The Ñandu’s Footprint

by Barbara Acevedo

communication design

There are various powers that push and pull the boundaries of what we call reality. The Ñandu’s Footprint is a cross-media exploration of the construction of reality through storytelling—based on the neo-extractivist conflict between the Chilean State and the indigenous communities of the Mapuche. Here, the bureaucratic tools of the Chilean State and the Mapuche claims of spatial and social organization rooted in their cosmology face each other in a multi-layered discourse. Due to the privatisation of Chile’s water resources, multinational companies have been able to carry out massive projects involving the installation of hydroelectric plants that threaten the critical ecosystem of the region and thereby the livelihood of its people.The government considers these projects as means of modernisation. The Mapuche people, however, argue that the affected rivers are sacred to their cosmo-vision and crucial to their spiritual practices. They consider forests, rivers and animals as brothers. The arguments and instruments employed in this struggle reflect contradictory systems of belief, opposite sets of laws for coexistence and diverging understandings of ecology and justice. Each strategy is a contribution to a broader discourse about modes of coexistence of equally possible, but different forms of order, emerging from chaos – an issue that becomes increasingly pressing in light of the looming crisis of nation states. In the course of the conversations, it becomes apparent that it is not rational argumentation but storytelling, ghosts and spirits that mediate between those worlds and become important agents in people’s lived reality. In this field of tensions and conflicting interests, Barbara Acevedo Strange’s work The Ñandus Footprint seeks the dialogue with different voices who are engaged in diverse modes of resistance against the hegemonial extractivist logic imposed by the Chilean State.

Week 1

Future of Memories

Future of Memories is concerned with the tensionful relations of pasts and futures, compromising everything in between: the lived present, the intensity of presence, the wish to remember things long forgotten and the desire to anticipate and realize – vergegenwärtigen – things not thinkable in the now – and how is artificial intelligence shaping the means and ends of remembrance? Different artistic and theoretic approaches look at archival practices, mnemonic techniques, storytelling methods and narrative practices in various media and formats.


The Ñandu's Footprint

Barbara Acevedo

A filmic exploration of the construction of reality through storytelling—based on the neo-extractivist conflict between the Chilean State and the Mapuche. The journey through recordings, vestiges and imaginations collapses with the present time in a conversation with a guest which will be held in the following weeks (tba).