The Afterword positions the book within the contemporary context of the metropolitan city of Santiago, addressing the recent socio-political uprising that hit the country as a whole in October 2019, and the ongoing process of re-writing of the political Constitution that resulted from it. Bringing to the fore a sharp critique of colonial symbols, national identity and neoliberal Chile, the Afterword questions the search for ‘Europeanness’ – in architecture, spatial organisation and urban landmarks – and the related ideology of whiteness embedded in the capital, a city always imagined ‘without indios’. Making a claim instead for a racially mixed and impure city, it highlights the overlapping and exchanges between the MapsUrbe project and the recent ethics and aesthetics of protest enacted during the October 2019 uprisings.
An ephemeral Indian stain on privileged areas of Santiago
Claudio Alvarado Lincopi
The places of memory, those spaces where collective memory is crystallised and sheltered, are ephemeral and volatile for the diaspora. What is a place of memory for those who had to undertake migration to survive? The train station at their destination? The bars frequented by the community in those cities that sheltered them? The marginal areas inhabited by them? The hyper-exploitative workspaces where they had to sell their labour as the people at the bottom of the chain of production? This chapter explores the (im)possibility of memory in a space where the very presence of Mapuche has been invisibilised, if not denied: the upper-class neighbourhoods of Santiago de Chile. The ‘Barrio Oriente’ was (and still is) a place where Mapuche women migrating from the south of the country were employed as nannies, housemaids and domestic workers. Their labour facilitated the reproduction of the life of our elites, yet their stories are simply vanishing from these privileged areas. Elaborating on these trajectories, the chapter addresses a performative intervention taken forward during the MapsUrbe project, seeking precisely to highlight and defy this invisibility and resulting in a minimum commemoration of denied biographical transits.
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.