Accepted Paper:

Producing indigenous memory via affect: Objects and places as links between lived and imagined temporalities in Bogota-Colombia.  
Maria Fernanda Esteban Palma (British Museum)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores how the recently self-recognized indigenous Muisca of the city of Bogota have created a long term collective memory using sacralized objects and places as powerful affective "links" between an imagined shared past and a present of struggle for survival.

Paper long abstract:

Since the 1991 constitutional reform that recognizes multiculturalism among the Colombian population, five Muisca indigenous groups have formed from among the mestizo dwellers of the outskirts of the city of Bogota. This paper explores how things and locales recently incorporated to the Muisca cultural repertoire produce temporal linkages within the agentic assemblages in which the Muisca participate during ceremonies. I argue that these temporal connections occur via sensorial affectation, by triggering the production of affects and the linking of those affects with member's affective memories. By these means, a collective Muisca memory is produced and incorporated to members' sense of selves; a memory that not only refers to the short-term history of the groups since they became officially recognized, but also to an imagined, mythical past that is produced to meet the model of alterity that positions indigenous people as spiritual and ecological. In this case, an artifact called the poporo (a portable holder of seashells and coca leaves), and a place known as the cusmuy (a dark, circular hut used for ceremonies) stimulate the production of a temporal coalescence between an imagined, spiritual pre-Hispanic past that is recalled via affect, and a present of struggle to be indigenous in a mestizo social environment. For the Muisca, these two material items have become indexes of social memory that are recalled on a regular basis as a means to shape and strengthen the group's cohesiveness, despite of the ruptures generated by coloniality, Christianity, and four hundred years of mestizaje.

Panel P052
Artefacts and visual systems in Oceania and America