Posted by Natalia Aguilar Vasquez – PhD Student at NYU Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literature
Art gallery and cultural space FLORA ars+natura in Bogota, Colombia. First day of the curatorial workshop by Miguel A. Lopez, July 30th 2018.
My research interests were, initially, the intersections between contemporary art and recent literature in Colombia, specially focused on ways of representing violence, memory, and trauma in the Colombian society and the bodies. That research shifted, and instead of dealing only with bodies and Biopolitics as critical lenses to understand such aesthetics, I noticed a “return” or, as many would say, an always latent concern with “the land”, the politics of creating landscapes and, most importantly, the spatial dimension of the Colombian internal war and conflict.
I started a journey visiting art galleries in Bogotá, new spaces for art and culture in the city. The “return” and reincorporation of landscape was visible in several exhibitions coming from young artists, but also in the creation of new spaces for culture in the city. Hybrid locations, a mix of gallery, research centers, and incubators for artistic projects. The question of physical boundaries, personal and public/political space, as well as the ambivalent relation between the urban and the rural, are crucial to imagine and live, in the so-called “post-conflict” Colombia.
Posted by Tony Wood, graduate student in Latin American History at NYU
View of the Cordillera Blanca from the Casa de Pocha, Carhuaz, Peru.
From 9th to 13th July I took part in an ethnographic field methods workshop in Carhuaz, a small town high in the Peruvian Andes, around 280 miles north of Lima. The town itself nestles between two mountain ranges – to the west the rugged Cordillera Negra, to the east the Cordillera Blanca, a chain of majestic, glacier-capped mountains that include some of the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.
The workshop was held under the auspices of the Center for Social Well-Being, which also runs Quechua language courses and retreats on its 5-hectare eco-farm a little outside the town (known as La Casa de Pocha). The Center was set up 15 years ago by the Peruvian ecologist Flor de María Barreto Tosi (the eponymous Pocha), and Patricia Hammer, an American anthropologist, aiming to put into practice the principles of sustainable living on the one hand, and of “participatory action research” on the other.
CLACS M.A. student Juan Victor Fajardo recently interviewed Bolivia’s Minister of Foreign Relations, David Choquehuanca, for the Latin American News Dispatch.
In the interview, Foreign Minister Choquehuanca spoke at length about Bolivia’s extradition request for ex-president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada to the U.S. government, and the future of lithium reserves in the Uyuni salt deposit. He also commented on the lowland indigenous march in defense of the Isiboro Secure Reserve (TIPNIS), which occurred before the indigenous march successfully overturned the Bolivian government’s plan to build a major highway through the ecological reserve.
This interview, moreover, forms part of the preparatory steps to organize a panel discussion on, “Environmental Politics Under Evo Morales: Buen Vivir vs New Extractivism” in February 2012. This panel is a collaborative initiative of CLACS M.A. students and faculty.
The Latin America News Dispatch was founded by four graduate students in the Global Joint Master’s program in Journalism and Latin American Studies at New York University. L.A.N.D. produces original news stories about Latin America, the Caribbean, U.S. foreign policy, and Hispanics in the United States. Visit the website to sign up for “Today in Latin America”, a daily digest of news stories about Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latina/o immigration issues in the U.S.
Posted by Pamela Calla – Visiting Associate Professor at CLACS at NYU