María Inés Huenuñir Antihuala is from the Champunahuel community in Cayumapu, Panguipulli, Los Ríos. She is the author of Más Allá de ser Mapuche, among others. She teaches about indigenous language and culture and has created a CD of children’s music in Mapuche. She belongs to the Sacred Circle of grandparents around the planet and her poetry has been disseminated in several languages, carrying the prayers of the people.
El Xº Encuentro busca investigar lo eX-céntrico—lo que se ubica aparte, en los márgenes del poder—como lugar de identidad, lucha, creatividad y fuerza política. Entendemos lo eX-cénctrico como lo disidente, lo que se erige en un espacio distinto-aparte, desde el cual se hacen posibles otras subjetividades, modos de hacer/saber y futuros. Buscamos reflexionar sobre políticas y estéticas generadas desde un afuera, que marcan su distancia y no-deseo de inscribirse y escribirse con códigos dominantes, que desestabilizan sentidos comunes y desordenan los mapas de lo posible. Nos llama la atención también la carga propositiva y creativa de estos des-enmarques, su capacidad de generar soberanías que desde el cuerpo y el territorio tejen sujetos y colectividades eX-céntricas—estilos y poses, movimientos y naciones, cruzadas por lo indígena, lo punk, la discapacidad, lo cuir, lo negro, lo trans, lo proletario y lo migrante—que resisten e interpelan los centros de poder con rupturas estéticas, autonomías libertarias y corpolíticas desobedientes. En este contexto, el performance—el arte-acción, las culturas under, el teatro, la ocupación del espacio público, las corporalidades digitales, el body art, el drag, el cabaret, la música que anima la noche de los movimientos sociales—es una herramienta central tanto para la creación de nuevos significados como para la transmisión de conocimientos, memoria e identidad.
The distinction of Senior Fellow is awarded to scholars, artists and activists affiliated with the Hemispheric Institute whose work exemplifies an exceptional contribution to the field of performance and politics. Fellows are selected by the Institute’s Board. The first two fellows, Jesusa Rodríguez and Luis Millones, were named at the 2007 Encuentro in Buenos Aires; in Bogotá in 2009 we named Tomás Ybarra-Frausto and Guillermo Gómez-Peña; Vivian Martínez Tabares and Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani were named in 2013 in São Paulo; and in 2014 in Montreal we named Rossana Reguillo and Split Britches (Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver). Now in Santiago we are proud to name Julio Pantoja and Diamela Eltit as our Senior Fellows for 2016. Thank you, Julio and Diamela for all your contributions to Hemi over the years!
Hemi connects artists, scholars, and activists from across the Americas and creates new avenues for collaboration and action. Focusing on social justice, we research politically engaged performance and amplify it through gatherings, courses, publications, and archives. Our dynamic, multilingual network traverses disciplines and borders and is grounded in the fundamental belief that artistic practice and critical reflection can spark lasting cultural change.
Hemispheric Institute Projects and Initiatives
HemiPress is our digital publications imprint, created to house and centralize our diverse publication initiatives. Using a variety of customized open-source platforms, HemiPress includes a digital book series, stand-alone essays, and our journal emisférica, alongside other online teaching resources. HemiPress also provides access to Tome, an online authoring tool that facilitates long-form publishing in an immersive, media-rich environment.
Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library (HIDVL)
HIDVL is the first major digital video archive of performance practices in the Americas. Created in partnership with NYU Libraries and with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, HIDVL guarantees historical preservation of and free, online access to more than 700 hours of streaming video and extensive supporting materials in three languages. Recently acquired collections include Augusto Boal, Franklin Furnace, and UNIVERSES, among others.
Hemi New York
Housed at NYU, Hemi New York is a hub for artistic and scholarly exchange, featuring year-round public programming including conferences, performances, and exhibitions. Core initiatives include EMERGENYC, a training program for emerging artivists; the Critical Tactics Lab, a forum for researching collective action; and Hemispheric Dialogues, conversations around contemporary debates led by prominent scholars in the field.
Work groups facilitate long-term and collaborative research between scholars, artists, and activists. Our model for work groups emerged as an alternative to traditional academic panels, providing a space for sustained exploration of key issues in the study of performance and politics.
Part academic conference, part performance festival, Encuentros are biennial events that bring together hundreds of scholars, artists, activists, and students at different sites in the Americas. Encuentros foster experimentation, dialogue, and collaboration through a program of lectures, performances, roundtables, work groups, exhibitions, and workshops. Recent Encuentros include eXcéntrico: Dissidence, Sovereignties, Performance (Santiago 2016) and MANIFEST! Choreographing Social Movements in the Americas (Montreal 2014).
