Indigenous Languages on the Airwaves

Posted by Ximena Málaga Sabogal, PhD student in Anthropology at NYU

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Norma interviews professor Equicio Paxi in Radio Onda Azul

It is 3 am and, if I am to believe my cellphone, it is also -9°C in Puno, Peru. Even if there was heating in the place where I am staying (and there is none) I would probably still be cold. But my excitement compensates the weather as I am heading once again to Radio Onda Azul (ROA) for its “Quechua Rimayninchik” weekday program. Andean music, plenty of jokes, calls from communities far away, but also reflections on the state of indigenous peoples nowadays: all of these and more come together from 3 to 5 am. Chaska and Norma, two women in their early 30s, are in charge of facilitating these exchanges and making sure that the conversation keeps flowing.

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Women’s Work and Sororidad in Ecatepec

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High school students participate in performace protest in Hank Gonzales, Edomex (Nidia Bautista)

Posted by Nidia Bautista – MA Candidate in Global Journalism and CLACS at NYU

Feminicide is defined as the extreme violence against women due to their gender, marked by impunity that violates their human rights and results in death. It’s a word that names the violence inflicted on women who were strangled, raped, tortured, mutilated, and killed. I’ve been researching how and why this is happening in Ecatepec, Edomex. The more I research and interview the issue, the more I notice that women, in addition to living in a context of continual violence, are doing the work to denounce and end this violence.

I have interviewed women family members of victims of feminicide, survivors of violence, and women human rights defenders. I have also interviewed feminist academics that focus on the issue. I have taken a course on Feminicide in Mexico sponsored at Mexico City’s Museum of Memory and Tolerance. I have attended another similar conference at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). While I have found and spoken to a few men that work to denounce the violence, the majority of my sources are women. What is striking, and admittingly overwhelming, is that fighting feminicide has become women’s work.

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Welcome 2017 CLACS MA Cohort!

Big smiles and enthusiasm in the air characterized the mood this week as we welcomed our 2017 cohort with a series of events beginning  Monday, August 28. From registering to class and meeting advisors, to familiarizing with the Latin American and Caribbean City of New York, these activities were designed to help our new cohort get settled in school and getting a broader perspective of their new home.

Day 1 – Included an overview of CLACS with faculty, students and alumni, as well as a “nuts and bolts” session with the new cohort and a campus tour.

Day 2 – Two museum visits. One to El Museo del Barrio that included a guided visit to the NKAME and Debtfair exhibits. The other, to the Museum of the City of New York‘s exhibit Rythm and Power. This last one was guided by its curator and this year’s CLACS Visiting Scholar Derrick Leon Washington. The activities ended at the New York City Mayor’s West Indian American and Caribbean Heritage reception at the Gracie Mansion.

Day 3 – Started with the new cohort’s meetings with academic advisors. This was followed by a walking tour of the historic sites of the Puerto Rican community of Loisaida in the city’s Lower East Side neighborhood. Led by community leader and activist Iyawó Pepe Flores, the sightseeing tour took the group through various blocks that included lunch at Casa Adela, stops at gardens and casitas, the Nuyorican Poets Café, and a view of the current exhibit at Loisaida Inc.

“STUDYING (BRAZILIAN) CINEMA TODAY SHOULD BE BOTH A FORM OF RESISTANCE AND A STEP TOWARD VERNACULAR REVOLUTIONS…”

Posted by Leonard Cortana, PhD student in Cinema Studies, Tisch School of the Arts.

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14 August 2017 – Opening Ceremony for the UFF Graduate Students in Cinema Studies in Niteroi. The professors came one after the other with the same message summarised in this blog post’s title. Once again, the country is experiencing a major moment of political and economic crisis and the Arts are in danger. In the conversations I could hear in the corridors, some students worried that their departments would close down; others had no clue whether they would receive their doctoral stipends next month and some libraries reported that they would not authorise students to check out books anymore…

Opening ceremony of the UFF Graduate Studies in Cinema – followed by a Master Class given by Ismael Xavier on Allegory and Theatricality in Glauber Rocha’s films

I arrived in Rio de Janeiro primarily to do archival research on the development of Brazilian youth films / coming-of-age narratives since the 1990s. However, very quickly, the current context would provide me with a new layer, maybe even more interesting, to reflect on Brazilian cinema as a form of resistance. In my very first day in the archives, the archivist Fabio Vellozo, who would become my guide for the next four weeks, explained to me that the MAM Cinema and Visual Arts Archives hosted many meetings that gathered together cinema activists during the dictatorship. Since then, the Archives have assumed the mission to preserve the cinemas that have best represented the diversity of Brazil. And this task requires a lot of work from the staff working in the Institution. Unlike many scholars that spend only a few days at one archive location and proceed to work at different sites, I remained there for my entire stay, giving me the chance to actually taste everyday life in the place.

