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Ponentes magistrales

Future Perspectives: Research on decolonization or decolonizing research?

Dr. Genner Llanes OrtizGenner Llanes

Universidad Leiden, Países Bajos

Genner Llanes Ortiz from Yucatán, Mexico, is currently assistant professor at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Indigenous epistemologies and different forms of using indigenous heritage are his main research areas. He is also known for studying the connection between indigenous artistic expressions and digital activism (anti-racism, decolonization and language revitalization). Genner Llanes Ortiz combines academic research about current endeavours of decolonization with an explicit decolonizing methodology.

 

12 de junio, 15:00-17:00 h & 17:30-19:30 h, Sala II

Coordinator of Panel 29: Defining Indigenous Epistemologies in Mesoamerican Research

 

Dr. Xóchitl Leyva SolanoXLeyva

CIESAS/CLACSO/RETOS, Chiapas, México
Parte de un Collective Voice of Women de Chiapas, México, Colombia, Alemania y Países Bajos

Xóchitl Leyva Solano from Chiapas, Mexico is a political activist and academic researcher, who studies power relations and social movements through the lens of political anthropology. Within recent years she dedicated special attention to the indigenous Zapatista-movement, following a collaborative approach with marginalized groups, revealing “otros conocimientos” (‘other knowledge’) and at the same time questioning language, theories and paradigms of western academia.

 

Ponencia en el panel 31: 14 de junio, 16:30-18:30 h, Sala II

Poner el cuerpo para des(colonizar)patriarcalizar nuestra forma de conocer, la academia y nuestra vida

Trato sobre cómo, dónde, cuándo y para qué he/mos “puesto el cuerpo”, sobre cómo ello –sin planearlo– nos impulsó a caminar nuestra descolonización y despatriarcalización personal y colectiva. Esto se ha dado en medio de la guerra como un hacer reflexivo sentipensado y situado relacionado con (des)aprender, gozar y sufrir en el intento por construir otros mundos posibles con mujeres, jóvenes y otres de abajo y a la izquierda, con comunicadorxs comunitarixs de pueblos indígenas y negros en resistencia, con artivistas, con feministas comunitarias, pos y decoloniales llegadxs a Chiapas –entre 1994 y 2019­– atraídxs por el faro zapatista.

 

The ambivalent future of European ethnographic museums: between critical studies of provenience and the struggle for legitimization

Dr. Maike PowroznikMPowroznik

Museo de Antropología, Universidad Zürich, Suiza

Working at the Museum of Anthropology of the University of Zurich, Maike Powroznik’s main focus lies among anthropology of movement, anthropology of photography, material culture and practical knowledge. She curated the exhibition “Trinkkultur – Kultgetränk” (approximate translation: ʽCulture of drinking – cult drink‘).

 

 

Ponencia magistral: 12 de junio, 14:00-15:00 h, Sala IX

Sharing Heritage – Building Futures. Reflections on the Potentials of Ethnographic Collections for the Americas

Ethnographic museums have moved back into the focus of debates on fundamental issues like e.g. solving colonial and postcolonial entanglements of collections. These debates are accompanied by the question of the ethnographic museums’ institutional future and especially their self-image as well as relevant and appropriate future approaches. In addition to important and necessary meta-discourses on museums and collections –which are still very often conducted in a Europe-centred manner–, this lecture will turn towards the potential of ethnographic collections for originator societies and their descendants. Which heritage in the collections of our museums is relevant for originator societies, for their present day orientation as well as for building their future?

In Zurich we have carried through a number of projects to deal with this question, ranging from issues like finding object-centred approaches and searching for a vital meaningful museum practice, in ways which hopefully meet with the interests, needs, ontologies and skills of originator communities. European museums, it seems to us, indeed have an obligation to correct and revise former collectors’ and researchers’ assumptions by understanding and acknowledging alternative world templates through collaborative research approaches on artefacts as analogue cultural key elements of alternative, pluricentric pasts, presents and eventually futures. In the end, hopefully, ethnographic collections will preserve not only testimonies of former European interests in the world, but equally testimonies of the heritage, culture and intelligence of originator societies in the moment of encounter. Rewriting seems indeed and adequate way to decenter and decolonize Europe and to recenter the world. 

Dr. Juan Villanueva CrialesJVillanueva

UMSA, Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore, La Paz, Bolivia

Juan Villanueva leads the research section of the National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore (Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore, MUSEF) and teaches at the University of San Andres in La Paz, Bolivia. The Andes are his geographical research focus, while thematically discussing the material culture and (archaeological) construction of ethnicity.

