Category Archives: Photo Essay

CLACS Faculty Pamela Calla Wins Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award


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It is with great honor that we share with the #CLACSatNYU community that our faculty member Pamela Calla recently won the Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award for excellence in teaching, leadership, social justice advocacy, and community building.

Professor Calla is a distinguished anthropologist, cherished member of the #CLACSatNYU community, and a mentor to many of our students. She grew up in a mining town in southern Bolivia. Her understanding and construction of collaborative political, pedagogical and research approaches dealing with difference and inequality were shaped by this life experience.

Before coming to CLACS at NYU, she was the co-founder and director of the Bolivian Observatory on Racism. This observatory had the mandate of research, capacity-building, and grassroots action against current manifestations of racism. She was later co-founder and co-coordinator of the “Red de Investigación Acción Anti Racista en las Américas,” an initiative which linked organizations with similar mandates across the Americas, as well as focused on capacity-building and comparative-action research in the creation of pertinent anti-racist strategies.

Professor Calla’s research has also focused on indigenous women in social movements in Latin America. Black feminism’s intersectional analysis and Chicana feminism’s border analysis in the U.S. became crucial to her action-research with indigenous women in Bolivia. This experience led to the co-creation, alongside colleagues and students, of a working group on Feminist Constellations and Intercultural Paradigms at CLACS. She is now writing a book, “Indigenous women and the hegemony of a cultural revolution in Bolivia.”

We are honored to have Professor Pamela Calla at #CLACSatNYU and celebrate her achievements and the positive impact she continues to have among our students.

¡Felicidades profesora!

An Address by the President of Paraguay

On September 29th, the Center for the Latin American and Caribbean Studies partnered with the office of the President of NYU, and the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement (NYU Law), for a presentation by the President of Paraguay H.E. Horacio Cartes. The event, hosted at the New York University School of Law, D’Agostino Hall, gave a unique opportunity to members of the NYU community to listen to a Latin American head of state’s vision for his country. Students, faculty, media, and members of the Paraguayan community in New York, filled the 135 seat capacity room to hear about President Cartes’s proposals for making Paraguay “A Land of Opportunity,” as his presentation’s title stated. President Cartes also answered questions from the audience in a session moderated by Jorge Castañeda, Global Distinguished Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU.

Photos by ©NYU Photo Bureau: Hollenshead

Farewell 2014-2015 CLACS Cohort

Yesterday the CLACS 2014-2015 cohort presented their final projects of the Masters’ program. With the guidance and support of the Faculty, the students presented on a vast array of disciplines, from anthropology and journalism to literature and museology, providing an innovative look at topics related to Latin American and Caribbean Studies with impressive depth. Their research covered topics such as Quechua linguistics, gentrification in Ecuador, hipster culture in Cuba, the Palestinian migrant experience in Honduras, Afro-Mexican identity, diasporic Guatemalan literature, Chinese commerce in indigenous territories in Central America, among others. For the complete list of research projects, click here.

We are very proud of their accomplishments, and wish them all the best on what we are sure will be a successful future!

On “The Cuban Moment”

On “The Cuban Moment: Conversatorio on Cuba”

By Patrick Moreno-Covington

On December 17th President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Head of State, Raúl Castro, made simultaneous announcements of a diplomatic normalization in the relationship between the United States and Cuba. The surprise announcement was the culmination of 18 months of backroom negotiations between the two governments. As part of the new agreement the United States removes or reduces restrictions on travel, remittances, and banking, while Cuba has promised increased internet access, and the release of 53 people identified as political prisoners.

In the first of a series of discussions on Cuba planned by CLACS and the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, a distinguished panel of guests discussed the implications of the new agreement, recent experiences in Cuba, and the potential for a new “Cuban Moment.” The panel, gathered on January 28 at the KJCC Auditorium, included renowned Cuba scholars Odette Casamayor Cisneros, Ariana Hernández-Reguant, Jacqueline Loss, and Noelle Stout, the author Enrique del Risco, artist Coco Fusco, Damien Cave of the New York Times, and Ana Dopico, director of the King Juan Carlos Center, moderated by Jill Lane, director of CLACS.

In a packed house, each speaker had the opportunity to share their experiences and perspectives from their respective fields of expertise. One common thread through each of the presentations was that this “Moment” was not singular or particularly unique in Cuban history. For many on the panel, the opening of diplomatic relations reflects an “American Moment,” one moment in a cyclical period where the American populace has their collective imagination focused on the Caribbean island once again. Another common theme between the panelists was a sense of reserved optimism for the improvement in opportunities for the majority of Cubans. Many on the panel acknowledged that an increase in American banking opportunities, remittances, and the potential to import more foreign goods, could exacerbate existing forms of inequality. In this regard, this “Cuban Moment” could be a repetition of the many previous Cuban moments, as well as potentialities that have yet to be fulfilled.

Below are some pictures of The Cuban Moment: Conversatorio on Cuba.

