Campaña de Autoafirmación Mapuche

Wefkvletuyiñ -Estamos Resurgiendo-

First Meeting on Mapuche Art and Philosophy

In February 2002, several of the Campaign's future members coordinated –together with other Mapuche and non Mapuche groups and organizations– the “First Meeting on Mapuche Art and Philosophy.” This meeting was a result of the discussion on identity that was developed during 2001 regarding Argentina's National Census. 2001 was the first year that a question on Indigenous identity was included in Argentina's National Census and the only criterion for response was self-identification. Because of the history of discrimination, many Mapuche would not have self-identified – with negative results for Mapuche visibility (See the Mapuche Statement regarding the 2001 census. Only a Spanish version is available).

A radio campaign was developed in order to open up a cultural space for Mapuche people to understand their identity in broader, more flexible, and more contemporary terms. The immediate goal of the radio project was for the census to more accurately reflect the actual number of Mapuche – but even more importantly, the project understood its awareness-raising work as an important step towards engaging with diverse Mapuche communities and circumstances. A series of short radio shows began the debate on identity. After its initial work, the radio project evaluated its accomplishments and decided to extend its work on Mapuche identity beyond the census effort, in collaboration with the incipient Mapuche Theatre Project and other Mapuche groups and activists.

The first activity that this network of artists and activists organized was the “First Meeting on Mapuche Art and Philosophy” called “Wekfvletuyiñ –we are re-emerging”. This gathering brought together theater companies, music groups, poets, visual artists, craftspeople, and organizations from different cities and communities. In addition to the presence of delegations from different parts of Argentina, there were also delegations from Temuco, Chile . This last presence was especially important because one of the main aims of the meeting –related to the affirmation of identity and the acknowledgement of Mapuche diversity— was to emphasize that the Mapuche constitute one Nation that predates the creation of the states of Argentina and Chile (and the invasion and occupation of Mapuche Territory by these states).

The Meeting had a large and diverse participation, as well as significant media coverage. Building on this first success, there was a Second Meeting in Temuco (Chile), in February 2003, and a third one in Zapala, in Argentina's Neuquén province, in April 2004.

The most direct consequence of this first meeting was the development of a working plan on the theme of identity, combining the theater and the communication projects.

Schedule of the Meeting

Friday, February 1

Saturday, February 2

Sunday, February 3

Religious Ceremony in the “Tripay Antv” Community

10 AM: Street Call in the “Virgen Misionera” neighborhood

3 PM: Municipal Art School “La Llave”

- Opening of the craft and arts market and exhibits

- Lecture on Mapuche Theatre

5:30 PM: Video Screenings and Slides

7:30 PM: Formal Opening

8:30 PM: Drama, Music and Poetry Performances

10 AM: Street Call in the Neighborhoods “2 de Abril” and “Malvinas”

3 PM: “La Llave”

- Opening of the craft and arts market

- Lecture and workshop on Mapuche Philosphy

5:30 PM: Video Screenings and Slides

7:30 PM: Drama, Music and Poetry Performances


- Palliñ Match in the “Tripay Antv” Community

3 PM : “La Llave”

- Opening of the craft and arts market

- Video Screenings and Slides

5:30 PM: Lecture and debate: “The Mapuche Situation Today”

7:30 PM: Drama, Music and Poetry Performances

10:30 PM: Closing