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Subversive aesthetics and anticolonial indigeneity in Santiago de Chile

Building on analyses of the relationship between race, aesthetics and politics, the volume elaborates on the epistemological possibilities arising from collaborative and decolonial methodologies at the intersection of ethnography, art, performance and the urban space. It moves from practice-based and collaborative research with young Mapuche and mestizo artists and activists in Santiago (Chile), drawing together a range of different materials: from artworks to theatre and performance; from graphics to audio and visual materials. An edited collection, the book is constructed by shifting between different authorships and changing perspectives from the individual to the collective. This approach, while to a certain extent within the classical structure of editors/authors, plays with the roles of researcher/research participant, highlighting the ambiguities, frictions and exchanges involved in this relationship. Elaborating on indigenous knowledge production, the book thus addresses the possibility of disrupting the social and material landscape of the (post)colonial city by articulating meanings through artistic and performative representations. As such, the essays contained in the book put forward alternative imaginations constructed through an aesthetic defined by the Mapuche concept of champurria (‘mixed’): a particular way of knowing and engaging with reality, and ultimately an active process of home- and self-making beyond the spatialities usually assigned to colonised bodies and subjects. Actively engaging with current debates through collective writing by indigenous people raising questions in terms of decolonisation, the book stands as both an academic and a political project, interrogating the relationship between activism and academia, and issues of representation, authorship and knowledge production.

Open Access (free)
Ethnographic scenario, emplaced imaginations and a political aesthetic
Olivia Casagrande

cities across the world, especially in the USA and the UK. The socio-political landscapes of (post)colonial cities have been questioned and disrupted through interventions in the materiality of urban space, putting forward alternative inconographies and imaginations. Colonised bodies and subjects have entered the public debate in the contexts of the COVID-19 crisis and the protests following the murder of the African American George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis. During the months of these mobilisations, Mapuche

in Performing the jumbled city
Open Access (free)

The Proscenium introduces the site-specific theatre play Santiago Waria, addressing the interdisciplinary methodology adopted and lingering on its development, particularly from the perspective of scenic arts. The Proscenium introduces site-specific theatre and performance as it has been developed in Latin America and in Chile. It then illustrates the specific urban spatialities constituting the main nodes of the theatre piece as an interactive city tour, describing the concrete process of construction and rehearsal of the play, as a shared creative process engaging with the social and material landscape of the (post)colonial city.

in Performing the jumbled city
The Santa Lucia / Welen Hill – Colectivo MapsUrbe

Chapter 4 takes place in the Santa Lucía/Welen Hill, whose double name in Spanish and Mapudungun already speaks of the tension embedded in it. Supposedly the place where the capital city was symbolically founded, the hill is the site for the materialisation of many national symbols and landmarks, yet in pre-Hispanic times the hill was an indigenous territorial reference both politically and spiritually. Still today it is one of the key sites for indigenous cultural and political mobilisation within the city. Fitting to both the display and the contestation of national ideologies and processes of racialisation, situated in the heart of Santiago’s city centre, the hill provides an almost 360-degree view of the city from above. In its ambivalence, this site stands as the location for a hybrid, mixed-up (champurria) and contradictory urban indigeneity, one able to ‘stain’, with bodily presence, the simulated ‘whiteness’ of the (post)colonial city. From the heights of the hill, multiple identities and belongings are claimed through fiction, re-enactment and poetry. In the last scene of the play Santiago Waria, the Comandante Boliviano leads utopian re-imaginations of the future, moving from which the chapter discusses the possibility of multiple modernities and broader decolonial and anticolonial stances.

in Performing the jumbled city