As a teacher and learner of languages, Eliza has spent many years working with different communities and learning from the various cultures she engaged with throughout her experiences. After meeting her husband from the south Indian state of Kerala, her attempt to learn Malayalam exposed a massive lack in resources and educational materials for not only Malayalam, but many of the hundreds of living languages across the subcontinent. When her efforts to create approachable teaching materials gained traction and appreciation, it led to the realization that the narrative of communities has the power to be rewritten through social media.
Eliza’s talk demonstrates the reach of social media, whether indigenous American dances on TikTok, minority language clips on Instagram, or craft tutorials on Snapchat, there is a way for people to shift how the world learns about and preserves their local culture. No longer do underrepresented people need to rely on big name media houses or government curriculum to ensure they are documented, Eliza instead urges the new generation to use the power in their own hands to tell their story, with their own voice.