Más allá del fútbol: Teaching highland afro-Ecuadorian culture and engaging race and racism through documentary film


This study presents strategies for teaching highland Afro-Ecuadorian culture and for broaching the topic of race and racism through the documentary film Más allá del fútbol. Produced in 2008 by the author, this film explores afrochoteño identity and culture as well as the issues of race and racism in Ecuador through a discussion of bomba, a genre of song and dance. The film's narrative and discourse speaks to the current afrochoteño struggle for social equity and also indexes recent shifts in perceptions and representations of national and ethnic identity in Ecuador. As such, Más allá del fútbol provides educators an opportunity to go beyond grammatical structures and to address not only Afro-Ecuadorian history and culture, but also relevant social, cultural, and political issues. The instructional strategies presented therefore attend to the film's context, content, and discourse through a variety of critical and reflexive assignments and activities, including readings, viewing guides, journaling, songwriting, dance, and discussion. These activities allow students to reflect on the epistemological value of such oral and embodied traditions as music and dance. Taught in this way, Más allá del fútbol advances the goals of translingual and transcultural competence. AATSP

Publication Title