Web Cuadernos

Web cuadernos are on-line curations of multimedia materials focused on particular topics or bodies of work relating to performance and politics in the Americas. They contain combinations of photos, videos, texts, hyperlinks, bibliographies, and audio recordings, each piece gathered to explore a specific topic. The collections are based on a loose scaffolding or outline designed to make connections between disciplines, to serve as a research resource for artists and scholars, and to solicit exchange and additional materials. Each cuaderno is a work in progress. We invite our on-line community to add to our existing cuadernos by suggesting hyperlinks and/or original materials.

Centro de Estudios Mapuche Pewma

by Pedro Cariman, Cecilio Melillan & Fresia Mellico
The Centro de Estudios Mapuche Pewma is an initiative of a Puel Mapu Mapuche group (from Argentina), most of whom live in the province of Neuquén. One of their main goals is to promote research and documentation of different aspects of the Mapuche culturea and language. These initiatives also aim to generate debate and spaces of exchange between Mapuche individuals and communities interested in analyzing the history of their people from their own perspective and with their own discourses. (Web cuaderno is in Spanish)

RARA Vodou, Power and Performance

by Elizabeth Mcalister
Like a lot of people who visit Haiti, I have become involved in a long-term relationship with the country. I was fascinated immediately with its culture—especially the music, religion and art of everyday people. I would like to start a new cliché about Haiti: instead of its being known as “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere,” I think it should be considered “one of the culturally richest countries in the Western Hemisphere.” I have researched and learned a little bit about the vibrant culture of Haiti, and published a book on the Rara festivals, Rara! Vodou, Power and Performance in Haiti and its Diaspora, plus several albums and articles.

Home For Veterans

by Emma Raynes
New Era Veterans is a transitional housing facility for previously homeless veterans in the Bronx. The facility is a Single Room Occupancy government owned building that provides shelter, counseling, and social services. Residents at New Era Veterans range from world war two veterans to veterans who recently returned from tours in Iraq. Most of the residents at New Era Veterans are struggling with physical disabilities, psychological disorders, and addictions. The texts that follow include poetry and prose written and performed by residents and recorded at the facilities poetry group meetings.

Fragments of Peruvian History and Society

This web cuaderno offers the visitor a brief tour through Peruvian history and society using a few of its characters, places and forms of expressive culture. However, this tour doesn’t draw a continuous route; nor does it try to connect facts in a singe narrative line. It is more precisely about the presentation of fragments that the visitor will be able to explore and eventually connect as a part of a bigger scene. The cuaderno itself is organized upon three axes: characters, places and representations. Within each axis several cases have been selected according to their relevance to illustrate and explain bigger historical processes.

Sarhua: Tierra de Montañas y Colores

This cuaderno houses the photographs and texts of the exceptional indigenous community of Sarhua in the Peruvian Andes. It is a village of painters whose art dates back centuries and is unique to that region. Their paintings play an active social role, being compulsory gifts for couples building a home—the drawings span the surface of a wooden beam that then becomes part of the couple’s roof. In the 1970s, some of these beams were exported to Lima and abroad, and they took on different forms during a short-lived commercial boom. This cuaderno is about the story of these events and the importance of this age-old artistic form in the village of Sarhua.

Native Performance in New York City at the American Indian Community House

In addition to serving the cultural, health, and social service needs of Native Americans residing in New York City, the American Indian Community House of New York City provides a much needed space for the performing arts. In existence since 1969 the AICH Performing Arts Department was developed to promote Native American performing artists and to provide them with a performance space to showcase their work. This web cuaderno project serves as an introduction to the American Indian Community House and to the diverse and important collection of performance materials amassed by its Performing Arts Department.

Indigenous Encuentros

by Pilar Rau
At the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics’ fifth Encuentro, “Performing 'Heritage': Contemporary Indigenous and Community-Based Practices,” members of two Brazilian indigenous communities, the Kaiapó and the Maxacalí, presented performances that generated fascination, confusion, and considerable dialogue. This web cuaderno presents audio-visual documentation and analysis of their participation in this event.

Vachiam Eecha: Planting the Seeds

by David Delgado Shorter
This cuaderno draws from Yoeme Indian language and aesthetics in order to demonstrate how one tribe in Mexico combines religiosity, indigeneity, and ritual performance to assert sovereign control over their homeland. In collaboration with Yoeme people from several pueblos, the web designers work here to speak with both community member and non-Yoeme people about the politics of representation. In this virtual territory of the internet, come see how we have planted seeds of indigenous collective memory and ethnographic performance.

The Death of the Inca Atahualpa

by Luis Millones and Ulla Berg
In this web cuaderno, we present multiple representations - written, drawn, or enacted - by communities of the Peruvian Andes. The materials have been collected by a team of researchers directed by Luis Millones. By initiative of Diana Taylor, Luis Millones, and Ulla D. Berg these materials have found their way into the pages of this electronic archive, which we hope will be of use to future researchers and students of the foundational scene of the Andean countries: The capture and death of the Inca Atahualpa.

Performance and Censorship in Colonial Mexico

by Martha Toriz (editor)
This Web Cuaderno discusses the wide variety of expressive behaviors within the colonial society, from the performing arts to civic, courtly and popular festivities. These social performances necessarily implied power and political relationships. The common denominator of these performatic expressions is their public character and their message directed to the collective masses.

Mapuche Campaign for Self-Representation

by Miriam Alvarez, Lorena Cañuqueo and Laura Kropff
In 2001 the Mapuche Campaign for Self-Representation was created to redefine Mapuche identity to reflect the diversity of the community in an urban context. The campaign openly confronts the hegemonic discourse, which tries to diminish the Indian practices and cultural identity as folklore, and intends to promote self-knowledge in the Mapuche community.

