Research

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Institute for Research on Women

Dissertation title: The Remnants of the Armed Conflict: The Body In/After Violence in Contemporary Colombian Cinema

Contemporary Colombian cinema has been addressing 52 years of war between Colombia’s leftist guerrillas, right-wing paramilitary forces, and the Colombian military. My dissertation studies films that show a recurrent pattern or inclination for revealing the damage inflicted by the armed groups through documentary and fictional narratives produced since 2000. These films depict the fragmentation of bodies, the destruction of families, and the millions of people displaced by the war as well as the assaults and abuses endured by some of the most vulnerable groups, such as Afro-Colombians, indigenous people, women, children, and the LGBT community because of their race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and/or disability. In my project, I study the cinematic techniques employed to depict the legacies of violence—mutilation, torture, pain, trauma, and displacement–with theorists that explore viewers’ haptic experience (living in/through/as a body) and the silences and absences of traumatic experience, race, and physical disability. Chapter 1 analyzes the origins of violence in rural areas and the traumatic events that lead to the displacement of four children (three victims and one victim and victimizer) through the animated documentary Pequeñas voces directed by Jairo Carrillo. In chapter 2, I question femininity by comparing and contrasting the films Alías María (2015) directed by José Luis Rugeles and Oscuro animal (2016) directed by Felipe Guerrero with theories of melodrama and traditional forms of narrative cinema. Finally, the violent displacement and urban alienation of Afro- Colombians to Bogotá is the main focus of chapter 3. The music, traditions, and struggles of Afro- Colombians as represented in La playa D.C. (2012) directed by Juan Andrés Arango allow me to analyze the future of a demographic often ignored by the State and rejected by Colombian society. My engagement with these films reveals crucial reflections on the urgent humanitarian problems facing the nation, particularly the reintegration and rehabilitation of the victims of the conflict. I argue that contemporary Colombian cinema is a vital part of the project to question, challenge, and critique gender violence, traditional gender norms, the long-lasting effects of trauma, and the State’s actions with regards to displacement.

Presentations

“Rethinking Femininity: The Objectification of the Female Body in Contemporary Colombian Film.” The 50th NeMLA Anniversary Convention. Washington, DC (March 21-24)

“Femininity as Imprisonment and Liberation in Alias María (2015) and Oscuro animal (2016).” Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference. Bellingham, Washington (November 9- 11, 2018)

“Appropriating Public Space Towards a Peaceful Colombia in La sociedad del semáforo (2010).” Latin American Studies Association Congress. Barcelona, Spain (May 23-26, 2018)

“Borders after Displacement: An Afro-Colombian Family Highlights Colombia’s Post Conflict Ideals.” The 49th NeMLA Annual Convention. Pittsburg, PA (April 12-15, 2018)

“Violent Displacements and Urban Alienation: The Afro-Colombian in Bogotá in La playa D.C. and La sociedad del semáforo.” University of Pennsylvania’s Hispanic and Portuguese Studies Graduate Conference 2018 “Armed Conflict and Its Afterlives.” Philadelphia, PA (February 23-24, 2018)

“Animating the Documentary Through Pequeñas voces.” University at Buffalo’s 6th Annual Graduate Student Conference for Romance Languages and Literatures. Buffalo, NY (April 7-8, 2017)

“For Those Disabled: The (Non) Abled Bodied in La sombra del caminante.” Stony Brook’s Graduate Student Conference “Disputed Mediations: Interpretations and Aesthetic Value of Popular Culture in Latin America and Spain.” New York, NY (November 4, 2016)

When Film Techniques Become Ineffective: Criticizing Chircales (1966-1972) through the Lens of Agarrando pueblo (1979).” The College of Charleston’s 65th Annual Meeting of the Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference. Charleston, SC (October 15-17, 2015)

“Sin suciedad no hay limpieza: Navegando entre desperdicios hacia una vida reciclada en Paraíso travel de Jorge Franco.” 6th Crossing Over Symposium at Cleveland State University. Cleveland, OH (October 9-10, 2015)

 INVITED GUEST SPEAKER

 “Lideres colombianos en Estados Unidos.” Celebrando la hispanidad en Livingston Elementary School. New Brunswick, NJ (Octubre 19, 2018)

“El cuerpo de la mujer: Guerra, cine y silencio en el cine colombiano.” Simposio de investigadorxs colombianos en Nueva York. The Colombian Studies Group at the Graduate Center, CUNY. New York City, NY (Octubre 26, 2018)

Colombian Studies Group

PUBLICATIONS

“El artista.” El Cid, the National Journal of the Tau Iota Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, The Citadel (2019 Issue)

El Cid

“Entrevista al director Colombiano Jorge Forero.” Yzur, the Literary Magazine of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, no. 1-1, March 2018, pp 52-57.

YZUR, The Literary Magazine of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Rutgers University

“Excess of Discomfort as a Mode of Representation of Conflict-Related (Sexual) Violence Towards Women in Oscuro animal (2016) by Felipe Guerrero.” (In preparation)