Accepted Paper:

Community video and the redressing of violent transgressions through k’iche’ legal practices in Guatemala.  
Carlos Flores (Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos, México)

Paper short abstract:

This paper analyses the role of community video within a landscape of violent crime addressed through ritualised practices of indigenous law and theorises how my own collaborative project has engaged these situations by helping to articulate audio-visual narratives of justice and redemption.

Paper long abstract:

The paper analyses the role of community video and visual anthropology methods within a landscape of high levels of violent crime partially addressed through ritualised practices of indigenous law. The highland region of Quiché, Guatemala, has endured a conflictive history of structural, military, criminal, political and racialized violence. There have been very few state mechanisms to tackle this situation, perpetuating high levels of impunity. Since the end of the civil war in 1996, however, community led initiatives have deployed what is called “Mayan law” to tackle violence and crime through local understandings of social healing. These include elaborate public performances which involve ritualised violence intended to change deviants’ behaviour as a pre-condition for reintegrating them in a “more human” fashion to community life. Within a highly conflictive, contested and fragmented social environment, local leaders have used different initiatives, including participatory/collaborative video-making, to educate their constituency about the need to collectively address daily life transgressions and reconstruct a sense of social consensus. I explore how practices to redress social transgressions combine new technological resources as support aid for social healing. Additionally, I theorise the ways my own collaborative project of visual anthropology has engaged situations of conflict and human suffering, by helping to articulate audio-visual narratives of crisis, justice and redemption for both community and academic consumption.

Panel P03
Existential crisis, exceptional fields: expanding fieldwork and storytelling in the face of violence and pandemic
  Session 1