‘Proximities/Distances’: Theatre, Performance, and Dance Conference

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Creators and performers from all over Latin America and Spain will converge at the King Juan Carlos Center (KJCC) next week for ‘Proximities/Distances’, a two-day event that will explore ideas and practices of proximity and distance in contemporary Spanish and Latin American theatre, performance and dance.

Drawing on the current interest in relational strategies and investigating the connections between art and audiences, the aesthetic and the socio-political, it will examine a diverse range of dramaturgies that bring these different media into contact.

The event is curated by Cristina Colmena (PhD Candidate, NYU Spanish Department) and Ana Sánchez Acevedo (PhD Candidate, CUNY Graduate Center). Participants will include La Phármaco (Spain), MAPA Teatro (Colombia), Íntegro (Peru), Claudio Tolcachir (Argentina), Daniel Salguero (Colombia), Pablo Remón (Spain), Alejandro Moreno (Chile), Arantxa Araujo (Mexico), David Espinosa (Spain), and more.

Please join us Tuesday, September 27 and Wednesday, September 28 at the KJCC Auditorium for this wonderful gathering of Latin American and Spanish creators and performers!

CLACS Welcomes Chilean Author José Ignacio Valenzuela in First U.S. Book Tour Presenting ‘Trilogía del Malamor y Malaluna’

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The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) in collaboration with the Embassy of Chile proudly invites you to join author José Ignacio Valenzuela in his first U.S. tour presenting Trilogy Malamor and its prequel Malaluna on Monday, September 26th at the KJCC Auditorium.

Trilogía del Malamor is a wildly successful trilogy by José Ignacio Valenzuela and is considered the first fantasy series of Latin America. Composed of the books “Hasta el fin del mundo”, “La raíz del mal” and “El árbol de la vida,” this wonderful series full of adventure, romance, enigmas and suspense delights and surprises readers with endearing characters and an unexpected ending. Set in the small mysterious town of Almahue, meaning “place of phantoms” in the Mapuche language, at the edge of the cold sea of Patagonia, it is a place where magic and fantasy abounds and where the desire to love can kill.

Malaluna is a prequel to the series released at the end of last year. Since its release it has captivated fans and new readers by recounting the previous and unknown story of the characters that give life to the Malamor saga. Valenzuela recently sold the film rights to the trilogy, so a film version of this magical story is pending.

José Ignacio Valenzuela has a vast career as an author and screenwriter for film and television in Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States. He has published a number of novels and short fiction, and has also served as professor and instructor of creative writing.

CLACS has also invited Ángeles Donoso Macaya, Associate Professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College and expert in contemporary Latin American literature, and Chilean author Carlos Labbé. The panelists will discuss the writing of the trilogy, its reception in Latin America, the upcoming films, and more generally, the development of contemporary young adult literature in the region.

The books of the Malamor trilogy will be on sale at the event. The event will be held in Spanish and it is free and open to the public.

Please join CLACS and the Embassy of Chile in celebrating Chilean literature and José Ignacio Valenzuela’s work by joining us on September 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the KJCC Auditorium.

 

CLACS 50th Inaugural Event: Engaging Latin America, Building Democracy

Layout 1The year the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies’ (CLACS) celebrates its golden anniversary. Every significant milestone deserves reflection. In honor of our 50th year of existence, we revisited our department’s history.

The early history of the department is inextricably tied to its founding director, the gregarious Dr. Kalman Silvert. A political scientist and first-rate scholar of Latin America, he was tasked with helping to craft the early vision of NYU’s Ibero-American Language and Area Center (IALAC) under Dean George Winchester Stone Jr.

At the time of his directorship, Kalman Silvert also worked as Social Science Advisor to the Ford Foundation. Prior to his arrival at NYU he served as the first president of the Latin-American Studies Association (LASA). Silvert was instrumental in shaping an early model of internationally focused interdisciplinary studies and in helping to shape a community of regional experts in New York City. One of Silvert’s lasting legacies is his commitment to promoting scholarship, education and democratic society.

Today our center is greatly informed by this early commitment to democracy and intellectual rigor within Latin American and Caribbean Studies and it is reflected in the rich diversity of our students, exceptional language courses, community relationships, events, and scholarship.

It is in the spirit of celebrating our history and the contributions of Latin Americanists like Dr. Kalman Silvert that we  invite the entire NYU and CLACS community to help kick off the celebration of  our golden anniversary with our 50th Anniversary Inaugural Reception and Book Presentation this Friday, September 16th.

We will feature four Latin Americanists that will discuss the legacy of political scientist and CLACS founding director Kalman H. Silvert. We have invited important scholars Jorge Balán, Abraham F. Lowenthal, Chris Mitchell, Martin Weinstein to discuss the recently published book “Kalman Silvert: Engaging Latin America, Building Democracy.”

The book presentation will be preceded by the CLACS 50th Anniversary Inaugural Reception at 4:30pm. This event is free and open to the public. Please join us this upcoming Friday to kick off our celebration of CLACS 50th Anniversary!

‘A New-New Left in Latin America?’ with Verónika Mendoza Event Recap

Thanks to everyone who joined us last Friday for our event ‘A New-New Left in Latin America?: The Challenge of Progressive Politics in the Midst of a Conservative Turn.’ More than two hundred students, professors, activists, local media, Peruvian journalists and community members joined us at KJCC Auditorium to hear former Peruvian Presidential candidate Verónika Mendoza speak about the rise of  a ‘New-New left’ in the region.

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CLACS Assistant Director Omar Dauhajre presented the event and panelists. Speakers included essayist and poet Mariela Dreyfus who highlighted the feminist activism in Peru and Jose Luis Rénique, historian and principal professor at Lehman College, who discussed democracy, education, and the promise of the left. Panelist Paula Garcia shifted the conversation to the challenges of the Frente Amplio as an organization.

