Political Subjects and Social Mobilization from Below
Dr Polly Wilding, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
Social and Solidarity Economy in Pursuit of Buen Vivir in Ecuador
Jorge Altamirano, Newcastle University, UK
Latin America has experienced important changes in the last few years. The aim of these changes in Ecuador during the last ten years has been to shift away from neoliberalism by changing development thinking and introducing the ‘Buen Vivir’ approach as the basis for Ecuadorian policy. This paper explores the contributions of the Social and Solidarity Economy to achieve Buen Vivir and presents some of the findings from qualitative and quantitative data collected during fieldwork in Ecuador in 2015 and the methods used. It also analyses some of the contradictions between the principles of Buen Vivir and the indigenous way of living Sumak Kawsay, which has been object of a lot of debate between the government and indigenous movements.
Politicising Subjects, Depoliticising Movements? The Judicialisation of Politics and Women’s Movements in Latin America
Julia Louisa, LSE, UK
Over the past 15 years, academic debates have identified the importance of the “judicialisation of politics” in Latin America and the increased role of Constitutional courts in democratisation. Research has also highlighted a parallel process of “judicialisation from below”, or an intensified use of the law and local courts by social movements. This practice has ambivalent effects; although it can enable greater political awareness amongst social actors by giving them the language and means to claim their rights, the judicialisation of politics can also lead to a demobilisation and depoliticisation of movements and related issues. This paper will provide a discussion of this ambivalent process by analysing the opportunities and constraints associated with “judicialisation from below” in Latin America. To do so, it will consider two case studies: Guatemala’s 2016 Sepur Zarco trial, and the 2015 legislation on domestic work in Brazil. The first case will explore the implications of the precedent-setting 2016 Sepur Zarco trial on sexual violence and crimes against humanity perpetrated against Maya Q’eqchi’ women during Guatemala’s genocide and civil war, brought before the Guatemalan Supreme Court by the victim-survivors and civil society organizations. The second case will discuss the increased use of local employment tribunals by domestic workers in Brazil, and assess the implications of focusing exclusively on the law as a political strategy for the movement. Drawing on these two cases, this paper argues that despite creating an opening of legal and political opportunities for women’s movements, the judicialisation of politics is also inherently paradoxical.
Affective Organisation, Effective Mobilisation: the Internal Tensions of Community-Building in Iztapalapa, Mexico City
Ruby Zajac, University of Cambridge, UK
This paper will explore the construction of autonomy and community in two housing cooperative movements in Mexico City: Tlanezi Calli (1995-present) and Xochi-Tlanezi (2010-present; yet to begin construction). Located at the southern edge of Iztapalapa, a densely populated, working-class district and stronghold of Mexico’s third biggest party (the left-wing Democratic Revolutionary Party, or PRD), Tlanezi Calli and Xochi-Tlanezi are ‘communities’ to some of their members, ‘unidades habitacionales’ to others and a joint ‘civil association’, for legal purposes. They are at once descendants and non-sequiturs of Mexico’s Urban Popular Movement (MUP) of the 1980s; unlike most of the older cooperatives in the area, they are formally anti-partisan and allied with the Zapatista struggle. In an inter-cultural dialogue with the Mixe philosophy of ‘comunalidad’, the paper will explore the limits and possibilities of territorial autonomy in an urban, mestizo setting, and the relevance of indigenous experiences in the analysis of a non-indigenous community. Based on ethnographic research, the paper will analyse the interpersonal tensions of hierarchy and ‘horizontalidad’, the private and the communal. Community will here be understood as both place, with the home as the epicentre of territory, and imaginary, as a collective identifier and ideological drive. The paper ultimately seeks to understand the role of affect in creating the bonds and divisions of which these communities are made.
Thinking of Citizenship beyond the State: The Zapatista Example
Martha Avalos-Pelaez, University of Sheffield, UK
The study of citizenship has developed through time and it has been approached as a status and/or as a practice. Despite this, the concept has been studied under the umbrella of the state as the only institution capable of assuring poltical agency to the people by grating rights and guaranteeing the provisions that enable the practice of such status. However, cases such as the Zapatistas who are constructing a political project based on autonomy and in complete rejection of the Mexican state force us to look at citizenship beyond the traditional confines of the state. This paper will examine the way in which the Zapatistas’ assertions towards autonomy could be considered as an active project of citizenship. Thus, this paper will take Engin Isin’s theory of ‘acts of citizenship’ (Isin, 2008, 2012) forward to analyse the construction of the Zapatistas as political subjects through their claims for rights.
Church-State Relations in Mexico: From Secular Politics in a Secular State to Religious Politics in a Secular State
Maria Isabel Diaz Hernandez, Queen Mary University of London, UK
The relationship between Church and State in post-revolutionary Mexico has always been complex. For most of the 71 years that the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) governed the country, it sought to control the Catholic Church through a highly anticlerical law. But in 1992 the Mexican Congress approved a constitutional reform in religious affairs that finally recognized the legal personality of the churches and granted them more freedom. The normalization of relations and the political transition allowed the Church to gain more public presence. Thus, it became an active advocate of democracy and human rights.
However, despite the apparent favorable sociopolitical context for the Church with the rise to power of the “Christian democratic” PAN (National Action Party), and, later the comeback of the PRI with a catholic president; it has been confronted by governmental policies which go against its moral doctrine. This has caused a strong activism from the Church against the legalization of emergency contraception, abortion, etc. Due to its involvement in politics, the Church has been accused of political interference and of endangering the secular state. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to explore how the political activism of the Church has affected its relation to the state from 2000 to the present. The argument is that the Mexican state is undergoing a transition from a secular state with secular politics, to a secular state with religious politics; and, that this has raised questions among Mexican politicians about the role that the Church should play in politics.
Infrastructure Development, Energy and Space
Martin Lima, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
Infrastructure Network Development and its Impact on the Discontinuity of Certain Productive Dynamics
Fabio Alves Moura, University of São Paulo and University of Paris X, France
From the European functionalist approach to the UN-ECLAC’s theories since the 1950’s (especially in Prebish and Balassa), among others, regional integration has consolidated itself in academic debates as a praised alternative for countries and regions’ development. In this context, one of the key elements that can contribute to foster a region’s integration processes and its economic – and in some cases also social and even political – performance, is its regional infrastructure networks, especially its transportation, energy and telecommunication networks. Latin America’s projection on the world stage, and its capacity to discontinue the colonial logics of fragmentary local development, largely depends, thus, on a relatively limited set of variables, among which is its infrastructure development, whose efficiency level lies behind that of other developing regions or countries and its development pace is also slower. Considering the huge amounts of investment needed to finance the construction and connection of these regional networks, and the difficulties faced by Latin American countries to provide such investments from public funding, our research focus is the present context of both private and regional alternatives which can be accessed for the financing of regional infrastructure projects, both presenting the main available structures and debating some possible improvements, especially regarding the relation between private financing and regional mechanisms, especially funds and banks. As a final reflection, we make some considerations about how could these two dynamics, that of the regional integration of infrastructure networks and the one of regional and private funding of these networks, contribute to the discontinuation of centuries of mutual isolation of the national productive matrices of the continent.
The Politics of Wind Energy in Mexico
Gerardo Alonso Torres Contreras, Institute of Development Studies, UK
This paper will be articulated around the following question: how does wind energy create patterns of land use and access in Oaxaca, Mexico? And with what implications? In the context of climate change mitigation efforts, wind energy will play a salient role in Mexico to reduce carbon emissions in 30% by 2030 and to reach 35% of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2024. Wind energy capacity, in this sense, is expected to grow from 2,987 MW in 2015 to 15,500 MW in 2027 and to attract approximately $14 billion to the country. The progressive installation of wind energy, nevertheless, does not come without tensions and contradictions. This is especially relevant in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec where approximately 90% of the national wind energy capacity has been installed since 1994. Because of its materiality and its low energy density, wind energy requires massive swaths of land to generate the same amount of energy that can just be extracted from a ‘hole’ in the case of fossil energies. The need to secure land by different stakeholders acting across scales has brought mechanisms of discourse creation, land control and dispossession that have construed wind as a resource to be exploited and that have increased social inequalities and conflicts in the region. By exploring these mechanisms and their effect on land-based livelihoods and labour, this paper will contribute with a nuanced account on renewable energy development and will shed light on the contested meanings associated with green transformations in Mexico.
Panel 3 – Cancelled*
Religion and Religious practises in Latin America
*Please note that Maria Isabel Diaz Hernandez (Queen Mary University of London)‘s paper on “Church-State Relations in Mexico” has been moved to Panel 1.
Performance poetry: tongue, body and theories.
Lou Parra, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
Queer Futurity in “La voz desviada”
Sara Torres, Queen Mary University of London, UK
With my reading of ‘La voz desviada’, I want to engage with political idealism in the notion of ‘queer futurity’ as proposed by José Esteban Muñoz. The selected text from my last book Conjuros y Cantos activates a concept of fantasy which is informed by the tensions between post-Lacanian theory, Feminisms, and Queer Studies. Understood as interface for signification, fantasy operates as a necessary intermediation, protecting us from the irreducible and overwhelming ‘real’. A medium for organization and stabilisation, it is believed that the absence of continuity in fantasy potentially threatens the individual: It opens a space for unpredictable states of anxiety. ‘La voz desviada’ explores productive failure in lesbian repetition of conventional fantasy’s schemata. It also approaches the question of desire from different perspectives: Trapped in discourses of excess and lack, desire appears both as a social imperative as well as a liberating movement towards insubordinate perseverance and disobedient connections.
Performative Possibilities forSilent Languages
Luna Montenegro, Art collective mmmmm and mmmmmfilms
As part of my poetic work I explore the dead languages of Patagonia. The voices of people who lived for 10,000 years in the southern cone of the Americas and the tribes that became extinct through colonisation, infection and genocide. I am interested in the act of naming and reconstructing dead languages as a political action, the performative possibilities for these silent cultures, the relationship between mute languages and the contemporary languages I speak, Chilean-Spanish and English, the balance between the narrative of the colonised and the coloniser and the interweaving of the living with the deceased.
Antiode: A Multilingual Performative Poem in Four Movements
Dr Jèssica Pujol Duran, Universidad of Santiago de Chile
In this paper I will read and discuss “Antiode” (Poetry Wales, 2013), a poem written in Spanish and (mis-)translated into English by the poet Sarah Kelly. The poem has four movements written in free verse, addresses the role of the subject in the urban space and is meant to be read aloud by two people. Drawing from Nicanor Parra’s antipoesía, Tristan Tzara’s simultaneous poem, and Jacques Derrida’s Post-structuralism, the language of “Antiode” is not concrete or abstract, but mediates between the two: trying to reflect upon the meaning and use of common language and break binary oppositions that constitute our tradition. The first movement, called “En construcción” (“Under Construction”], refers to the urban landscape as one that has been violently built upon, creating a new geological layer that can paradoxically damage its foundations. The second movement, called “Domesticidad” (“Domesticity”], explores the dialectics between our desperation to tame fear at the same time as we destroy our planet. The third movement, “Los gatos pardos” (“All Cows Are Black”], disassembles syntax in order to conjure up the other side, what remains illogical and ungraspable. Finally, the fourth movement, “Yo” (“I”] is a fall into the subject: when aspirations, dreams, failures and even the voices that form what we call subjectivity, fall into a body, this container may not be capable of holding it together –or even remember its purpose. In this session I will discuss these subjects, and I will invite the audience to discuss the meaning of mistranslation and performativity in contemporary poetry.
Opacity and Dialogue between Spanish and English
Lou Parra, University of Leeds
In this paper I will perform and discuss “An after death dialogue between Ann Sexton and Rosario Castellanos”, a poem written in Spanish and English by Lou Parra. The poem addresses a post-death dialogue between the US poet Anne Sexton (1928-1974) and the Mexican writer Rosario Castellanos (1925-1974), while they are in the boat of Charon-the ferryman of Hades who transports souls of the newly deceased. The poem is a bilingual dialogue between these two poets, given the fact that each of them speaks in their own language. Taking into account Édouard Glissant’s (2006) notion of “opacity”, this poem tries to respect the multiplicity of each poet and at the same time, aims to establish a dialogue between them and with the reader. In this sense, the role of the writer as a translator contributes to this notion of “opacity”. In the lyric and utopian world, everyone would be able to communicate in their own language, and the purpose of this poem is to underline and support that idea. In the first stanza, Charon introduces the poets and recounts what he hears from them. The second stanza explores how the poets remind each other that they have passed away. The third stanza tells about the depressions that the poets had before and after giving birth to their children. The fourth stanza discusses the manner in which they deal with their process of writing, while being mothers. The fifth stanza mentions the manner in which the poets recall their deaths. In the last stanza, Charon calls the poets and describes the manner whereby they leave his boat. In this presentation, I aim to discuss the role of languages in poetry, and the significance of translation for cultural dialogues.
Living on the edge: Race, Gender, Citizenship, and Borders
Dr Paul Melo e Castro, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
Brazil and Haiti – The Haitian Diaspora and the Control of Borders.
Jacqueline Cristina da Silva, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil
In 2010, Haiti underwent a major change in its internal structure due to the great earthquake that shook the country, triggering a major immigration process. With routes already established, many arrived in Brazil and moved to other cities in the country, the constant arrival of Haitian immigrants to the borders of the northern region of the country, amongst which we can mention the city of Brasiléia in Acre, opens a discussion on the role of Brazilian politics and the migrations that occur in the world today. The reception of refugees broadens the issue of borders and makes us question the role of countries and the flow of immigration that is changing the global geopolitical vision and the discussion of the limits that a country can impose through its policies of permanence. This research seeks to relate, through Haitian immigration, the bilateral relations between Brazil and Haiti and the decisions of the Brazilian government on foreign policy and border control.
Latin America Migrant Women in London.
Juany Murphy, Otra Cosa Network, Perú
This paper presents in its first part the theories of migration and the reflections on women’s migration, offering a general view of different patterns of this international migration process from Latin America to Europe. In order to understand gender analysis on migration theories and legislation, some concepts have been clarified. These concepts are the push and pull theories, asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, women migrants who are particularly excluded. The paper also presents the migration process of Latin American women to England from the 1970s to the present. Some attention is given to the issues of economic, political, social and cultural push factors. The study is based on in-depth interviews presented in the last chapter following the guide-lines of objectives hermeneutics. The analysis refers to the living conditions in England especially in London in terms of housing, education, health and employment. We realized that there is a gap in the literature of gender analysis and more research in this area will contribute to a dichotomy perception of the ‘new’ ethnic minorities communities in England. I also analysed the work they produced and their struggle with the invisibility of these communities.
