The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Spanish Program explores diverse cultures through Indigenous Film Series

Spanish Program explores diverse cultures through Indigenous Film Series - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Photo by Andres Córdoba / Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s Spanish program is hosting a film series showcasing the diverse groups of Indigenous people across North and South America. 

Dr. Alexandra Rodriguez Sabogal, a lecturer of Spanish and event co-host, hopes students will gain a better understanding of Indigenous communities through the Indigenous Film Series. 

“Most of what we know about these communities have been crafted by Eurocentric views,” said Dr. Sabogal in an interview conducted via Zoom on Jan. 27.

Mainstream news and movies cover Indigenous issues from outside perspectives often leading to misconceptions about these communities, Sabogal said.

María Mercedes Coroy stars in “Ixcanul.” Courtesy of Luis Armando Arteaga and Kino Lorber International.

The film series kicked off with “Embrace of the Serpent” on Jan. 27, the award-winning film from Colombian director Ciro Guerra, starring Indigenous actors authentically portraying Native Amazonians. 

“Embrace of the Serpent” follows Indigenous shaman Karamakate navigating interactions with non-native explorers searching for a rare medicinal plant within his home in the Colombian Amazonian jungle.

The film, shot mostly in black and white, might have been more reminiscent of a classic American adventure film had it instead been centered around the white, non-native explorers. 

Sabogal said “Embrace of the Serpent,” and following films in the series, purposefully center on Indigenous protagonists.

While many mainstream films often portray Indigenous people as merely supporting characters, Sabogal said the Indigenous Film series will “shift the lens” to explore these communities “from the inside.”

The Indigenous Film Series is currently screening on the last Thursday of every month until April.

The remaining films in the series include “Ixcanul” on Feb. 24, “Altiplano” on March 31 and “Gente de Razón: People of the Missions” on April 28.

Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, the film series has moved to an online streaming format until further notice. 

For more information, visit Jagsync or contact Dr. Alexandra Rodriguez Sabogal at alexandra.rodriguezsabogal@tamusa.edu

About the Author

Gabrielle Tellez
Managing Editor
Gabrielle Tellez is a communications junior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio and Social Media Editor at the Mesquite, minoring in English studies and specializing in digital marketing. When she isn't writing witty captions for social media, Tellez flexes her creative muscles by creating digital art using the latest design software. Certified in marketing strategies and local tourism, Tellez hopes to pursue her passions without straying too far from her beloved home of San Antonio.

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