Animism has been described as a mimetic involvement that goes beyond the bounds of Cartesian reason. Considering different cinematographic approaches, we aim to explore the transformative potential of any political reference in image to animism to question knowledge systems and modernity narratives.
In the last two decades, the concept of animism has been reassessed and revamped (Viveiros de Castro 2009, Descola 2005, Ingold 2000, Kohn 2013). These recent proposals have enabled new thinking on the material and visual culture of indigenous peoples (Santos-Granero 2009), including indigenous cinema. Concurrently, animism has been rediscovered in modernity. On the one hand, according to Latour we have never been modern (1993). On the other hand, certain authors contend that animism and spirituality are constitutive of modernity and modernism, although they have been repressed and sidetracked from discourses about them. In fact, some film theories have long advocated that this is an animistic medium capable of thought and argumentation, animating the things of the world or revealing the invisible. Nevertheless, cinema not only represents but constitutes a given subject-world relation. In this respect, it is in tension with other ontologies, e.g. dreams and image-spirits. What is the influence of the spirits that inhabit a particular colonial territory in the cinematic images produced there? How is the modern image changing with computation and algorithm networks to communicate independently of humans? Are visual regimes incommensurate or can animism, instead of naturalism, be the constitutive basis for a cosmopolitics of art and cinema between different worlds?