“From Braceros to Baby Carriers: Feminization of the U.S.-Mexico Border”
Francisco Laguna-Correa High Point University, United States
According to data from the Pew Research Center, in 2016 more than 30 million Hispanic people of Mexican origin lived in the U.S., making it the biggest ‘minority’ group in the United States. The bracero times, which brought a majority of masculine labor to American territory, had ostensibly changed by 2011, so much so that currently the Mexican immigrant population in the U.S. is almost fifty-fifty in terms of gender distribution. The Mexican-U.S. border has indeed become a feminine space dominated by migrations and violence, though pop culture portrayals continue to rely on masculine stereotypes, such as in popular television series Breaking Bad (in this show Mexican immigrants are no longer seen only as braceros, but also as dangerous, exotic, and superstitious drug cartel members ‘breaking’ the moral stability of the U.S.). This presentation maps the transformation of the U.S.-Mexico border from a masculine to a feminine space of political, cultural, and economic struggle. The conclusion is that while pop culture and media, and even political rhetoric (one must remember the term “Bad Hombres” coined by Donald Trump during his successful presidential campaign) keeps portraying the borderlands as masculine territories, countercultural and socioeconomic evidences underline the dynamic cultural and socioeconomic roles of women across the many borderlands of the Americas, including the U.S.-Mexico border.
Water Wars: (Pluri)nationalism and the Bolivian-Chilean Border Conflict
Lena Schubmann, University of Cambridge, UK
The nation-state is built on the assumption that its citizens share a homogeneous national identity. The renaming of the Republic of Bolivia into the Plurinational State of Bolivia in 2009 aimed to challenge this assumption and constitutionally separate the nation and the state. This paper evaluates whether the Plurinational State really challenges the nationalist logic of the nation-state by critically analysing Bolivia’s claim to certain territory in Northern Chile. Taking a poststructuralist approach, it deconstructs nationalism into the elements of identity based on differentiation, access to social rights and territorial demarcation. Looking at official government discourse concerning the border conflict with Chile, it identifies a contradiction: on the one hand, the Bolivian government emphasises free access to water as a universal human right and denounces Chile for the commodification of water resulting from large scale privatisation. According to Evo Morales, unrestricted access to natural water sources is deeply rooted in Andean cosmology and should therefore never be used for any kind of profit. On the other hand, however, Bolivia officially requested Chile to financially reimburse Bolivia for water coming from the disputed territory of Silala. This paper explains this apparent contradiction by revealing the nationalist ideology Bolivia’s territorial claim is based upon: Rather than a universal human right, public access to water can only be guaranteed by and for Bolivian citizens, making the articulation of plurinationalist ideology on the international level identical with geopolitical nationalism.
Violence and Exclusion
Peter Watson, University of Sheffield, UK (Chair)
Favela, Violência e Pacificação.
Eduardo Ramos, PPGSA-UFRJ, Brazil
Neste trabalho nos debruçaremos sobre a política de pacificação e as Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora (UPPs), iniciada em 2008 no estado do Rio de Janeiro. Esse projeto é caracterizado pela ocupação militar de uma favela para, posteriormente, se instalar uma unidade policial fixa. Um dos objetivos dessa política é a alteração do histórico de incursões policias marcada pela violência ao estabelecer uma lógica de policiamento comunitário. A ideia é que com a “pacificação” e a (re)tomada do espaço pelo poder público uma série de serviços e bens poderão finalmente fluir plenamente nessas regiões, promovendo uma integração entre favela e asfalto, rompendo com a lógica da cidade partida.
A prematura sensação de sucesso patrocinada pela política de pacificação com a melhoria das taxas criminais negligencia as condições precárias que as áreas ocupadas carregam. Com os resultados oriundos da ocupação militar sem os desdobramentos necessários à recuperação dos territórios para a instauração prescrita do estado democrático de direito possibilita uma compreensão moral da favela como território inimigo, legitimando a alteridade por meio da ação policial. Mesmo modificando a rotina de violência dessas áreas o que teríamos seria uma mudança de símbolos sem uma alteração da guerra como matriz da relação do Estado com a Favela, em suma, serviria para reproduzir em novos termos os estereótipos e preconceitos que historicamente pautaram esta relação.
Pacifying the Police – Negotiating the Meaning of Pacification in Brazil
Christoffer Guldberg, King’s College London, UK
The pacification programme initiated in Rio de Janeiro in 2008 was initially hailed as a solution to the rampant problem of violent crime in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and even Latin America, above all for bringing down police homicides in the favelas with an approach officially based on the tenets of community policing, with police engaging residents and local organisations in dialogue and adopting the priorities of the local communities in question. However, over the last three years the programme has seen increasing challenges to its legitimacy and authority, both by social protests and organised crime seeking to take territory from what is seen as an increasingly contested police force. The police response has on numerous occasions been violent and victims have included unarmed protesters, and internal and external mechanisms for accountability remain insufficiently independent and institutionalized. My research will explore the strategies that local organisations and social movements adopt to negotiate with the pacifying police in order to seek accountability for police violence, including what global and local discourses, such as human rights and community policing, are drawn upon and what mechanisms can be leveraged. This will include mechanisms that are part of the programme’s stated philosophy of community policing, such as community cafés with police commanders, in order to study how the interaction between residents and police is shaped by global and local ideas and developments.
Human Rights, Resistance, and Social Mobilization
Valentina Caruso, University of Sheffield, UK (Chair)
The Use of Human Rights as a Defense against the Extractive Projects in Mexico: the New Instrument of Indigenous Movements, Defending their Land, Natural Resources and Traditions.
Juan José Carrillo Nieto, París 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, France
The objective of this communication is to introduce how the organizations and indigenous movements are increasingly using “human rights” as a defense of their natural resources.
Before the neoliberal cycle, human rights were not used a lot by the Mexican society and even less by indigenous movements, but thanks to some indigenous lawyers and some other committed ones, they began using this instrument increasingly, and up to now, they have had some important victories. These victories are meaning that “human rights” arise as a possibility to change the greater crisis of human rights in Mexico throughout the last 100 years. The communication is organized in three parts. The first one introduces a global idea about the neoliberal reforms in Mexico, with particular attention to the ‘extraction of natural resource’” reforms, showing the legal violence against indigenous people. The second part introduces some cases of victories of the people, demonstrating the use of law and human rights. Finally, the third part contains some reflections about the use of ‘human rights’, not like the Marxist proposition (class instruments), but as a big possibility to stop neoliberal empowerment.
Affected Women’s Tales of Struggles, Resistance, Change: Large Scale Mining and Livelihoods in the Northern Peruvian Andes
Inge Boudewijn, Northumbria University, UK
The Cajamarca region of northern Peru has been home to the Yanacocha gold mine for over twenty years. While initially not widely resisted by residents, discontent with the mine has grown steadily due to lack of promised economic development for the region and a rise in pollution and associated diseases. Large-scale mining is widely associated with environmental degradation, negative health impacts and socio-economic consequences (Sosa and Zwarteveen, 2012, Urkidi, 2010). In 2012, Cajamarca was home to large-scale protests regarding a new proposed mine, fueled by concerns over pollution and calls for alternative forms of development.
There is a growing recognition that large scale mining has different, often more severe, impacts for women than men, suggested to fall into three categories: work and traditional roles, gender inequalities in the economic benefits from mining activities, and health and well-being (Lahiri-Dutt 2012). The number of mining-related women’s movements in Peru and Latin America is growing, emphasizing that women deem such initiatives both necessary and important (RIM 2013).
My research aims to highlight the experiences of women living in affected areas in Cajamarca, by examining everyday changes they make, observe and deem important, as a result of their involvement in anti-mining activism. I focus on their narratives of struggle, resistance, environmentalism and successes. The research aims to contribute to wider debates on impacts of large scale mining in Latin America, and to raise the profile of women as a distinct group of stakeholders, with their own set of needs and experiences.
“Land Yes, Dam No!”: The Resistance of the Movement of People Affected by Dams in Brazil
Fernanda de Souza Braga, Unesco-IHE / Leiden University, Netherlands (Grant Recipient)
Apart from the social and economic benefits of the production of energy, the construction of large hydroelectric power plants and the flooded areas associated to them have the potential to increase poverty, inequalities and violence locally and regionally regarding social and ecological damages, such as loss of natural forests, agricultural lands and habitats. One of the problems of these large projects is the compulsory displacement of people, most of them with little compensation and often completely without receiving anything for their lands. The Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), which was born under the Brazilian dictatorial regime (1964-1985), is still struggling for the right to land and food production against the construction of dams, as per the ideas expressed in the slogan in the title. Demonstrations or popular mobilizations were repressed in that time by police violence which keep happening nowadays (Vainer, 2004). The MAB is still playing an important political role in the constitution of the current Brazilian water sector. This role is especially influential with regard to the construction of hydroelectric power plants, as it stood and still stands against the decisions taken by the government and corporations in the name of a certain economical model of development, in relation to the right of the directly and indirectly affected people. This paper aims to analyse how MAB was developed and legitimized over the last decades as a social actor participating in decision-making in the water sector in Brazil.
Institutionalized Extractivism in Latin America: Between Indigenous People´s Rights and Sustainable Development.
Jessica Fernandez, Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Portugal
The Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention signed in 1989, is the only international treaty open for ratification that deals exclusively with the rights of these peoples. This document establishes the prior consultation of indigenous peoples and communities to approve the development of projects in their respective areas, requires respect for the right of this population through active participation in the process. However, Latin America is currently going through a phase where conflicts over extractivism have reached a very high level. Conflicts arise due to policies and projects approved by governments, which in many cases are championed by the pursuit of sustainable development and exploit natural resources in areas where indigenous communities live, for whom nature has a different connotation since for them nature represents part of their spirituality, traditions, beliefs and ways of life and subsistence.
The purpose of this paper is to explore and make a critical analysis of the relation between the responsibility of the states to protect indigenous rights and the advance of ‘sustainable’ development projects and how this relationship is the cause of many conflicts, where indigenous groups are resisting this extractivism that is supported by many international organizations and institutions. In a context marked by ever more marked ecological and social crises, the discourses about the transition to a different society or to another civilizational model emerge in an increasingly inescapable way.
Mental Health in Humanitarian Contexts: A Case Example of the 2016 Ecuador Earthquake
Isabela Troya, Institute of Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele University, UK
The number of people encountering humanitarian crisis around the world is the highest since the Second World War, with over 76 million people in need of assistance. Amongst these, millions have a mental disorder, which in most cases, is left without treatment. The Andean country of Ecuador has encountered several natural disasters and armed conflict during the last decades. Despite the adverse effects, significant burden, and consequences of mental disorders in humanitarian contexts in Ecuador, there is an unclear position on how to respond with regards to mental health within these settings. An overview of Ecuador’s past and present mental health care system, including humanitarian settings is completed. Then, a narrative synthesis review aiming to identify facilitators and barriers for implementing mental health services in Ecuador going through humanitarian crisis is performed. Thirdly, an introduction of guidelines for humanitarian response in mental health and psychosocial support according to the World Health Organization is given. Lastly, conclusions and recommendations are prepared for upcoming strategies and policy at a national health level in Ecuador. The present report provides evidence-based advice to policy-makers for Ecuador through comprehensive information and policy recommendations for achieving culturally appropriate guidelines for Humanitarian Response in the mental health and psychosocial support context in Ecuador. These results can be applicable to other Latin American countries going through similar humanitarian contexts. Three major themes identified regarding facilitators and barriers for the implementation of mental health care guidelines in humanitarian settings were found and further discussed: funding, political support, and decentralised mental health care system.
Analysing Latin America (from) Education: Four approaches, Four Challenges
Aliandra Lazzari Barlete, University of Cambridge, UK (Chair)
Imataq Imapaqtaq Kay Simi? Quechua Language Ideologies in a Bolivian University
Katarzyna Buzanska, Centre for Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge, UK
Language ideologies can be identified as the set of conceptualizations about the nature of language and its usage as present in explicit ideas about language and more tacit assumptions. In 2010 the Bolivian government passed a new education law based on a combination of ‘intercultural’ and ‘intracultural’ (culture strengthening) principles, meant to ‘revolutionize’ and ‘decolonize’ the education system and the Bolivian plurination. The promotion and instruction of indigenous languages, now aimed at the whole Bolivian population, stands at its core. Language ideologies play an effective and significant role in both linguistic and political changes. Linguistic, in that they influence actual language usage and lead to the preference of particular language forms and expressions over others, and their spread within a group. Political, in that they can delineate physical and psychological borders implying a range of socio-economic inclusions/exclusions and discriminations. This talk will present the results of a month long fieldwork at San Simón University in Cochabamba, Bolivia, analysing the views and attitudes of different actors within the department of linguistics– teachers, teacher assistants, students – towards the Quechua language and how they position themselves in respect to the government’s aim to create ‘plurinational’ citizenship.
A Critical Analysis of Constructions and Policies of Higher Education Quality Assurance in Chile and Bolivia
Hazel Price, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, UK
This critical case study research draws on preliminary analysis of interview data produced as part of a doctoral research project analyzing Higher Education (HE) Quality Assurance (QA) in the Latin American countries of Chile and Bolivia. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in April-July 2016 with a range of stakeholders in the Chilean and Bolivian systems including representatives of QA agencies, QA experts, university administrators and academics. The data is produced and analyzed using a Critical Cultural Political Economy Approach, as advocated by Robertson & Dale (2015) and Jessop & Sum (2013), in order to generate holistic analyses of complex social phenomena. QA has become central to the governance of HE institutions and systems over the last 20 years as ideology that promotes accountability and evaluation as a means of achieving efficiency and effectiveness (Filippakou, 2011). To perceive it as merely a neutral technicality would be misleading. This is especially pertinent in Latin America, with the dominant model of ‘quality’ originating primarily from the Global North, acting as a mechanism of asymmetric power and control (Blanco-Ramirez, 2014). QA has legitimacy at the national level due to its interactions with reputation, equity, access and funding. At the transnational level the importance and potential of QA has been demonstrated through the Bologna Process, as a medium for comparability through constructions of equivalence, and it’s potential to enable ‘dissolution’ of borders. As a policy instrument, QA frames and organizes what counts as valid and valuable knowledge and ways of thinking within HE and beyond. This paper will interrogate and explain the ways in which QA as a public action model and instrument is shaped and performed, as it is incorporated into the national systems of Bolivia and Chile with the influence of a variety of international actors. This sheds light on the multi-scalar and multi-modal nature of QA policy development and implementation. Preliminary findings explore how QA is a tool used by governments to try and alter the relationships between HE Institutions and themselves, and how QA impacts on the public/private divide between HE institutions. This is particularly significant in the Latin American context where universities have traditionally held a high level of autonomy and where there is now huge diversity in terms of HE provision.
