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The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies presents a conversation and Q&A about the film MAXIMA (2019) with its director Claudia Sparrow, and Christopher Santiago (CUNY - Staten Island), moderated by Odi Gonzales (NYU CLACS). The film will be available to watch prior to this event, with access provided upon registration.
Co-Sponsored by The Center for Media, Culture and History at NYU.
About the film:
MAXIMA follows Peruvian indigenous farmer Máxima Acuña in her fight to protect her land as she stands up to the largest gold producer in the world: US-based Newmont Mining Corporation.
Throughout Máxima’s fight for justice, the film provides an illustrative case study in the tactics used by transnational corporations to commit human rights violations and environmental crimes, the role played by non-profits and The World Bank, and, ultimately, the resilience of one woman who refuses to back down.
About the Speakers:
Claudia Sparrow was born and raised in Lima, Peru, Claudia has been recognized as one of the ten prominent female filmmakers in Peru. Her AFI film EL AMERICANO won a 2009 Emmy Award in the drama category and she was a recipient of the 2009 Franklin J. Schaffner Fellow Award for directing EL AMERICANO.
Claudia's first feature film I REMEMBER YOU, starring Stefanie Butler and Joe Egender, premiered at the 2015 Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles where it won the "Best Feature Length Dramatic Film" Award. I REMEMBER YOU had a theatrical release in 2016 and it's currently available on all major SVOD platforms.
MAXIMA, her feature-length documentary film about Peruvian activist Máxima Acuña, recently premiered at HotDocs where it won the prestigious Audience Award. Claudia is a 2018 Film Independent Fellow.
Christopher Santiago is a sociocultural anthropologist who earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University. Drawing on years of fieldwork in Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru, his work asks how was magic separated from the history of the West? How has the imagination been dominated and domesticated? How does this give rise to different temporalities of hysteria? What is the potential of cultural forms widely considered false, fictitious, and counter to truth? Such questions have led him to diverse but ultimately connected points: for example, deep engagement with the ideas of renaissance magician Giordano Bruno, as well as the filmmaker, anthologist, and anthropologist Harry Smith. Santiago's dissertation "¡Conga No Va Carajo!" concerns peasant resistance to transnational mega-gold mines in Cajamarca, Peru, where he argues that "experience itself is an act of revolt". He is interested in theory and praxis of cultural resistance in the form of songs, stories, jokes and dreams, as well as direct political actions in the face of state-corporate repression and environmental end-times. This resistance movement in Peru is founded on peasant experience, now mobilized as a powerful spiritual weapon. Facing the death of the Earth, the resurgence of Pacha Mama consciousness in South America becomes a contemporary manifestation of Andean messianism, one that builds on older narratives of Inca and Andean gods whose return casts out the Spanish and redeems history. Santiago's dissertation asks: "In our age of global meltdown, what is the dreamweapon that would allow the voices of Nature to speak once again?"
Odi Gonzales (Moderator) is a native Quechua speaker, researcher, translator, and poet. He has published several scholarly books in the field of Latin American Literature, and many multilingual collections of poetry. He has led the Quechua language program at New York University's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies since 2008.
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