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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). Specifically, the motherhood of these three protagonists is explored and

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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New performance cartographies in the city of San Juan

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In this dissertation I use Henri Lefebvre's concept of the production of social space to study how political theatre companies and artists in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, appropriate and resignify, through performance, their current social space as

In this dissertation I use Henri Lefebvre's concept of the production of social space to study how political theatre companies and artists in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, appropriate and resignify, through performance, their current social space as a strategy to contest Puerto Rico's neoliberal state policies. As Lefebvre suggests, modern industrial cities like San Juan maintain hegemonic power relations through spatial practices, processes through which users and inhabitants of the city conceive, perceive and live space. Lefebvre further suggests that for social justice to be possible, space must be resignified in ways that expose otherwise invisibilized struggles for social belonging and differentiation. I argue that theatrical performance, by staging various social conflicts and contradictions between the dominating space and the appropriating space, can produce new "performance cartographies" through which its audiences – in large part disenfranchised from the neoliberal processes so celebrated elsewhere on the island – may find ways to resignify space or envision new spaces for social justice on their own behalf. Specifically, I examine five theatre groups and artists from oppressed sectors in San Juan, whose work is to various degrees in opposition to neoliberalism, to reveal how both their artistic and quotidian performances might be resignifying space toward these ends. How does the work of Agua, Sol y Sereno, Y no había luz, Teatro Breve, Deborah Hunt and Tito Kayak strategically claim or appropriate space? What kind of knowledges emerge from these spatial tactics, and how are they helping envision new forms of living and social justice in the city?

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2015

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A Cyber(space) of Their Own: Female Iberian and Latin American Artists and Writers of the Digital. A Transatlantic Analysis from Identity (De)Construction, Political Dissidence and Activism, to the Posthuman

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As a result of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs, works can be distributed and viewed at a global scale with the simple click of the mouse. One can even visit entire museums and virtually walk through

As a result of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs, works can be distributed and viewed at a global scale with the simple click of the mouse. One can even visit entire museums and virtually walk through their collections without having to leave one’s own seat. Furthermore, new software, programs, and digital tools facilitate and make possible the ability to experiment and create one’s art in ways that were previously unimaginable or even unheard of. This is also true with the dissemination of one’s art and the visibility of contemporary artists who create works pertaining to the digital realm. However, the availability, usage, and training associated with such technologies do not come without its own implications and drawbacks. Unfortunately, there exists a great disparity not only with access and availability of the Internet at a global level, but also a digital divide, which indicates that the technologies and sciences are “gendered”—for instance, the male majority in STEM professions and fields of study. When considering the Humanities, specifically the genre of contemporary art and literature, women’s marginalization is witnessed there too, as distinguished canonical works belong to predominantly Caucasian, Anglo-Saxon men. In the digital age then, Iberian and Latin American women writers and artists face the challenge of visibility and recognition in two territories—technology and contemporary artistic creation—dominated by men. This study gathers contemporary female artists of digital works originating from North America, the Caribbean, South America, and Spain who utilize a wide variety of tools to conduct and create their artwork. The artists and authors analyzed in this project include: Teresa Serrano (México, D.F. 1936-), Adriana Calatayud (México, D.F. 1967-), Ana Mendieta (Havana, 1948-1985), Maritza Molina (Havana), Yasmín S. Portales Machado (Havana, 1980-), María María Acha-Kutscher (Lima, 1968-), Praba Pilar (Colombia), María Cañas (Seville, 1972-), and Pilar Albarracín (Arcena, Huelva 1968-), with the objective of investigating the manner in which digital tools are being used by these women artists and writers for the purpose visibility, identity (de)construction, as spaces of resistance, and to explore how those messages are transmitted and transformed through digital mediums.

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2019