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Le Cabanon, UNIL, Lausanne (CH)


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This installation follows research carried on the reemergence of the indigenous Charrúa people in Uruguay, a country that has long proudly declared itself as the only country in Latin America to have no indigenous people on its territory. Contrary to the official version that gives all the Charrúas missing after a genocide in 1831, it is in reality mainly the men who were killed. Thus, since around 30 years, after the dictatorship, the reemergence is lead by groups of women who are struggling to regain their culture, transmitted by fragments mainly from mother to daughter.
I got interested in how they revitalize their culture through (re)creation, appropriation and reinterpretation of a mutilated memory.

The installation is articulated in a path using curtains and a collection of 5 objects found in my research and all symbolic in their ways. For example, the arrow is part of many testimonies of the Charrúa culture found in archeological sites. Today, it is symbolically said that the Charrúa women are the spearheads of a struggle they have led from the start. 

The images printed on textiles take up the idea of memories that intertwine, of different layers between memories that dominate and others that seem underground but that can resurface. They are made from numeric collages of pictures taken in Uruguay on specific sites and works of paintings and drawings. Inside the "cabanon", a sound installation with music and songs from Charrúas is a way to make them take part of the exhibition. 

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