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Lucrecia Martel's Nueva Argirópolis: Rivers, Rumours and Resistance

Martin, D; (2016) Lucrecia Martel's Nueva Argirópolis: Rivers, Rumours and Resistance. Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies , 25 (3) pp. 449-465. 10.1080/13569325.2016.1167018. Green open access

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This article analyses Lucrecia Martel’s 2010 short film Nueva Argirópolis, which was commissioned by the Argentine Ministry of Culture as part of the Bicentennial celebrations. It explains how the film both inhabits yet contests the discourses of the modern nation state underpinning those celebrations, in particular through its representation of conflict between the state and indigenous groups. Its representation draws on images proposed by an earlier work, Sarmiento’s utopian tract of 1850, Argirópolis, images including the river and the island which in Martel’s film undergo a resignification, which overturns Sarmiento’s understanding of relationships between geography, capital, nation and ethnicity. Political and cultural debates of particular relevance to indigenous communities, such as access to land, as well as the way the indigenous are represented in state discourses, surface obliquely in this short film, which both represents diegetically the circulation and relay of rumours of indigenous resistance, as well as suggesting these formally through a soundtrack suffused with murmurs and barely audible sounds. The unsubtitled words of indigenous actors, as well as the authorities’ attempts at investigation of indigenous political activity through staging encounters of (failed) interpretation, and the subversive mimicry by indigenous activists of hegemonic ideas of national foundation are themselves muted, rumoured suggestions of a resistance which always lies just outside this short film’s visual grasp.

Type: Article
Title: Lucrecia Martel's Nueva Argirópolis: Rivers, Rumours and Resistance
Location: UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/13569325.2016.1167018
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13569325.2016.1167018
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies on 1 September 2016, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13569325.2016.1167018
Keywords: Nation; Sarmiento; indigenous people; water; language
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493022
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