DISSERTATION DEFENSE: DANIEL CASTELBLANCO
SIKURIANDO MELODÍAS DE TIEMPOS LEJANOS: LOS SIKURIS COSMOPOLITAS Y LA VIGENCIA DE “LO ANDINO” EN BOGOTÁ, SANTIAGO Y BUENOS AIRES
This dissertation explores the ways in which the cosmopolitan players of Andean pan flutes, known as sikuris, perform music originally composed by indigenous peasants in the southern Andes and make it their own in the metropolitan contexts of Bogota, Santiago and Buenos Aires. The thesis examines the various meanings that sikuris attribute to the notion of “lo andino,” arguing that this multifaceted construct shapes their techniques of musical performance, ritual practices, moral values and imaginaries about Andean indigenousness. Through an ethnographic approach, this work traces the origin of the discourses and practices about “lo andino” that circulate among the cosmopolitans sikuris back to the representations conveyed and disseminated by Indigenismo, Andeanist anthropologies of the late 20th century, and folkloric-Andean popular music. It describes the transnational movement of cosmopolitan sikuris as dominated by a trend that echoes the majoritarian hegemonic representations of Andean indigenousness as produced and widespread by the current Bolivian state. I argue that in combination with the techniques of sikuri musical performance, the general symbols of Andean indigenousness that make an integral part of these representations promote the establishment of a community of practice that has a pivotal influence on the ways in which sikuris imagine and identify themselves. Based upon my own participation for nearly ten years in this transnational movement both as a sikuri and a researcher, and grounded on several fieldwork sessions, I discuss various ethnographic scenarios in which multiple visions of “lo andino” meet and often clash. Similarly, throughout this study I engage in dialogue with the textual and theoretical corpus produced over the last thirty years by other sikuri-intellectuals who reflect upon their legitimacy to perform someone else’s music.
Given the growing popularity of the cosmopolitan sikuri ensembles in the aforementioned cities, and despite the ambiguous and conflicting nature of the notion of “lo andino” as a conceptual field, I argue that this multifaceted concept remains one of the key referents through which Latin America imagines itself today.
Friday, November 11, 2016 at 9:00am to 11:00am
Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, 462, 37th and O St., N.W., Washington