Through our interdisciplinary courses, offered in different locations in the Americas, we work to expand conventional understandings of what knowledge is and how it gets transmitted. Collaborative pedagogies, interdisciplinary methodologies, an emphasis on situated knowledge, field work, and physical practice comprise some of the strategies through which we are reimagining pedagogy and knowledge production.
Housed in the Tamiment Library at NYU, our archive includes fragile materials such as slides, photographs, books, posters, and other performance ephemera that have been provided by affiliated artists and scholars in order to assure their preservation for future generations. In addition to the collections at Tamiment, Hemi maintains an onsite library of books, journals, videos, and other primary source materials donated by artists and scholars in our network. Visitors may access this unique collection by visiting our reading room.
Graduate Student Initiative (Hemi GSI)
Hemi GSI seeks to strengthen the Institute’s network of graduate students working at the intersection of performance and politics. Hosted by member universities and organized entirely by students, Hemi GSI conferences (Convergences) create opportunities for a new generation of scholars to share their research, collaborate with artist-activists, and develop alternative pedagogies.
The Helix Queer Performance Network
A collaboration between La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and the Hemispheric Institute, the Helix Queer Performance Network seeks to nurture emerging queer performers, unite diverse queer communities, and celebrate the legacy and lineage of queer performance in New York City. Helix grew out of the Hemispheric New York Performance Network, an initiative created with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation that built long-term institutional partnerships with key New York City arts spaces. Through educational initiatives, innovative stage productions and challenging public conversations that prioritize diversity across age, race, class and gender, Helix aims to foster an inter-generational, multi-racial, multi-gender performance community where artists can document a broad spectrum of queer experience in the context of a rich artistic history.
Hemi is animated by its member institutions. Each organization contributes its local knowledge to create a network far more powerful than any single entity. In addition to participating in the vision and practice of Hemi, member institutions gain enhanced access to our digital authoring tools, online archives, and other pedagogical resources. Faculty and students also have opportunities to propose work groups, participate in graduate-level courses, and engage with an active, Americas-wide network to address pressing social issues.
The Xº Encuentro seeks to examine the eX-centric—that which stands apart, on the peripheries of power—as a site of identity, struggle, creativity, and political power. We understand the eX-centric as the dissident, that which stands apart, creating a space outside that makes possible other futures, subjectivities, and ways of doing and knowing. We seek to explore politics and aesthetics generated from without, from an outside that marks its distance and non-desire to be written in dominant codes, destabilizing common sense and disarranging the blueprints of the possible. We are drawn to the proactive and creative charge of these un-framings, to their capacity to generate sovereignties in bodies and territories that yield eX-centric subjects and collectivities —styles and poses, movements and nations, traversed by indigeneity, disability, queerness, blackness, as well as punk, trans, proletarian, and migrant sensibilities. These sovereignties resist and interpellate the centers of power with aesthetic ruptures, liberatory autonomies, and disobedient body politics. In this context, performance —performance art, theater, underground cultures, occupations of public space, digital corporealities, body art, drag, cabaret, the music that animates the nightlife of social movements— is a central tool both for the creation of new meaning and for the transmission of knowledge, memory, and identity.
by Diana Taylor
Welcome to eXcéntrico, the Hemispheric Institute’s Xth International Encuentro.
The first image that came to mind when we at Hemi conversed with our Chilean colleagues about doing an Encuentro in Santiago was X.
X, Hemi’s Xth International Encuentro.
X, eXcéntrico, we wanted to highlight the margins, the peripheries, the decolonial, the off-center, off off off. This Encuentro has certainly been eXcéntrico, though not always in the ways we imagined…. We hoped to spread out throughout the city of Santiago and even the country. The street art-action rutas or routes that traverse the city along various paths (Memory and Violence, The Indigenous City, Resistance in Urban Peripheries) built into this year’s program shows the impulse towards dispersion. As always, however, the center pulls back, and pushes outward, the periphery demands to become central, the tensions and oscillations between centers and peripheries resist stability or closure. The students once again take to the streets. Centers of learning are closed; other areas of interaction and dialogue open up.
X is the crossroad, the point where all the divergent elements come together, meet up, collaborate, and separate once more. X does not contain. We converge; we create; we depart.
X pinpoints the space between us that we inhabit and animate. Each of us may occupy a corner, but the in-betweenness is key to understanding affect and political action that does not happen in you or me but in the shared place between us, the productive x that both links and separates us.
X is Hannah Arendt’s space of appearance: “The polis, properly speaking, is not the city-state in its physical location; it is the organization of the people as it arises out of acting and speaking together, and its true space lies between people living together for this purpose [….] It is the space of appearance in the widest sense of the word.”