The Shaping of a Regional Higher Education Project in Mercosur
Aliandra Lazzari Barlete, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, UK
This research takes a Latin American regional agreement, Mercosur, as a case through which to examine the role of higher education in building cultural, political and economic regions. The paper will discuss initial findings of a multi-scalar analysis of the regional Mercosur action plans, looking at how the region has re-scaled ideas (global, other regional, national levels) into shaping its higher project. By looking at the action plans as materialisation of policy processes, it will ask what are the dynamics shaping the higher education project in Mercosur? And what policies and practices in Mercosur operate to enable this regional project to happen? The study will employ a broadly critical stance to build a historical investigation into Mercosur’s six education plans, with a focus on higher education policies. There have been 6 action plans (1992-1997, 1997-2000, 2001-2005, 2006-2010, 2011-2015, and 2016-2020, in the making). Each of those moments will be recognized as milestones in region-building given they are a materialisation of collective action. The analysis may reveal how the relationships between the national and the regional levels in the plans for higher education design and push changes in the geometry of the Mercosur region.
Moving to the Same Beat? Music and Society
Álvaro André Zeini Cruz, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
The Politics of International Solidarity in a Latin American-Welsh Festival
Ignacio Rivera, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
“El Sueño Existe” (The Dream Lives on) is a festival of Latin American music and politics that takes place every two years in Machynlleth, Mid-Wales. Since its inaugural event in 2005, this festival commemorates the legacy of Chilean artist Víctor Jara. Based on interviews with political activists who have participated in the festival, and in my analysis of the political repertoires performed at this event, I will explore the role of solidarity campaigns in the configuration of translocal political identities. I argue this festival is a tool for denunciation of a variety of struggles carried out by ‘red’ and ‘green’ political movements in Latin America and the UK. The festival is used as a political discourse that seeks to educate people using creative and celebratory forms. This paper contributes to the debate on the role of performative events in the production of counter-hegemonic discourses; in dialogue with the experience of the international solidarity movement, and the influence of Latin American politics among left-wing British activists.
Music, Revolution and Censorship
Nathália Da Conceição Leite dos Santos, Bryn Mawr College, USA
In this research paper, I will discuss the history and the role in revolution of four Brazilian musical styles: Samba, Bossa-Nova, Rap and Funk. I find a connection in these rhythms to the same marginalized segments of the population in all cases. I want to answer if the government’s attempt to criminalize each rhythm was an attempt to criminalize one of those segments. I will go into detail on the different measures adopted by the government in censuring the music and therefore the movements they defended based on a large array of papers, videos and news articles. Another important aspect was the cooptation of the government of Samba and Bossa to the construction of the national identity, which ended up weakening those two rhythms’ revolutionary capabilities. I want to evaluate if that was simply a by-product of cooptation or the reason behind it and understand if there is the same process on Rap and Funk.
O fenômeno do rap no Brasil: letra e música como resistência das periferias
Ana Claudia de Souza de Oliveira, iSCTE-IUL, Portugal
Este gênero de música, ligado à população das periferias das grandes metrópoles do Brasil, é pontuado por uma batida sincopada, texto em forma de discurso, improvisado ou não, com conteúdo, muitas vezes, vulgar e predominantemente agressivo, vem se tornando cada vez mais um estilo de vida e de identidade nacional. Inserido dentro da cultura hip hop, abre espaço para a fragmentação desta sociedade pós-contemporânea, pois narra as grandes complexidades existentes na periferia no Brasil, como a questão da injustiça social, a violência estatal, assim como a violência do tráfico. O rap desloca tais fronteiras do cotidiano da miséria, da criminalidade nas favelas e da exclusão social voltadas para as comunidades dos subúrbios, para suas letras “malditas”. Dentro do campo da antropologia cultural, em uma perspectiva analítica, este trabalho visa identificar a expansão desta produção musical nas metrópoles de Rio e SP, como política de resistência, inclusive sua rejeição quanto ao poderio dos atuais agentes da indústria cultural. Também busca examinar trajetória, atores e implicações deste fenômeno de massa quanto à recepção dos públicos, a partir dos conceitos de identidade, alteridade e pós-modernidade. Estudos epistemológicos possibilitam a abordagem teórica do tema em questão. O modelo bakhtiniano e os conceitos de identidade cultural de Stuart Hall, Roque Laraia, as percepções de Adorno sobre a indústria cultural e a cultura das massas, viabilizada por Morin, Martin-Barbero, assim como pesquisadores da cultura hip hop, entre outros, todos de grande relevância para definir os conceitos-chave na produção e significação desta música de confronto.
Fair, Green and Humane? Employment Policy Challenges
Martin Lima, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
Greening the Economy: Rising to the Global Employment Challenge
Roxana Solis, Christian Aid, UK
Whether as subsistence farmers, workers receiving a salary, or entrepreneurs, most people living in developing countries get most of their income from work, and the agricultural sector is where most people are employed. This means that the level of employment, the quality of jobs, and the access which, especially the most marginalised, have to fair earnings will be crucial determinants of poverty reduction. Jobs are an important face of sustainable livelihoods, yet the current patterns of job creation in developing countries show that an integrated approach between job creation, human well-being and addressing inequality and environmental pressures is lacking. In responding to important mandates from new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change (2015), we have to think of such agendas in an integrated way and approaches also need to reflect the needs of marginalised communities to be able to access a dignified livelihood if we are to truly ‘leave no one behind’.
This document explores the important relationship between jobs and sustainable development, setting out, for policymakers, the challenges in creating jobs that create equity and access for marginalised people and also meet green outcomes. Moving forward, we jointly plan to build up further research and programme work in this area
Bolivia’s New Child Labour Law and its Failings
Chris Willman, Open University, UK
The debate as to whether children should be involved in paid work or not is contentious, no more so than in Bolivia. In 2014, much to the disparagement of the UN, the Morales government passed a new children’s code, effectively making child labour legal from the age of 10. It was a rebuff of international norms, expectations, and child labour policy that have previously ignored the contextuality of children’s work in Bolivia. This was the first time in Latin America that a state had reformed policy in negotiation with representatives of working children. This paper will explore the failings of the new code, both on paper and in practice.
The research for this paper is currently being undertaken (January – April 2017) in La Paz, Bolivia, and will form part of PhD research entitled ‘Children’s Contributions to the Child Labour Debates in Bolivia’. It will draw from interviews and focus groups conducted with key informants and child workers in Bolivia.
Initial research findings are that the new child labour law is an archetypal representation of many new policies passed under Morales’ government, where they are often for show and poorly, if at all implemented. The ombudsman service that is meant to implement the law has been poorly funded, staffed and ill-informed. This is mirrored by employers, families and child workers, who are meant to register with the service, but are unaware they are to do so. The law, while symbolic and a tangible example in the changing discourse on child labour, is evidence of the limited state capacity in Bolivia.
Institutional Obstacles to the Adoption of a Multidimensional Model of Job Quality in Central American Countries
Magdalena Soffia, University of Cambridge, UK
The academic community has proposed innovative methodologies to measure job quality from a multidimensional perspective of human development – the capability approach – looking at indicators as varied as earnings, career prospects, autonomy, intensity, social environment, physical environment, and working time quality. Yet, this multidimensional perspective has weakly permeated the public policy realm in developing countries, where narrow approaches, such as the size of the informal sector or unemployment rates, remain stagnant. Focusing on six countries of the Central American isthmus, this research explores what role do labour institutions play in promoting – or impeding – the adoption of a human development approach to improve the quality of jobs. I address this question from a cross-country comparative perspective and in light of four specific institutional aspects: (1) endorsement of international standards and corporate codes of conduct; (2) national legislative frameworks; (3) workplace inspection and (4) trade unionism. I draw on the qualitative data gathered from a documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews with representatives from government, employers, workers and NGOs, conducted in 2016. Findings suggest that the lag in improving the quality of jobs in some of the countries in the study relates to the type and capacity of their labour institutions. These results confirm what other exponents of the human development approach have implied: the crucial role that institutions play in creating and expanding capabilities.
Redefining Local Identities
Jeremy Gunson, University of Manchester, UK (Chair)
“We Eat what we Produce”: Grassroots Perspectives on the Value[s] of Local Economy in the Mercado Túmin
Jeremy Gunson, University of Manchester, UK
This paper is based on ethnographic fieldwork with the tumistas: small scale producers and traders who make up a solidarity economy movement called the Mercado Alternativo Túmin (MAT) in Mexico. The MAT is a project based upon values such as trust, mutual aid and solidarity. The paper focuses on the role of a weekly market as a symbolic and tangible space for the realisation of values that the tumistas inscribed into their project. The paper demonstrates that the tumistas placed value on being able to dictate the forms of commerce and sociability that took place in their market, which they understood as being guided by alternative values to that of the orthodox market. In particular, the importance of the market as an arena for expressing, enacting and defending values is highlighted by presenting data from an assembly held following an episode of haggling. The haggling moment was representative of the clash of two value systems: that of the MAT and that of the wider capitalist political economy. The tumista experience offers an insight into the workings of a solidarity economy initiative. Moreover, with the revision of NAFTA on the table, this paper gives voice to grassroots perspectives on the value[s] at stake in understandings of the local economy at a time when macro-level reconfigurations in regional trade could be on the horizon.
Landscape and Politics in Bolivia. The Changing Role of Land in Ethnopolitics.
Cian Warfield, University College Cork, Ireland
This paper explores the changing relationship between indigenous communities and ethnoterritoriality in Bolivia and, in doing so, will map out the transformations taking place in ethnopolitical activism as a result. First, this paper will begin by analysing the TIPNIS conflict in Bolivia, which was a divisive development dispute between the Evo Morales government and local indigenous groups permanently residing in this indigenous territory located in the central plains of the country. This conflict, which involved construction plans for a highway through the reserve, was ultimately the manifestation of longstanding historical tensions around the complicated issue of development between lowland indigenous groups and rural, highland campesinos. As this paper will articulate, throughout this conflict indigenous political activism was motivated by the sole need to preserve and protect their landscape from aggressive development plans laid out by the MAS administration, widely supported abroad and by Bolivian campesinos. From there, this paper will showcase the change in relationship between landscape and the indigenous by analysing the significance of neo-Andean architecture designed and constructed as the result of a newly mobilised indigenous middle class in El Alto. Indigenous Aymara are now engaging, rather than resisting, the neoliberal economic system, buying and selling landscape as they construct lavish buildings that aim to celebrate their cultural ancestry. Members of this indigenous group no longer actively preserve landscape, as is common practice amongst indigenous communities more generally (TIPNIS case), but reengage with ethno-space in new and transformative ways, reflecting new forms of ethnopolitical activism.
La Comuna Negra de Playa de Oro: agenciamientos locales y la política del lugar
Janaina Lobo, UFRGS, Brazil (Grant Recipient)
La presente investigación trata sobre los diversos agenciamientos territoriales llevados a cabo por la Comuna afrodescendiente de Playa de Oro, ubicada en la Provincia de Esmeraldas, norte de Ecuador. Esta comuna se encuentra situada en las márgenes del Rio Santiago a orillas de la Reserva Ecológica Cotacachi-Cayapas. Se propone una reflexión sobre las políticas del lugar, partiendo en sus aspectos sociocosmológicos como también de las diversas acciones emprendidas por los playadorenos en su búsqueda por la autonomía. Así, se busca una comprensión de los agenciamientos locales como forma de acceder a las medidas de protección del territorio ancestral. Dichas propuestas tienen por fin dar cabida a las enseñanzas de los playadorenos, traducidas en políticas de acción, con el fin de profundizar en los entendimientos y expectativas de los procesos realizados para invertir la lógica de una invisibilización histórica de los pueblos afrodescendientes en América Latina y de la consiguiente usurpación de sus recursos naturales. El estudio etnográfico opera con la viabilidad de comprender los sentidos atribuidos por los actores en el trabajo de reconocimiento de su condición étnica diferenciada, en la lucha por los derechos y, principalmente, en la defensa y mantención del territorio frente a las investidas colonizadoras persistentes. De esta forma, el abordaje escogido prioriza comprender los sentidos de justicia, las asunciones identitarias y de pertenencia, elementos de la memoria y los diversos movimientos de la Comuna que se presentan como una modalidad de agencia, como parte de protocolos acuciosos, así también como forma de alinear los sentidos sociocosmológicos para acceder a la territorialidad y otras sensibilidades. Son presentados los resultados del trabajo de campo desarrollado desde el año 2011 en la Comuna de Playa de Oro, siendo su objetivo principal, comprender el conocimiento generado en las practicas locales, así como la experiencia de los afroecuatorianos en sus prácticas cotidianas, las que están repletas de sentido y hacen referencia a las acciones ordinarias de defensa de los territorios negros del norte de Ecuador.
Is the Survival or Preservation of African-Brazilian Cultural Practices a Form of Resistance? The Case of São Joao da Chapada and the Quilombola Community of Quartel do Indaiá, in Minas Gerais.
Frances Goodingham, King’s College, University of London, Brazil
It can be said that the survival or preservation of cultural practices go hand in hand, or are two sides of the same coin. The Quilombola (one of many survivors of maroon slave communities) of Quartel do Indaiá and members of that community living in São João da Chapada could until very recently include the Vissungos – work and funeral songs – as one of their cultural manifestations that has retained most traces of African roots. With the death of their last knowledgeable practitioner a couple of years ago, the Vissungos can now be regarded as practically extinct. The community, however, has retained other practices, which can offer points of departure for reflection. In this paper, I will consider how the concepts of survival and preservation can be explored and unpacked in order to contribute to an understanding of the processes cultural manifestations undergo and if those could be considered forms of resistance. By relating the survival and preservation of the community’s cultural manifestations to ideas of the sacred and the profane, practice and performance, this paper will try to broaden the discussion on a very traditional topic within Brazilian Studies: How to understand the multiple locations of culture within Brazil’s national space? What tensions are generated when these pluralities come up against a univocal nationalist cultural politics, which allows for coexistence only until its framework is challenged? Is resistance to be found precisely in that which cannot be preserved?
Cultural production, Power, and Resistance
Dr Alba del Pozo, University of Birmingham, UK (Chair)
Ediciones cartoneras: ¿trinchera cultural o un tierno beso al capitalismo?
Mariana Rodríguez, Oberlin College, USA (Grant Recipient)
A partir del fenómeno de las denominadas editoriales cartoneras exploraré la práctica editorial así como demostrar que los editores o editoras son mediadores culturales que aportan a la sociedad un producto, en este caso un libro cartonero, poniendo al alcance del lector un bien que conlleva una serie de valores estéticos y políticos de un tiempo y espacio específico vertidos en un libro manufacturado con materiales que el capitalismo considera basura como cajas de cartón, revistas o folletos que ya no se usan.
