UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Imágenes afro : las políticas de representación de la subjetividad negra en el cine colombiano contemporáneo (2009-2017) Castaneda, Liliana Patricia


This study argues that the new trends in the Colombian regime of film representation were both the result and a constitutive element of the dynamism seen in the landscape of political identities. Specifically, the new dynamism and sensibility toward the issues concerning afro-Colombian groups in the social and historical context allowed their stories and faces to reach the big screen after nearly a century of sporadic appearances as servants or criminals as part of the dominant white aesthetics. This challenge to the mainstream symbolic order became evident with internationally acclaimed feature films such as Óscar Ruiz Navia’s El vuelco del cangrejo (2009); Rubén Mendoza’s La sociedad del semáforo (2010); Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza’s Chocó (2012); Juan Andrés Arango’s La Playa D.C. (2012) and X500 (2017); and Ángela María Osorio Rojas and Santiago Lozano Álvarez’s Siembra (2015). The main contribution of these movies has not only been to counteract the normalization of exclusion of racialized populations derived from the coloniality matrix of power, but also to portray a particular subjectivity with conflicting repercussions. The textual analysis will show that each movie explores a main theme within a variety of issues pertaining to black communities. However, this research points out common tropes and narratives that intersect amidst the complex field of politics of representation: the contemporary slave, the African diaspora, uprooting, discrimination, gender inequality, violence, precariousness and economic marginalization. This thesis also argues that the first generation of movies centered on afro-Colombian issues do not innovate in terms of aesthetics since directors use popular filmmaking styles of past movements. The emphasis on realism by employing non-professional actors, recreating everyday routines, referring to real events, conducting location in situ and showing the communities’ local speech are among those features. When comparing these variables, it is noticeable the ethnographic gaze of these films, with a specific interest in Afro-Pacific male stories, generating other invisibilities toward other Afro-Colombian regional, urban and gender identities. This activates a call for continuing striving for the democratization of the regime of film representation and the commercial circuit to increase the perspectives, stories and faces long awaited to be seen.

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