To stay up to date with our Cuban Moment Series, follow CLACS on Facebook and Twitter. Join our mailing list for updates on all CLACS events. 

When Governments Kill Their Students: México Now

Scholars, artists, students, activists, and the public gathered for a Teach-In to explore the current crisis in México––and the role that U.S. policy has played in its creation.

Invited participants included Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Choir, The Illuminator Collective, Greg Grandin, Macarena Gomez-Barris, Gerardo Renique, Diana Taylor, Christy Thornton, María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, Isabel Gil Everaert, Rossana Reguillo, Antonio Zúñiga, Juan Carlos Ruiz, Marcial Godoy-Anativia.

This event was co-sponsored by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics, the Critical Tactics Lab (CTL), the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at NYU , and the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA).

Photos by José RAúl Guzmán CLACS MA Candidate

Álvaro García Linera, Vice President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia Visits CLACS

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies warmly welcomed the Vice President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Álvaro García Linera, as he discussed the process of building Bolivia’s political progress over ten years with Jorge Castañeda, NYU Global Distinguished Professor of Politics, having moderated the event.

Álvaro García Linera has been Vice President to Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous President, since 2006. A mathematician, empiric sociologist, former leader with the Ejercito Guerrillero Tupaj Katari (Guerrila Army Tupaj Katari, or EGTK0), and former political prisoner, García Linera has dedicated his career to the struggles of indigenous peoples and the working classes of Bolivia. He is author of numerous books, including Identidad boliviana: nación, mestizaje y plurinacionalidad (2014), Plebeian power: collective action and indigenous working-class and popular identities in Bolivia(2014), and Geopolítica de la Amazonía: poder hacendal-patrimonial y acumulación capitalista (2014).

Photos by CLACS MA Candidate José Raúl Guzmán.

Decolonizing Mestizaje Part III


El mundo al reves—a visual essay of the colloquium “Is It Possible to Decolonize Mestizaje.”

The event was organized by Professor Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, current Andrés Bello Chair in Latin American Culture and Civilization at the King Juan Carlos I Center at New York University.

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Quechua Celebration

The Runasimi Outreach Committee (ROC),  the Native American and Indigenous Students’ Group (NAISG) and the Movimiento Indígena organized Quechua Night and Celebration of Native Cultures. During the semester ROC hosted Quechua Conversation Nights and Quechua literature workshops with visiting scholar Gladys Camacho Rios.  They also publish a podcast series with interviews and conversation ins Quechua and Kichwa languages.

The event  brought together indigenous student and community groups for a night of Native dance and music performances. The atrium of the King Juan Carlos Center became the performance space for Silvercloud an inter-tribal Native American singing and dance group opened the event, Kalpulli Atlachinoll, an Aztec dance group and Steve Cotaquispe and Luis Aguilar performing the Danza de las Tijeras. Silvercloud opened the event with a drumming ceremony. Next, Kalpulli Atlachinoll officiated a blessing of the four corners. Steve Cotaquispe and Luis Aguilar performed a shortened version of the Danza de las tijeras, which can last for hours. The dance in performed in teams, with each dancer challenging the other.


Kalpulli Atlachinoll.

Steve Cotaquispe and Luis Aguilar.

CLACS Photo Contest

This past November, Master’s students participated in a CLACS photo contest with images from Latin America and the Caribbean. Here we present a picture from each participant.

CLACS students are not only brilliant academics, but also remarkable observers and photographers!

Photo by Charlie Uruchima

Photo by Charlie Uruchima

Charlie Uruchima took the above picture in Otavalo, in the summer of 2012. Otavalo is located in the northern Andean region of Ecuador. “I went up to Ecuador that summer to practice my Kichwa after having taken an intensive summer Quechua course in Cusco, Peru. The photo was captured along my way to the town’s main plaza,” said Charlie. The young woman shown in the picture is a shoe shiner belonging to the Asociación de Betuneros de Otavalo (The Shoe Shiners Association of Otavalo).  The cart on the foreground is used to transport her shoe shining equipment (shoe shining kit, chair, umbrella, etc.). The picture captures the viewer for its nice composition and intense colors. The peeling green wall resembles an abstract painting.

The following picture displays a young girl leaning on a brick wall. In the out of focus background there is another standing figure.
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A Visual Journey Through Afro-Latin Soundscapes

During the Fall 2013 semester, Professor Dylon Robbins taught the interdisciplinary seminar Afro-Latin Soundscapes. In the accompanying colloquium series, CLACS hosted a series of musicians and scholars that spoke of the way music crosses cultural boundaries.

Without mixers and soundboards the songs have taken on a organic sound that has helped shape hip-hop’s role as a legitimate expression of Cuban culture. Hailing from the industrial suburbs of Havana, the husband and wife team Alexey and Magia formed Obsesión in 1996. Alexey has become a nexus for various forms of artistic expression, promoting the convergence of painting, sculpture, dance, and poetry within the hip-hop scene. Magia is known as an eloquent advocate of women’s rights.

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