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Accepted Paper:

From the Decolonial Turn to the Ontological Turn in the Arts of the Global South: the Example of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Independent Cinema  
Alvaro Malaina (University Complutense of Madrid)

Paper short abstract:

We propose an application of the "ontological turn" (Descola 2013, Latour 2007, Viveiros de Castro 2014) in the cinematographic art of countries of the Global South, specifically to the film work of Apichatpong Weerasethakul that shows the animist ontology of the Thai region of Isan.

Paper long abstract:

The decolonial theory (Dussel 2015, Mignolo 2011) focuses on questioning the universality of knowledge proper to science and social thought built on a particular representation of the world (the Euro-Western) that would have been imposed on other knowledges of other peoples since the colonial era, thus opening up to the "epistemologies of the South" (De Sousa 2014). The so-called "ontological turn" in anthropology, developed by authors such as Descola (2013), Latour (2007), Viveiros de Castro (2014), implies a reflexive radicalization of the decolonial theory, by stating that what differs and is not recognized are other worlds in which other peoples live and not their different representations of a supposed common world, that is, the possibility of the existence of other worlds characterized by relations between human and non-human beings different from modern naturalist ontology, based on a separation between culture and nature. While the ontological turn remains an open debate in anthropology, art can serve here to reflect the "ontological turn" from aesthetics and emotional and sensory experience, showing other worlds annulled by western-modern colonialism of power and knowledge. Apichatpong Weerasethakul's cinema shows us, for example, the animist ontology of Isan, Thailand, and its world made of relationships between humans and non-humans (spirits, gods, animals, natural forces) that manifest a continuity of souls and interiorities in a discontinuity of bodies and exteriorities (Descola 2013). We will give examples of his films Tropical Malady (2004), Uncle Boonmee who can recall his past lives (2010) and Cemetery of Splendour (2015).

Panel P046a
Arts of the decolonial I
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -