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Ixiles: Voices from the Shadows of Time is an evolving video essay and collaborative visual ethnography created by Alejandro M. Flores Aguilar. The culmination of over a decade of ethnographic work, it critically examines the history of Indigenous resistance in the Ixil region of Guatemala, from the anti-colonial struggles of the sixteenth century through the revolutionary insurgencies of the mid-twentieth century and beyond. These practices of resistance continue today, especially through the ancestral Indigenous authorities (Indigenous Mayors of the Ixil Territory), which continue to oppose the penetration of extractive capitalism and new forms of territorial usurpation.
The project delves deep into the atmospheric landscape of the Ixil territory, reflecting the clandestine immersion of the “guerrilleros” during times of conflict. But it also poses a critical question: from what place can the Indigenous former guerrillero speak? Interweaving 23 life (hi)stories of former “guerrilleros” and resistance members, the project explores the complex interplay of war, memory, testimony, life stories, and intergenerational dialogue in the Ixil reality.
Filmmaker Alejandro M. Flores Aguilar will join moderator Giovanni Batz(Chicana and Chicano Studies, UCSB) for a special screening and discussion of this work in progress.