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- Migration and Intangible Cultural Heritage
- Cultural Agents
- Indigenous Identities & Communication
- (Self)Representation, Otherness and Power
- Transnational/translocal gender politics in performance
- Is Latin American Popular Theatre dead?
- Blackness and Latinidad in the Americas
- Afro-Amerindian Performance
- Performance, Poetry and Activism: Cultural Agency
- Activism and Performance

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Migration and Intangible Cultural Heritage

The group will discuss the recent invention of the term "intangible cultural heritage" to refer to what used to be called ethnographic descriptions, folklore and "traditions", but also to new phenomena thrown up by globalization such as reinventions of cultures like the Rastafarians and Cholos and cults like "Saint Jesus Valverde", saint of the drug traffickers. On the one hand, migrants take their intangible cultural heritage with them and do different things with it, which receiving communities also react to this new cultural influx. On the other, both migrants and residents, through their interactions, create new cultural artifacts, languages and
performances. They all enact "freedom to create cultures".


Regina Mello
Megan Auster-Rosen
Ashley Smith
Roberto Gutierrez-Varea
Dale L Byam
Andrea Maciel Garcia
Renata Peters
Lourdes Arizpe
Rangihiroa Panoho

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Cultural Agents

"Culture is agency; it enables creative responses to social constraints.
When Humanists observe the creativity of artist/activists, of
administrators, or teachers, we can investigate the effects and consider
possible developments. These constructive reflections are contributions
to civil society that go beyond the standard critiques of injustice or
assymetry that have characterized cultural studies. Cultural Agents
promote change by highlighting and exploring the many ways in which
cultural practices affect our societies. Democracy is understood as
exercise in collective creativity that demands a certain predisposition
towards the "arts" of harmonizing the differences between law, culture
and morality. This understanding obliges us to develop rights and
resources through innovations that can transform limitations into the
very source of creativity.

Exemplary cultural agents such as Augusto Boal and Antanas Mockus serve
as models and inspiration, as do many artist/activists whom we might
identify in each of our areas of study. Mockus’s innovative work as
mayor of Bogotá revitalized a civic spirit among citizens of the then
troubled city and reduced its homicide rate by 60%. Augusto Boal,
founder of the “Theater of the Oppressed” involved citizens in the
performance of legislative theater and has already generated 13 city
ordenances in Rio de Janeiro. By identifying and encouraging a variety
of mechanisms and effects produced when art and reflective thought
intervene in civic life, the Cultural Agents Initiative considers the
relationship between democracy, creativity, and education in order to
increase our expectations of culture’s contributions and thereby to
afford opportunities for Humanists to enhance to civic life.


Antanas Mockus
Karina Moeller
Jorge Arcila
Catherine Connor
Petrona de la Cruz Cruz
Maria Eugenia Ulfe
João Kulcsár
Natalie Herlinghaus
Tasha Hubbard
Peter Kulchyski
Miriam W. Laughlin
Robert M Laughlin
Julio Pantoja
Fernando Rosenberg
Lys Stevens
James Thomas
Patricia Ybarra
Isabel Juárez Espinosa
Cynthia Bodenhorst
Doris Difarnecio
Angela Pérez Mejía
Lybia Rivera
Catalina Ocampo
Pedro Reyes
Victor Hugo Adler Pereira

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Indigenous Identities and Communication
Coordinated by Hermann Herlinghaus

This topic is obviously inscribed in a performance-oriented perspective, and in several contexts of discussion it has been related to a de-totalizing move in relation to the concept of cultural identities. Approaches to this topic should be manifold and diverse. They may or may not start out from a significantly growing self-reflexive stance of indigenous communities, social movements, and artistic practices in regard to communication, cultural heterogeneity, and transnational imaginaries.

Speaking more specifically about the appropriation of new technologies and mass media strategies (and tactics) for ethical, aesthetic, anthropological, and political purposes, one question is resonating strongly in Latin America: How can the voices, gestures, images and narratives of indigenous movements be articulated in local as well as transnational spaces that are increasingly interconnected? How can projects be designed and developed that are capable to overcome the strict separation between small alternative circles of communication and the large and aggressive media networks? What are the relationships between aesthetic design and political strategy once we are dealing with situations that confront the struggle for socially and ethnically affirmative identities with multiple discourses, images, and technologies? These are only a few questions that can help to remap a challenging terrain.


