The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

Lutu Chuktiwa: LA Film Premier and Discussion

Discussion with Yoeme Indian Collaborators and Film Makers

When: Thursday, October 17th, 3-4:30 PM
Location: Glorya Kaufman Hall, 200, UC Los Angeles

Message from the artist (David Shorter, Associate Professor and Vice Chair, World Arts and Cultures/Dance and Associate Professor of Gender Studies):

“In 2006, I received a National Science Foundation grant to film the Lutu Pahko ceremony among the Yoeme (Yaqui) people in Sonora, Mexico. The Lutu Pahko releases the family and friends of a deceased tribal member from their year of mourning. In the ritual, a cord is tied around participants’ necks and then later cut and burned. The Lutu Pahko includes a striking combination of aboriginal dances and music with Catholic church groups and ceremonial organization. A filmmaker, Eliot Fisher, and I spent a week recording the days of preparation and the resulting twelve hour ritual. Five years later, after much prodding from the family and community members, I decided to make a short, ethnographic film with that footage.

Receiving a grant from the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (2012), I was able to take a rough cut of the film through the Arizona Yoeme communities and record people’s real-time responses. I also took account of their editorial ideas. Then, my film’s final editor, Sam Anderson, and I used people’s audio responses as the basis for the narration of the completed film, producing a crowdsourced insider’s interpretation by Yoeme community members about a ritual performed the same, but differently, on the two sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

This film will have three premiers and be made available on its own website: Guadalupe Pueblo on August 29th, Los Angeles on October 17th, and then in Potam Pueblo (Sonora) on November 3rd.

For our Los Angeles premier, we are hosting three of the tribal collaborators to join us in a post-screening discussion of the film, the filming of rituals, collaborative research, on ethnographic film, and of the politics of cultural representation. We will host Lali Vasquez (Guadalupe Pueblo), Paulino Valenzuela (Guadalupe Pueblo), and Felipe Molina (Yoem Pueblo). Eliot Fisher and Sam Anderson will also join us for that discussion. With the generous support from the department of Anthropology, Gender Studies, the Institute of American Cultures, and World Arts and Cultures/Dance, we hope to have a lively conversation about the film and the collaborations that make cross-cultural interpretation possible. The film will begin shortly after 3pm and runs 23 minutes. We will then host a roundtable conversation with everyone who wants to remain, until 4:30pm.

I am writing you this early on so that you can not only plan for your own purposes, but for those of your courses. Feel free to build this event into your syllabi for Fall quarter if you feel it might serve your class themes.”

For more information about this event click here.

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