Join the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies for conference sessions hosted at New York University on Thursday, September 8 and Friday, September 9. Please RSVP at https://jlacs2022.eventbrite.com. These conference sessions are hosted in collaboration with the Department of Spanish & Portuguese and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
Thursday, September 8
3 pm – 6 pm, Modern Languages and Literatures Building, 13-19 University Place, room 222
Gabriela Zamorano (El Colegio de Michoacán)
Impossible archives. Damage, fragility and memory in visual archives of Purépecha communities in Michoacán
Talking about archives involves referring to collections of objects and/or documents that have been accumulated, preserved, and organized. Archives are usually available in the present and open to possible future uses. Among the infinite generation of archives, particularly of domestic ones, only a few of them become preserved and public. Building on Derrida's notion of "archive fever" as the desire for archiving, the potential destruction of the archive, and the power paradoxes of this tension in terms of memory, temporality and patrimony, this presentation tells the stories of some local visual archives in Purépecha communities of Michoacán that either became destroyed, that remain in precarious preserving conditions, or that have been built around a concern for documenting the passing of time and death.
Naara Fontinele dos Santos (Visiting Fellow, Princeton University)
Retrieving Images, Retrieving Histories: Reimagining an Unresolved Colonial Past
In 1909, photographer Dana Merrill was commissioned by a U.S. Railway Company to document a neocolonial engineering feat in Latin America: the construction of the Madeira-Mamoré Railroad. Merrill’s images showcased this ambitious enterprise intended to expand corporate capitalism in the Western Amazon rainforest, inscribing a promise of modernization in the "land of the rubber-gum tree." In 2012, almost a century later, I started working with this photographic archive, interrogating the fabrication of colonial representations, the construction of imaginaries and the writings of History. Retrieving these images and the multiple histories embodied within helps recognize their possibilities for inquiring futures. This research process — existing in the intersection of an analysis of archival material and the creation of collaborative pedagogical projects – examines the collections looking particularly at traces of the invisible and the omissions within archiving.
About the Presenters
Gabriela Zamorano is a professor and researcher at the Center of Anthropological Studies at El Colegio de Michoacán, Mexico. Her work analyses the intersections between political anthropology and visual economies, principally in Mexico and Bolivia. She is the author of Indigenous Media and Political Imaginaries in Contemporary Bolivia (Nebraska, 2017).
Naara Fontinele dos Santos is an independent scholar and curator. Her forthcoming book, When Cinema Hides and Expands in the Heart of Disorder – The Critical Forces of Brazilian Documentary (1960-1976) is a study of Brazilian non-fictional cinematic forms. Naara is the co-founder and artistic director of BEIRA – Festival de Cinema de Porto Velho, a film festival in the Brazilian Amazon. She has curated numerous film cycles, including “Documentário: Invenção de formas/expressão crítica (1964 -1983)” at the Belo Horizonte International Short Film Festival.
Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies publishes articles on Latin American culture and on theoretical and historical approaches to cultural production in Latin America, including Caribbean, Latino/a and other diasporic, trans-regional formations. We are interested in work which investigates multiple modernities and the effects on societies and social practice of modernization and globalization, as well as articles that reflect on the plural meanings of culture and cultural field, and the place of cultural theory.