Articles with tag: affect

10/31/2023 _Perspective

Envisioning Vengeance

Rebellious Indigeneity, Gender and Genre in Jayro Bustamante’s La Llorona

Throughout the western hemisphere in recent years, there has been a notable increase in fictional texts (novels, television, movies) by Black, Indigenous, and artists of color—many of whom identify as queer and/or women—that fall within the category of the “speculative,” i.e. fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Some examples include the novels La Mucama de Oricunlé by the Dominican writer Rita Indiana, and Los Hijos de la Diosa Huracán by the Cuban-American writer Daina Chaviano; the Brazilian film As Boas Maneiras, directed by Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas; the U.S. Black Panther films, directed by Ryan Coogler; the Mexican film Selva Trágica, directed by Yulene Olaizola; and many others. [1] All these examples either directly or indirectly address the legacies of colonialism and slavery, drawing upon genre conventions like time travel, magic, and reanimation, and exploring the possibilities of posthuman bodies like cyborgs, human-animal hybrids, and the undead for expressing these historical phenomena and their resonances in the present. Given its broad impact and cultural importance, film as a medium is unique in its ability to critique essentialist notions of race, gender, sexuality, and social identity through these posthuman representations. Classic horror is a cinematic genre particularly concerned with soliciting strong affective responses from its audience through depictions of monstrous non- and post-humans, making it well equipped to transmit emotional charges based on historical traumas. While these traumas have often been ignored by official narratives, such as those expressed in written documentation and political speech, horror cinemas can provide audiences access to them in ways that circumvent dominant representations. In sociohistorical conditions that seek to negate the histories of certain groups, audiovisual productions can thus function as indispensable tools for recuperating stories that have been silenced. Here I will examine the Guatemalan film La Llorona [2] and its contributions to the horror genre, focusing on how its depiction of monstrosity reworks a global genre into a local context in order to connect more effectively with Guatemalan audiences while also achieving a wider viewership. La Llorona, written and directed by Jayro Bustamante, was strategically marketed as a horror film in order to get audiences to the theater, and it was later released through the online horror media platform Shudder. It reinterprets the myth of La Llorona (well known throughout Central and South America as the vengeful, weeping woman crying for the death of her children) as the motherland of Guatemala crying for…

05/30/2016 _Perspective

A Poetic Reading of Permaculture in Three Helical Aesthetic Plans

Permaculture is an emergent agricultural design system based on principles of ethics of the human co-existence with nature. The term derives from the definition of permanent agriculture and it was first coined in the 1970s by the Australian scholars Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. Its definition was soon amplified by the authors in order to incorporate the comprehension of permanent culture as an interdependent process of the design of agricultural systems. Beyond co-existing with nature, human beings are argued to be an integrant part of it, in a system of interdependence which affects both and which can be perceived in patterns of spiral and organic processes of relation. In face of current, not completely new, but definitely undeniable states of emergency of environmental catastrophes, climate change, and the abuse of non-renewable natural resources, investigations about emergent models for the human interaction with nature, such as permaculture, become crucial for ethical reconsiderations of human behaviour in moments of such emergency. Furthermore, not only is the emergent characteristic of permaculture as a possible innovative agri-cultural system worth investigating, but also — and, in this case, more importantly — the unconventional aesthetic paths that emerge from it are incredibly fruitful for reflecting upon such states of emergency. …

Love as Practice of Solidarity

Of Peripheral Bodies, Embodied Justice and Associated Labor

On the eve of my third late spring in Frankfurt, there is the lightness and ease of being not there but here. The lindens in front of the windows give comfort, but I’m yearning for the sweetly pungent fragrance of their Banja Luka sisters. I will not be smelling them this June, or perhaps ever again for that matter, the borders have been closed again due to the corona pandemic. Their smell is from elsewhere and it won’t be going anywhere — their labors are lost.

The Securopolis

(Re)assembling Surveillance, Resilience, and Affect

This paper explores the idea that modern urban life is being re-assembled. It supposes that such a (re)assemblage encourages a particular configuration — which I have dubbed ‘the securopolis.’ The securopolis is a form of urban life in which humans enact a ‘watchfulness’ (i.e. surveillance) combined with a ‘readiness for the worse’ (i.e. resilience). It is also argued here that the securopolis is not simply a model of a secure city, rather it is increasingly an influence on the underlying habitus […]

Affective Bodies

Nonhuman and Human Agencies in Djuna Barnes's Fiction

Reading fiction makes us face all kinds of situations, characters and phenomena that we might consider strange and uncanny, yet enchanting and immersive. This way, it also puts us face to face with the nonhuman in its various forms. Some fictional encounters with the nonhuman may become accentuated and even disturbing, especially ones in which the nonhuman presents itself as profoundly entangled with what we consider as human, which entails elements such as agency based on individual subjectivity, psychologically motivated actions, […]