Author:Olivia Casagrande (University of Sheffield)
Paper short abstract:
In Santiago the Mapuche are present and absent at the same time, caught between forms of intercultural appropriation and invisibilization. In this context, young urban Mapuche often represent themselves as 'MapUrbe', conveying multiple belongings and the emergence of new political subjectivities.
Paper long abstract:
Within many cities in Latin America, indigenous groups are compelled to find ways of relating with urban space, negotiating collective belonging and identity as well as personal life-projects, triggering new practices at the political, artistic and social level.
In Santiago (Chile) the Mapuche are present and absent at the same time, often caught between forms of intercultural appropriation and invisibilization. Symbols, discourses and visual representations either exclude them as a minority or memorialize them as a 'heroic' past that is nevertheless pacified and assimilated, while their current presence is often overlooked. In this context, young urban Mapuche often represent themselves as 'MapUrbe', a term recently coined by the poet David Aniñir. These youngsters - second or third generation after migration from rural communities - propose interesting and changing processes of hybridization, conveying multiple belongings and the emergence of new political subjectivities. Underlying their in-betweenness the urbe and the mapu (land), they re-position themselves in a tension that had led both to political claims and artistic and cultural production. Moving from intensive fieldwork in 2017 and 2018, the proposed paper presents the partial results of an ongoing collaborative project, exploring the intertwined dimensions of the materiality of the urban space of Santiago and the lived experiences of young indigenous MapUrbe.
The indigenous city: ecologies, imaginations and the urban space in Latin America