It is not that Funny. Critical Analysis of Racial Ideologies Embedded in Racialized Humour Discourses on Facebook in Brazil
Luiz Valerio de Paula Trindade, University of Southampton, UK
This study explores the use of Facebook as a convenient vehicle for the dissemination and reinforcement of racialized discourses and negative representations of black individuals in Brazil, particularly concealed in disparagement humour posts and their associated comments. Preliminary fieldwork results have revealed the following aspects: a) almost 80% of the victims of online mockery are predominantly middle-class, well-educated black women aged between 20 to 38 years; b) oftentimes the derogatory posts (predominantly made by male individuals) employ rude and impolite language to talk about black individuals; c) many users of Facebook communities displaying derogatory content express their endorsement to the content with laughter and jeers; d) there is evidence indicating a considerable degree of reverberation capacity of the derogatory comments given that they can potentially engage users for months and even for a couple of years after the original publication; and e) black women are at the forefront of the initiatives to challenge those derogating practices in the online environment given that almost 60% of Facebook communities aimed at empowering black individuals are run by women. Consequently, those preliminary results provide important elements to better comprehend the racialized discourse circulating on social media in Brazil that repeatedly disqualifies black individuals and praises whiteness.
Education Policies in Chile
Loreto Aliaga Salas, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
Unpacking Curriculum Change: Teacher Educators’ Voices in a Pre-Service Teaching Programme in Chile
Loreto Aliaga Salas, University of Leeds, UK
This presentation unpacks teacher educators’ experiences of teaching and learning of a new five-year-long undergraduate English Language teaching (ELT) programme at a private university in Chile. The ‘Integrated Curriculum’ started its implementation in 2011. It aims at teaching all its curricular strands, i.e. integrated English language (IEL), methodology, education and school internships in an integrated way, so the content and teaching/learning processes of each strand feed into and draw from the others. I am interested in the IEL strand, for it occupies more than 60% of the overall curriculum hours, and most teacher educators work in this area. During the data generation, I interviewed and observed four IEL teacher educators during one semester. Teacher educators are non-tenured, part-time lecturers, with limited time at the programme. Data evidences that although teacher educators are very committed to the programme, they are hindered by a very complex organisational system that limits their reflection on their teaching and learning, and their relation with the other curricular strands. In my presentation, I introduce the national and local educational contexts, before drawing on the data analysis of teacher educators’ interviews. I relate teacher educators’ experiences as enablers of innovation to the student teachers’ experiences as receivers, and the curriculum administrators’ as initiators of change. My conclusion reflects on what participants’ reported experiences may suggest for the future direction of the curriculum and educational change in general.
We Play as we Mean to Resist – Theatre Games as Political Participation in Juvenile Detention Settings in Santiago, Chile
Matthew Elliott, University of Leeds, UK
The paper presents a practice-led research project with young people in CIP San Joaquin, a juvenile detention centre based in Santiago, Chile. Delivered in collaboration with a group of popular educationalists and youth workers, theatre games were employed as an alternative to conventional educational techniques. Theatre games formed the basis of the ‘assemblies’, a participatory process where young people debated and devised the formation of the ‘CIP a Luca’ festival. The cultural festival is organised and delivered by young people based on article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child; the right to express views freely in all matters affecting the child. The project aimed to employ ‘play’ to create a space for political participation and the realisation of child rights. The line of enquiry is to identify to what extent the playing of theatre games acted as a form of disruption to the dominant narratives of control and negativity in CIP San Joaquin. Whilst considering the aims of the project, the paper focuses on three key areas; 1. The prerequisites for play. 2. The negotiation between theatre maker and institution. 3. Moments of joy as resistance. Interweaving ideas of play, Thompson’s theatre of affect and Holloway’s autonomous model of change, the paper argues that the use of theatre games within CIP San Joaquin enabled an alternative mode of resistance within the Chilean penal system.
Affirmative Action Policy Episteme, Affective Neoliberalism, and the New Spirit of Capitalism
Daniel Leyton, University of Sussex, UK
Affirmative action policies in higher education are a growing global and regional phenomenon with a research field particularly keen to advocate and striving for those programmes to be implemented and spread (e.g. Jenkins and Moses, 2014; Castillo and Cabezas, 2010; Román, 2013). In the case of Chile, as well as in other latitudes in the Americas such as Brazil and USA the historical trajectories of these programmes are linked with significant social mobilisation calling for racial or socioeconomic equality, democratisation and de-neoliberalisation of education. In this context, affirmative action policies emerge as the triumph of a subjectivity capable of resistance and collective mobilisation, and able to debunking the neoliberal hegemony. Drawing on the case of affirmative action programmes in Chilean higher education I will argue that these programmes rather than being the expressions of an emergent progressive politics, they are manifestations of a “new neoliberal spirit of capitalism” (Boltanski and Chiapelo, 2005) where “critiques and struggles against neoliberalism” and “affective neoliberal governmentalities” meet, producing a normative notion of inclusion able to legitimate the neoliberal university providing “justice enhancing mechanism” (Boltanski and Chiapelo, 2005, p. 163) without challenging elite domination, and erasing social class grammar of struggles and injustices from their epistemic repertoire. I will close with some rumination regarding the possibilities of enacting “epistemic disobedience” (Mignolo, 2009) in research practices as a way to revitalise militant critical research in education and beyond.
Latin American Film and Video Games
Miranda Lickert, University of Reading, UK (Chair)
A Dubious Strait
Luis Fallas, Newcastle University, UK
To analyse Central American as a category for film I focused on movies that had already been recognized as such, the 24 films awarded by Ícaro Film Festival as the best of the region between 2009 and 2014. Actor Network Theory’s focus on their exchanges challenges a homogeneous understanding of Central America as it tracks production practices and representations detached of a delimited geographical referentiality and linked to, potentially, world wide exchanges. This engages with Beller’s perspective that “Images today have a local enunciation and a global dispensation; alterity is always already included as excluded.” (2001, p. 332). To reflect on the individuality of cultural products attached to such belonging idea instead of bundling them as only worthy of notice due to their regional representativity, criticizes the instrumentalization of the region as an acquisition/recognition agency. Also it allows to analyze the movies as partakers of wider dialogues beyond a geographical delimitation. These films are performers of the production, reproduction, extraction and consecration dynamics related to filmmaking and distribution/consumption processes. The lack of massive distribution of the films prevents their presence into the popular construction of visual imagined communities. Meanwhile the selective circulation of the films does not quarrel with the generation of a surplus value for funders, directors or academics related to them. Conversely it helps to consecrate the actors around said movies thanks to their privileged mobility possibilities. Hence Central American as a category is used as an extraction tool rather than a representation of belonging.
Isolated Characters and Communities in Latin American Films: The Wind Knows that I’m Coming Back Home (JL Torres Leiva, Chile 2016) and Arábia (A Uchoa & J Dumans, Brazil 2017)
Sebastián González Itier, University of Edinburgh, UK
The film by José Luis Torres Leiva, ‘The Wind Knows that I’m Coming Back Home’, tells the story of Ignacio Agüero, a Chilean filmmaker searching for a story for his new film. Travelling across Chiloe Island, in the south of Chile, Agüero discovered many myths around an isolated community, which wants to continue being apart of the rest of the country. Arábia is the debut film by Affonso Uchoa and João Dumans. The film tells the story of Cristiano, a man who travels across the depth Brazil, looking for a job and also to escape from love. Both films present similar aesthetics and languages; in both contemplation and slowness are part of the narrative. Also, in both films, the main character wanders, but if in Torres Leiva’s film the character goes from non-fiction to fiction, in Arábia the character wanders from fiction to documentaries. The mixture present here is present in many contemporary Latin American films. This presentation tries to make a link between these narratives, analysing and questioning them.
From Marti to MMORPGS: An Exploration of Video Gaming in Cuba
Miranda Lickert, University of Reading, UK
Gun at the ready, breath catching as your heart flutters in your throat, you wade through the swampy, mangrove-lined shallows, surrounded by your brothers in arms. Your mission: to overthrow the government of Fulgencio Batista, and to ensure the triumph of Fidel Castro’s revolution. These are the circumstances into which you are plunged in Cuba’s most infamous domestically-produced video game to date, ‘Gesta Final’. The island’s gaming industry has surged over the past few decades, and Cuba now boasts a long list of game titles – all produced under the economically and technologically challenging pressures of the US trade embargo – as well as hosting regular game creation marathons and gaming tournaments for the nation’s youth. The most popular game in Cuba today is the global MMORPG sensation ‘World of Warcraft’, but the country’s domestic producers are striking out along a different path, and attempting to create a unique set of games which reflect Cuba’s historical, political, and educational values, making them social and educational, whilst simultaneously trying to navigate the complex implications of Cuba’s rapidly evolving global status. Based upon research gathered during a number of field trips to Cuba, this paper will explore the shape of Cuba’s entirely idiosyncratic modern gaming industry, from the idealistic creatives at its heart to the enthusiastic players of domestic and foreign video games. This paper will attempt to chart the evolution of video gaming in Cuba, and to shed light upon the realities of gaming in Cuba’s contemporary cultural landscape.
Overcoming Boundaries in Latin American Literature and Theatre
Dr Rebecca Jarman, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
Celebrating Ambivalence: The Carnivalesque and the Eruption of Boundary in ‘Of Love and Other Demons, ‘All Dogs are Blue and ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’
Karina Lickorish Quinn, University of Reading, UK
In this paper I explore how three writers draw on the carnivalesque grotesque to explore the fluidity of boundary in Latin American culture. The three writers – Colombia’s Gabriel García Márquez, Brazil’s Rodrigo De Souza Leão and Mexico’s Juan Pablo Villalobos – all present the marvellous juxtapositions of Latin America, a realm where syncretism is the rule, contradictions abound and boundaries shift. For decades, the focus of literary criticism, when addressing Latin American writers who blend the marvellous with the real, has been on magical realism. Instead, I draw on the tenets and tropes of Mikhail Bakhtin’s carnivalesque to explore how García Márquez, De Souza Leão and Villalobos deconstruct societal, bodily, and psychic boundaries. Like carnival, the three texts interrogate the concepts of metamorphosis and hybridity. The resultant dissolution of boundaries is, in some ways, utopian in vision, overturning the oppressive racial, economic and social hierarchies that have plagued Latin America for centuries. While the eruption of boundary is presented as threatening, destabilising settled order and identity, ultimately the texts overcome the fear of change and uncertainty by celebrating ambivalence and liminality.
La crítica al proyecto nacional en México en la escritura de Enrigue y Bellatin.
Giulia Anzanel, University of Verona, Italy
La construcción del estado mexicano se funda sobre la unificación de una realidad heterogénea que ha debido ser sometida entre límites nacionales fijos que le permitieran reconocerse en una identidad determinada. Como señalan Brading y Lafaye, este proceso se ha legitimado en principios relacionados con la historia mexicana (el culto a la Virgen de Guadalupe o la relación idiosincrática con las conscuencias de la conquista) o ajenos, como las ideologías liberales que orientaron la fase de la reforma. La necesidad de una unidad nacional como factor de identificación se basa en la asimilación de una forma de pensamiento racionalista occidental (Toulmin, 1990).
Sin embargo, los procesos de globalización, que a partir de los años ochenta están cuestionando la existencia de los límites nacionales y sociales, han permitido el surgimiento de todas esas voces marginadas cuya existencia discute la pretensión de homogeneidad nacional, denunciando la artificialidad de su construcción cultural (Bartra 1987). La ironía con la que Álvaro Enrigue revisita la relación entre la Historia oficial y las historias que conforman la cotidianeidad incita a interrogarse sobre la naturaleza de la nación. Al mismo tiempo, la escritura nómada de Mario Bellatin libera el discurso cultural de la obligación de ser artífice del estado y promueve una interpretación de la identidad nacional descentrada y más próxima al concepto de desterritorialización de Deleuze y Guattari (1972, 1975).
Mattering maps: Intercultural Spaces for/of Co-Creation in the Work of Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington in Mexico
Nadia Albaladejo García, University College Cork, Ireland
This paper sets out to perform an analysis of Remedios Varo’s (Anglés 1903- México D.F 1963) play ‘El santo cuerpo grasoso’ – written in collaboration with her life-long friend and British exile Leonora Carrington (UK 1917 – Mexico D.F. 2011) – to examine the way in which different national identities artistically interact with one another and fabricate their own ‘mattering map’, only made possible thanks to such collaboration. In Grossberg’s words ‘Mattering maps attempt to organize moments of stable identity, sites at which we can, at least temporarily find ourselves “at home” with what we care about’ (60). The analysis will draw on sociocultural psychology, creativity and performance theory in order to reveal the elements by which this play manages to create an intercultural space for/of co-creation from an exiled perspective. Artists Varo and Carrington arrived in Mexico in 1941 and 1942 respectively, as exiles fleeing from Second World War and were welcomed to the country under Cárdenas’ policy towards political refugees at the time. Like many other exiles, they were to remain in Mexico for much of the rest of their lives as it offered them the fertile ground in which to freely create most of their works. It is hoped that this paper will also highlight the lack of studies on the collaborative aspect of both their creative production, as Castells observes ‘Hay artistas que se consagran tan sólo por un aspecto concreto – y no necesariamente más importante – de su producción global’ (1997: 11).
Economic Perspectives in the Latin America Region. Challenges and Alternatives Towards the Economic Development Paradigm
Gabriel Burdin, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
The Role of Peripheral Currencies in the International Monetary System
Bianca Orsi, University of Leeds, UK
This paper aims to empirically investigate the different types of currency internationalisation and their influence on shaping currency hierarchy. In the absence of a single universal currency that fulfils the money functions at the international level, multiple currencies are available for transactions. However, only a few currencies issued by developed countries are generally used at the international level. Within this asymmetric system, currencies can be understood as having a hierarchical rank, with central currencies placed at the highest positions and peripheral currencies at the lowest positions. We propose to shift the focus from the degree of currency internationalisation to the different types of currency internationalisation. Our paper attempts to resolve this issue by implementing cluster analysis. We estimate the optimal number of clusters that groups together currencies with similar international money functions, from a sample of 24 currencies in the international monetary system, including both central and peripheral currencies. Our study suggests that when a currency is internationalised only as a short term investment, as it is the case of some peripheral currencies, its position at the currency hierarchy does not improve.
Fighting poverty in Latin America: the case of financial inclusion
Danielle Santanna, University of Leeds, UK
Latin America is a region that has been historically afflicted by chronic poverty. This paper addresses the strategies to fight poverty that were adopted after the debt crisis of the 1980’s, focusing on the case of financial inclusion policies. We start by displaying the normative and positive assumptions of the neoliberal model of social policy that emerged. At the normative level, the model attributes to the market the responsibility of distributing economic advantages, because it only produces justifiable inequalities, such as those based on individual merit and effort. However, it is admitted that some individuals are marginal to market dynamics, justifying the existence of social support aimed at helping them integrate into the market. Accordingly, selectivist policies are advocated, meaning that government action should target the poor exclusively, and on a temporary basis. And ideally, that support would not be directly provided by the state, which is to primarily act as a facilitator of market solutions for the poor. The basis is then created for conditional cash transfers and financial inclusion initiatives to assume the leading role at the policy stage. At a positive level, irrespective of one’s beliefs, there are different sources of fiscal pressures that do not allow the state to develop universalistic policies. An alternative view is that, at a positive level, social policy budget is not an exogenous constraint, but is determined by macroeconomic management implemented in a political context. At a normative level, an alternative to considering poverty a result of being excluded from the market is to see it as a result of social relations that lead to a pervasive inclusion in market processes. Thus, policies aimed at fighting poverty that ignore this asymmetric insertion may reinforce the very issues they are supposed to correct. This is the case of financial inclusion initiatives in many contexts, including Brazil. We briefly outline the historically developed financial, welfare and stigmatizing relations in Brazil that doomed financial inclusion initiatives to fail from the start.
