Vol. 1 No. 1 (2020): Global Connections
Articles - Capstones

Colorism’s Effect on the Presentation of Performative Justice for Indigenous Women in Video News Media

Published May 14, 2020


In this paper, I explore the role of colorism in the presentation of performative justice for indigenous women in Mexico. Indigenous people suffer from the lack of legal justice and security in the communities that they live in, indicating systemic barriers that create intentional social exclusion on behalf of the dominant society. I use the term performative justice as a push or approach to a problem in a non-traditional legal justice form that is meant to impact society and create change. Using content analysis, I analyze eight videos to identify indications of colorism through different video metrics and content markers that denote discriminatory representation. Through analyzing different video media sources, I identify the language and structures used to determine whether colorism influences the representation of indigenous women in the media. The colorism that is presented and communicated through video media represents the failure of performative justice, as it attempts to spotlight the femicide of indigenous women but lacks in effectively communicating the importance of violence against indigenous women in a predominantly non-indigenous country. A few aspects of the presentation of the indigenous femicide cases I analyzed indicated to me a failure of performative justice. The factor of less speaking times for families, the lack of urgency in the search for legal justice in these reports, and the lack of context given with existing as indigenous women in a predominantly non-indigenous society are all places where video media lacks in propelling the social change and awareness of this issue into society.