11. Cultural resistance

Abstract

Art is flourishing in Latin America and has increasingly engaged with struggles for equality, group identity, justice, and memory. Music, graffiti, and memorial art provide alternative means of expression to those mandated by mainstream media, rescuing the past and helping people to construct identities for the future.

Culture also provides a space for thought and discussion of some of the most contentious social issues.

Index

News about this chapter

No carnival in Recife

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While in the English-speaking world the annual pre-lenten extravaganza is usually called 'Carnival', with an 'i', in Brazil is it 'Carnaval'. Covid must be bad in Brazil, even carnivals are being postponed. My favourite, Recife, will not take place in February. A new date of 9–17 July has been set, but even this may be cancelled. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSjU_UhN-HI 2020 Carnival in Olinda/Recife. Video: OneMayWolfPack, Feb 25 2020 This is not the first time Recife has thought about such a drastic step. In February 1926 the government refused to permit the usual pre-carnival processions and rumours circulated that carnival might be banned. Then it was...

Chile: The Mole Agent

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Award-winning Chilean documentary filmmaker Maite Alberdi unveils her new documentary 'The Mole Agent', which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and has been met with veneration from critics. Unusual, stylish and poignant, the film will be released in the UK on 11 December.

Latin America’s Oscar Contenders

In recent years, this highest award in the filmmaking business has been kind to Latin American filmmakers, especially Mexican directors: Since 2014 five directing awards were won by Alfonso Cuarón (for Gravity in 2014 and Roma in 2019), Alejandro González Iñárritu (for Birdman in 2015 and The Revenant in 2016), and Guillermo del Toro (for The Shape of Water in 2018). The Oscars 2021 submissions from Latin America are:

EmpoderArte uses film to empower Peruvian women

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EmpoderArte, a Peruvian-based NGO which offers a decentralised film education to women, Karoline organises and runs workshops up and down Peru, mobilising hundreds of women to discover and embrace the emancipatory power of storytelling.

Colombia: street art and social justice in Bogotá

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A virtual dialogue was organised to discuss Alba Griffin's new chapter in Pedagogías de la disidencia en América Latina, titled ‘No Somos Falsos Somos Positivos: teorías vernáculas sobre la violencia política y cotidiana en el puente del grafitero’.

Videos

Chile: La caravana de las Danzas

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The 2018 Caravana de las Danzas 2018, dancing in La Plaza de Talca and taking a walk around the Barrio en Colores, an open...

Towards a Living Amazon: Rios de Encontro European tour

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Rios de Encontro presents the origins and eco-cultural vision of the AfroRaiz Collective of young afro-indigenous performance-educators from...

Pintó La Isla

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Pintó la isla is a project of urban art developed in Isla Maciel, Avellanada, Buenos Aires. The aim is to integrate the neighbourhood into...

Rebeca Lane

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The Youtube channel of Rebeca Lane

Mujeres Ajchowen – XIMONIK

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Video: Hemispheric Institute, 2018

About the Author

Louise Morris is a journalist, audio and TV producer. She specializes in women’s rights and the intersection between art and politics. Louise works producing for NPR.

She previously worked producing a daily TV magazine programme. She has written for The Wire, Delayed Gratification and BBC News Online, among others.

Interviewees

Iván Brasil (Los del Puente): interviewed in Villa Isla Maciel, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 27 May 2017 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

Manuel Carrasquilla, aka El Zorro (Casa Kolacho): interviewed in Medellín on 15 June 2017 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

Ana, Mauricio and Diego (Dexpierte street art collective): interviewed in Bogotá on 8 June 2017 by Louise Morris. Translated by Matthew Kingston.