Development of the Middle Class in Latin America, a Bipolarization Approach
Martin Lima, University of Leeds, UK
The aim of this paper is to apply techniques of bipolarization analysis in the measurement of the middle class, as well as to follow its trends within a selected sample of Latin American countries. The relevance of the middle class within societies is indubitable, and widely described in the literature. This social group works as foundation for economic development, provides political bargaining between social poles and enhances democracy. Despite its importance, there is no consensus about its definition in sociologic or economic literatures due to be subject of historical and social contexts. Therefore, the analysis of the middle class evolution present challenges on measurement and comparability. This paper proposes the application of bipolarization statistical techniques to estimate the evolution of the middle class, avoiding the use of arbitrary thresholds along the distribution of wellbeing indicators. The analysed countries are Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Uruguay, from 2002 to 2012. Preliminary results show that, using income as welfare index, there was a general decrease of bipolarization in the area, suggesting an expansion of the middle class. These results follow evidence reported by the World Bank and the OECD of a generalised increase on average income in the region. However, trends show different dynamics: whereas countries like Brazil and Peru have changes from the beginning to the end of this period, Uruguay presents a more dynamic evolution within the period. On the other hand, Chile and Mexico did not experience changes at all in their middle class during this period.
Latin American development in the 2000s: ‘left wing’ governments, neoliberal policies
Norberto, Montani-Martins, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The first decade of the XXI century is generally characterised as a period of significant economic development in Latin America, due to the acceleration of growth and the improvement in traditional income distribution indicators. This period is also marked by a ‘turn to the left’ in terms of politics: many politicians considered leftists were elected in the region, being Chávez in Venezuela and Lula in Brazil the most anecdotal cases. In the official narratives, these left wing governments were able to surmount neoliberal policies, pursuing developmentalist economic policies instead, which resulted in a superior economic performance. The present work challenges this idea and proposes an alternative interpretation of economic development in Latin America in this period. It argues that despite the leftist characterisation of many governments in the region, neoliberal policies were at the core of their economic strategy. Macroeconomic policies typically followed the neoliberal premises, concerned with the validation of ‘the international markets’, limiting the achievements in terms of economic growth, income distribution and social mobility. Financialization gained momentum all over the region, while environmental and cultural issues were subsumed to a neoliberal agenda. In this context, the improvements in some short-term economic indicators are not sufficient to support the hypothesis that Latin American economic development registered significant progress. I suggest, alternatively, that economic development is a structural process and the progress in the 2000s was, at best, very limited. Moreover, it is argued that the failure of ‘left wing’ governments in achieving success in economic development paved the way to the ‘reactionary counter-response’ that we are witnessing nowadays, as it aggravated class conflict and discredited the leftist parties and politicians in the region.
Terrorism, Violence and Conflict
Patricia Simón, Freelance Journalist, Spain (Chair)
The Terrorist in The Archive: Writing And Reclaiming the Senderista as Human
Rosanna Hunt, University of Cambridge, UK
Following the war with the Shining Path, recent debates on memory in Peruvian literature often focus on victim and community, and soldier as antagonist. This paper considers the representation of Shining Path members, with particular focus on giving voice to members of the army which are often held to have delivered the deathblow to the utopian left in Latin America (Castaneda, 1993). As such, these representations serve to help us understand the novel as a space in which competing discourses of statehood and the ‘legitimate’ exercise of violence are negotiated. The paper compares the representation of ‘senderistas’ in Santiago Roncagliolo’s post-CVR detective thriller, ‘Abril rojo’ (2006) and Daniel Alarcón’s short story collection, ‘War by Candlelight’ (2005). The paper seeks to situate the texts within ongoing controversies in commemorating and representing those considered ‘terrorist’, and engaging with González-Echevarría (1998), considering what it means for fiction as archival project and myth making, to represent a ‘national enemy’ as violent or marginalised human subject.
Can our Violence be Deconstructed?
Sofía Mateos Gómez, Université Paris-Sorbonne (CRIMIC), France (Grant Recipient)
During the last decades in Latin America we have witnessed a proliferation of studies developed from a deconstructive point of view. This interpretation strategy has proved to be an excellent critical tool for our context, since it is based on the recognition and the defense of difference; since it points out contradictions, helps visualize power strategies, denatures concepts and allows us to question the very basis of modern rationalism (undeniably linked to colonialism).
Still, despite these potential critical effects, deconstruction has frequently been viewed as a current of thought devoid of an ethical base and an actual political commitment. In a region where concrete, active sociopolitical changes are of vital urgency, can we trust deconstruction to offer us the radical effects we need our studies to have?
We propose to develop this question around the specific concept of violence, with which two central problematics arise. First, if deconstruction involves the disestablishment of hegemonic modern values, such as justice, good, and human nature, then how can we use it as a strategy to criticise violence? (In other words: is there an ethics of deconstruction?)
And secondly, deconstruction compels us to recognize the violence ingrained in hierarchical social structures, among which we can’t obviate academia. So, does it remain valid to criticise any form of violence from the standpoint of an institution whose power structure is violent in itself?
Our presentation will pose these questions, will describe some strategic advances already offered by some thinkers and will open the discussion for further ways of approaching these paradoxes.
Journalists: Between Violence and Resistance: Resilience and Coping Strategies within Mexican Journalists
Julieta Brambila, University of Leeds, UK
A new wave of studies on journalism under violent context have recently explored the conditions which foster antipress violence and the impact on this in professional practice and autonomy. However, just a very few works considered how journalists deploy coping and resilience tactics (Novak and Davidson, 2013) in unsafe and risk environments. Thus, by using a purposive sample of 49 local journalists (29 of them have suffered direct intimidations and harassments in recent years) from ten of the 32 Mexican states, this paper seeks to investigate journalists’ strategies for resilience and coping. By using an approach rooted in the sociology of journalism – in companion with some elements of the sociological branch of New Institutionalism and Bourdieu Field Theory – this paper suggests that three types of resources – cultural, economic and social – facilitate journalists’ adoption of resilience and coping strategies, which I define as the actors’ capacity to access resources to develop mental-schemes, mechanisms and practices that influence the stress and coping processes and protect the individual from the negative impact soon after experiencing attacks, harassment or traumatic events. Furthermore, the research explores how, in an adverse and risky environment – in which authoritarian press-state relations endure and low confidence reigns among occupational peers – journalists deploy a repertoire of resilience strategies in three different arenas (personal, organizational, and social-networking). However, interviews suggest the role of resources and strategic behaviors have some limitations that are, ultimately, largely shaped by the organizational context and the (unsafe) local environment in which they work.
Slavery, Maritime Networks and Knowledge in the Iberian Atlantic World
Prof Manuel Barcia, University of Leeds (Chair)
“Impelidos de su propia conservación”. (Re)thinking the Slave Trade after Abolition in Cuba
Jesús Sanjurjo, University of Leeds, UK
During the Spanish Liberal Triennium (1820-1823) some very relevant liberal figures, such as the Count of Toreno and Félix Varela, defended the implementation of the Treaty of 1817 and re-edited the abolitionist ideas defended in Cadiz in 1811-1814. Simultaneously, the Cuban elites represented in Parliament, supported by a complex network of interests in Madrid, tried to withdraw the anti-slave trade legislation and to move the ideological debate 20 years back. Both failed to achieve their objectives, and the result was a political impasse: on the one hand, Spain (based on the 1817’s cédula) ideologically and legally opposed the slave trade; but, on the other, a pro-slave trade argument consolidated in Cuban public opinion with the support of metropolitan economic and political elites. This paper will analyse the ideological consequences of the establishment of the Mixed Commission Court in Havana and the features of the pro-slave trade discourse that successfully operated in Cuba in the aftermath of the abolition of the slave trade. It will argue that this pro-slave trade argument adopted a very utilitarian and anti-British message that presented the slave trade as ‘a necessary evil’. This new ideological ground operated as a keystone of the more complex idea of ‘colonial status quo’ which was not effectively challenged until the creation of the Sociedad Abolicionista Española in 1864.
Slavery and Brazil in the Victorian Economic Imagination
Joseph Kelly, University of Liverpool, UK
From the point of its independence in 1822 Brazil has been a target for British capital investment. Among the earliest of these Anglo-Brazilian ventures were the joint-stock gold mining companies established in the 1820s and 30s. The promoters of these companies presented an image of Brazil as an economy that could be transformed by the application of British capital, knowledge, and skill. Yet, they also had to defend the companies’ reliance on slave labour at a point when Britain increasingly defined itself as opposed to slavery. In this paper I explore how justifications of slavery at British owned mines were built upon representations of the Brazilian government, economy, and people. Whilst these claims were often divorced from reality, mining companies often succeeded in representing slave-ownership as not only necessary, but as consistent with the aims of ‘Anti-Slavery Britain’ (Huzzey, 2012). This success depended on the multiple audiences of the joint-stock economy buying into the image Brazil constructed by the companies.
Sugar Economy and the ‘Second Slavery’ in Early Nineteenth-Century Bahia, Brazil
Carlos Da Silva Jr., University of Hull, UK
In the early nineteenth century the world economy experienced great changes as part of the so-called ‘Age of Revolutions’. With the fall of Saint-Domingue, the world’s largest sugar producer, there was room for other traditional sugar plantation areas in the Americas to expand. Bahia, in Northeast Brazil, had been a major sugar plantation zone throughout the seventeenth century, but it had lost its pre-eminence with the development of new sugar-growing areas in the British and French Caribbean. The Atlantic events of the late eighteenth century, however, allowed Bahian planters (senhores de engenho) to invest heavily, once more, in the sugar economy, which also meant the importation of growing numbers of enslaved Africans, particularly from the Bight of Benin in West Africa. The resurgence of Bahian sugar plantations coincides also with the development of what Dale Tomich has called the “Second Slavery”. This concept refers to the capitalist world economy based on the production of three major commodities (sugar, coffee, and cotton) and based on the increment of slavery (through the massive importation from Africa or the demographic reproduction) in Cuba, Brazil and the United States. In spite of the long-established sugar plantation complex, Cuba, and not Brazil, became the leading sugar producer in the nineteenth century. Why Cuba and not Bahia? Is the concept of “Second Slavery” applicable for the sugar zones in Brazil?
This paper aims to offer an understanding of the place of Bahian sugar production within the conceptual framework of “Second Slavery” and the development of the sugar industry in Bahia in the early nineteenth century to 1820, when Cuban sugar consolidates in the world market.
Maritime Networks And Knowledge Exchange In South America, c. 1808-28
Juan Ignacio Neves, University of Oxford, UK
By the opening decades of the nineteenth century well-established maritime connections between Spanish and Portuguese American territories and the Iberian metropolises were severed as the independence movements reshaped the geopolitics of the continent. At the same time, however, new maritime networks, both formal and informal, were established in the Atlantic basin, with routes that connected Africa, America and Europe. By the end of the independence period, a shift in Atlantic maritime networks had taken place. Historians have generally studied the politics and the political thought that underpinned these changes, but have seldom reconstructed the maritime networks that enabled the interdependence of Atlantic locations. This presentation will advance the argument that specific South American Atlantic maritime networks that were established after the treaties of recognition between Britain, Brazil and the River Plate provinces were an integral part of the reshaping of the Atlantic connections in the early nineteenth century.
The argument presented is based on two case studies. First, the analysis of correspondence between Portuguese-Brazilian men of science based in Rio de Janeiro with British officials and, secondly, the negotiations between the British and the River Plate governments for the establishment of a transoceanic postal service. This paper will demonstrate how activities of knowledge exchange and inter-government politics were dependant on the same transatlantic maritime networks. This presentation will draw on hitherto neglected sources in Spanish, Portuguese and English which provide a rich and largely unexplored source of material bringing together transnational and maritime history.
Political and Social Movements in Latin America
Prof Richard Cleminson, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
Ideological Perception and Representation in Developing Democracies: The Case of Liberal Parties in Latin America
João Victor Guedes-Neto, Leuphana Universität, Lüneburg, Germany (Grant Recipient)
Liberalism has an essentially contested concept that causes confusion in academic and partisan debates. This research contributes to the understanding of this term by assessing the ideological perception of Latin American liberal political parties. In order to do so, the manifestos of Latin American parties affiliated to the Liberal International are collected and mapped through expert coding, generating a list of ideological features. The most frequent elements are considered as the proxy of the liberal ideology for party elites and used to create a questionnaire on value orientations framed similarly as done by the World Values Survey. Members from the Partido Liberal de Chile and Nueva Alianza (Mexico) are surveyed. The answers are used to verify the significance of the manifestos’ belief system as explanatory documents for the meaning of liberalism for Latin American partisans and to perceive the level of intra-party ideological dispersion.
The Rise of the Radical Left in Chile
Jorge Valderas, University of York, UK
The main objective of this paper is to analyze the emergence and development of the radical left in Chile in the post-dictatorial period. We argue that after the 2011 massive protests, the radical left groups made a change at a discursive and organizational level, allowing them to be more attractive to the voters. Also they were capable of filling the empty space of the left in the political spectrum, after the turn to the centre by the Communist party.
In order to demonstrate our argument, we will analyze the discourse of two of the main new groups of the radical left, Revolución Democrática and Movimiento Autonomista. We aim to demonstrate how they have adopted the discourse of the so called new left, emphasising topics such as gender equality, minority rights, and environmental issues, among others. Also we will analyze how they change the classical organizational structure of the leftist parties (vertical), for one embedded in social movements and civil society, promoting a bottom up type of organization.
We think this topic is important as Chile seems to go in a different direction in Latin America, as the right-wing is gaining ground with Macri in Argentina, and the destitution of Rousseff in Brazil, but Chile seems to go in the opposite direction.
Law as a Contested Field: Limits and Possibilities of Emancipatory Constitutionalism and Legal Pluralism in Bolivia
Annette Mehlhorn, Max Planck Institute for Anthropological Research, Halle, Germany (Grant Recipient)
Bolivia is a prominent example of Latin American countries where many observers have identified a rupture with colonial legal tradition. The 2009 Constitution breaks with legal monism, giving the same hierarchical status to the “justicia indígena originaria campesina” as to the ‘justicia ordinaria’ and introduces declared indigenous concepts as Vivir Bien, in order to further the plurinational and decolonial ideal propagated in the constitution.
