Tag Archives: Bolivia

Ejercitando la Mirada Ch’ixi. Cuatro Semanas en La Paz, Bolivia.

Posted by Guillermo Severiche – MFA Student at Creative Writing in Spanish at NYU

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La función más efectiva del colonialismo, según Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, ha sido la de hacer que las palabras no designen, sino encubran. Los discursos públicos se han convertido, dice también, en formas de no-decir ya naturalizados; y esto luego estalla en actos colectivos violentos e incluso irracionales (pienso en las diferentes manifestaciones que ocurren en el mundo con sus consecuentes muertos y heridos, por ejemplo). Es por eso que las imágenes merecen ser consideradas como fuentes cognoscitivas de alto valor teórico e histórico respecto a su tiempo de producción, ya que pueden decir cosas que las palabras no alcanzan o no tienen permitido presentar. Pero este tiempo no permanece aislado ni ajeno al bagaje de lo que muchos otros hicieron en el pasado: vivimos en un presente poroso, atravesado espontánea y también sistemáticamente por los resabios de los actos benévolos, rebeldes, violentos, opresivos y egoístas de la historia que perviven en lo que vamos haciendo y atestiguando día a día. El presente, dijo Silvia en un encuentro, es una superficie sintagmática en la que los diferentes horizontes políticos y sociológicos vuelven a aparecer todos juntos, apelmazados a veces, contradictorios también.

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La Memoria Circundante o La Magdalena de Proust es el Picante de Pollo: Tres Semanas en Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Posted by Guillermo Severiche – MFA Student at Creative Writing in Spanish at NYU

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Poco antes de llegar a Cochabamba releía la frase de Por el camino de Swann en donde el narrador sumerge su magdalena en el té y el recuerdo de pronto lo invade. Allí entiende que del pasado antiguo – una vez todo muerto y derrumbado – lo que más subsiste son los olores y sabores. Allí esperan, dice, aguardan entre las ruinas salvaguardando la memoria incólume de las personas pasadas que han dejado de ser, de los momentos matutinos que quizás significaron más de lo que pensábamos. Al aterrizar en Cochabamba tuve la sensación de un retorno ajeno. Al principio pensé que había algo familiar en todo esto, que volvía a la casa que hacía poco había vuelto a abandonar. Al día siguiente y durante las próximas tres semanas, fueron muchos los indicios que me permitieron entender que los recuerdos persisten en zonas geográficas ajenas para uno pero cercanas a aquellos del pasado; que es posible recordar cosas desconocidas porque significaron la vida diaria de los seres que de alguna u otra forma nos definieron. Un plato de sopa, un pedazo de pan, algunos modos de habla y entonaciones de voz, me trajeron a la memoria cosas de mis abuelos que llevaron consigo al emigrar hacia la Argentina como modos cotidianos de vida y que han permanecido a mi alrededor más allá de su muerte.

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Museum Education Accessibility in the Heart of Bolivia

Posted by Arlean Dawes – MA Candidate at CLACS /Museum Studies Concentration at NYU

The theme of accessibility is arguably one of the most important aspects to any museum. Accessibility takes on different forms such as architectural accessibility in ensuring that museum facilities are manageable for all visitors to the museum, or facilitating certain services specifically for visitors that may need further assistance to fully enjoy the museum visit experience. The creation and accessibility of educational material has been my main focus during my time at INIAM- Museo Arqueológico in Cochabamba (Cochabamba Archeology Museum). In a city such as Cochabamba, that is known as the ‘heart of Bolivia’ for its central location, it is also a major hub for transportation conflicts known as bloqueos or paros de transporte. While these occurrences are not uncommon, they contribute to the difficulty in being able to rely on school groups getting to the museum and the importance of having resources coming from the museum to the schools and communities. INIAM is certainly not brimming with constant public programs with education and community participation as the focus. The interactive educational program is the only set project of the museum that deals directly with school groups visiting the museum and participating in something other than the general museum tour. However, for those schools that are not able to send their students to the museum, we created 6 educational foldables based on the themes that the interactive program covers.

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Museum Education in ‘La Llajta’

Posted by Arlean Dawes – MA Candidate at CLACS /Museum Studies Concentration at NYU

Cochabamba, the third largest city in Bolivia is affectionately referred to as ‘La Llajta’ which in the Quechua language means community or town. The name Cochabamba itself also derives from Quechua. La llajta has become my second home over the past several years and this summer it is serving as my base for field research. As a CLACS student with a concentration in Museum Studies, my experience is rather unique in that I get the opportunity to work within a museum here in Cochabamba and apply certain themes from my thesis to the projects I am heading up at the museum INIAM.

When I initially arrived at INIAM (Anthropological Research Institute and Archaeological Museum), I immediately got started on creating educational materials with Sr. René Machado, the director of the interactive program at the museum. This program was designed by Sr. Machado several years ago with the intention of providing the opportunity for school students to not only have a regular visit touring the museum and seeing artifacts, but rather experience and interact with the collection through activities such as an archaeological excavation, analyzing the Pre-Columbian products found today among the various Bolivian regions and climates. Within my first week in the museum we had planned more or less what we wanted to include in the first 3 doblados and had finished a rough draft of the first two.

The materials and ‘doblados’ or educational foldables are based on six themes which are covered throughout the interactive program—fossilization, migration, stratigraphy and ecological conservation, large civilizations in Bolivian territory, Pre-Columbian agricultural products, and cave art. These foldable will be used to complement the interactive program school children participate in when they visit, however what about schools that are located too far from the city to send their children and don’t have easy access to the museum?

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Andean Culture Night

Last night we celebrated Andean culture at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center. The Runasimi Outreach Committee and Center for Latin American Studies hosted various community groups and artists representing Ecuador, Perú and Bolivia for the last Quechua night of the year.

Participants included:

Ñukanchik Llakta Wawakuna dancing Kawsay La Vida and reading a poem

Grupo Folklorico Fuerza Peruana dancing Huaylas de Carnaval

Baila Perú New York dancing Marinera from Trujillo

Odi Gonzales reading from the poetry collection Virgenes Urbanas

Pachamama dancing Tinkus

Eduardo F. Medrano Salas reading poetry

Fraternidad Cultural Pasión Boliviano dancing Salaque

Thanks so much to all our participants and everyone else who came out to share this special night with us. We enjoyed Salteñas and Api and two hours of performances! On behalf of the Runasimi Outreach Committee we hope to see you next year.

 

Thunapa and Azanaques

Post by Raúl A. Rodríguez Arancibia,MA Candidate at CLACS – Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU

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Among indigenous people of the Andes, the geographical features of the landscape play an important role beyond referencing points in space. The narratives of those features, which are humanized and genderized by their inhabitants, constitute an important role in maintaining memory of the territory. Thus, the features are protagonists of mythical stories. These narratives can be understood as tools to create a living landscape, where the unknown is understood, and nature is familiarized.

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CLACS Language Offerings to be Showcased at Orientation

Haitian Tea

On Tuesday, August 25th the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU (CLACS) kicked off the fall 2015 semester with a series of events to welcome a new class of students, and showcase to all NYU students its unique language offerings in Quechua and Haitian Kreyól. As a Title VI National Resource Center designated by the Department of Education, CLACS is part of the Indigenous Language Consortium (with the Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University (ILAS), and The Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at Lehman College) which promotes the education of less commonly taught languages and NYU students can benefit from this unique resource.

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