2011 NZCLAS events

Constructing a Post-Imperial World: Chávez, Latin America and ALBA (The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America)

29 March 2011

In view of the successes achieved by social movements in the Middle East, transnational media have asked who the leaders of “the people” are, which organisations represent them, and what goals they wish to achieve. In returning to the people as a social subject for political processes across the world, this seminar asks how ALBA, the Boliviarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America has contributed to a rethinking of global alignments, popular movements and the discourse about “the people” from three different perspectives and disciplines: International Law, Globalisation Studies and Latin American Studies.

Third Worldism and ALBA as Anti-Colonial Projects in International Law

Mohsen Al Attar, Law School, the University of Auckland

Ten Dimensions of Counter-hegemonic Integration: ALBA and Third Generation Regionalism

Dr Thomas Muhr, Centre for Globalisation, Education & Societies, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Strengthening The People at the Flaxroots: Countering Transnational Media through Participatory Democracy
Dr Kathryn Lehman, New Zealand Centre for Latin American Studies, the University of Auckland

Discussant: Mike Treen, National Director of Unite New Zealand.

David Hernández Palmar

Seminar series on Indigenous Media, Participatory Democracy and Language Revitalization in Abya Yala and Aotearoa

December 2011

With David Hernández Palmar, Iipuana clan, Wayuu nation, Venezuela.

David Hernández Palmar, Wayuu language activist and media producer from Venezuela, visited Auckland in December, 2011, funded by Te Whare Kura, and supported by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) and the New Zealand Centre for Latin American Studies (NZCLAS).

Public lecture: The Centrality of Language in Indigenous Transformation

The Wayuu people cross two countries with different nation-state histories, Venezuela and Colombia. David Hernández Palmar’s mother is one of the leading specialists in Wayuunaiki language revitalization efforts, having worked with all representatives to write the first national anthem Wayuunaiki.  David described changes in Venezuela by stating that when Wayuu elders were asked what word they use in Wayuunaiki for “democracy”, they replied with “justice”. For if there is no justice, there cannot be democracy. Participatory Democracy must have a  framework that protects the rights of Indigenous Peoples and citizenship must be accordingly redefined.

Indigenous Peoples, Participatory Democracy and New Media

Research workshop: Indigenous Peoples, Participatory Democracy and New Media

Presentations by Dr Leonie Pihama, Robert Pouwhare, Phoebe Fletcher and Mayra Gomez.

Participatory democracy has swept Abya Yala as social movements, often led by Indigenous organisations, create constituent assemblies that write inclusive constitutions and implement new laws to reverse dictatorship-era legislation and centuries of colonial rule. The role of media has been pivotal, introducing innovative ways of communicating locally, nationally, regionally and globally. David Hernández Palmar has been engaged in communicating with Indigenous networks across America (Latin America, the US and Canada) and discussed how Indigenous communities not only participate in but lead these changes.

The day was organised and hosted by Dr Kathryn Lehman from NZCLAS, Dr Sue Abel from the University of Auckland’s Māori Studies department, and Dr Joe TeRito, Senior Research Fellow at NPM. The three are collaborating in a Te Whare Kura research team. “It was a successful and worthwhile visit,” says Joe. “During which we learnt of some very close parallels between the Wayuu and Māori.”

David also attended the Documentary Edge Conference at AUT, in which he learned that the documentary movement in the Pacific and the Wayuu audiovisual experience had a lot in common with Indigenous documentary makers in Australia. They proposed a trans-continental co-production in future including Wayuu (Venezuela-Colombia) – Māori (Aotearoa-Nueva Zelanda) – Jumbunna (Australia).

First Postgraduate Seminar on Latin America

The inauguration of this annual seminar series had six presentations from students from Comparative Literature, Development Studies, Politics, Spanish and Latin American Studies. The event also served to launch the postgraduate discussion group ENLACES: Engaging Latin American Culture, Education and Students. October 17.