Praxis Indígena: Etno-apropriación discursiva y tecnológica

by Norma Belén Correa Aste and Luis Alberto López Espinoza
This web cuaderno presents five recently developed ethnographies in the Peruvian Amazon that problematize the processes of identity constitution and reconstitution in indigenous contexts. From a performative perspective, the main case studies explore the appropriation and materialization of the speeches related to the Internet and the Intercultural Bilingual Education by two indigenous groups (Asháninka and Shipibo cases).

Repasos: Art & Life in Chile Under Pinochet

by Antonia Thompson
"REPASOS" is a multimedia, 'hypertext' piece which studies the inherent relationship between art and politics (and between art and life) in Agusto Pinochet's Chile. Through personal interviews with artists, performers, writers, and musueum and gallery directors, the project tells the story of the Escena Avanzada and the CADA ("Colectivo Acciones de Arte") -- two groups of artists and intellectuals who stayed in Chile during the years of military rule and "dared to gamble on a form of creativity."


by Jennifer Kaplan
In this web cuaderno, which we hope will be the first of several on the performance of political protest, we have collected materials on HIJOS' strategies, philosophies, and practices of resistance and activism, placing them in a context of political performance in Argentina's history which began with the coup and continued with the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo.

Tepeyac Television Service

by Irene García and Adriana Ayala
Tepeyac Television Service (TTS) is a public television project formed by a group of Mexican immigrant workers in New York City. Its fundamental mission is to facilitate access to video cameras for immigrant workers whose voices are systematically silenced and devalued. The goal is to help people strengthen their voices by teaching them video production to document their lives, families and communities. TTS’s video projects not only explicitly defend and promote the human and labor rights of Mexican and other Latino workers in the tri-state area, but also encourage creative expression among individuals. TTS seeks to create a dialogue among immigrant workers on a transnational level through the distribution and exhibition of their work in film festivals, exhibits and through this web site.

Holy Terrors: Latin American Women Perform

by Diana Taylor and Alexei Taylor
The Holy Terrors website is designed to augment and constantly update the book, Holy Terrors: Latin American Women Perform (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003). Here we provide an ever-expanding archive of visual materials (such as videos, slide shows, photos), performance texts, interviews, scholarly essays, bibliographies and related links concerning the artists in the volume, as well as others. Feel free to suggest new artists, contribute materials, or make comments about this site.

Architecture and Performance:Plaza Italia in Santiago of Chile

by Rodrigo Tisi
Plaza Baquedano, known as La Plaza Italia de Santiago, is the belly button of the Chilean capital. Santiaguinos talk about it as much as they can. This is the place where La Alameda, Providencia and Vicuña Mackenna get together, as well as Bustamante Park, Forestal Park, Américas Park, Ramón Carnicer, Pío Nono and Merced, San Cristóbal hill and the Mapocho river. The site is a node, a true center of encounters in the urban environment of the city of Santiago.

Political Performance

by students of the Political Performance course at NYU, 2004
This site evolved from a course examining the use of performance—by the State, by oppositional groups, and by theatre and performance practitioners—to solidify or challenge structures of power. We look at specific paradigms of power (conquest, colonionialsm, fascism, military dictatorship, globalization) of the 20th and 21st Centuries. How have public spectacles been used to support or contest state power? How do theatrical terms such as ‘catharsis,’ ‘mimesis,’ ‘identification,’ ‘spectatorship,’ and so on, serve to elucidate political strategies? And how has language changed so that words such as “freedom” could refer to invasion, “patriot” (as in “Patriot Act”) become shorthand for blind allegiance, and intelligence gathering be demoted to unintelligible “chatter?

Intangible Heritage: Day of the Dead

by participants of the CRIM Conference 2003
This site is the result of the one-week conference on Intangible Heritage at CRIM (Cuernavaca, México, 2003), where a group of students and faculty worked as a team to explore the Day of the Dead tradition. By looking at the Day of the Dead celebration as a performance, the group examined the ways in which cultural memory is transmitted through social practices, customs, actions, and rituals.

Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani

by Gisela Cárdenas
Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani is an activist theater group, with a 30 year history of performing in reaction to, and in defiance of politics in Peru. In this web cuaderno, we have gathered a myriad of materials linking the work of this important theater group to the political and social history of Peru.


by Shanna Lorenz
Marianela Boán and DanzAbierta: Cuban dancer, choreographer and performer, Boán worked fifteen years with for Contemporary Dance of Cuba where she created a number of works that toured in more than forty countries. In 1988, Boán founded DanzAbierta where she began to mix different theater and dance styles, while working through harsh contemporary conflicts. She uses a language that breaks with the limits of pure movement, reaching out to other forms of artistic expression such as theater, visual arts, music and song... always demanding from the dancers the full development of all expressive channels. She calls her style "polluted dance."

Los Rumbos de la Rumba: World Map

by Berta Jottar
This cuaderno focuses on rumba as a cartography of the Diaspora. Rumba is a transitory space, an international, transnational and post-national site in the making and unmaking of itself, in its performance. The geography of this site is the rumbos de la rumba, its different routes, directions, estadias in one locale and another, simultaneously when rumba is performed and fragmented by its relationship to location; once rumba is within and outside the barrio, solar, hood, ethnic group, place of origin and beyond. Rumba is its migratory condition. This world map is a world view that understand movement and sound as its epistemology. This site is the compilation of rumbas beyond place in the constant making and unmaking of place, nation and narration.