Join Mariana Cunha for her talk ‘Enchantment as resistance in times of ecological damage: Contemporary ethnofictions in Latin America’, online on Thursday 18 May 2023, 12-1pm.

In this presentation, Mariana Cunha examines the ways in which a group of recent films from Latin America engage with the impacts of environmental destruction and the genocide of indigenous communities.
The films discussed address the afterlives of violence, extractivism, and colonialism through the fabulation of exhausted and diseased bodies and scarred landscapes. Nevertheless, beyond resorting to a mode of representation – fictional or documentary – whereby ecological and ethnic catastrophes are emphasised and denounced, it is argued that these contemporary filmmaking practices offer new forms of storytelling.

The extent to which films such as Eami (Paz Encina, Paraguay, 2022), The Fever (A Febre, Maya Da-rin, Brazil, 2019), Black Lagoon (Laguna Negra, Felipe Esparza Peréz, Peru, 2019), and Tomorrow is a Water Palace (El mañana es un palacio de agua, Juanita Onzaga, Colombia) address the exhaustion of bodies and spaces by shifting epistemological paradigms is discussed.Through creatively reworking cosmologies and cosmovision of Amerindian thought, these films fabulate new forms of radical coexistence among humans, nonhumans, spirits, natural elements, and other agencies, which present new forms of re-enchanting the world (Simas and Rufino, 2020). Indeed, following Simas and Rufino, the speaker argues that these narratives of enchantment are acts of resistance and anticolonial fabulation. Finally, the formal elements of these films as ethnofictions, whereby storytelling constitutes a process of ethnographic co-creation, ritualisation, and preservation of ancestrality are examined.

This talk is hosted by the University of Essex. Tickets are available via Eventbrite.