We Are Charrua Women: From Negation to Re-Existence In Our Body-Territory

Event Date: 

Friday, February 26, 2021 - 4:00pm to 6:45pm

TALK #3: We Are Charrua Women: From Negation to Re-Existence In Our Body-Territory


Monica Michelena, Secretary of the Charrua Nation Council and ex- Advisor on Indigenous Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Government of Uruguay (2014-18)


Friday, February 26, 4pm


Register here or the link below.

Password: uruguay

Charrua women have gone through dispossession, exclusion, and negation that left marks on our collective memory and body-territory. The genocidal process did not end in 19th century Uruguay, but continues today and manifests itself every time that institutions or civil society deny our existence as an indigenous people. For fifteen years, together with Charrúa sisters from Argentina, we have been working to demolish hegemonic narratives of the market and state. As subjects of legal right, we are reconfiguring our existence and re-existence in our great ancestral-territory-body. This collective search has led me to academic spaces.

In 2011, I began an investigation with rural Charrúa women in Uruguay’s interior to question the nation-state’s devices of invisibility and to expose counter-memories as part of an attempt to disarm the social and symbolic representation of our extinction. Through a methodological approach based on collaborative ethnography, my research aims to rearm the great quillapí of memory. The metaphor of quillapí - a leather cape made from patchwork - implies that each woman is the bearer of a small piece of memory and, among all, we are sewing together its scraps. Down this path, we Charrúa women began to slowly gain recognition from the Uruguayan feminist movement, in a slow process of internal decolonization.


Feminisms from Below, and Towards the South


The speaker series Feminisms from Below, and Towards the South welcomes feminist militants from Latin America to share their perspectives and experiences on building popular power towards a mass feminist movement. Over the past decade, Latin American feminists have identified manifestations of gender-based oppression under capitalism in everyday women’s conditions in order to successfully mobilize them as part of a political movement. Feminists produce analyses and subsequent strategies around reproductive rights, resource extractivism, housing, debt, and more. This mass feminism has grown to be arguably the most insurgent political force across the continent.