, judges, lawyers, journalists and academics from indigenous and ethnic peoples in different parts of the world. We will navigate the life stories of women and men from excluded peoples who transit between their language, culture, community and territory, and the modern Western world. We will talk with them about their life trajectories and challenges, but we will also get closer to their diverse definitions of water and law.

Episode 1. Indigenous academics: weaving knowledge

In the first chapter we talk to academics from indigenous and ethnic peoples in Asia and Latin America who are experts in legal studies and human sciences.

Taking into account their status as people located in between, as experts in international frameworks but also in the realities and ways of community life, we asked our guests about their experiences in the academic world and about their diverse views on water and law.


Aura Cumes, anthropologist and thinker of the Katchiquel people of Guatemala

Abadio Green, linguist and ethno-educator of the Gunadule people of the Colombia-Panama border. Coordinator of the Indigenous Education Program at the University of Antioquia

Pedro Garzón, lawyer and traditional authority of the Chinaneco indigenous people of Mexico

Lisneider Hinestroza, lawyer, teacher and researcher of the Afro-Colombian people of Chocó, Colombia

Valmaine Toki, lawyer of the Maori people of New Zealand. Proffesor at the University of Waikato, New Zealand

Jonathan Liljeblad, consultant of the Pa-o people in Myanmar. Proffesor at College of Law, Australian National University

Concept and production: María Ximena González and Digno Montalván Zambrano

Script written by: María Ximena González

Recording and editing: Digno Montalván

Sound production: Carlos Bricio

General coordination: Ana Paula García Nieto and Digno Montalván

Episode 2. Indigenous Lawyers: weaving rights

In recent decades, law and judicial litigation have been used to address the multiple impacts on Indigenous Peoples territories and livehoods. In this regard, the Indigenous lawyers act before the courts as transformative connectors of worlds. These lawyers work translate their cosmovisions into the formal language of hegemonic law, connecting distinct realities and transforming the classical understanding of law.

In this episode we listen to 11 indigenous lawyers from Guatemala and Nepal. We will learn about their training, their motivations, the main challenges of litigation while advocating for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. We will hear about their personal experiences and collective achievements. Through their testimony we will learn about the main obstacles in their countries and the strategies of resistance against colonization. For example, the colonial thinking imposed by “Eurocentrism” on the one hand and “Hinduism” on the other.


Amilcar Pop (Guatemala)

Benito Morales (Guatemala)

Cristian Otzin (Guatemala)

Edie Cux (Guatemala)

Lucia Xiloj (Guatemala)

Wendy Geraldina López (Guatemala)

Bhim Rai (Nepal)

Dinesh Kumar Ghale (Nepal)

Manoj Aathpahariya (Nepal)

Shankar Limbu (Nepal)

Tahal Thami (Nepal)

Concept. script, recording, production: Digno Montalván Zambrano

Script review: Lieselotte Viaene

English interpretation : by Manuel May

Editing, music, and mastering: Juan Pablo Alvarado

General coordination: Digno Montalván, Ana Paula García Nieto, and Lieselotte Viaene

Episode 3. Indigenous Diplomats: weaving realities

In this episode, we have the privilege of hearing from Indigenous people from Bangladesh, Canada, Guatemala, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Peru. Each of them has served as Indigenous delegates before international organizations such as the UN. In RIVERS we consider the work of Indigenous diplomats as world connectors, whose roles are intertwined with those of knowledge brokers and ontological negotiators.

They serve as bridges between Indigenous worlds and the world of International Law. They are connectors of worlds, in charge of translating the cosmovisions and practices of their peoples, promote the recognition of their rights and transform the dynamics and language of international organizations created according to the Western idea of the world.