X = (in the multiplication tables) is a mechanism for augmentation. Creators X = greater number of creators. This is the law of contagion, intensification, and amplification. This is the work of political performance.
X , however, also stands in for the indeterminate, the variable element in any equation: a÷b = x. We never fully know the results of our actions. What will come of our getting together here in Santiago de Chile now? Great new thoughts, actions, and ideas, we hope.
X is queer, sexually ambiguous, skirting Romance Languages’ demands for gender definition. Instead of los and las, we have lxs.
X has decolonial potentialities. When the Spaniards conquered Mesoamerica they faced the difficulties of the Mayan and Náhuatl languages. They struggled to transcribe the sounds they heard into the Roman alphabet. Many approximations worked well enough, but some phonemes completely eluded them. Some of those they marked as X. The X in MeXico, niXtamal, aXolotl, Xóchitl, and others sound very different. X stands in for and against; it will not succumb to colonial rule or spelling.
X marks the spot, our location in the University of Chile in Santiago. For the next week, this will be our performance space, an arena of potentiality. Hemi thanks our hosts here for making this space possible. But it’s clear that material location is never a given—this very spot is and has long been the site of struggles and transformations. Our presence here now only highlights the constant re-figuration over time of the space itself.
X is polyvalent, signaling everything from kisses, to female chromosomes to censured materials.
Hemi, we like to imagine, is a crossroads for the Americas. Artists, activists, and scholars can come together at the Encuentro, connect, engage, inspire, mobilize, multiply, and keep moving out to the four corners of the world. Enjoy!
Welcome to the Xº eXcéntrico Hemispheric Encuentro 2016
For many, the resurgence of social movements in our country which started in 2006 and reached their climax throughout 2011 was a turning point in the dormant transition stage that defined the years following the dictatorship in our country. In a way this phenomenon sealed, on one hand, the end of the process of democratic restoration, and on the other, it brought forth the reappearance of old demands calling for the need to transform our political system. Social movements, of various kinds—for free and egalitarian quality education, for the right to gender and sexual diversity, the struggle for the claims of native peoples, for a change of paradigms in the exploitation of the environment—allow, in their ensemble, to recover a political dimension against the downgraded habituation of politics as a mere form of administration. It is in this context that the question of sovereignty, of the right to dissent, in brief, of the right to think up a different social and economic organization acquire full relevance, and the claims of the citizens become urgent. This civic shift recenters the discussion around the issue of participation rather than representation, one of a distributive power rather than an attributive one. It is on this ideal stage that emerge other ways to manifest dissent, ways which become eccentrical, amounting to a distinct and separate space, in which other subjectivities are made possible, other means to do and know, taking the form of what we call performance today.
This is why the University of Chile has decided to co-organize, along with the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics of New York University, this event; not only because it is the University of the Country, but especially because of its public mission which defines it and bids it to contribute to the development of the Nation. This is an unprecedented initiative born out of the University’s desire to intervene in the public debate and build ties with the national and international cultural and artistic milieu. Due to the nature of this initiative, which combines academic exchanges and a performance festival, it succeeds in creating a space for the arts all the while allowing a public discussion in regards to politics. The very signature of the Hemispheric Institute is this intersection between arts, politics and academia, which introduces an innovative and necessary work modality in our country.
Today, a time in which we want to consider politics as a space for dissidence where the sovereignties which operate between the state and the citizens become increasingly tense, and where performance is built as an experience of that transformation, is the best moment for our country to host this Xth Encuentro Hemisférico.
Welcome Hemisférico, welcome all.
Vice-rector of Extension and Communications
University of Chile
Mauricio Barría Jara
Xº Encuentro Hemisférico de Performance
Translation is at the heart of the Hemispheric Institute’s practice—at the core of our thinking and doing. Our capacity to come together, share work, and build relationships of collaboration and exchange depends upon our ability to express ourselves in the languages in which we feel most comfortable and which best capture the nuances of our thought and action. Yet our commitment to translation has always come up against our capacity to provide full print and digital translation and offer simultaneous interpretation across our events and programs. While we are proud to be able to provide simultaneous interpretation of the keynote lectures, roundtables, and other plenary events, we are also keenly aware that mutual understanding across our linguistic differences will require a collective effort on the part of all participants. In many ways, this challenge of intelligibility across difference defines the praxis of Encuentros, calling upon each of us to make the concern of another our own. This means speaking slowly and clearly, and translating—whenever possible—for the colleague standing next to you. It is in this spirit of generosity that we invite everyone to participate as active interpreters in this collective exercise—one which we hope can help us model the change we want to see and the world we want to inhabit.