7 The experience of colour C olour is but one of several aspects of vision, and only one of the many strands that make up our perception of the social and material world. It nevertheless plays an important part in the aesthetics of everyday life. Here I mean not the beauty-aesthetics of fine art or Kantian philosophy, but something closer to the classical Greek concept of aisthesis, or sense experience, and what A. G. Baumgarten meant when he introduced the term into philosophy in the eighteenth century as ‘the science of sensory cognition’. Aesthetics from
collective, frictional and varied. As such, this book engages with ‘corporeal epistemologies’ as forms of experiential and imaginative knowledge arising from putting the body in place and on stage, encompassing both performance and ethnography (Kondo 2018 ). Moving from emplaced and embodied creative practices, it interrogates the relationship between race, aesthetics, and politics, encompassing issues of indigeneity, urban migration, and the materiality of the (post)colonial city. Central to the book are the forms
research, the weight of decades of colonial practices of investigation. In short, MapsUrbe was a theoretical and practical exercise in discovering our grey aesthetics, our bifurcated biographies and our lost and reinvented chimaeras. It emerged as an academic project, but along the way, it was blurred, stained with the street, with critical breath, and with interpretations that overturn roles. We sought to blur our individualities in order to re-emerge under a collectivity that thinks of itself as variegated
The looking machine calls for the redemption of documentary cinema, exploring the potential and promise of the genre at a time when it appears under increasing threat from reality television, historical re-enactments, designer packaging and corporate authorship. The book consists of a set of essays, each focused on a particular theme derived from the author’s own experience as a filmmaker. It provides a practice-based, critical perspective on the history of documentary, how films evoke space, time and physical sensations, questions of aesthetics, and the intellectual and emotional relationships between filmmakers and their subjects. It is especially concerned with the potential of film to broaden the base of human knowledge, distinct from its expression in written texts. Among its underlying concerns are the political and ethical implications of how films are actually made, and the constraints that may prevent filmmakers from honestly showing what they have seen. While defending the importance of the documentary idea, MacDougall urges us to consider how the form can become a ‘cinema of consciousness’ that more accurately represents the sensory and everyday aspects of human life. Building on his experience bridging anthropology and cinema, he argues that this means resisting the inherent ethnocentrism of both our own society and the societies we film.
has evolved to become a means of exploring the full gamut of human social experience, including ideas, feelings, verbal and non-verbal expression, aesthetics, the role of the senses, and the formal and informal interactions of everyday life. Visual anthropology and writing It is important to understand that this has created a tension between conventional ways of doing anthropology and the possibilities opened up by visual anthropology. Anthropology, as a discipline of words, developed specific methods of research and forms of discourse that were both challenged and
establishing of effective borders that gave the name conflict a tangible, material manifestation and also created depictions of its socialist past and the presence of Islam. In my earlier work I have pointed out that in its effort to create a visible demarcation, due to the conflict with Greece, and to build boundaries with the previous socialist regime, the VMRO-DPMNE regime used aesthetics as its main vehicle, especially with the “Skopje 2014” project (Dimova 2013, 2015b ). I also emphasized that the “Skopje 2014” project should
Building on analyses of the relationship between race, aesthetics and politics, the volume elaborates on the epistemological possibilities arising from collaborative and decolonial methodologies at the intersection of ethnography, art, performance and the urban space. It moves from practice-based and collaborative research with young Mapuche and mestizo artists and activists in Santiago (Chile), drawing together a range of different materials: from artworks to theatre and performance; from graphics to audio and visual materials. An edited collection, the book is constructed by shifting between different authorships and changing perspectives from the individual to the collective. This approach, while to a certain extent within the classical structure of editors/authors, plays with the roles of researcher/research participant, highlighting the ambiguities, frictions and exchanges involved in this relationship. Elaborating on indigenous knowledge production, the book thus addresses the possibility of disrupting the social and material landscape of the (post)colonial city by articulating meanings through artistic and performative representations. As such, the essays contained in the book put forward alternative imaginations constructed through an aesthetic defined by the Mapuche concept of champurria (‘mixed’): a particular way of knowing and engaging with reality, and ultimately an active process of home- and self-making beyond the spatialities usually assigned to colonised bodies and subjects. Actively engaging with current debates through collective writing by indigenous people raising questions in terms of decolonisation, the book stands as both an academic and a political project, interrogating the relationship between activism and academia, and issues of representation, authorship and knowledge production.
The experience of creative encounter navigated through a migrant ethnography develops new perspectives applicable to the reinterpretation of the Western tradition. This is illustrated by my engagement with classical sites and their literature in Italy. A brief discussion of my creative encounter with the classical site of Paestum (southern Italy) leads to a ’migrant reading’ of Plato’s Symposium, where my role there is compared to that of Aristodemus, the ‘stranger at the feast’; this leads to a résumé of the migrant as human symbolon, a half person who lives metaphorically in search of the other. Because of this, it is suggested that, in the creative encounter, ethnography and aesthetics habitually fuse. Recalling the Prelude’s discussion of Oedipus, Translations makes the case for identifying migrant incompleteness (division as doubling) as a form of sovereignty that contains, rather than splits, others (voices, places, ghosts and hosts).
Returning to the main themes and lines of analysis developed in the book and to the collaborative research process, this chapter draws the volume’s conclusions. Constructed as a hybrid between written and oral text, it is a dialogue and a conversation in the form of the Mapuche nütxam – extensively adopted during the research project – between the book’s three editors and the project’s coordinators. This conversation, taking place in a virtual format due to the COVID-19 emergency, hovers around the authors’ positionalities, collaboration and frictions. In doing so, it elaborates on the process of collaborative research and collective writing, knowledge production, methodological decolonisation and indigenous political aesthetics and their broader meaning from both an anthropological and activist standpoint.
possibilities of decolonisation which open up a space to rethink ourselves and to discover our hundreds and thousands of faces. There, the very place where Mapuche heads were exposed as a triumph of colonialism, we infiltrate new aesthetics; we compose upon the inherited fracture, in order to emerge from the very same place in the metropolitan city.