Gail Tremblay
Karina Vanessa Castro Santana
Colette Jacques
Eduardo Flores
Norma B Correa
Lara Evans
Luis Millones
Hermann Herlinghaus
Candice Hopkins
Laura Kropff Causa
Andrew Okpeaha Maclean
Citlali Martinez
Kent Monkman
Freya Schiwy
Terence Turner
Kerry Swanson
Alejandro Meraz
Tina Majkowski
Kathleen Buddle-Crowe
Veronica Bollow

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"(Self) Representation, otherness and power"

Coordinated by Antonio Prieto-Stambaugh and Milla Riggio
El Colegio de Michoacán, Mexico

In the context of this working group, the issue of representation shall be discussed in relation to specific performative practices, both in the spheres of hegemonic power and subaltern resistance. We invite participants to consider the double-edged aspect of representation: on the one hand, as a colonial instrument designed to invent and classify "the other", and also as a vehicle of empowerment for subaltern groups and subjects. In the latter sense, self-representation is often conceived as a way of achieving political and cultural representation within a dominant society. But we might then interrogate to what extent, for example, indigenous people are able to appropriate technologies of representation, and how they can (if at all) control the reception others have of their work.

Acknowledging the Encuentro's main topics, we suggest that our discussion consider how the struggle for indigenous self-representation may lead to social agency and empowerment, the implications it has within the framing of an "intangible heritage", as well as the pressure art markets exert over community-based representations.

We encourage a discussion that brings in not only examples from indigenous artists and groups, but also of other ethnic/racial communities, as well as of lesbian or/and gay communities.

Further routes of interrogation may include:

- How do subaltern representations unsettle stereotypes that the dominant society may have concerning disenfranchised peoples? Are new stereotypes put into circulation?
- In light of transnational migration, the hybridization of identities and cross-cultural contacts, to what extent are indigenous people concerned with producing representations linked with their community "roots"?
- What modes of analysis may be suggested for "traditional" or community-based representations, vis à vis the representations produced by individual artists from those communities who are conversant with postmodern, postcolonial or/and queer discourses, and work with conceptual performance?


Jordan Pollock
Marcelo Kraiser
Mila Aponte-González
John R. Beverley
Reona Brass
Jennifer Cayer
German García
Luiselle Rivera
Milla Riggio
Sarah Curran
Marylin Rodríguez
Alyssa McClorey
Laura Gutiérrez
Annie Baillargeon
Luis A. López Espinoza
Luiz Guilherme Veiga de Almeida
Lucía Herrera
Benjamín Jacanamijoy Tisoy
Maite Málaga-Iguiniz
Valeria R McFarren
Yumari Y O'koyoaré

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Is Latin American Popular Theatre dead?

Coordinated by Vivian Martínez-Tabares (Casa de las Américas, Cuba)


Héctor Caro
Graciela Mengarelli
Doris Difarnecio
Silka Freire
Petrona de la Cruz
Jennifer Miller
Alexandre Santini
Karina Vanessa
Mila Aponte
Sebastian Calderón
Christie Jimenez

Blackness and Latinidad in the Americas
Coordinated by José Muñoz and Tavia Nyong'o
jose.munoz@nyu.edu, tavia.nyongo@nyu.edutavia.nyongo@nyu.edu

“Between me and the other world” W.E.B. Du Bois wrote in The Souls of Black Folk (1903), “there is ever an unasked question … How does it feel to be a problem?” This work group will seek to apply Du Bois’s question to the racial formations of blackness and Latinidad in contemporary discourses of culturalheritage. We will focus attention on the multiple nuances of Du Bois’s  formulation, including:

i) the idea of the “problem” — the disruptive presence of minoritarian and racialized identities within and across national formations, in particular how the gap Du Bois articulates "between me and the other world" re-maps the Americas not only in terms of the North/South divide but also in terms of the color line —

ii) the relevance of affect – how it feels to be a problem, and how this affective state is performed in various venues — and —

iii) the “unasked” — how do “race” and racism remain unasked and therefore unanswered questions within contemporary discourses of cultural heritage? How is this state of suspended knowingness experienced — an experience Du Bois names double-consciousness — across black and Latino contemporary identities?