DJLu (graffiti artist): interviewed in Bogotá on 10 June 2017 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

Daniel Hernández-Salazar (photographer): interviewed in Guatemala City on 25 June 2017 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

Juan Gabriel Gómez Alborello (Universidad Nacional de Colombia): interviewed in Bogotá on 12 June 2017 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

Stephanie Janaina (dancer and choreographer): interviewed in Mexico City on 5 July 2017 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

Rebeca Lane (hip hop artist): interviewed via email on 19 May 2014 and 4 June 2018 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

Totó la Momposina (singer): interviewed in Norwich, UK, on 19 May 2017 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

Brian Sánchez (Pintó La Isla): interviewed in Villa Isla Maciel, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 27 May 2017 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

Urián Sarmiento (Sonidos Enraizados): interviewed in Bogotá on 9 June 2017 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

Clara Alicia Sen Sipac (Mujeres Ajchowen): interviewed in Sololá, Guatemala, on 26 June 2017 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

References

Bigda, L. (2015) ‘A military-backed comedian will be Guatemala’s next president. Activists aren’t laughing, The Nation, 2 November

CEH (1999) ‘Guatemala: memory of silence’, Report of the Commission for Historical Clarification, Conclusions and Recommendations, (CEH), English summary

Cepeda, E. (2018) ‘Tu Pum Pum: as reggaeton goes pop, never forget the genre’s Black roots’, Remezcla

Delgado, M. (2013) ‘The museum is in the streets: the Itinerant Museum of Art for Memory’, Globality-gmu.net

Martínez, M. (2013) ‘Peru’s painful mirror’, ICTJ.org

Sanchez, F. (2017) ‘Amid tear gas, Venezuela violinist symbolizes hope for peace’, AP News, 5 June

Villegas, R. (2018) ‘This video from Costa Rican rapper Macha Kiddo is a powerful indictment of transphobia’, Remezcla

Further reading

General

– Hierro, L. (2016) ‘Casa Kolacho: La violencia se cura con hip hop’, El País (in Spanish)

– Morris, L. (2017) ‘‘A way of healing’: Art and memory in Latin America’, BBC News

Visual art

– Basciano, O. (2018) ‘Cuban artists fear crackdown after Tania Bruguera arrest’, The Guardian

– Bellucci, J. (2016) ‘Llena de arte y color la Isla Maciel para “romper estigmas”’, Clarín (in Spanish)

– DJLU (n.d.) DJLU (profile), Street Art & Graffiti

– Gonzalez, D. (2012) ‘Angels Watch Over Memories of War’, The New York Times

– Gonzalez, D. (2013) ‘A Quest for Justice in Guatemala’, The New York Times

– Higgins, C. (2018) ‘Detained, grilled, denounced: Tania Bruguera on life in Cuba – and her Turbine Hall show’, The Guardian

– Kellaway, V. (2011) ‘Banksy of Bogotá: Colombian Graffiti Artist DJLu’, Banana Skin Flip Flops

– Morrison, C. (2017) ‘Graffiti vs the ‘Beautiful City’: Urban Policy and Artistic Resistance in São Paulo’, LSE Latin America and Caribbean Centre

– Vargas, S. (2015) ‘Seizing public space’, Development and Cooperation

Music

– Garsd, J. (2015) ‘Cumbia: The Musical Backbone of Latin America’, alt.Latino

– Guy, J. (2016) ‘Life as a Female Rapper in Guatemala, One of the Most Dangerous Places on Earth to be a Woman’, Noisey

– Haberman, C. (2018) ‘He Died Giving a Voice to Chile’s Poor. A Quest for Justice Took Decades.’, The New York Times

– Jessel, E. (2017) ‘Chocolate Remix: the lesbian reggaeton artist taking on the ‘supermachos’’, The Guardian

– Nelson, S. (2018) ‘Using Music to Fight for Women’s Rights, Meet Guatemalan Rapper Rebeca Lane’, Culture Trip

– Salpicón, S. (2017) ‘‘No voy a censurarme para no incomodarles’: Rebeca Lane is breaking boundaries with hip-hop’, Sounds and Colours

– Slater, R. (2018) ‘An introduction to cumbia in 20 essential records’, The Vinyl Factory

Theatre and performance art

– Breukel, C. and Cader-Frech, M. (2016) ‘Performing El Salvador – Contemporary Art: A Social and Political Gauge’, ReVista