In this context I analyze the dispute between an Aymara community and the Constitutional Court, concerning the constitutionality of a sentence delivered by the indigenous justice. Focusing on the use of the concept of Vivir Bien as a means of constitutional control, it will be shown that in a first instance such a decontextualized concept does not do justice to the community’s norms and can be seen as an example of a hegemonic use of supposedly indigenous concepts ‘from above’. However, it will be shown that also an interesting dynamic of contestation, appropriation and identity creation evolving around the concept of Vivir Bien can be observed. It will be analyzed how the community uses certain spaces which open up in the process, to create their own counter-hegemonic definitions of (legal) concepts.
Consequently, the case study sheds new light on debates concerning the emancipatory potential and limitations of law. It emphasizes the sometimes contradictory and non-lineal way in which change through law happens in the contested terrain of legal pluralism in Bolivia.
Victimised Agents: The Struggle for Recognition of Pollution Related Illness in Santa Cruz, Rio De Janeiro
Delia Rizpah Hollowell, University College London, UK
ThyssenKrupp ‘Companhia Siderúrgica do Atlântico’ (TKCSA), in Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, is one of the largest steelworks in Latin America. Since its opening in 2010 controversy has focused on the steady fall of metal dust over the local area (labelled ‘chuva de prata’ (‘silver rain’)). People have begun to get ill, suffering from regular nosebleeds, headaches, joint pain, shortness of breath, sore eyes, rashes, runny noses and blocked sinuses. I have conducted an ethnographic study with local residents of the area neighbouring the factory, with an NGO campaigning against the company and with a local state-run family clinic.
Santa Cruz has been labelled a ‘sacrifice zone’ by campaigners and academics alike (de Oliveira Pires & Guimarães, 2016; Kato & Quintela, 2009). In the faltering campaign against the company, activists regularly perform their emotional and physical wounds for reporters, lawyers and anthropologists. At campaign events, there is often slippage between spontaneous gesture and consciously cultivated bodily practices (Csordas, 1993) through which campaigners’ display directional emotional experiences (Ahmed, 2004). This affective dimension of resistance (Hynes, 2013) provides insights into long-standing anthropological debates concerning ‘victimhood’ and ‘agency’. The claim that people are ‘agents’ rather than ‘victims’ is now common (Dahl, 2009). However, recent literature suggests these claims reflect a neoliberal emphasis on personal responsibility and deny material dynamics behind ‘victimhood’ (Stringer, 2014). In the campaign against the TKCSA, affective labour at the conjuncture between spontaneous gestures and practiced performance, creates agency within victimhood, dignity out of shame and hope from on-going struggle.
Crime, Maids and Exotic Beverages: Representing Latinxs in Contemporary US Screen Narratives
Valentina Pérez Llosa, University of Sheffield (Chair)
‘So where are you from originally?’ Representing the Latinx Accent in Contemporary US TV Fiction
Jorge Sarasola, University of Sheffield, UK
Building on the detailed and comprehensive analysis produced by Frances Negrón-Muntaner in her report, ‘The Latino Media Gap’, this paper will continue to interrogate the representation of the Latinx in US fiction. While Negrón-Muntaner’s study was mostly quantitative, the present one will proceed through a more qualitative path; and while the former defined its subject of study as actors of Latinx heritage, I will concentrate specifically on the representation of the Latinx accent, which tends to be associated with the immigrant character. The accent plays different roles relative to genres. In police dramas – e.g: ‘C.S.I.’ – the Latinx law enforcer often speaks fluent American-English, while it is the criminal who tends to speak with an accent. This quasi-subconscious perpetration of a prejudice where the accent – or the lack of one – involves an inherent antagonism between lawful-lawless will be explored. In comedies the accent has traditionally either: (i) been a source of humour; or (ii) been associated with certain jobs, e.g, maid or gardener. By examining (i) through shows like ‘One Day at a Time’ (2017-) and ‘Jane the Virgin’ (2014-), it will be suggested that these contemporary examples still use the accent as a source of humour, yet also utilize it to create a divide between older generation migrants and the American-born second and third generations. By exploring (ii) through the lens of ‘Modern Family’ (2009-) and ‘Devious Maids’ (2013-) I will analyse the tense dialectic where some of the traditional stereotypes are being both subverted and perpetrated.
‘Are you drinking that?’ Contemporary On-Screen Portrayals of Ayahuasca
Valentina Bravo, University of St. Andrews, UK
From Antonin Artaud’s descriptions of peyote in ‘The Peyote Dance’, to Aldous Huxley’s explorations of mescaline in ‘The Doors of Perception’, to Terrence McKenna’s advocacy of entheogens in ‘The Food of the Gods’, psychedelics have captured the eye of artists and scientists alike, shaping Western narratives of alternative medicines and traditional practices from pre-Columbian cultures for more than a century. Nowadays these substances, and the rituals involved in their consumption, have reached an increasing level of popularity, as demonstrated by the variety of characters in film and television who discuss and consume them as treatment for a variety of ailments, both physical and psychological. This paper explores the portrayal of traditional hallucinogens, specifically Ayahuasca, in contemporary television and cinema, focusing on the shows ‘Weeds’ (2005-2012), ‘Jane the Virgin’ (2014-), ‘Chelsea Does’ (2016), and on the films ‘Wanderlust’ (2012), and ‘While We’re Young’ (2015). These portrayals serve as an exploration of the malleable line that divides conservation and commodification of traditional Amazonian substances and practices, the benefits of exploring and visibilizing ritual uses as a means of allowing them to endure and resist, and the dangers of banalization and commodification of Ayahuasca within the context of Drug Tourism trends which are encouraged by these portrayals and by endorsements of public Hollywood figures. On-screen portrayals are seen as translations of cultural practices, enabling us to navigate topics such as their legal status, border crossing, and the evolution of cultural practices as they are imported and commodified for larger audiences.
Why are Drugs so Bad? American Fiction’s Masterful Evasion of a Dreaded Question
Valentina Pérez Llosa, University of Sheffield
War has always been a ripe field for the harvest of stories portraying human drama, suspense and intrigue while providing, at least since the United States’ moral fiasco in Vietnam, a source for social criticism and questioning of the use of violence by the established powers. American cinema has attempted to address the Vietnam experience as flawed, traumatic and excessive, but has failed to attribute the same grade of complexity to others among the US’ many military investments in foreign countries. In this paper we will focus on how American fiction, both in television series and in cinema, has drawn many a narrative inspiration from the so-called war on drugs in Latin America while neglecting to seriously pose the question of why said war is being fought. Some narratives, like Netflix series ‘Narcos’, provide a fleeting explanation usually based on statistics of addiction while focusing on the escalation and intricacies of violence; others, like the 2015 film ‘Sicario’, attribute it to a more or less disproportionate reaction to the traffickers’ barbaric actions; a third group, like 2001’s ‘Blow’, show the glamorous rise and inexorable fall of the drug kingpin while using the law’s persecution as a narrative device that does not need further explanation. By not questioning the underlying issues of United States interventionism and lack of transparency regarding the war on drugs, American mass narratives are perpetuating the uncritical criminalization of drugs that claims victims both within the United States and in many countries south of their border.
Narratives of Diasporas: Identity Construction, Cultural Decolonisation, Mobility and Immobility in the Age of Globalization
Claudio Braga, Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil/ University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
Diaspora in Postcoloniality: A Way to Cultural Decolonization in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘Americanah’ (2013)
Claudio Braga, Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil/University of Leeds, UK
The present work discusses diaspora in the 21st century from my own Latin American perspective of Postcoloniality, here defined as an intense negotiation, originated in processes of direct colonization, which involves rejection, acceptance, reappropriation or hybridization of values disseminated by colonizers. Recurrently found in contemporary literatures, Postcoloniality is, among other features, marked by processes of mobility that may (or may not) benefit those who are on the move.
Once the connection between diaspora and Postcoloniality is determined, this study turns to the analysis of the protagonist in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘Americanah’ (2013), a young black Nigerian woman who moves to the United States. Character construction and plot are tools that illustrate the quest for cultural decolonization, a process that refers to a repositioning of postcolonial individuals and societies that seek to benefit them by curtailing, if not ending, the effects of colonial cultural oppression in their minds, spirits and imagination. Such repositioning often takes place in experiences of diaspora, in which the diasporic subject faces challenges that reshape their own being. In ‘Americanah’ (2013), cultural decolonization can be approached in many ways, but the empowerment of women is particularly rich in the narrative, due to its peculiar approach to the issue of women’s hair. Therefore, this paper provides a specific comment on how the protagonist’s afro hair prompts cultural decolonization as a direct result of her migration to the United States, where she faces conflicts she would not have in her homeland.
“Latin America” and the Construction of Identity in V.S. Naipaul’s ‘A Way in the World’
Elizabeth Jackson, University of the West Indies – St Augustine
If, as Benedict Anderson famously posited, a nation is an ‘imagined community’, so too is a regional designation such as the Caribbean or Latin America. This idea is my starting point in approaching V.S. Naipaul’s ‘A Way in the World’, a wide-ranging text which explores, among other issues, the construction of individual and cultural identity. Naipaul’s exploration proceeds through nine interconnected narratives, interweaving actual and fictional histories and memories. He anchors his narrative in his native Trinidad, which he envisions as part of a larger Caribbean and Latin American collective within a still larger global context. In many ways ‘A Way in the World’ reinforces Paul Jay’s view of globalization as a long historical process beginning “at least in the sixteenth century and covering a time span that includes the long histories of imperialism, colonization, decolonization, and postcolonialism.” Naipaul’s text illuminates complex issues of intercultural identity in the Caribbean and Latin America, beginning with an autobiographical narrative which develops into a meditation on colonial history.
Focusing particularly on Naipaul’s fictional rendering of the consciousness of what he describes as “three obsessed men, well past their prime”: Christopher Columbus in 1498, Sir Walter Raleigh in 1618, and the Venezuelan revolutionary Francisco de Miranda in 1806, “each with his own vision of the New World”, this paper analyses the parallels drawn by Naipaul in ‘A Way in the World’ between the ongoing historical processes of cultural identity construction and the equally complex processes of individual identity construction in the postcolonial context.
Critical Entanglements: Caribbean Writing and Theory in between Mobility and Immobility
Kristian Van Haesendonck- University of Antwerp, Belgium
In an age of intensified globalization, there is a growing need for a transnational and even ‘trans-areal’ (Ette) perspective on Latin American narratives. What differences and convergences are to be found, for instance, in fiction from the Hispanic Caribbean, as compared to very different cultural contexts, such as Lusophone Africa? While new cultural ‘islands’ are nowadays being formed within continents (such as Europe), lessons can be drawn from postcolonial areas such as the Caribbean, at the margins of Latin America, when it comes to connecting regional literatures. I argue that an “archipelagic” approach can be rehearsed for the study of fiction as an alternative for traditional (language or nationality-based) ways of studying texts. In order to uncover new routes in the study of Latin American literature, it will not suffice to look at the mobility of narratives and the adoption and adaptation of (fluid) spatial metaphors and travelling concepts (e.g. diaspora, migration, nomadism). It is equally important to mobilize scholars to experiment with more fluid, creolizing ways of “doing” literary criticism and theory. In my paper I will illustrate this idea by briefly comparing the trope of (im)mobility in the work of two writers: Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá, from Puerto Rico, and Mia Couto, Mozambique’s best known writer.
Límites y fronteras del discurso guatemalteco post conflicto armado
Patricia Simón, Freelance Journalist, Spain (Chair)
Limites de la ciudadania multicultural
Iván García Crespo, Universidad Autonóma de Madrid, Spain
Se realizará una aproximación a la construcción de las identidades nacionales por el Estado tanto en el pasado como en el presente guatemalteco, dando cuenta de la estratificación social, no solo en torno a cuestiones de clase sino de también de raza y como ésta, determinada por el racismo cultural subyacente, actuó como un factor determinante en el fracaso de la reforma constitucional de 1999.
Discursos de género contra-hegemónicos en oposición o conflicto
Fabio, Robles Bretones, Universidad Autonóma de Madrid, Spain
Se abordará cómo en cuanto a la perspectiva de género, a través de esta estratificación social, se ve altamente influida produciéndose una alta oposición contra-hegemónica, entre la perspectiva feminista naciente, y los nuevos movimientos de mujeres indias. Una diferenciación tanto en expectativas como en análisis de sus respectivas situaciones.
Narrativas museísticas del Proyecto Arqueológico El Mirador
María Aroa, Guerrero Risquete, Universidad Autonóma de Madrid, Spain
Se analizará, en relación a la construcción de los discursos desde el Estado, el desarrollo de las narrativas museísticas, tomando como estudio de caso el Proyecto Arqueológico Cuenca – Mirador (Parque Nacional Mirador-Río Azul, Guatemala) como forma de construir un sentido común, capaz de en la actualidad seguir estableciendo una “cotidianidad” o “saber” en la sociedad por medio del patrimonio cultural.
Migrant Selves: The Fluid Poetic Self
Dr Jèssica Pujol Duran, Universidad de Santiago de Chile (Chair)
‘We Need to Translate Language into Itself’: Awareness in Cecilia Vicuña’s Migrant Language
Dr Jèssica Pujol Duran, Universidad de Santiago de Chile
In this paper I will focus on the work of Chilean author Cecilia Vicuña (1948). I will contend that the experimental character of her book ‘Sabor a mí’ (1973) conforms a poetics that criticises the dominant mediations of her society. In Aesthetic Theory Adorno asserts that ‘the unresolved antagonisms of reality return in artworks as immanent problems of form’. I will argue that Pinochet’s coup and regime provoked in her an antagonism to which she responded critically in her work. My title comes from Vicuña’s statement that “we need to translate language into itself so that IT sees our awareness.” She says that language is migrant, it moves from word to word and from culture to culture, as well as interconnected, but IT also unveils an identity, or a net of signifiers subjected to a particular historical event. Vicuña published ‘Sabor a mí’ in England, through a small experimental press, and the book is nowadays seen as an early example of the Chilean political writing triggered by the military regime. ‘Sabor a mí’ is a collection of texts, cut-ups, paintings and poems that conjure up tensions of individual and communal identity, with a language that raises awareness by reflecting on its own form. After ‘Sabor a mí’, Vicuña continued publishing her work from the periphery (USA, Mexico, Argentina) in order to outlive the reprimands of censorship. In my paper I will analyse her work in order to discuss how can we translate language into language. Why is this process necessary in order to create awareness? And what politics does this awareness address?
Productive Speed in the Space of the Psyche: Gloria Anzaldúa’s Effort to Represent Matter in Transformation
Sara Torres, Queen Mary University of London, UK
Trapped in culturally-specific fantasies of the ‘normal’ and the ‘desirable’, the subject appears as a victim of inadequacy in her attempt to match a congealed idea of the self and the expressions of a body-mind in constant transformation. This paper explores how Anzaldua’s writing deals with the uncertainty produced by not knowing the directions that a queer mestizo body in constant becomings will undertake. I will argue that her poetic-philosophical project entails the process of re-shaping cognition, modes of conceptualization and perception, through a politically conscious exercise of working with language and myth. Inevitably, the poem, as contextual production, captures a moment of matter, a moment extracted from the continuum of the speaking subject. In tension with this restraint, Anzaldúa develops complex poetic strategies in order to activate an open matrix for potential and in-betweenness. Neither the writer nor the reader can be contained by the text, but still the text can provide a platform through which to access, deconstruct and reinvent the life of the psyche.
