Barbara Glowczewski

Barbara Glowczewski is a Professorial researcher at The French Scientific Research Center, CNRS, member of the Laboratory of Social Anthropology at the College de France. Barbara Glowczewski worked with Guattari in the early 1980’s and has spent the past 35 years dedicating her work to advocating for Australian Aboriginal creativity employing a variety of artistic, cinematic and narrative modes of exploration. Her just-published book, Desert Dreamers, (Univocal) is an ethnographic adventure exploring the Warlpiri and their cultural practices of “the dreaming” in relation to their societal laws, ritual art, and connection with the cosmos: cosmopolitics of totemic becomings. She started in 2013 a new comparative research in Brazil with an African-Brazilian cult house of Umbanda. More information on her research can be found here.

Abstract |Plenary address: “Guattari’s Ecosophy and Multiple Becomings in Ritual”

If Brian Massumi points out, “it is the edge of the virtual, where it leaks into actual, that counts. For that seeping edge is where potential, actually, is found”, what Deleuze calls “crystallization” refers to the other side of that edge, a threshold where and when the actualized leaks back into virtual. Following from a presentation at the Deleuze Decade at Cerisy, it is proposed to further explore the mystery of that crystallization as one key to grasp something of the transformation of multiplicities which are “virtualized” in ritual. As an experimental anthropological attempt, the cosmopolitical perspectives of Totemic becomings (in Indigenous Australian Dreamings) and Afro-Brazilian incorporations (with Orixa entities and various spirits) will be “filtered” through Guattarian ecosophical proposal of an aesthetic paradigm.

Abstract |Lecture-performance: Experimenting Images with Warlpiri People in Central Australia (1979-2014)”

“Arriving in Lajamanu in 1979, I was struck with an apocalyptic vision: the entrance of the old Hooker Creek reserve, established on the edge of the Tanami desert hundreds of kilometres from the first petrol station, had piles of old cars, fridges, and other Western waste, spread in the bush as a parody of our consumption society but also like a spare parts shop for the Warlpiri people who would pick up what they needed from there to build shanty camps or repair their cars. I was attracted to this oneiric end of the world landscape, which would later resonate with the “Zone” of Stalker (1979) by Tarkovski.” (Beyond the frames of film and Aboriginal fieldwork, in Experimental film and anthropology, 2014)

The proposed workshop will follow the Warlpiri reappropriation of their audiovisual archives (silent 16 mm, betacam and digital films). Until the 1990’s, Warlpiri women did not want their restricted rituals to be shown in public. After their entry on the Worldwide contemporary art market, they accepted to show some of their dances in gallery openings and in an interactive CD-ROM that Barbara Glowczewski  produced with 50 Lajamanu artists (Dream Trackers, Unesco, 2000).   Over the past years, the French anthropologist has attempted to stimulate an insight into the ritual with screeenings proposing an experimental relation between image and embodied speech.

“The essential point of female rituals and, it appears, also of male rituals, isto refer to the Dreaming as a surpassing of dualisms. The Dreaming is the actual experience of the paradoxes, the setting of the inversions, the way to overcome sexual identity and find oneself elsewhere, in the heart of the secret of life, in the heart of the power of metamorphosis.” (Desert Dreamers, Univocal, 2016)

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