Department of Anthropology

Sound Studies Lecture Series: Luis Cárcamo-Huechante

"Sounds and Listening(s): Acoustic Colonialism and its Counter-Currents in the Mapuche Territory"

Mon, November 5, 2018 | SAC 5.118

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Sound Studies Lecture Series: Luis Cárcamo-Huechante

This presentation will focus on how invasive sounds contribute to the long history of what I call “acoustic colonialism,” which has been historically staged along with colonial modes of listening. Based on some literary sources and examples from Indigenous, Mapuche territories in South America, I will present and analyze how the “colonial ear” establishes its racial, territorial, and acoustic frontiers through stigmatizing and discriminatory practices of hearing. As a counterpoint to it, I will look at how Indigenous modes of voicing and listening are performed in the audiovisual work of Temuco City-based Mapuche artist/activist Christian Wenuvil. Specifically, I will discuss two videos that politically and aesthetically reflect the engagements of Wenuvil with the struggle of the Juan Kurrin community (Lof), a historically Mapuche community that became surrounded by the noisy development of the city of Temuco across decades. Through the analysis of these videos produced by Wenuvil in 2012, I will also explore the ways in which the Mapuche notion of allkütu, that is, the exercise of “attentive listening,” is put in practice in this aesthetic, political and corporal engagement. This will allow me to elaborate on the relationship between sound, hearing, and colonialism in the past and the present, as well as the Indigenous modes of listening that are performed as counter-currents to “acoustic colonialism” in Wallmapu, the Mapuche territory.

Luis E. Cárcamo-Huechante is currently the Director of the Program in Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) and Associate Professor in Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Texas at Austin. As a founding member of the Comunidad de Historia Mapuche, a collective of Mapuche researchers based in Temuco, southern Chile, Professor Cárcamo-Huechante is co-editor of two inter-disciplinary collection of essays: Ta iñ fijke xipa rakizuameluwün. Historia, colonialismo y resistencia desde el país Mapuche (2012), and Aküwan ka kütrankan zugu Wajmapu mew: Violencias coloniales en Wajmapu (2015). He previously published his own book on neoliberalism and culture in Chile: Tramas del mercado: imaginación económica, cultura pública y literatura en el Chile de fines del siglo veinte (Editorial Cuarto Propio, 2007).  This talk is based on his book manuscript in progress tentatively titled Acoustic Colonialism, Mapuche Interferences.

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