Campaña de Autoafirmación Mapuche

Wefkvletuyiñ -Estamos Resurgiendo-

Campaign of Self-Affirmation Wefkvletuyiñ –We Are Reemerging

Wefkvletuyiñ was launched in 2002 in Bariloche, a city located in what is now known as the Argentinean province of Río Negro (see map). It was launched following the First Meeting on Mapuche Art and Philosophy and is composed of young Mapuche and non-Mapuche activists. Our campaign is a network of individuals and small groups, including Mapuche young people in other cities of the South of the country.

The Campaign uses performing arts and media to confront the harsh discrimination that has affected Mapuche people (Indigenous people of southern Argentina and Chile) from the beginning of our relationship with the states of Argentina and Chile. As we struggle against discrimination, our purpose is also to acknowledge Mapuche social heterogeneity -in rural and urban areas- and to support the different demands. Wefkvletuyiñ is led by the Mapuche Theater Project, as well as by the MapUrbe Communication Workgroup, and also includes other interrelated projects that are engaged in arts, media, and research.

At the end of the nineteenth century, Chile and Argentina developed military campaigns to seize Mapuche Territory. Since the states' conquest and occupation of our land, Argentina's policies towards the Mapuche people have included land seizure, land redistribution, and forced cultural and political assimilation. Paradoxically, all of these efforts were based on an official belief that Argentine Indians were “extinct” – and thus had no rights to land, or to integrity of body, culture, and family.

The official oppression of the Mapuche –and the official denial of our existence- facilitated our own denial of our ethnic identity and cultural practices. This survival strategy resulted in social fragmentation of the Mapuche People. Thus, we believe that community-wide conversations about identity are an essential first step in rebuilding the Mapuche social fabric and building a movement for social change.

(For more information check this article)

Projects of Wefkvletuyiñ have been supported by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, the Dirección Nacional de Juventud (DiNaJu), the International Workgroup for Indigenous Affaires (IWGIA) and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (Harvard University).

Wefkvletuyiñ also works in permanent dialog with the Research Group on Aboriginaliy, Provinces and Nation (GEAPRONA) and it belongs to the Research Network on Genocide and Indigenous Policies in Argentina. Both research groups are hosted by the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Moreover, we want to thank the following individuals for their help in the creation of this web-cuaderno: María Sol Barbagelata, Julián Barrientos, Claudia Briones, Paulo Campano, Hernán Carballo, Sergio Cheuquepil Mellado, Cullen Goldblatt, Norma Jaramillo and family, Elaine Liebenbaum, Pulmy Mendoza, Antonio Molina, Elena Pérez, Pilar Pérez and Ana Ramos.

The drawings in this web-cuaderno belong to Ozkar Guenchupan, the photographs belong to Wefkvletuyiñ's archive and the design was made by Hernán J. Carballo, Laura Kropff and Elaine Liebenbaum over a structure developed by Wefkvletuyiñ.

Mapuzugun translation: Sergio Cheuquepil Mellado

English translation: Cullen Goldblatt, Laura Kropff and Pilar Pérez