Cinematographic Landscapes of Blackness in Mexico: (Re)Framing Afro-Mexican Lives & Futures

Talia Weltman-Cisneros

Abstract


The legacy of historical invisibility and socio-cultural marginalization and rejection have marred contemporary Afro-Mexican lives, silencing their stories, customs, traditions, and cosmologies, while also denying them a sense of belonging and place within the visions of the present and futures of Mexican landscapes. Mexican films have often echoed this estranged relationship between blackness and Mexicanidad, portraying black characters as stereotyped figures who have most often been marked as exotic, primitive, and alien or anachronic in Mexico. However, these subaltern imaginaries of blackness and of Afro-Mexicanidad are challenged in the recent films La negrada (2018) and Artemio (2017). This article reflects on these films’ critique of Afro-Mexican real-life and cinematic inequality and subalternity through the lens of Afrofuturism and Black Speculative Arts, which I suggest offer counter-futures of black lives and foreground black protagonists as individuals and communities who can now “see their own” and stand as stakeholders in Mexico’s present and future.

 


Full Text:

PDF

References


Aguirre Beltrán, Gonzalo. La población negra de México. Estudio etnohistórico. México, D.F., Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1989.

Anderson, Reynaldo. “Afrofuturism 2.0 and the Black Speculative Arts Movement. Notes on a Manifesto.” Obsidian: Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora, vol 42, no. ½, 2016, pp. 228-236, 269.

Anderson, Reynaldo and Charles E. Jones, eds. Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2015.

Arce, Christine. “La Negra Angustias: The Mulata in Mexican Literature and Cinema.” Callaloo, vol 35, no 4, 2012, pp. 1085-1102.

Artemio. Directed by Sandra Luz López Barroso, Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica, 2017.

Bacilio, Mario. “Los caminos hacia Artemio. Entrevista con Sandra Luz López Barroso, directora de Artemio.” Ambulante, 12 Jun 2017, https://www.ambulante.org/en/2017/06/los-caminos-hacia-artemio/.

Beifuss, John. “´Black to the Future`--Afrofuturism Comes to Memphis.” USA Today Network, 13 April 2018, https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2018/04/13/black-future-afrofuturism-comes-memphis/508768002/.

Combs, Sean. “Chadwick Boseman.” Time. The World’s 100 Most Influential People, 2018, http://time.com/collection/most-influential-people-2018/5217574/chadwick-boseman/.

Dery, Mark. “Black to the Future: Interview with Samuel R. Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose,” in Flame Wars: The Discourse by Cyberculture, in The South Atlantic Quaterly, vol. 92, no. 4, 1993, pp. 735-778.

---. Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture. Duke University Press, 1994.

Djèlí Clark, Phenderson. How to Spite a Racist Troll: Support Black Dreams. 11 April 2015, https://pdjeliclark.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/how-to-spite-a-racist-troll-support-black-dreams/ Accessed 21 March 2019.

Elia, Adriano. “The Languages of Afrofuturism,” Lingue e Linguaggi, vol 12, 2014, pp. 83-96.

Eshun, Kodwo. “Further Considerations on Afrofuturism,” CR: The New Centennial Review, vol. 3, no. 2, 2003, pp. 287-302.

Fein, Seth. “Hollywood, U.S.-Mexican Relations, and the Devolution of the ´Golden Age` of Mexican Cinema,” Film-Historia, vol 4, no. 2, 1994, pp. 103-135.

Fitzpatrick, Alex. “It’s Not Just Black Panther. Afrofuturism is Having a Moment.” Time, 20 April 2018, http://time.com/5246675/black-panther-afrofuturism/.

Garcia, David F. “Going Primitive to the Movements and Sounds of Mambo.” The Musical Quarterly, vol 89, 2007, pp. 505-523.

Haynes, Marcus. Black Speculative Fiction. Where Elementals Meet Ratchedemics. 2019, http://www.mhaynes.org/black-speculative-fiction-definitions. Accessed 21 March 2019.

Hernández Cuevas, Marco Polo. African Mexicans and the Discourse on Modern Nation. Lanham: UP of America, 2004.

Jappie, Zayyan. “An Interview with the Filmmaker Behind ´La Negrada`--The First Feature Film Starring an All Afro-Mexican Cast.” Okayafrica, 23 Aug. 2018, https://www.okayafrica.com/an-interview-with-the-filmmaker-behind-la-negrada-the-first-feature-film-starring-an-all-afro-mexican-cast/

Johnson Lewis, Jone. “Afrofuturism: Imagining an Afrocentric Future. Rejecting Eurocentric Dominance and Normalization.” ThoughtCo, 19 Feb. 2018, https://www.thoughtco.com/afrofuturism-definition-4137845

La negrada. Directed by Jorge Pérez Solano, Tirisia Cine, 2018.

Lao-Montes, Agustín. “Afro-Latin@ Difference and the Politics of Decolonization.” Latin@s in The World-System. Decolonization Struggles in the 21st Century U.S. Empire, edited by Ramón Grosfoguel, Nelson Maldonado-Torres and José David Saldívar. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2005, pp. 75-88.

Serra, Ana. “Conspicuous Absences: Representations of Race in Post-1959 Cuban Film,” Confluencia, vol 20, no. 1, 2004, pp. 134-146.

Vasconcelos, José. La raza cósmica/The Cosmic Race: A Bilingual Edition. Translated and annotated by Didier T. Jaén. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.

Yaszek, Lisa. “An Afrofuturist Reading of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man,” Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice, vol. 9, no. 2 (3), pp. 297-313.

---. “Afrofuturism, Science Fiction, and the History of the Future,” Socialism and Democracy, vol. 42, no. 20 (3), 2006, pp. 41-60.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.32855/palara.2019.002

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


ISSN: 2639-1295

 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.