Posted by Alejandra Rosenberg Navarro – Ph.D. Student of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures at NYU
“‘Archival’ memory exists as documents, maps, literary texts, letters, archeological remains, bones, videos, films, CDs, all those items supposedly resistant to change…The repertoire, on the other hand, enacts embodied memory: performance, gestures, orality, movement, dance, singing…The repertoire requires presence: people participate in the production and reproduction of knowledge by ‘being there,’ being a part of the transmission.”
(Diana Taylor, The Archive and The Repertoire, pages 19-20)
Tengo frío. Escribo con lápiz en hojas sueltas, el único material que permiten entrar a la sala de consulta. Un cuaderno es peligroso para el archivo, me explica la bibliotecaria. Cierto, aunque nunca había pensado en ello. Ella también tiene frío y viste un abrigo como los que usamos en Nueva York en enero. El aire acondicionado sigue fuerte en estos días de invierno brasileño. Me recuerdo que el frío no importa y me concentro en lo que he venido a ver: las fotografías de Alice Brill que se encuentran en el archivo fotográfico del Instituto Moreira Salles de Rio de Janeiro. Son maravillosas y muestran la obsesión por capturar los cambios urbanos de los años cuarenta y cincuenta ––junto con la aparición callejera de sujetos femeninos–– en tensión con otras instituciones modernas que catalogan y ordenan el sujeto, tal y como la institución psiquiátrica. De Alice Brill llego ––con la indispensable ayuda de la bibliotecaria–– al trabajo fotográfico de Hildegard Rosenthal. Me quedo sin palabras: si sus fotografías urbanas recuerdan a las de su coetánea, lo que más capta mi atención son los autorretratos que esta última hace de sí misma. En algunos, se representa siguiendo las marcas de una feminidad hollywoodiense, con el rostro parcialmente oculto por el velo que acompaña su tocado. En otras, se representa siguiendo una performance masculina, con un traje y mirando directamente a la cámara mientras fuma un cigarrillo. El archivo fotográfico del IMS conserva cuidadosamente los restos materiales del pasado, entre los cuales encuentro las piezas que faltaban a mi investigación.
Posted by Jason Ahlenius — PhD Student of Spanish and Portuguese at NYU
She grew impatient when I did it for the second time. «¡Ay! Por favor, no hagas eso». Please don’t do that. But I did it. I broke the rules. I touched the photographic originals. I desecrated Mexico’s visual patrimony.
I have finally before me a physical object from the archive, a national relic, and it is as if the object itself is reaching out to me to connect with it, to make an affective connection through the body. Yet like the disciplinary-religious space of the art museum, however, there is an invisible barrier between my unclean hands and the sacred object. I retract my hands. I can only make the connection through the visual field.
Posted by Jason Ahlenius – Ph.D. student in Spanish and
Portuguese at NYU
I have begun to see a pattern in my “explorations” of Mexico’s archives: I arrive at the archive, and spend several days figuring out how to gain access to the archive, or searching through the catalog, only to have someone tell me that they have digitalized most of their collection, and that I could have done this work without leaving NYC. I leave disheartened that I was denied the chance to do the “sexy” work of digging through a physical archive with my latex gloves and a mask. This was more or less my experience at my first visit to the Archivo Fotográfico Manuel Toussaint, located in the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas (IIE) of the UNAM in Mexico City.
began, rather idealistically, with an idea of archival research similar to that
of a treasure map: I have a more or less clear idea of what I am looking for,
and I follow a series of instructions to arrive at the “X” on the map, where my
archive is hidden. My actual experience is often more akin to being dropped in
the middle of a forest, not knowing exactly what I will find, while I am trying
to make a map of my surroundings as I am trying to arrive at a city of whose
whereabouts I am oblivious.
The Right to an Emancipatory Education, at Risk in Latin America and the Caribbean
Discussion and photographic exposition of Warisata: the experience of the indigenous “escuela núcleo” in Bolivia.
September 19, 2017
The Ayllu School of Warisata in Bolivia, despite its short operative life (1931-1940), has been one of the most significant educational experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean. Transmitting the principles of freedom, solidarity, and reciprocity, it reevaluated the Bolivian cultural identity and sustainable communal production in harmony with mother earth.
The experience and exhibition of Warisata en Imágenes discussed the current Latin American and Caribbean context and the challenging task of creating an emancipatory education. Moreover, the conversation was geared towards the philosophical motivations—and the ends—of education as a tool for personal growth and social progress.
We have continued developing the exhibition, Stories of El Salvador: The Civil War and Its Aftermath over the course of the Fall semester. What had started as a small project to showcase the Mujeres de la Guerra Project has grown into an exhibition that will have robust collateral programming that will include a film series, symposia, and a partnership with an honors undergraduate seminar.
We have started the selection process of photos from the NACLA photographic archive that will be included in the exhibit. As we delve into the archive we have started noticing themes we will want the exhibition to highlight including civil rights abuses, U.S. involvement in the conflict, the role of religion, the refugee camps, women in leadership roles, and the resilience of the human spirit.
One of our newest collaborations is with Dr. Pamela Calla and her Spring 2014 undergraduate seminar, Women in Social Movements in Latin America. This partnership will provide freshman honors students with the opportunity to explore the role of Salvadoran women during the Civil War by working with us as we actively build the exhibition.
We have begun the exhibition design phase to conceptualize the layout and are excited to continue developing this project next semester. The exhibition will run from April 7, 2014 to May 4, 2014 at the Stoval Gallery at New York University’s Kimmel Center.
Posted by Raúl Guzmán and Camilla Querin – MA Candidates at CLACS / Museum Studies
Next April the Graduate Association of Latin American Studies (GALAS) at NYU will open an exhibition entitled Stories of El Salvador: The Civil War and Its Aftermath. Raúl Guzmán and Camilla Querin, two students of the joint degree Master’s program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Museum Studies will be curating the exhibition that will be exhibited at the Stovall Gallery in the Kimmel Center.
The exhibition is the result of collaboration between GALAS, CLACS,NACLA, Museum Studies, the Mujeres de la Guerra project and the Stovall Gallery. The photo exhibition will focus on the Civil War in El Salvador and the role of women during and after the conflict. The exhibition will present a historical view of the Salvadoran Civil War through portrait photos, videos and oral histories of women involved in the conflict.
The intention is to educate people about the Salvadoran Civil War, about the power of women, their resilience and their organizational abilities. The aim is to tell their inspiring stories and share their hope, wisdom and dedication with the world, to make people reflect upon different forms of activism and to reach not only an NYU audience, but also the Salvadoran community in NYC, people interested in activism, feminism, community organization, photography and resilience after armed conflicts.
Posted by Raúl Guzmán and Camilla Querin – MA Candidates at CLACS / Museum Studies
This summer, I am traveling to three sites in Peru to investigate the development of the photographic technology during recent decades. Having established that my dissertation will address the broad topic of social practices of photography in Peru, this trip is intended to help narrow the focus of my research and explore potential sites for more extended fieldwork. I have chosen three locations, each with a rich photographic legacy.
My first stop was Huamanga (also known as Ayacucho), the capital city of the Huamanga province in the Ayacucho region of Peru. Among the people I spoke with was Giovana Alejos, granddaughter of photographer Baldomero Alejos. I found her in the Alejos photography store, with its own studio and laboratory, located on a side street off of the Plaza de Armas.
A photographer based in the city center of Huamanga from 1924-1976, Baldomero accumulated an archive of over 60,000 images. The subject matter of the photos ranges from high society portraits to funeral processions, student groups, and popular festivals. Continue reading →