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The Poetic Imaginary of Miguel Urrelo Valdivia

Posted by Amanda Sommer Lotspike – MA Candidate at CLACS

This is Part II in a series of essays on the social life of the yareta, based on fieldwork supported by the Tinker Grant. Find Part I here.

 

Y llegan así, sin nada de nada, absoluto silencio
entre la página de un libro y el poema muerto
el vino del sueño quebrado en sus palabras
el sueño del vino embriagado en la esperanza

With these words, Miguel Urrelo Valdivia opens “Días,” a poem from his latest chapbook Jallp’ay, Tierra mía. Published with support from the National Corporation for Indigenous Development of Chile, Jallp’ay is Urrelo’s fifth book of poems and short stories. Among those are Cuentos de los Abuelos I, a compilation of oral histories passed down in the Alto Loa of San Pedro, Atacama, and II, a selection of new stories, which in Urrelo’s own words “are created by me, but emulate stories that were transmitted orally.”

Jallp’ay is Urrelo’s first bilingual Quechua-Spanish collection of poetry, an effort to reclaim Quechua as a pillar of nortino cultural identity. Raised in the small mining town of Amincha, Urrelo moved to the city of Calama with his mother and siblings at age ten following the passing of his father. “Calama welcomed us the way that all cities welcome indigenous migrants,” he told me as we sat, paused in the city square one morning, “with discrimination, with ignorance, with that [type of] scorn directed at indigenous communities.”

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Ecatepec as Mexico City’s Peripheral Edge

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Hank Gonzles neighborhood in Ecatepec, Mexico State (Nidia Bautista)

Posted by Nidia Bautista – MA Candidate in Global Journalism and CLACS at NYU

Sitting in a cafe in the heart of Mexico City, my source, a high school teacher and organizer working in Ecatepec, Mexico State (Edomex), describes the most populous municipality in the country as a perfect example of the peripheral edge. Ecatepec is the periphery, he says, abundant in neoliberalism’s human waste and a place especially dangerous for women.

He has been organizing youth in Ecatepec to denounce feminicide through performance and protest for years and after initially talking via telephone we agree to meet in Mexico City’s Centro Histórico. As one of my first interviews upon starting my reporting, I felt safe conducting the interview in a neighborhood I’m very familiar with. I’ve spent over three years studying, working and reporting in Mexico City. Navigating the city comes easy for me and despite reports that the violence that’s plagued the rest of the country for years is now more visible in the capital, I have always felt comfortable traveling the city by myself. I have learned to be a fearless, confident, and street-savvy denizen in Mexico City.

This familiarity however was confined to the borders of the city and before this research trip I had traveled to Mexico State only a handful of times. Among other challenges, I have confronted the fear and uncertainty that comes with learning to navigate an unfamiliar and difficult transit system and asserting myself as a woman journalist in one of the most dangerous places for women in the country.

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App Economies: When Economic Blockades Create New Industries

Posted by Sam Kellogg — MA candidate in Media, Culture, and Communications at NYU

In my last blog post I addressed some of the nuances and contradictions of Internet adoption for contemporary Cuban sociality and economics, and discussed how these nuances bear on the ways we think about development. In this post, I’d like to unpack some of the unexpected consequences of the US economic blockade against Cuba, and explain how massive demand has created a unique new local industry around the installing and updating of apps.

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Wifi-enabled public parks are sites of shared virtuality.

One of the more curious, and frustrating, consequences of the US economic embargo for Internet users in the island is that the Apple App Store and Google Play Store become unusable. Since Apple and Google are US companies, they’d be breaking the law if they did business with Cuba without explicit permission. To avoid this, these companies have implemented safeguards: if you try to download an app from the Apple App Store in Cuba, Apple’s servers will detect your location and throw an error code (1009—there are only a handful of places in the world you’ll see this error code). If Apple were a Canadian company you’d be able to download apps in Cuba as normal, but Apple must follow US government regulations, making it that much more difficult for Cubans to use the limited access available to them.

Of course, there are always routes around these kinds of restrictions, passageways available to circumnavigate a barrier. The easiest way to get around Apple’s error code is to install and use a VPN service to trick Apple’s servers into thinking you are in another country: there are a wide variety of free and commercial VPN services available; they are relatively easy to use and work well (read this if you want to learn how to choose and use one). If you don’t already have a VPN app on your phone when you enter Cuba, however, (and how would you if you’re Cuban), you’re once again in trouble: the only way to install apps on an iPhone is through the App Store, and that goes for VPN services as well as games or dating apps.

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Connecting to public wifi using a scratch-off card.

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