Amma y Ghartey-Tagoe
Judith Michelle Williams
Glaisma Perez-Silva
Piers Armstrong
José Muñoz
Maryvonne Neptune
Tavia Nyong'o

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Afro-Amerindian Performance
Coordinated by Zeca Ligiéro – zligiero@unirio.br

This work group's premises and objectives are to research, promote and open up an exchange with the cultures of African and Indigenous descent, as well as the study of their interrelations in Brazil. The group will work with the performing and the ritual arts, seeking to stimulate a constant exchange between academic communities, artistic circles and the religious world of the cultures with which we work.


Denise Zenicola
Viviane Narvaez
Wilson Rabelo
Sara P. Amorim
Sinuhé Padilla Isunza
Heather Marie Zulli
Anna Maria Pereira Esteves
Paulo Pont Vianne
Josie Marques
Tatiana Franéa
Jussara Trindade Moreira

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Performance, Poetry and Activism: Cultural Agency
Coordinated by Alai Garcia Diniz

This Work Group intends to discuss the process with which a performance embodies poetry, re-invents images through the body knowingness and creates a dialogue between the imaginary and the memory throughout different spaces and temporalities.  The Group’s proposal is to study the ways to bring the collective memory, within a community, for discussion and re-create it in the literature of the body through singing, poetry or dance. Diachronically or synchronically, there is an immaterial knowledge that circulates in the place which offers itself as a transcultural mediation towards the global. Popular performances may embody intercultural knowledge.  Creating bridges between poetry, activism and performance involve empowerment, subjectivity (body) and art. This glance reveals a forgotten cultural aspect which, according to Daniel Matthews, was coined as “the sun city” when he studied the poetry among Afro-Peruvians. The sung city is not to be read as a sheer contrast to Angel Rama’s “lettered city,” but it hides behind the academic invisibility or in the crystallized exposure in the mass media. Will proposing a different path to the study of the oral aspect in Literature through performance mean figthting against the status quo of the show business or match memory, cultural activism, negotiation and resistence which are issues of a cultural agency?


Alai G. Diniz
Peter Novak
Aline Quites
Luizete Guimarïes Barros
Antonia Javiera Cabrera Muñoz
Janaína Chavier Silva
Jane Darc Da Silva
George Luiz France
Aline Razzera Maciel

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Activism and Performance: Embodied Gestures Beyond Representation
Led by Marsha Gall (maf284@nyu.edu)

This workgroup proposes a space to build a dialogue around the role of performance as a key tool for intervention. Approaches to the efficacy of the body, live and online, through notions of conceptuality, parody, theatricality, the imaginary, utopia, and visibility, can help us to examine the many ways in which not only artists and cultural workers but also organizations and people in the streets have resorted to embodied behavior to make their concerns be heard.

Some initial questions are:

  • What kind of power formation do these performatic gestures assume?
  • What kind of knowledge about politics do these actions convey?
  • In which way notions about performance as, on one end, an ephemeral event destined to dissipation, and, on the other, as restored behavior, or embodied memory, can inform the force of the many endeavors undertaken under the guise of a “serious” performance?
  • Can we say that the performatic drive towards activism or the activist take on performance entail tactics that can potentially be staged equally across the Americas given the fact that they work beyond language issues? How does the local vs. global play out in this regard?

The workgroup intends to constitute a place for the circulation of ideas, potential collaboration and case studies presentations thus opening the possibility of building a network towards the future.


Andrea Maciel Garcia
Fernando Salis
Fabiane Borges
Ilona Dougherty
Erin Freeland
Lia Gladstone
Guy Sioui Durand
Carla Melo
Katherine Nigh
Anadel Lynton
Julie Nagam
Suzy Khimm
Teoma Naccarato
Raphi Soifer
Lyndon K. Gill
Carol Fadini

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