Accompaniment and solidarity in contexts of war: Experiences from the Ixcán, Guatemala
Lecture by renowned Guatemalan anthropologist Ricardo Falla, SJ.
Co-sponsored by the School of Theology and Ministry.
Drawing on experiences in the Sierra Maestra in Cuba and in Morazán in El Salvador, as well as the writing of Oscar Romero and Ignacio Ellacuría, Ricardo Falla will discuss some of his experiences as anthropologist and priest accompanying the Communities of Populations in Resistance in the Ixcán of Guatemala from 1983-1992. His experiences of and writings about accompaniment and solidarity draw directly from the relationships he formed living and working among Guatemalans in the Ixcán during these years of armed conflict and resistance. He will speak about the Ixcán people’s self-defense and resistance; his pastoral accompaniment in this context; and his conduct of anthropological research, focusing on the ways these three experiences are woven together and interconnected, resembling three sides of a triangle.
About Ricardo Falla, SJ:
Ricardo Falla Sánchez (born 1932) is a Guatemalan Jesuit anthropologist who completed his PhD at the University of Texas in Austin after having studied theology in Innsbruck, Austria with Karl Rahner, among others. He has dedicated his life to documenting the lives and cultures of Maya in Guatemala and other indigenous peoples in Central America. His writings have documented multiple Mayan communities including their revitalization through, among other initiatives, their engagement with strong religious movements, attempts to destroy their communities through the brutal massacres of the 1980s, and their struggles for justice and human rights. Between 1982 and 1993 Ricardo spent multiple years, including some of the worst of the armed conflict, accompanying what were to become the Communities of Populations in Resistance in the Ixcán.
Among his many publications is included a monograph based on his PhD dissertation, Quiché Rebelde (1978), and published in English in 2001 as Quiché Rebelde. Religious Conversion, Politics, and Ethnic Identity in Guatemala. His 1984 Spanish language monograph, Esa muerte que nos hace vivir [That death that makes us live] is perhaps the best example of how ethnography can serve as metaphor. Falla is perhaps most widely known for his 1992 publication Masacres de la Selva – a volume that appeared in English, Massacres in the Jungle, in 1994. He has recently published three books on Mayan youth, two focused on those from the Ixcán area of Guatemala: Alicia: Explorando la identidad de una joven maya [Exploring identity: The story of a Maya youth] (2005) and Juventud de una comunidad maya: Ixcán, Guatemala [Youth from a Maya Community, Ixcán, Guatemala] (2006) and a third volume, Migración transnacional retornada: Juventud indígena de Zacualpa, Guatemala [Transnational migration and return: Indigenous youth of Zacualpa, Guatemala] (2007) which focuses on youth who have immigrated to the United States and voluntarily returned to Guatemala. He is currently publishing the sixth volume of what will be eight volumes of his heretofore unpublished work, Al atardecer de la vida [At the sunset of life].
Register here for the event. Registration not required but appreciated for this event. Thank you.
Tuesday, October 16 at 7:00pm
Fulton Hall, 511
Fulton Hall, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA