Paradigm 2018: The Problems and Ethics of Touring Indigenous Communities: A P'urhepecha Case StudyApril 23, 2018 at 68 p.m.

TimeApril 23, 2018 at 68 p.m.

Dr. Gabriela Spears-Rico applies theories on the performance of racialized identities and embodied memory, including Philip Deloria's concept of 'playing Indian,' as a lens to examine the relationship between indigenous people and tourists in Mexico. Using ethnographic field methods, she considers how both tourists and natives act as performers in touristic transactions during the Days of the Dead in Michoacan as well as how the commodification of P'urhepecha corpses and graves racializes P'urhepecha Indians as inferior and impacts contemporary P'urhepecha communities.

She poses that tourist visits to Michoacan are motivated by their desire to encounter romanticized notions of indigenous primitivity in its 'purest' form. Spears-Rico's work unravels how touristic longings to visit P'urhepecha communities function alongside P'urhepecha fears of being viewed as accessories to an imaginary 'pre-Columbian' landscape which relegates indigenous people to the past.

Spears-Rico's presentation will also touch on how appropriation and commodification impact indigenous communities internationally and how non-indigenous people can engage with indigenous communities in a respectful manner that avoids a further propagation of colonialism.

PostedApr 17, 2019