8 August 2012
Venue: Room 209, Arts 1 (Building 206)
Host: Carla Grosman-Smith, PhD candidate in Latin American Studies (Spanish)
This thesis analyses the crisis of utopian discourse in contemporary Latin-American cinema. It begins by establishing a link between classical narratives of travel and their fundamental role in the configuration of the Modern-Colonial World System, which led to a crisis of self-representation in Latin American identity processes up to the 1970’s. This consequence is explained in the context of the aporia created first, by situating Latin American’s ontological self within the imperial philosophical paradigms. Secondly, because, by taking upon the role of emancipating the subaltern, the intellectual and political elites left intact the epistemological and ontological structures that reproduce the Eurocentric power. Despite this tension, both members of the dyad (intellectual/subaltern) were the focus of the repression campaigns imposed by the dictatorial regimes of the 70s and 80s. Facing the failure of the emancipator project the culture of 1990s is signed by melancholy. This thesis observes that recent Latin American cinema created a new allegory that deals with this crisis by deconstructing the modern allegory of travel. In order to demonstrate the argument, the thesis analyses three national cinemas from 1990 to 2005: Argentinean, Mexican and Cuban, revealing three different approaches to “the allegory of the standstill traveller”.