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Decolonial encounters in Ciro Guerra’s El abrazo de la serpiente: indigeneity, coevalness and intercultural dialogue

D'Argenio, MC; (2018) Decolonial encounters in Ciro Guerra’s El abrazo de la serpiente: indigeneity, coevalness and intercultural dialogue. Postcolonial Studies , 21 (2) pp. 131-153. 10.1080/13688790.2018.1466426. Green open access

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Abstract

This article analyses the politics and aesthetics of the depiction of the encounter between the West and the non-West in Ciro Guerra’s film El abrazo de la serpiente, examining how the film deconstructs colonialist imagery and discourses, and engages with the notion and cinematic representation of indigeneity. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the article identifies and discusses the strategies employed in the film to decolonise the category of the ‘Indian’: challenging the colonial linguistic of domination and undermining the tropes of imperialist representations; staging and re-enacting colonial encounters; and subverting the power relations embedded in colonialist ethnography. The article argues that El abrazo de la serpiente acts as an instrument of political and cultural inquiry into the past and the present, and that it both proposes and enacts interculturalidad and intercultural dialogue as a cinematic approach to native culture. While the notion of indigeneity at play is not unproblematic, the film succeeds in foregrounding Indigenous points of view and ‘points of hearing’, challenging a Eurocentric politics of recognition and evolutionary epistemology in favour of a ‘coevalness’ of the native.

Type: Article
Title: Decolonial encounters in Ciro Guerra’s El abrazo de la serpiente: indigeneity, coevalness and intercultural dialogue
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/13688790.2018.1466426
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/13688790.2018.1466426
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Ciro Guerra, Latin American cinema, postcolonial cinema, indigeneity, Colombian Amazon
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069509
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