Verónika shared her perspectives about the challenges of the Left in the new Latin American scenario, her strong results in notoriously conservative Peru, and her vision of the future. One of her strongest messages was,  “The absence of the left in national politics represents an opportunity to create something new.”

You can watch a video of the event on the CLACS NYU Youtube page, included below!


Thanks again for joining us, please be sure to learn more about our events on our webpage here.

Learn Quechua and Haitian Kreyòl at CLACS this Fall!

CLACS is proud to offer beginner and intermediate classes in Quechua and Haitian Kreyòl to undergraduate and graduate students from NYU, Columbia University,  and Lehman College this Fall semester!

These two vibrant languages are spoken widely, both in their respective diasporas, and in New York and other cities in the United States. As a gateway to new understanding and points of view, we think learning these important indigenous languages is a celebration of the diversity of the Americas. Language is a form of understanding and relating to the world and through the study of a non-European language, we think we can all better share in these diverse cultural perspectives!

Keep reading to learn more about Quechua and Haitian Kreyòl:

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Quechua is an Andean indigenous language spoken by over 10 million people and is designated a priority language by the Department of Education. Including the variant Kichwa (or Quichwa), Quechua is the most widely spoken native american language in the Americas. Also known as runa simi (“people’s language”), it is spoken in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, with the largest number of native speakers in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru.

Quechua courses through CLACS will satisfy both the language requirement of the undergraduate Latin American Studies major, and of the College of Arts of Sciences and Graduate School language requirements. To learn more about the class and hear from previous students, see here. Courses currently being taught include Quechua I, II and III.

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Haitian Kreyòl is one of Haiti’s two official languages. The majority of the population in Haiti speaks Kreyòl, and it is widely spoken in the Haitian diaspora, which has a strong presence in New York and other cities in the United States. Worldwide, more than 10 million people speak Kreyòl and it is at the heart of Haitian musical and literary traditions.

As a part of the Indigenous and Diasporic Language Consortium, students at New York University, Columbia University and Lehman College can enroll in Kreyòl. Elementary Haitian Kreyòl I and II are currently open this semester. Please see the current course schedule.

These courses are now open to students and follow these links for more on our course listings for Haitian Kreyòl and Quechua . Sign up today!

Welcome Back and Upcoming CLACS Events

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The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at NYU would like to welcome back our students and faculty and wishes all our followers a happy Fall!

We kicked off the semester by enthusiastically welcoming our newest MA students at orientation. We are excited to have such a dynamic group begin a new academic year.

We would like to usher in the new semester with an amazing set of events at our center. Some of the events we have planned for the Fall include a talk with Peruvian activist Verónika Mendoza about the challenges of the Left in the new Latin American scenario; a POETEA showcase to celebrate Quechua & Kreyòl  with a night of poetry and tea; a panel presentation of the book “Kalman Silvert: Engaging Latin America, Building Democracy,” to celebrate CLACS’s founding director and the center’s 50th anniversary; and and a presentation of the Chilean fantasy series “Trilogía del Malamor.”

Stay tuned for CLACS events this fall by joining the CLACS email list, liking CLACS at NYU on Facebook, and following us on Twitter at @clacs_nyu!

The Complexities of Mourning

Posted by Angela Arias Zapata – PhD student.  Media, Culture, and Communication NYU 

During my visit to the Casa Arana building, I could witness the sadness with which the young men that guided me through this site regarded the failed project of a cabinet-making workshop that I described in my last post. The other sign that I interpreted as a gesture of solemn sadness, was their attitude as we visited the cepo. A cepo is a yoke for humans -that is the exact meaning of the word-, but people in La Chorrera actually use it to speak about a small room next to the stairs of Casa Arana, were indigenous people were tortured and murdered during the rubber boom. It is now a warehouse that the school administration uses to keep musical instruments (trumpets and drums), as well as supplies for the school activities (stationary materials, for instance). The three young men told me that this was the place where the overseers punished those who did not fulfilled the amount of rubber requested from them by the Casa Arana Company. One of the punishments, they added, was to leave the person hanging from the columns for an entire day. They also mentioned that the overseers would bring dogs and make them lick the wounds of those punished. One of them sighed as he mentioned how thousands of people died inside that small room. They explained how, afterwards, all the bodies were put on top of each other in a rectangular space on the ground limited by stone divisions, right between the cepo and the stairs.

They didn’t give me more details about the tortures that took place there and I didn’t want to ask them more about it, since what they told me was part of public reports. However, I kept thinking about the fact that their demeanor in this specific spot only repeated when we were at the “cabinet-making cemetery.” It’s not that one situation is more or less important than the other, or even comparable in terms of what could be more significant for the people of La Chorrera. But they have at least one element in common: a feeling of failure, related to a project of modernization that brought violence and death -in the case of the Casa Arana rubber exploitation- or  disappointment for a promise of progress in which the indigenous people would receive all the benefits.

This kind of mourning towards progress repeated in many instances of my stay at La Chorrera. It was the feeling most similar that I found to pain for the past as it is traditionally portrayed in western contexts, as well as promoted by the Colombian state through its policies of memorialization. To my surprise, in the case of the project of building a museum at the site were the Casa Arana Company built its emporium of slavery and death, what seems to be more relevant to the inhabitants of La Chorrera is not to give the space an atmosphere of solemnity or sacredness; this is not a place where they would go to mourn and remember those who died there. Instead, the project represents the possibility to reclaim and reaffirm a status that was historically denied to them: that of Colombian citizens in full rights. Proof of this that what is most important to them in terms of building the museum is what it would represent in terms of their relationship with the Colombian state.  Continue reading