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Towards a National Cinema: An Analysis of Caliwood Films by Luis Ospina and Carlos Mayolo and Their Fundamental Contribution to Colombian Film

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This dissertation proposes a re-evaluation of the films of Caliwood—a close-knit group of film fanatics who produced socially-minded independent cinema in Cali, Colombia—and the group’s contribution towards a national film

This dissertation proposes a re-evaluation of the films of Caliwood—a close-knit group of film fanatics who produced socially-minded independent cinema in Cali, Colombia—and the group’s contribution towards a national film industry. Focusing primarily on the works of Luis Ospina and Carlos Mayolo during the period ranging between 1971 and 1991, this study analyzes six key films—Oiga vea! (1972), Cali de Película (1973), Agarrando Pueblo (1977), Pura Sangre (1982), Carne de tu carne (1983)—which showcase the evolution of the group’s production from experimental documentaries to pseudo-documentaries and fictional films. Additionally, It All Started at the End (2015) is analyzed because it is the last film produced by Luis Ospina and it showcases the history of the group from his own perspective. In totality, these films represent a political stance derived from the tenets of the Third Cinema movement—a call for a revolutionary cinema which reverberated throughout Latin America—which denounces neocolonialism, the capitalist system, and the Hollywood model of cinema as mere entertainment for profit. Furthermore, this comprehensive analysis of Caliwood’s films covers a representative sample of their film legacy, as well as their critique of socio-political and cultural issues in Colombia. The reflections yielded from this study propose a reframing of Colombian film history and acknowledges the importance of Ospina’s and Mayolo’s contribution to the development of a “national” film tradition in Colombia.

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  • 2020

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Motherhood: The Experiences of Domestic Workers in Contemporary Latin American Cinema

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This paper explores the psychological experiences of domestic workers in three contemporary Latin American films: Roma (Mexico, 2018), Crímenes de familia (Argentina, 2020) and Que Horas Ela Volta? (Brazil, 2015).

This paper explores the psychological experiences of domestic workers in three contemporary Latin American films: Roma (Mexico, 2018), Crímenes de familia (Argentina, 2020) and Que Horas Ela Volta? (Brazil, 2015). Specifically, the motherhood of these three protagonists is explored and analyzed using psychological research that pertains to motherhood, trauma, and the relationships between domestic workers and the families that employ them. This paper reveals that contemporary Latin American cinema portrays domestic workers as having negative experiences of motherhood as a direct result of their occupation and proposes for further protections, policy change, and psychological research to take place for domestic workers in Latin America and beyond.

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  • 2021-05

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A history of emotions in Spanish American narrative (novel and film): Argentina and Chile 1960-21st century

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Due to its interdisciplinary nature, the history of emotions has engaged much scholarly interest. This project draws from the historical, sociological and philosophical research on emotions to analyze the representation

Due to its interdisciplinary nature, the history of emotions has engaged much scholarly interest. This project draws from the historical, sociological and philosophical research on emotions to analyze the representation of emotions in narratives from Argentina and Chile. This historical investigation posits that socio-political, cultural and economic forces, which are represented in literature and film, shape emotions and emotional standards. The analysis of Rayuela (1963) by Julio Cortázar and Raúl Ruiz’s Tres Tristes Tigres (1968) is centered on the impact of Existentialism, capitalism and modernity on the construction of emotional standards in urban societies. The impact of militant groups in the shaping of collective emotions in Latin America during the 1960s and 70s is examined in Reina Roffé’s novel Monte de Venus (1973) and Aldo Francia’s film Ya no basta con rezar (1972). The analysis of Alberto Fuguet’s Las películas de mi vida (2002) and Pablo Larraín’s No (2012) sheds light on the paradigmatic shift in the construction of emotional standards resulting from the implementation of neoliberalism through dictatorships as well as the insertion into the globalized consumerist culture by way of technology and media. Finally, this project encourages future research of the emotions in literary and cultural studies of Latin America.

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  • 2016

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Overshadowing sight: the story of blindness in twenty-first century Latin American narrative and visual culture

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Coming out from under the shadow of sight, blindness has a story to tell. From Tiresias to The Miracle Worker, literary and visual representations of blindness are cornerstones of compelling

Coming out from under the shadow of sight, blindness has a story to tell. From Tiresias to The Miracle Worker, literary and visual representations of blindness are cornerstones of compelling tales of loss and overcoming. In support of the inherent value of sight, these conventional narratives overshadow the stories and lived experiences of blind people themselves. In light of this misrepresentation, I explore what it means to read, write, and see blindness, as well as consider the implications of being blind in present-day Latin America. I achieve this through a transnational and interdisciplinary analysis of novels, short stories, film, and photography by blind and sighted artists and writers whose work has been published or exhibited after the year 2000. In this context, I will demonstrate how blindness can serve as a lens through which the production and reception of narrative and visual culture can be critically evaluated from a blind person’s perspective. Most importantly, this dissertation showcases the critical and creative work of blind people in order to demystify stereotypes and contextualize anxieties surrounding blindness, perception, and identity.

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  • 2018