Website review John Kurtenbach

 

Latin American Folk Institute

 

http://www.lafi.org/

 

While this site does not have direct coverage of folktales, the content includes folklore of Latin America.  As dance, music, and drama all draw from stories, the site is quite applicable.  Stories are included; they are just hidden within other sections.

 

Accuracy

The representations are accurate but reflect Latin American culture through the eyes of those living in the United States.  This can be a bit problematic as part of the idiom of the culture is obviously lost. 

 

Authority

This is a credible site.  As stated in the site, “The Latin American Folk Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to promote the art, music, and folklore of Latin America and the Caribbean region. LAFI partners with organizations and professional instructors to provide affordable art, music and dance classes to under-served members of the community.  Using the arts as a vehicle to inspire cross-cultural understanding, LAFI makes the rich cultural heritage of the Americas accessible to everyone via educational and cultural programs.” 

 

Being listed as a “.org” site establishes legitimacy.  The partnerships are with scholars and respected cultural institutions, thus adding more credibility.

 

Objectivity

This site presents Latin American culture through the eyes of immigrants.  While this is not a big difference, an argument can be made for objectivity.  Content selection is objective but determined by audience appeal.  For example, I did not see representations for Guarani art, but plenty of Afro-Cuban jazz and Peruvian/Andean music.  In other words, selection is subjective based on public appeal. 

 

Currency

The site is kept up-to-date and there is a daily and monthly calendar that guides the user.

 

Content/Coverage

Content/coverage mainly includes music, dance, and theater.  Children’s programs are more universal in scope.  This is definitely a serious site; promotion includes big name groups like the Afro-Cuban All-Stars.   There is a magazine and subscription to the site (part of the membership in the non-profit).  Links within the site take the user to movie, arts, and education sites. 

 

Coverage is limited in that the site appears more as the vehicle of advertising and promoting cultural activities rather than sharing culture.

 

Access

Access is open within the internet.  The site can be found quite easily using any number of search engines.

 

Design/Appearance

Very professional and slick.  Drop down menu on top tool bar, links within the page, searchable site.  It is definitely a professional production that has undergone editorial review.