Rerouting Media in the Living Forest

Martina Broner

October 16, 2023

Rerouting Media in the Living Forest

Event Description

This talk tracks the use of a drone in Helena Sarayaku Manta, the 2021 documentary from Sarayaku Kichwa director Eriberto Gualinga that follows an Amazonian activist as she learns about the framework of Kawsak Sacha, or the Living Forest. This call from the Kichwa people of Sarayaku proposes alternative ways of relating to the forest at a time of environmental crisis, and Broner analyzes the film’s drone cinematography in order to argue that it challenges the colonial and neo-colonial desire to survey the Amazon. Broner foreground the film’s attunement to the plants, trees, and river of Sarayaku to suggest that by rerouting practices associated with drones, Helena Sarayaku Manta not only contests the problematic notion that new media guarantee access to new perspectives but also rejects any conception of Sarayaku as a territory apt for extraction—sensorial or otherwise.


Martina Broner is Assistant Professor and Co-Founder of the Amazonia Section of the Latin American Studies AssociationDepartment of Spanish and Portuguese, Dartmouth College. 


Hosted by the Berkeley Center for New Media, and co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.