Bicionarios was a digital media project framed in a social expedition that traveled by bicycle along South America. Its purpose was to discover, support, and spread the actions of local leaders working for social equity, alternative education, and environmental sustainability across the region. To achieve this, a wide array of inspiring stories was collected and portrayed using diverse media formats and visual narratives. The content aimed to share their motivations, victories, and challenges in order to invite people to rethink their own relationship with the world we live in.
For two years (2018-2020), the journey followed a 8,500 km route that covered six countries; Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. From dense cities to the vast countryside, a team of four Colombians (myself included) visited projects with a measurable impact that shed light on complex issues inherent to the nature of each community and culture. These experiences fueled a versatile communications ecosystem that adapted to different contexts to effectively convey a message of change on a local and global scale.
Strategy and Key Players
Finding the voices
We contacted transformative initiatives recommended by international organizations and expert advisers such as IAF (Inter-American Foundation), Practical Action, SDSN Andes (Sustainable Development Solutions Network), and Premio Cívico, among others. Their support enabled our cooperation with more than 25 projects scattered in diverse regions. In every encounter, we used a volunteer logic to support their cause, working side by side with them as we submerged in their daily lives.
These privileged experiences allowed for close interactions that served both as ethnographic research and as the creative fuel for narrative ideation. The goal was to provide the project leaders with free high-quality content that would strengthen their communication skills with close actors, supporters, and their communities. This idea of adding value to the projects while appealing to a broader global audience was the fundamental notion upon which the content platform was built.
Brand & Digital Media
Storytelling to take action
As we moved down south, we shared our experiences using photography, interviews, written articles, short films, and social media content. All of these pieces followed an emotional approach, depicting complex social issues through a close perspective obtained from our field immersions. The visual language was crafted to evoke positivity and highlight the resilient spirit of a region that thrives in the face of adversity. This, along with a warm and relatable tone, was essential to engage viewers and get them involved in the conversation.
The short films were conceived as episodes for a documentary series called Echoes From The Andes. These were uploaded periodically along with the other content to our main platform and shared as well through our newsletter and social media. Establishing a curated digital presence was a powerful tool that served two main purposes; it allowed the projects to showcase their work in new ways, and it gave us the chance to capture a diverse audience through changing media formats with different depths of information. Our storytelling explored the power of written, audible and visual imagery.
As the creative lead, I was responsible for the brand, communication strategy, and storytelling approach that upholds the project's promise: to deliver engaging content that inspires and acts as a catalyst of human empathy. I worked actively with different leaders and communities across the Andes, structuring the narratives that shaped the whole scope of visual media we created along the way. My role also included building the platform, co-editing the content, leading media outreach, and creative writing.
Teamwork for Social Impact
Agents of change
The team consisted of four members, each with a different professional background. This fostered a constant dialogue between the fields of psychology, economics, design, and communication, nurturing the project’s perspective through a wide range of views and considerations. We faced harsh conditions together, always driven by the desire to make a positive impact.
The bike played a key part. It transcended its role as a vehicle to become the spark that unveiled stories in a unique way, slowly bridging distances while forging imperishable bonds. It allowed us to travel with a contemplative spirit through the vertebrae of the continent, traversing its wild geography to grant us a distinct look at its landscapes and the communities that inhabit them.
Reach and Free Press
Victories from the saddle
The project has been featured internationally in mass media through various newspaper articles, tv appearances, and radio interviews, as well as in talks that we have given in universities, cultural venues, and schools. The appealing visuals that we created have drawn the attention of different people toward social projects that are constantly looking for increased legitimacy and support.