Paper Presentation

Yuruparí Stereo: Exchange of Listenings, Digital Media and Repatriation of Indigenous Musical Archives in Uaupes.


During the last three decades Amerindian communities living in the southeastern region of Colombia have been receiving copies of sound recordings made by foreign scholars at the beginning and mid twentieth century. Some of the reasons why these recordings are gaining public attention include the legal status’ indeterminacy regarding indigenous notions of copyrights and ownership, and its emerging value of indigeneity promoted by the UNESCO and Colombia’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

In 2016, Yuruparí Estereo, a grassroots radio station broadcasted many of these recordings through a listening experiment featuring twelve episodes about the recent history of indigenous musical practices in Vaupés with detailed explanations in Cubeo and Spanish languages about voice, linguistic exogamy and the construction of musical instruments. Even though these contents were not novel to Tukanoan and non-Tukanoan audiences living in Mitú, the way they became to be listened by indigenous audiences underscores a completely new scenario in which the idea of music repatriation intended by different scholars was transfigured. Especially because the way each episode was assembled rendered the media analytics Tukanoans considered as appropriate for circulating sound, emotion, and information about practices of musicking among indigenous and non-indigenous audiences. 

Following recent discussions on sonic archives in ethnomusicology, the paper analyzes how this experiment came to amplify and relocate indigenous points of listening. Through this relocation, the historical value these recordings may have was taken by means of transformation to feed indigenous sociocosmological calendars; thus, enhancing an audible world in which voices, sounds, scenarios, and people are in constantly becoming.


International Symposium UNIANDES


Recent essay film

poster 18x24 KIRANIA_Page_2

~Kiraiñia is an essay film about how a musical instrument sounds like. The film came out from an ethnographic research of an Amazonian community known as the Cubeo Emi-Hehenewaliving in the Uaupés River Valley in Southern Colombia. Well known by the celebration of manioc beer parties and harvest feasts in which dance and musical performance often materialize mythical narratives, this Amazonian community is rendered on film presenting their expressive practices within the contemporary moment of rupture, reassemble and transformation of multiple perspectives.The film decenters the descriptive and factual perspective of ethnomusicological films about musical instruments proposing filmmaking as a multimodal strategyfor indigenous and non-indigenous perspectives to exchange and transform what can be known and noticed during cinematic encounters.