A counter-narrative to the internal enemy
Action: June to October 2019 in Wall Mapu: Mapuche territory in what is known today as Argentina and Chile.
Book: Download (in Spanish)
Lof Lafken Winkul Mapu is a Mapuche community that is recovering its ancestral land in what is known nowadays as Argentina. A few years ago, their members lived in marginalized neighbourhoods around big cities, until one day they said: “We are not poor, we are Mapuche, we are going to live in our land, as a community, speaking our language, rebuilding our knowledge”. In that land, a machi rises, a transcendental spiritual authority that hadn’t appeared in the Puel Mapu for almost a hundred years. In that land, on November 25 2017, the State repressive forces murdered Rafael Nahuel from behind.
The indigenous is the Other that the argentinian State has marked, from its beginning, to construct a white national identity. It is the Other that the argentinian State has marked to materialize its european illusion. It is the Other that puts the national myth under crisis.
Since the fall of the twin towers, the war against terrorism is the legitimacy that the global power has built to militarize the entire surface of the planet.
To do this, they built a definition of terrorist that is so ambiguous, that makes it possible to mark as an enemy any human being or group that challenges the social, economic and political hegemonic system, however "violent" or "peaceful" their practices may be.
In the neoliberal dream of a system without opposition, now the communist enemy is dissolved, any Other is prone to be marked as a terrorist. All Others are encompassed by the figure of the terrorist: the terrorist becomes the Other of our time.
In 2011, Argentina approved the Anti-Terrorist Law. It was a requirement to enter the G20. Since then, the State and its media mark the Mapuche as terrorists, and the first and only time the Anti-Terrorist Law is applied in the country until today, is to prosecute the lonko weichafe Facundo Jones Huala, political authority of the Mapuche Ancestral Resistance.
The war against terrorism lands in the south of South America to mark the indigenous as a terrorist. The war against terrorism lands in the south of South America articulating the national Other with the global Other. The war against terrorism lands in the south of South America to criminalize a people that is organizing to recover its lands, to rebuild its ancestral knowledge, to prevent the extraction of natural resources, to produce and reproduce life through community dynamics that for five hundred years have put Capital into question.
Walking through Mapuche land, I arrive to the community and invite their members to write a book. They speak to me and I write down by hand everything they say. Every time they stop to take a breath, I start a new line. Nothing is recorded. There are ten people speaking, it is a collective voice. The next day, we print the text and read it aloud in a round of eight logs around a fire. We correct the text together, reach the final version and send the books to print.
I cross the Cordillera de los Andes towards Chile and go to visit Facundo Jones Huala...