 

 

Ponencia magistral: 13 de junio, 9:00-10:00 h, Sala VII

Musealizando al “otro” en Bolivia. Legitimación nacional, colonialismo epistémico y esfuerzos decoloniales

Esta reflexión juega con los términos “ambivalente”, “etnográfico” y “legitimación” planteados como eje temático, para aportar a la discusión desde la particularidad de un museo latinoamericano. Lo hace desde la trayectoria, ya bastante larga, de la museología boliviana sobre ciencias sociales, y de su desarrollo en relación con contextos políticos y sociales.
Es sabido que existió un expolio de bienes museísticos bolivianos, especialmente andinos, de parte de Estados Unidos y Europa. El nuevo paradigma político que gobierna Bolivia desde 2006 ha insertado con cierta fuerza la misión de la repatriación en su agenda, con algunos resultados iniciales. Sin embargo, la ambivalencia emerge al contemplar el enfoque sostenido históricamente por los museos bolivianos, y su relación con las comunidades locales. Los museos han obedecido a una concepción colonizada del tiempo y la historia, fomentada por las élites locales en una dinámica de colonialismo epistémico. Clave en esta es el control de la historia y del patrimonio al interior del discurso de la ciencia moderna, para la legitimación de los proyectos nacionales.
Este enfoque va en desmedro de las comunidades locales al crear una separación dualista entre estas élites modernas y dotadas de historia –frecuentemente, además, colaboradoras del expolio externo- y unos “otros” étnicos atemporales, que deben ser estudiados y presentados con fines didácticos, de donde emergen los esfuerzos etnográficos. Síntomas de este enfoque son los siguientes: (1) la presentación de lo arqueológico y lo folklórico/etnográfico como narrativas separadas, con un abismo no musealizado en medio, formado por los siglos coloniales, que evita la sensación de continuidad entre el “otro” etnográfico y el pasado prehispánico, que legitima a las élites. (2) El dominio de la narrativa académica de la ciencia social moderna en los museos, subalternizando el saber y las concepciones locales de pasado y herencia como superstición, creencia o folklore, pero no conocimiento digno de integrar un museo. (3) El expolio interno por el cual objetos del patrimonio de comunidades locales fueron extraídos para su preservación y exhibición en las ciudades, generando desigualdades en el acceso al patrimonio.
El Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore (MUSEF) es un repositorio que ha acusado históricamente la influencia del pensamiento colonizado, y que desde 2013 se esfuerza por resolver o equilibrar estas relaciones. La presentación de narrativas en larga duración y la musealización de los conocimientos técnicos, prácticos y conocimientos locales, así como el despliegue de contenidos del museo en comunidades alejadas, han sido primeros pasos. Actualmente, tres experiencias de co-curaduría con comunidades, para el despliegue de nuevas ontologías no representacionalistas y no modernas en el museo, y que apuntan apoyar en el fortalecimiento de museos comunitarios, son experiencias orientadas a generar dinámicas más horizontales e inclusivas de construcción de la museología a futuro.

 

Indigenous imaginaries of the future

Dr. habil. Justyna OlkoJOlko

Universidad Varsovia, Polonia

Justyna Olko is professor at the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” at the University of Warsaw; director of the Center for Research and Practice in Cultural Continuity. She specializes in the ethnohistory, anthropology and sociolinguistics of pre-Hispanic and colonial Mesoamerica, with a special focus on participatory and decolonizing research practices. Justyna Olko is also involved in the revitalisation of the Nahuatl language and works with researchers and activists committed to revitalizing endangered languages of ethnic minorities in Poland.

 

Ponencia magistral: 14 de junio, 9:00-10:00 h, Sala VI

The power of the past, the need for a future: decolonization and Indigenous agency

Research in the humanities and social sciences has been profoundly decolonized over the last several decades through the inclusion of postcolonial and Indigenous perspectives. But to what degree are the results of this research available to Indigenous audiences? And to what degree have they decolonized us as scholars? Is our research useful to people who, as a result of colonialism and modern policies, have been often deprived of their own sense of history and belonging to the past? I believe that it is the present and the future to which the results of research should matter and meaningfully relate. This can be done in a number of ways that are yet to be explored and implemented. Access to their own records of the past, for example, can inspire Indigenous people to reflect on their identity and their values and provide stimuli to act. Colonial texts often reveal Indigenous forms of agency, such as defending local autonomy, confirming rights to land, questioning excessive tribute demands, and petitioning for the removal of Spanish officials. Such situations become an important source of empowerment and agency for modern Indigenous activists, students and community members. They offer their Indigenous readers an opportunity to experience a degree of continuity with the past and see their ancestors’ actions as examples for their own individual and collective resilience in the present. But the past needs to be combined with perspectives for the future that challenge the history of oppression, assimilation and marginalization. One of the ways to achieve this is to go beyond the idea that the endangered Indigenous languages of the Americas are the part of native lives and legacy that is most affected by assimilation, discrimination, pressure from the dominant language and many other forms of symbolic and physical violence. Along with other elements of culture and identity, they are actually powerful tools of agency, resilience and autonomous intellectual expression and creativity. They carry a still underestimated and underexplored potential for the decolonization of both the academy and speakers’ lives. In this lecture, in addition to exploring forms of Indigenous agency in historical contexts, I discuss the specific strategies for fostering empowerment and developing positive historical identities in the context of language continuity and revitalization. I also reflect on the individual and collective capacity of community members to act with regard to their linguistic and cultural heritage, their past and their future.