Expressing me before the Earthquake
Gregorio Fontaine, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
In this paper I want to propose a sonic understanding of the poet’s persona in some South American poetry. Traditionally, the poet’s persona gives voice to the poet’s feelings and personal expression. Through an exploration of the work of certain poets and songwriters–primarily from the south Andes region (Chile, Argentina)– and my own poetic work, I will trace an untold narrative of the poet’s persona as configured in an uncertain position/non-position. As such it explores a South American sensitivity to identity that cannot be grasped through traditional concepts of continuity or essence. It is an invisible position that is not fixed to one determined post. It can only be listened to as it traverses the medium and is fractured, ruined and reconfigured in a ply of resistance–through a particular understanding of resentment and premonition as the same creative energy. Of most significance to this account will be the metaphorical consideration of the geography. Particularly, the Andes mountains – both in its cultural symbolism from prehispanic times and as a land of earthquakes – and the Pacific Ocean as the vast horizon of nothingness.
Heritage and Memory
Jesús Sanjurjo, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
For us or for them? Community Participation on Southern Peru’s Cultural Heritage Tourist Trail
Catriona Spaven-Donn, University of Cambridge, UK
The ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples has undoubtedly increased international awareness of the struggles of indigenous peoples globally; however, this does not necessarily equate to the implementation of positive changes in the socioeconomic situation of marginalised indigenous communities. In the case of southern Peru, many indigenous communities still lie on the periphery of state provision, with reduced access to basic services such as health clinics and secondary schools. This research finds that these realities may often be obscured by the branding of indigenous communities as “descendants of the Incas”, corresponding to the expectations of tourists on the cultural heritage tourism trail. It will critically analyse the role of the foreign tourist in interpellating the self-identification of the Indigenous Quechua-speaking person in southern Peru. Based on participant observation and qualitative interviews on Amantaní Island in Lake Titicaca, where an established community-based tourism network is rapidly growing, this paper aims to investigate the ways in which cultural heritage practices such as weaving, cuisine, dance and music, may be reified or remade in order to cater to the international tourism market. In this research, I am informed by Jordi Gascón and Elayne Zorn’s work on tourism and cultural heritage in the Lake Titicaca region, and Marisol de la Cadena and María Elena García’s writings on indigeneity and performativity in the Andes. I investigate the power dynamics that lie in the intersections of Indigeneity and tourism and ultimately ask: to what extent does community-based tourism truly benefit the local community?
Narrating ‘Untold Stories’: Curatorial Practices and the Legacy of Slavery in the Proposed National Museum for Afro-Brazilian Memory (MNMAfro).
Linda Robins da Silva, Birkbeck, University of London, UK
Brazil has the highest number of people of African descendant outside of Africa, however it still has a disproportionately small number of museums which prioritise the history and culture of Afro-Brazilians. In 2013, plans were announced for the National Museum for Afro-Brazilian Memory (MNMAfro) to be built in Brasilia. The purported aim of the museum, to examine the ‘untold story’ of black history and slavery in order to ‘recover identity based self-esteem’, leads to the question of how current curatorial strategies in dedicated ethnic museums can inform the plans for this new museum.
This paper aims to explore how Afro-Brazilian history and memory is narrated by museums. I engage with the discussions of Marian Sepúlveda dos Santos and Ana Lucia Araújo pertaining to Brazilian museums’ representation of afro-descendants as victims through the display of violent images of slavery. I also reflect upon Kimberley Cleveland’s argument that the portrayal of Afro-Brazilians is linked to a valorisation of Africa as the motherland but argue that this has been to the detriment of the inclusion of the history of slavery and its legacy. By examining a community-led approach, I contend that the use of public space to narrate slave histories offers a viable alternative.
By reflecting on the curatorial methods of The Afro-Brazilian Museum in Salvador, the Afro Brazil Museum in Sao Paulo and the Black Route Museum in Porto Alegre, I will consider the extent to which MNMAfro could be considered as contributing to a new museological narrative of Afro-Brazilian experience.
(Re)Learning Who We Are: Maya Textiles, Museum Textiles and Heritage (Re)Creation
Callie Vandewiele, University of Cambridge, UK
Museum objects and their repatriation have held an increasingly contentious space in the world of historical preservation and anthropological research in recent decades. Museums, themselves, play a performative role in the creation and continuation of academic and local heritages in the communities in which they are situated. Less well understood is the role that museums can play in the recreation or rediscovery of heritage for the source communities from which museum objects were taken. Among the Q’eqchi’ Maya of the Alta Verapaz of Guatemala, the roughly 200 remaining weavers of the traditional Picb’il blouse, or huipil, the question of repatriating specific objects is subsumed by the the concept of repatriating the knowledge contained within those objects. Through interviews with over 80 Q’eqchi’ weavers of these blouses, emerges an understanding of the production and use of textile objects as an important avenue for not only preserving and maintaining Q’eqchi’ culture, language and history, but a way in which weavers can directly connect to a shared Maya past. Weavers in these communities play an important role in providing the framework for individual and community identities. For these weavers, access to historic textiles provides them with a link transcending temporal boundaries to reconnect with long-dead weavers, by reviving stylistic choices and patterns that have been lost through Guatemala’s many conflicts. In doing so, this rediscovered, or recreated heritage, aids in the production of a Pan Maya identity, which seeks to build a shared history between Guatemala’s 23 recognized Maya lingual groups.
Panel 25 – Cancelled*
Environmental Crisis and Social Action
Bianca De Souza Lima Orsi, Leeds University Business School, UK (Chair)
*Please note that Isabela Troya (Keele University),’s paper on “CMental Health in Humanitarian Contexts” has been moved to Panel 7.
Social Constructions of Gender
Prof Richard Cleminson, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
Love and Violence in Women from Chihuahua
Maria Barbara Rivero Puente, Universidad de York, UK
Love is any type of behavior whose consequence causes people to approach each other, this is physically, emotionally, cognitively, socially, or spiritually. When the person recognizes the feeling of love towards his partner, he seeks to express it from a personal style, which leads him to have different styles of love in his relationships (Díaz-Guerrero, 1975, Lee, 1977, Ojeda, 2010). The relationships between couples become the most significant keys of the life of a person, this is because the dependance on the other will allow them to develop its social, affective and physical abilities, which borders to place the highest expectations on the other individual (Bowlby, 1982, Becerril, 2001). Nevertheless, it can also be a source of conflict, tension and disappointment (Díaz-Loving, Rivera, 2010). One of the most studied sources of tension is violence. The present study was carried out with the intention of identifying the relationship and the differences between love styles and violence types in centers of attention to violence and general population of women in the city of Chihuahua, Mexico. The results obtained indicate differences between the two groups of women without ruling out that women in the general population did not present some type of violence. Likewise, they found types of love that serve as risk and protection factors in terms of violence received in their relationship.
Between Cholas,Chotas and Mestizas: Movement, Race, Class, and Gender in Bolivian Street Markets
Aiko Ikemura Amaral, University of Essex, UK
This paper explores the identities of women market vendors in three Bolivian street markets in the cities of El Alto, Bolivia, and São Paulo, Brazil. By doing so, I intend to highlight and contrast how different spatial and social hierarchies intersect and are reflected in the processes of identification of these women. Furthermore, I intend to discuss how different femininities are (re)produced in the markets – spaces that are, in Mary Weismantel’s (2001) words, ‘sexed female’ – emphasising the intersection of gender, class and ethnic/identities, as well as of different spatial scales. By exploring their real and expected social and geographic mobility I hope to highlight how their movement through space simultaneously connect, transforms or even break with these social and spatial identities amidst flows of moneys, peoples, cultures, and products that takes place in these markets. Starting with an analysis on how the performance of these gendered identities in the Feria del 16 de Julio in El Alto – particularly the cholita – I highlight existing ambiguities in order to stress the intersection of different elements that constitute them. Turning the attention to the Bolivian market at the Feira da Kantuta and Feira da Rua Coimbra in Brazil, I then discuss how the broader shift in the social and political settings impact on their own notions of hierarchies between and the often-contradictory use of these identities.
Ropa interior masculina y género. Una propuesta metodológica para el estudio de las masculinidades a través de los futbolistas de masas.
Andrés Rodríguez Monteavaro, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain
La teorización histórica de género es un campo que ha sufrido una fuerte eclosión en los últimos años, pudiendo encontrarse infinidad de investigaciones sobre la temática en los ámbitos científicos internacionales contemporáneos. En el caso específico del análisis de las masculinidades existen aún grandes lagunas teóricas. En palabras del investigador norteamericano Scott Coltrane, “(…) resulta de radical importancia la realización de estudios multidisciplinares que desde todos los campos sirvan para poder desarrollar un discurso sobre los sentimientos masculinos en cuanto a su condición y relación con la sociedad, así como con la ruptura que suponen con los tradicionales sistemas patriarcales”.
El trabajo que se presenta a continuación pretende aportar algunos datos a la teorización sobre la construcción de las masculinidades a través de factores sociales y culturales, incidiendo con especial atención en los procesos micro que influyen de forma directa en la sociedad.
Se pretende abordar, por tanto, un planteamiento metodológico que permita teorizar sobre la construcción de género masculina a través del análisis de la representación pública de la ropa interior masculina vista a través de algunos anuncios protagonizados por futbolistas de masas occidentales contemporáneos.
Se propone, por tanto, una aproximación histórica e historiográfica que nos permita ver las principales dinámicas discursivas intrínsecas en la publicidad de la ropa interior masculina, para poder así realizar una crítica que permita construir una sociedad donde las nuevas masculinidades estén reconocidas y sean visibles los vínculos y los conflictos planteados con el sistema patriarcal que se constatan en su contexto. Este trabajo guarda, además, una relación absolutamente relevante con los Latino American Studies al centrarse una parte considerable de las casuísticas analizadas en objetos del sur americano hispanohablante.
Digital Activism in Latin America
Dr Thea Pitman, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
Zapatistas and Non Zapatistas Indigenous women and their Relation with Internet
Eva Cabrejas, University College Cork, UK
This project examines Zapatista and non Zapatista indigenous women’s engagement with both internet and social media networking platforms which they use as political tools in defence of their identities and in resistance to the official versions emanating from different forms of state media. To investigate this engagement, I will analyse the first digital project featuring Zapatista indigenous women called “Zap Women”, a CD Rom project which featured a recording of their views on the 1st January 1994 uprising. I also study the corpus of material which includes local Chiapas broadcast media, for example community radio programmes from the Internet such as “Des Informémos” which is platform for sharing indigenous women’s opinions and experiences and is based on Chiapas women’s rights, culture and communication. Finally, I will also examine “Radio Pozal”, “Radio Zapatista” and “Radio Pacífico”, whose broadcasts are part of Selva Lacandona.
Rebellion, Protest and the Internet in Mexico: On Strategy, Collective Unity and Mediations
Rodrigo Ivan Liceaga Mendoza, University of Bristol, UK
Since 2009 the number of social mobilizations employing internet-based digital technologies to advance political objectives in Mexico has increased. Nevertheless, these mobilizations have employed such technologies in a different manner from that of emblematic movements like the Zapatistas in Chiapas in 1994. These demonstrations comprise individual users who are now ‘connected’, grouped and synchronized in collective action through such technological supports. Drawing on Giorgio Agamben´s idea of ‘instrumentality’ and a Foucauldian notion of the ‘government of things’, this paper sets out to analyse the main differences between the Zapatista endeavour and more recent demonstrations in terms of how they constitute collective subjectification and unity. The aim is to understand the diverse use of the internet between the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas in 1994, and its strategic articulation of information technologies and the Web 1.0 to its aim of attaining land and liberty, and the more recent expressions of social demands through the novelties of Web 2.0 and the promise of participation, collectivity and alternative communications. Regarding the latter, the internet has become preponderant among activists and NGOs in the last 6 years, to the point of being understood by many of them as a tactical tool and at the same time a condition for democracy. This paper finally asserts that digital devices have played a role as a strategic instrument in the rebels’ case but conversely, a fundamental mediation at the core of collective subjectification and unity in more recent mobilisations.
Remix Studies and the Zapatista discourse: A New Take on Digital Intertextuality
Isabelle Gribomont, University of St Andrews, UK.
Remix studies is a relatively new field focusing on creative production as a political activity, drawing on concepts of creative freedom, intellectual property and copyright laws. The term ‘remix’ designates genres and techniques of composition among which collage, assemblage, appropriation, as well as artistic practices such as self-reflexive and performative critical strategies. Remixes can be seen as cultural processes entailing cross-cultural hybridization. In this paper I will look at the Zapatista’s writings as such ‘meanings networks’ which associate various inputs (Maya tales, quotations, genre-specific conventions, etc.) in order to create a new output with a value-add. The fact that the Zapatistas explicitly reflect on issues of creative production, authorship and copyrights has a lot to tell us on their take on communication and knowledge transmission. Similarly, the Zapatistas’ decision to create their own media team instead of relying on independent medias is itself revealing of the importance granted to intermedial communication and the handling of one’s own image within the movement itself. This awareness of the implications of our digital era seems to indicate that the ‘Remix’ elements of the Zapatista aesthetic are part of a broader impulse towards re-thinking the distribution and production of intellectual properties within a clear anti-capitalist and anti-individualistic stance.
Citizenship and Inclusion in Latin American Education
Peter Watson, University of Sheffield, UK (Chair)
Chasing History; Citizenship Education in Colombia
María Lucía Guerrero Farias, University of Bristol, UK
Citizenship education has caught the attention of policy makers and academics over the last decade in Colombia. The complex history of citizenship education had a turning point with the formulation of the citizenship competencies programme in 2004 written in alignment with the policies promoted by United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and its regional office in Latin America (ORELAC). In Colombia’s current context, citizenship education appears to be one of the fundamental keys to consolidate a peaceful post-agreement society capable of overcoming our problematic past. I argue that, despite some benefits, citizenship education is embedded in both a historical colonial and contemporary neoliberal dynamic that does not challenge the status quo nor does it pursue social justice (in Fraser’s conception), but continues to reproduce a stratified society where colonialities (Maldonado-Torres, 2007; Mignolo, 2000) are traceable. The paper begins with a brief contextualization of Colombia’s citizenship programme, followed by the empirical evidence of the enactment of the programme. I conclude by suggesting that a cosmopolitan approach to citizenship education can tackle disparities and consolidate a stronger civil society. A thick description of cosmopolitan citizenship education, that goes beyond the traveller consciousness, and which also accepts causal responsibility and empathy, can empower students to engage in the current society, respect diversity, and embrace their multi-layered identities (Kurasawa, 2004).
