Against Acoustic Colonialism: Indigenous Interferences and Counter-Currents from Mapuche Territories

Luis Cárcamo-Huechante, The University of Texas at Austin & Comunidad de Historia Mapuche

This talk will focus on how the invasive noises of the colonial city and hydroelectric dam projects in the Mapuche territory contribute to the long history of what I call “acoustic colonialism.” In order to offer a critical reflection on this issue, I will examine how colonial sonic forces vis-à-vis Indigenous acoustic resistance are performed in audiovisual works by contemporary Mapuche artists, such as Jeannette Paillan and Cristian Wenuvil. Their works allow me to elaborate on the ways in which colonizing sounds are deployed in the current scenario of neoliberalism in Chile, as well as to highlight the alternatives practices of sound, voicing and listening that emerge from an engagement with the Mapuche territory—its waters, its chants, its community voices— as forms of Indigenous interference and/or counter-currents to “acoustic colonialism.” This presentation is part of my ongoing theoretical and methodological research, in which I bring together approaches from Indigenous Studies and Sound Studies, drawing on Mapuche concepts of language, territory, and life relations. 

Luis E. Cárcamo-Huechante is currently the Director of the Program in Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS), member of the Advisory Council of the LGBTQ Studies Program and Associate Professor of Spanish at The University of Texas at Austin. He is also a founding member of the Comunidad de Historia Mapuche, a collective of Mapuche researchers based in Temuco, southern Chile. Professor Cárcamo-Huechante has been recently elected to the Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA). 

Organized by LASC Research Cluster Indigenous Studies in the Americas, Narratives of Belonging and Land Reclamation.

Monday, April 15 at 6:00pm


Eaton Humanities, 135
1610 Pleasant Street, Boulder, CO 80309