Dr. David Jabin

Université Diderot de Paris, Francia

David Jabin is a social anthropologist whose research focuses on indigenous groups in the lowlands of South America and combines ethnographic and historical perspectives. After a year as a postdoctoral researcher at the Musée du quai Branly (Paris), he is currently a research fellow at Paris Diderot University. He carried out fieldworks in Panama and French Guyana and since 2005 he specialized on Bolivian lowlands where he began a long-term fieldwork with special focus on slavery among indigenous people. His research interests also include relationships between indigenous groups and the State, contact processes led by missionaries and ethnobotany. He is a co-editor of the book Apus, caciques y presidentes: estado y politica indigena amazónica en los paises andinos (2016).

Ponencia magistral: 13 de junio, 9:00-10:00 h, Sala V

Past and Present Indigenous Forms of Slavery in Lowland South America: a New Topic for Anthropology?

Recent researches show that slavery relationships between indigenous people of lowland South America were rather widespread in the region in the past and still exist today in some groups. Whereas in the last decades such practices as war, capture or cannibalism were topics of primary importance for researchers in that geographical area, until recently, indigenous slavery have been largely ignored. As a result, this kind of phenomenon remains unknown by theoretical specialists and comparative studies on slavery.

In this lecture, I would like to deal with the historical and epistemological reasons underlying that omission. Then, starting from my own work on one form of Bolivian indigenous slavery, I will present you with the specific patterns of the south American indigenous slavery and the way they can be studied. To conclude I would like to point out a few further ethnohistorical and ethnographic tracks for research.

 

New approaches in the study of the past: “Future” as a broader topic for the understanding of past’s presents?

Dr. Nicholas Dunning

Cincinnaty University, Ohio, EEUU

Nicholas Dunning teaches and investigates as a geographer and environmental archeologist with the main focus on the Maya Classic epoch. His special concern is about the question of human adaptation to environmental change. Among his central research are studies about water management in Maya centers during the late classic as well as geo-archeological studies.

Ponencia magistral: 14 de junio, 9:00-10:00 h, Sala IX

Delicate Balances between Humans and Environment in the Elevated Interior Region of the Maya Lowlands

Lying between the fault scarps of the Puuc ridge in the north and the Peten Itza escarpment in the south, the Elevated Interior Region (EIR) became the heartland of ancient Maya Civilization. However, this region posed problems for population growth and urbanization, including a distinct lack of perennial water sources and a 5-month-long arid season. The Maya concentrated people and developed an urban civilization in the EIR by developing elaborate systems for capturing and storing rainwater in urban reservoirs and household tanks. However, this system ultimately made both cities and household vulnerable to severe drought episodes. Maya cities were supported by an agricultural system that included production within urban lands and well as hinterlands. Sloping terrain made many areas of the EIR vulnerable to soil erosion and, over time, ancient populations adapted various measures to both conserve and reclaim land. However, maintaining soil health and fertility posed long-term challenges for sustaining agricultural production. This problem was exacerbated by the need for maintaining an adequate amount of forest cover that was critical for meeting the enormous need for wood. The Maya eventually were engaged in a zero sum game in which the demand for water, food, and forest products were competing with each other in terms of available land. While this paper focuses on ancient Maya adaptations and maladaptations to a challenging environment, many of these challenges and problems continue to face the region today as increasingly large numbers of people and demands put pressure on the carrying capacity of the region’s environment.

Dr. Eduardo NevesENeves

Museo de Arqueología y Antropología de la Universidad São Paulo, Center for Amerindian Studies

The systematic research of Eduardo Neves between 1990 and the years 2000 about the highly productive terra preta soils in the Amazon region changed fundamentally our perspective on human settlements of this region before the European colonization. Furthermore, he amplified the source spectrum and the frame of interpretation of Amazonian archeology by documenting the oral tradition of indigenous Tukanoan and indigenous Palikur people, which proved a permanent presence over many centuries and thus rewrote the history of the colonization of the Amazon.

