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Genres of Emergence: Immanence in the Ayoreo Video Project - Lucas Bessire

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Deakin University Downtown

Level 12, Tower 2

727 Collins Street

Docklands, VIC 3008

Australia

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Join the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation for a screening of the experimental ethnographic film Farewell to Savage, followed by a public lecture by Lucas Bessire, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma.

Program

2.00 pm: Farewell to Savage (70 minutes)

This experimental ethnographic film uses footage from the workshop process, archives and a drone to craft a non-linear reflection on the power of visuality to provoke new ways of relating to the world, each other and our own past selves. In sustained dialogue with each of the Ayoreo videos, the film documents how the filmmaking process unleashed new potentials and dilemmas for all involved, in ways that pose important questions for anthropological theory, practice and advocacy.

4.00 to 5.30 pm: Genres of Emergence: Immanence in the Ayoreo Video Project

This talk explores unexpected social forms that emerged in a video workshop held together with recently contacted Ayoreo of the Bolivian and Paraguayan Gran Chaco. It does so in order to craft a larger reflection about writing alterity through emergence rather than supposedly deterministic technologies or stable cosmologies. In doing so, the talk addresses how the particular objectifying power of video colludes and collides with Ayoreo life-projects, ethnographic aspirations and wider projects of governing difference. The talk argues that unauthorised Indigenous self-imagery and the minor conditions of its production may offer untimely correctives to the visual economies, perceptual silos and political lexicons often presumed to define the present. In doing so, it asks how Ayoreo remediations of self and world may charter novel axes for ethnographic writing and critique to come.

About Lucas Bessire

Lucas Bessire is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. He is a political anthropologist who has published widely on contemporary conditions of crisis, critique and change across the Americas. Trained in film production and theory, he has also made three ethnographic documentaries with the Ayoreo-speaking peoples of the Gran Chaco. He is author of the award-winning ethnography Behold the Black Caiman: a Chronicle of Ayoreo Life (2014, University of Chicago Press) and director of the Ayoreo Video Project, a collaborative Indigenous video initiative in Paraguay.

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Deakin University Downtown

Level 12, Tower 2

727 Collins Street

Docklands, VIC 3008

Australia

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