Who is shooting? Technological Representation and the Ideologies of Latin American Difference in Video Trans Americas by Juan Downey
In his long-standing project Video Trans Americas (1973-1979), the Chilean artist Juan Downey video-recorded his encounters with marginal communities of the continent, such as peasants and indigenous people, in order to generate alternative and emancipatory forms of communication within Latin America. In this article, I argue that Video Trans Americas underlines the conflictive relation between the figure of the intellectual, representation, and cultural identity in the Latin American postcolonial context. By analyzing a specific video of the series, I argue that the whole project not only subverts the convention of ethnographic documentary, but also articulates a reflection on the position of the Latin American intellectuals and artists in relation to continental cultural difference.