 

Ponencia magistral: 12 de junio, 14:00-15:00 h, Auditorio

Ancient Roads and Modern Myths: the Construction of Landscapes in Ancient SW Amazonia

A decade ago, the construction of electric power transmission lines in areas previously covered by evergreen tropical forests in Acre state, Brazilian southwestern Amazonia, revealed linear paths associated to archaeological sites composed of mounds built around central plazas. At the time, there was no certainty whether those paths were ancient roads or whether they were built recently as a result of the process of deforestation in the area. Archaeological and historical research has shown that these were indeed ancient roads and part of a large overland network covering parts of present day Bolivia and Brazil that was used during several centuries. This presentation will show that the activities of road building were part of a long-term process of landscape construction in Southwestern Amazon that deeply transformed nature there since at least 2,500 BP and that the same overall process happened elsewhere in the Amazon as well.

 

Future worth living: Reclaiming social, political, economic and human rights in urban and rural contexts in the Americas

Dr. Iván Velásquez GómezIVG

CICIG, Guatemala

Iván Velásquez Gómez is a highly appreciated and honored consultant in terms of the fight against corruption in Guatemala and Colombia. Among many other awards, he recently received the Right Livelihood Award, known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize” in 2018. Since 2013 he has been directing the Comisión Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala, dismantling corrupt structures lead by members of the highest level of politicians in Guatemala.

 

 

Ponencia magistral: 13 de junio, 19:00-20:00 h, Sala I

La lucha contra la corrupción y estructuras criminales – condición sine qua non para realizar los derechos humanos para todos

La realización de los derechos humanos se expresa, entre otros, a través del acceso igualitario de todos los ciudadanos y ciudadanas a los sistemas de justicia, de salud o de educación. América Latina es un continente con desigualdades profundas donde las mayorías están excluidas del goce de estándares mínimos de estos derechos. Esta desigualdad se profundiza aún más cuando la corrupción y la penetración de entidades de Estado por el crimen organizado inhiben al acceso igualitario a los servicios del Estado. La protección de estructuras criminales por representantes del Estado o la cooptación del Estado por el crimen organizado constituyen una amenaza profunda a las visiones de una América Latina más justa. La investigación de estructuras criminales dentro de las instituciones estatales y el litigio contra los culpables son herramientas fundamentales para dar a conocer públicamente estas estructuras, explicar su funcionamiento y encontrar soluciones a resolver el problema. Esta estrategia, al mismo tiempo, requiere del fortalecimiento del sistema jurídico, de mecanismos apropiados de protección para jueces y fiscales, y de un sistema carcelario eficaz y digno. El desmantelamiento de las estructuras criminales que actúan desde afuera y desde dentro del Estado debe de estar acompañado por una sociedad civil activa y vigilante que apoya y promueve la transformación profunda de del Estado y el desarrollo de una cultura de la legalidad con iguales oportunidades para todos y todas.

 

 

Enrique Mayer

 Enrique Mayer estudió Economía y Antropología en Inglaterra y se doctoró en la Universidad de Cornell (Estados Unidos). Después ocupó posiciones académicas en varias instituciones bien conocidas como en la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, en el Instituto Indigenista Interamericano en México, en la Universidad de Illinois en Urbana-Champaign y en la Universidad de Yale (Estados Unidos). Se jubiló como Profesor Emerito en 2012. Ha realizado trabajo de campo en la comunidad de Tángor (Dep. de Pasco), en la Cuenca del Río Cañete, en el Valle del Mantaro, en el Valle del Tulumayo (Dep. de Junin) y en la Provincia de Paucartambo, Cusco. Últimamente, realizó una investigación a nivel nacional sobre el impacto de la Reforma Agraria a 25 años de su implementación. 

Ponencia magistral: 13 de junio, 19:00-20:00 h, Sala V

El cuaderno de mi papá: Mirando para atrás se aprende para el futuro

En un cuaderno que encontré entre los papeles viejos de mi papá hay un recuento escrito en 1945 sobre sus experiencias personales en Hamburgo en 1934-35 hasta su emigración al Perú en 1935. Voy a contar sobre estas, leerles trozos de su relato, y contar como fue nuestra vida de emigrantes en una ciudad de la sierra del Perú en los años 50. Las microexperiencias de mi padre con los nazis, son aleccionadoras y sirven de advertencia sobre el peligro del retorno de las practicas fascistas de hoy, especialmente en Brasil, donde ahora vivo parte del año.

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