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Image credit: Ex-President Jeanine Añez celebrating the declaration of the "chola" as a "national emblem" of Bolivia. Image taken from Twitter: Ministerio de la Presidencia, 9.23 am, 27 January 2020

Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Inaugural Session

Speaker: Gabriela Zamorano (El Colegio de Michoacán, Mexico)
Indigeneity, Race, and the Media from the Perspective of the 2019 Political Crisis in Bolivia

In this presentation I analyse the disputes over images related to indigeneity and plurinationalism in the post-electoral crisis in Bolivia, focusing mainly on the realm of social media. I pay particular attention to how images such as memes, photographs, and videos produced and circulated by the movement for “democracy” opposed to Evo Morales and by sectors of the Right, project ideals of national unity based on racialised imaginaries that tend to obliterate references to plurinationalism. I also analyse the dichotomous ways in which multitudes and episodes of violence were represented by the two main sides in the conflict, such as the references to “mobs” and “hordes” versus “civic movements” and “resistance” respectively. I conclude by considering examples of promotional materials that the past interim government of President Jeanine Añez developed since its inauguration, in order to reflect on the ways in which these display certain images of the “permitted Indian” for the national project that the social sector represented by her government outlined.

Gabriela Zamorano Villarreal
is a researcher at the Centro de Estudios Antropológicos in El Colegio de Michoacán. After having received her PhD from the Anthropology Department of the City University of New York in 2008, she conducted postdoctoral research on racial photography in Bolivia at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris in 2009. She is the author of "Indigenous Media and Political Imaginaries in Contemporary Bolivia" (Nebraska, 2017), and co-author of "Ethnographies of 'On Demand' Films: Anthropological explorations of commissioned audiovisual productions (with Alex Vailati, Palgrave Macmillan 2021) and “De Frente al Perfil. Retratos Raciales de Frederick Starr” (with Deborah Poole, Colmich 2012), among various articles and book chapters in publications in Latin America, the United States, and Europe. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Council for Science and Technology in Mexico. Her current research includes work on popular photographic and audiovisual archives in Michoacán, Mexico; and the direction of a documentary film project on the photographic archives of Bolivian photographer Julio Cordero.

Autumn Term 2021

28 October 2021 (Inaugural session) 
11 November 2021  
25 November 2021  
9 December 2021 
Winter Term 2022  
3 February 2022  
17 February 2022
3 March 2022  
17 March 2022 

This seminar session is sponsored by the Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS)

All are welcome to attend this free seminar, which starts at 17:00 BST. After the seminar we will head for a virtual reception and a more informal chat with the speaker at SLAS Gather space. Set aside some time to join us, and bring your own drinks.

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