Visiting Seminar: Film Screening ~KİRAİÑİA (Long Flutes) and discussion with the director Juan Castrillón

~Kiraiñia (Long Flutes) is an essay film about how an instrument sounds like. The film is a deep immersion into the process of remaking instruments and affect in an Amazonian community living at the Uaupés River Valley in Southern Colombia. The film renders the resilience of the Emi-Hehenewa community to assemble emotion and memory out of a recent present in which their ritual and expressive practices were prohibited and pulled them apart by Catholic and Protestant missionaries during the mid-nineteen fifties. 

36:02 min, Pamie (aka. Cubeo) and Spanish 

with English subtitles. Juan Castrillón. United States, 2019.


Time: Tuesday January 21st at 14:00–15:00

Place: Vuorikatu 5, h144, ground floor

Are perspective and voice organs of a body? And if they are, what happens to a body when they are shared with other voices and perspectives? Whose perspective and voice are we watching on film? Whose voice is telling the story when reported speech and masked sounds are the norm within certain communication ideologies? How do we make sense of all of this if we take Amerindians seriously when they say instruments have voices and their presence renders ancestors’ bodies?

In its essayistic gesture, ~Kiraiñia (Long Flutes) the film puts together broken pieces of the everyday shared by this community and an ethnomusicologist in their common attempt to remember and retell how these instruments sound like. The film came out from an ethnographic research project in Lowland South America. From its scholarship approach, the film breaks the factual perspective of ethnomusicological films about instruments by opening a cinematic dialogue informed by Emi-Hehenewa nonlinear linking and storytelling. And on the other hand, the film re-pairs the multilingual and perspectival exchange between indigenous and non-indigenous audiences as part of an ethical commitment to co-produce new media affordances for world making.

Juan Castrillón pursues doctoral studies in Ethnomusicology at the University of Pennsylvania. His intellectual agenda is primarily ethnographic, conducting fieldwork in Turkey, and Northwestern Amazon. His methods include collaborative projects for producing texts, films, digital archives, multimodal installations, and radio. He holds a Bachelor of Anthropology from the University of Antioquia, in Colombia, where he awarded a distinguished thesis prize. His most recent film REHAVI was premiered at the Musicology Department of Medeniyet University in Istanbul, at the International House of Philadelphia in 2017, and shown in international film festivals in London, Argentina and Spain. He was UPenn CAMRA Lab's coordinator during 2017, and the director of the 7thAnnual CAMRA’ Screening Scholarship Media Festival in 2019. His listening experiments and sonic installations have been exhibited at the Crane Arts Gallery in Philadelphia, and at the Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania. Between 2015 and 2018 he participated as lecture and performer of Turkish Sufi Music for UPENN Middle East Center at multiple venues. His scholarly work in ethnomusicology appears in peer-reviewed journals such as Porte Akademik, Revista Colombiana de Antropología e Historia, and Oído Pensante. He is current board member of the Society of Anthropology of Lowland South America, and member of the Center for Research And Collaboration in the Indigenous Americas, and the Substantial Motion Research Network.