Nasheli Jimenez Del Val - BA (UNAM, Mexico City), MA Hons (UNAM, Mexico City)
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 75688
Location: Room 1.24, Bute Building
Nasheli was approved for the award of PhD in December 2009
Anthropophagy: Graphic Representations of Power
When the Spaniards first arrived in the continental Americas, one piece of evidence they presented of their superiority over the newfound peoples was the latter’s strong inclination for eating other human beings. The newcomers’ reaction to cannibalism became a multi-layered locus of discussion: the material consumption of another human being for ceremonial purposes would eventually become a glaring symbol of the cultural confrontation and assimilation between these two peoples.
In 1928, at the peak of European modernist influence in Brazil, poet Oswald de Andrade took it upon himself to redefine the concept of cannibalism as it applied to culture. In his Manifesto Antropófago (Cannibal Manifesto), de Andrade transformed the concept of cannibalism into a cultural metaphor by referring to the Tupi myth of ingestion and digestion of the Other’s virtues, only to discard the parts of the Other which are deemed unnecessary. In this particular context, the concept of cannibalism became a purposeful act of cultural empowerment. With the student and anti-war movements of the 1960s and 70s came a new interpretation of the concept of cannibalism: students and activists in Mexico, France and the United States chose to represent themselves as being eaten by the repressive regimes in their countries.
Cannibalism became the representation for a form of twofold (schizophrenic) consumption: the industrial society was literally and metaphorically consuming its youth through acts of palpable violence, while the consumer society imposed individual self-definition through consumist frenzy.
How can these changes in the conceptualization of cannibalism be explained? What other political uses has the concept of anthropophagy been through? In what way have the various representations of cannibalism been inscribed with the different conceptions of power in different historical and geographical contexts? The thesis addresses these concerns.
My main objective was to find consistency –if it exists- between the various representations of cannibalism and the political discourses of a determined epoch. The specific focus of the project was centred on graphic representations of cannibalism (woodcut, etching, lithography, serigraphy, digital art). Other aims of the project included: an iconology of cannibalism as a recurring theme in the graphic arts, a comparative analysis of the different representations of cannibalism and, last but not least, the development of a novel approach to analyzing political discourse through images.
Supervisor: Professor Terry Threadgold
Visuality and visual studies; applied visual semiotics; political propaganda; popular art production, circulation and reception; political and social mass movements.
[The Colossuses]. In [The archaeology of the regime, 1910-1955] Mexico: Patronato del Museo Nacional de Arte: INBA (2003).
[Friendship and camaraderie]. In [The archaeology of the regime, 1910-1955] Mexico: Patronato del Museo Nacional de Arte: INBA (2003).
[‘El henequén’ by Fernando Castro Pacheco and ‘Cruz junto a un maguey’ by Nacho López]. In [The archaeology of the regime, 1910-1955] Mexico: Patronato del Museo Nacional de Arte: INBA (2003).
[Father Pro’s Martyrdom]. In [The archaeology of the regime, 1910-1955] Mexico: Patronato del Museo Nacional de Arte: INBA (2003).