El maestro luchando, también está enseñando: Resistance to the Mexican Education Reform in Oaxaca.
Roisin Killick, University College London, UK
The Mexican education system is marked by inequalities. Oaxaca’s rural geography, levels of poverty and its large indigenous, bilingual population, means that the state faces significant difficulties in educating its population, leaving Oaxacan students at a major educational disadvantage nationally. However, since 2013, Mexican teachers, unions and academics have made their opposition to the government’s education reform, which it proposed with the intent of improving educational outcomes, abundantly clear. Strikes, marches, and blockades, have all formed part of the resistance to the government’s imposition of the reform, and more recently the country has had to become accustomed to witnessing violent and deadly conflicts between protesters, their supporters and armed military police. This paper will discuss findings from fieldwork interviews conducted with teachers from the Oaxacan indigenous education system, in May and June 2016, which revealed how teacher and government rhetoric, perceptions and ideologies regarding education differ. It will also suggest that it is this difference, alongside a history of activism and state violence in Oaxaca, that has and continues to fuel the current protests against the education reform, as part of a wider opposition to the contemporary neoliberal Mexican system.
Decentering Religion: Evangelical Practice and the Everyday
Dr Gregorio Alonso, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
‘Las calles de este pueblo’: Pentecostal Protest Music and Repression in Authoritarian Chile, 1973-1990
Joseph Florez, University of Cambridge, UK
Pentecostal reactions to the military coup d’etat and ensuing violent repression in Chile have been viewed as overwhelmingly supportive of the dictatorship. In official and public encounters with authorities, many Pentecostal leaders offered recognition and legitimation. At the same time, a small but vocal minority, who felt misrepresented by the agenda of conservative leaders developed clear stances and discourses in opposition to the repressive character of the dictatorship. This paper investigates the development of these voices and their reactions to lived experiences of violence and oppression through the lens of Pentecostal music making. In examining the lyrics of the Pentecostal folkloric group Buena Nueva, I situate alternative discourses of religious resistance within the broader development of new understandings of religion and violence during the period. For these young Pentecostals, musical production was more than a medium to practice their faith, it was a powerful venue to negotiate and critique the violence that came to shape their life worlds. Such an interpretation moves scholars beyond traditional markers of religious political engagement and sheds light on the dynamic interplay of religion and everyday life in the context of authoritarian rule.
Reformatting “Degenerated” Evangelicalism Through Judaism: Brazilian Judaising Evangelicals and Their Religious Change Project
Manoela Carpenedo, University of Cambridge, UK
Based on an ethnography undertaken between 2013-2015 in Brazil , this paper explores the dramatic religious change developed by a group of former Charismatic Evangelicals. I coined the term Judaising Evangelicals to refer to this particular religious tendency where Charismatic Evangelical believers with non-Jewish backgrounds adopt a range of tenets, rituals and artefacts from Judaism in their religious practices. Although this trend is rising not only Brazil but also in other Latin American countries, there is no systematic study documenting this transformation. This paper explores the rationale of former Charismatic Evangelicals to embrace a particular Judaising Evangelical variant inspired by Jewish Orthodoxy. I contend that this religious transformation can be interpreted as a restorative reaction against some characteristics found in Brazilian Charismatic Evangelicalism such as its “secular influence”, materialised in the individualist rhetoric and prosperity gospel; the syncretic “paganism”, demonstrated in the effusive emotionalism and the “spiritual warfare”; and anti-intellectualism, seen in Evangelical casual use of sacred texts. Pointing to those “degenerate” and “inauthentic” practices within Charismatic Evangelicalism, this Judaising Evangelical community aims to establish distance from their Evangelical past while incorporating many tenets of the Jewish laws (i.e., Kosher food consumption, family purity laws, circumcision). By creating a religious style characterised by self-discipline and ritual centrality, instead of emotional catharsis and physicality, the community challenges many of their former Evangelical principles. This case-study offers an invaluable opportunity to understand not only religious change processes but also the new contours of Charismatic Evangelicalism in Latin America.
Experiments in Missionary Publishing: Protestant Missions and the Periodical Imprensa Evangelica in Brazil, 1864-1892
Pedro Feitoza, University of Cambridge, UK
The main goal of this proposal is to examine the role of a periodical titled Imprensa Evangelica (IE) in the establishment and expansion of Protestant missions in Brazil and the Lusophone world. The IE, published by American and Brazilian Presbyterian missionaries in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, is considered the first evangelical periodical produced in Latin America, and circulated continuously during twenty-eight years in Brazil and other Portuguese-speaking communities throughout the Atlantic. The communication will focus on the participation of local converts and Brazilian ministers in the production and circulation of the periodical, the engagement of IE in wider political and social debates in nineteenth-century Brazil, and how the periodical, along with other religious tracts and Bibles, connected evangelical missions in Lusophone societies. Attention will be given to the ways in which the periodical engendered new religious identities in nineteenth-century Brazil, how it was integrated to the liturgical practices of evangelical congregations, and how Brazilian converts and foreign missionaries, by means of the IE, projected themselves into the public sphere and into the transnational networks of global Protestantism.
Nationhood, National Identities and Citizenship
Dr Angel Smith, University of Leeds, UK (Chair)
Cuban Nationalism And Defining Identity
Armandina Maldonado Deller, The University of Nottingham, UK
Based on Cuba’s nation building in the late colonial period, this paper proposes to explore the presentation of people and their movement in Cuba. It will highlight the birth of Cuban nationalism and include interpretations of Cuban identity. Defining identity in terms of nationalism, for a nation with an unclear shared history, will be presented using different mappings of the islands shifting population. Demographic interpretations and the political and social aim of race descriptions found in readings and documents will be provided to explore the criteria for being or becoming Cuban.
The early definition for late-colonial to post colonial Cuban identity will be investigated alongside the creation of an ‘imagined’ Cuba. Slave history and the possible impact of the enlightenment period will feature in this paper to introduce the cultural relationship of Cuban identity and the new society envisioned for its future.
Discussing The Nation: The Conditions of Citizenship in Ecuador and Peru According to the Parliamentary Discourse
Marta Fernández Peña, University of Seville, Spain
The main objective of this paper is the analysis of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian parliamentarians’ discourse during the second half of the Nineteenth Century in relation to how economic and territorial contradictions influenced the adoption of certain political and electoral models, as well as in the enunciation of specific conceptions of the nation. In the 1860s, Peru and Ecuador experienced an economic boom, resulting in the emergence of a social elite connected to trade and finance activities. This social group increasingly differentiated themselves from the rest of the population in their lifestyle. In addition, the socio-economic differences were also related to ethnic and territorial aspects. Therefore, in the middle of the Nineteenth Century we could find in both nations, on the one hand, a white bourgeois social elite, dedicated to commercial and financial activities, which resided in certain areas of the country; whereas, on the other hand, there was a large percentage of the illiterate indigenous population engaged in agricultural activities and concentrated in different regions. This unequal growth coincided with a period of time in which parliamentarians of both countries were redefining the basis of the representative system and the nation-state. This paper investigates how these socioeconomic, territorial and ethnic features affected the construction of citizenship.
The Clash of Nationalisms: Mexico’s Resistance to the Trump Administration and the Limits of Unity
Erik Cardona-Gomez, University of York, UK
The discourse of unity embraced by Trump is one that may have variegated across time, but it is one that started by aligning Mexicans as the enemies of American values. Mexicans immigrants were portrayed as rapists and, above all, as those draining the economy. With this background, the call for the border wall was received as the necessary step for the U.S. to take in order to guarantee its future as leader of the free world.
After the Trump administration officially began in January of this year, Mexicans became worried, not only because of an imminent persecution of immigrants, but also because of how certain it seems that the country will be forced to pay for the border wall. With this as a background, a discourse of unity has also emerged in Mexico and it is one that calls for solidarity toward Mexican immigrants, a revaluation of national production and homogenization of political claims.
What this shows is that unity is an idea that is invoked when the country feels that its national identity has diluted and a single front needs to emerge to withstand foreign strikes. This paper highlights that its limit is that a revaluation of what it means to be American or Mexican automatically outlines the terms of dissenting complaints. Under the resulting context there is only so much that marginalized groups can claim and one where government opponents try to avoid to be considered enemies of the motherland.
Ploughing The Sea Trans-National Cultural Policy: Power Structures, Hegemonic Paradigms & Latin America
Simon Dancey, British Council, Wales, UK
This research explored the construction, replication and adaption of hegemonic transnational cultural policy paradigms, particularly in relation to neoliberalism, in two very different national contexts: Colombia and Brazil. Latin America offered a globally distinctive place to explore cultural policy development and discourse, with policy being constructed alongside large-scale programmes for social transformation, as well as being utilised to forge national identities via the construction of cultural ‘imaginaries’ (Anderson, 2016; Santos, 2014). Both Colombia and Brazil have both relatively recently emerged (or are hopefully emerging) from dictatorships and violent pasts, offering a unique opportunity to examine the transfer, development and implementation of cultural policy; the negotiation of power and hegemonic development; and the role of national imaginaries on cultural policy.
An analytical and conceptual framework was developed to explore how social actors, practices values and socially constructed meanings impacted on the process of policy making, the transnational transfer of policy and the impact of neoliberalism. The relationship between national imaginaries and the construction of cultural policy paradigms was also explored, particularly in relation to whether a neoliberalist alternative or counter-hegemonic paradigm had been developed in Brazil, Colombia or more widely in Latin America. A social science multiple methods research approach was taken, allowing exploration of the research questions from a number of different perspectives. This included semi-structured interviews of cultural actors ranging from culture ministers to cultural producers and literature review alongside a conceptual framework that employs and critically explores the work of Gramsci and Bourdieu in relation to hegemony, the cultural field, power and the notion of imaginaries and their relationship with national identity.
Memory, Identity and Imaginary in Latin American Literature
Kristina Pla, Durham University, UK (Chair)
Fantasear con la imagen, manipular el recuerdo. Norah Lange ante el espejo en Antes que mueran
Belén Izaguirre Fernández, University of Seville, Spain (Grant Recipient)
Narrated in the first person, ‘Before they Die’ (Antes que mueran) (1944) is a fragmentary book composed of a series of memories, more or less manipulated by the fantasy and voids of memory. The work of the Argentine becomes an attempt to reconstruct a past and a lost memory. But, what is more, what is remembered is a feminine past, that attends to the feminine and daily detail of the woman, her pains, longings and her solitude. In addition, the favorite place for remembrance will be the mirror, a deforming object of reality and the only one capable of revealing the changes of her appearance and her interior also. Lange in the face of the mirror tries to remember, but the reflection is not her simile, but a magical place in front of which she describes a metaphorical past. The result is a text composed of fragments of memories or fantasies in a kind of poetic prose full of images and moments to solve and attribute a meaning.
‘Marginal Figures and Uruguayan Identity in No robarás las botas de los muertos (2002) by Mario Delgado Aparaín’
Karunika Kardak, University of St Andrews, UK
Published after the military dictatorship in Uruguay (1973-85), Mario Delgado Aparaín’s historical novel No robarás las botas de los muertos deals with the Siege of Paysandú that took place in 1864. This siege was a part of Uruguay’s continuous civil wars between the Colorados and Blancos during the nineteenth century and it stands out as a violent attack against a city with meagre resources to defend itself. However, many historians perceived it as inspirational because it highlighted the values of resistance and defending one’s sovereignty. For this reason, different political factions appropriated the cultural memory of the siege for nation-building purposes. Significant in the national imaginary of the siege is the absence of marginalised voices, mainly women and Afro-Uruguayans. In the post-dictatorship period, however, Delgado Aparaín’s No robarás las botas de los muertos focuses on marginalised individuals by incorporating the long-silenced voices of women and racial minorities. Through focusing on forgotten people, I will argue, the novel questions official history and memory and broadens views of Uruguayan identity.
Brioche and Dreams: Jorge Luis Borges’s Approach to Nation in ‘Atlas’.
Grace Gaynor, University of Liverpool, UK
Jorge Luis Borges’s work ‘Atlas’ was the product of a trip in which he and his companion María Kodama traveled around the world, choosing particular images associated with the places they had visited and writing a small section on each. The contents of this work do not represent a traditional approach to an atlas, and Borges described it as ‘a prudently chaotic book’ which ‘embodies a union of words and images’. Entries which are named after the country visited are in the minority; instead, many entries are named after seemingly fanciful inspirations, such as ‘The Brioche’, ‘Voyage in a Balloon’ or ‘Dreams’. ‘Atlas’ is a relatively unexplored work in Borges’s canon, and its creation is fitting for a writer fascinated with encyclopedias, libraries and other compendiums of organised knowledge. However, it also has the capacity to provide insight into Borges’s approach to a nation; how he chooses to encapsulate the experience of each country and culture he encounters, and how this might, in turn, shed light upon his attitude towards his own country, Argentina. His relationship with European literature is a much contested issue in criticism of Borges, particularly in the context of works such as ‘El escritor argentino y la tradición’ (‘The Argentinian Writer and Tradition’). This paper will explore how both this essay and ‘Atlas’ attempt to formulate the position of the Argentinian writer in relation to both the traditions and cultural identity of Argentina, and to the rest of the world; specifically Europe.
Del Feriado Bancario a la Nación: Finacial Crisis and a Renewed Imaginary for the Contemporary Ecuadorian Nation
Luis Medina Cordova, King’s College London, UK
Throughout the world, the financial crisis of 2008 showed that financial turmoil can provoke the emergence of nationalism. In Ecuador, a similarly catastrophic economic meltdown in 1998 sparked the re-emergence of a national consciousness, providing a foundational moment to reflect on the contemporary imagining of the nation. However, the crisis also triggered an unprecedented migration that saw almost 10% of Ecuador’s population move to other countries in pursuit of better economic opportunities. If the crisis dispersed the national population, how could it be said that it holds a foundational importance for the nation? Moreover, how is it possible to talk about the re-emergence of a national consciousness in a context where national symbols were replaced with foreign ones, as happened with the Ecuadorian local currency (Sucre) which was replaced with the USD? I argue that these apparent contradictions are representative of the complexities of not only Ecuadorian but Latin American modernity, where globalization has softened national borders and redefined the concepts of nation and national identity. The Feriado Bancario – as the crisis is broadly known – revealed a new panorama for the articulation a national imaginary, in which the idea of a nation bounded by its borders became unsustainable. By analysing two Ecuadorian novels – Eliécer Cardenas’ ‘El oscuro final del Porvenir’ (2000) and Leonardo Valencia’s ‘Kazbek’ (2008) – this paper explains why the Feriado Bancario has a foundational significance for the articulation of a renewed discourse regarding the Ecuadorian nation, a discourse that rather than being limited by the boundaries of territories, is connected to the flows of transnationalism.
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