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Network / An Invitation to Breathe: Check Global Regional Event, LatAm & the Caribbean
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On November 24, we invited our COVID-19 grantees to a special conversation to share their projects and how challenges faced during the pandemic affected their wellbeing. Facilitated by Lu Ortiz, the event was a closed virtual space to strengthen the community of grantees by listening and sharing healing practices that are ancestral and decolonial. We created a collective recipe book with tea recipes, rituals and other learnings in Portuguese and Spanish.

Present were members of the leading fact-checking work in Cuba an alliance of two independent media outlets (Periodismo de Barrio and elTOQUE), the fact checking organization Eté Checagem, the all women photography collective Ruda Coletiva, Coletivo Mulherias and Chicas Poderosas Ecuador. Lastly, facilitator Lu Ortiz is part of Vita Activa, an initiative that provides online support for women, LGBTIQ+, journalists and activists.

Listening to the Check Global community, one thing became clear: we, as a community, needed some time to breathe and a space for healing. The pandemic and conditions of political, social and economic crisis in the Latin America region generated in people who work in the media, activists and human rights defenders, feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, fatigue, dependence, lack, loneliness and insomnia, according to Vita Activa.

When envisioning this event the inspiration was the work of artist and activist Tricia Hersey’s, the Nap Ministry, she believes rest is a form of resistance and names sleep deprivation as a racial and social justice issue. Hersey’s radical praxis puts the wellbeing of people of color first, and this resonates with Latam’s historical context. During this pandemic there was no slow down in human rights events and publications, on the contrary, 2020 accelerated it all. Our community members had to face already oppressive realities now in the pandemic twist.

With this in mind Lu Ortiz’s work with Vita Activa was an invitation to the community to connect and breathe. The workshop was born from the need to open virtual spaces where women and non-binary folks come to collectively heal their digital ailments.

These learnings shared here were developed in a collaborative setting between activist journalists and human rights defenders in Latin America, people who feel and live intensely their connection with the earth, with their digital bodies and with the world around them. It is advisable to match the remedies described here to the circumstances of each person, this content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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