Indigenous Cinematics: The Legal Lives of Indigenous Filmmaking in Abiayala/Latin America

Still from 'Juurala Tü Eejirawaakat/La raíz de la Resistencia/The Roots of Resistance', Dirs. Jorge Montiel & Maikiraalasalii Collective, 2012

In Indigenous film cultures across Abiayala/Latin America, the connection with Law is (at least) threefold: cinema portrays legal doxa, notably concerning territoriality and colonial claims to land and water; films – including the vast ethnographic archive and new, original works – are used to support particular legal cases; and productions index plural epistemological claims that are not easily subsumed in or accommodated by western legal ideas. First Nations’ legal systems are mobilised through language, song, dance, storytelling, weaving, painting, and ritual, among other cultural expressions, all of which are conjugated through cinema, inflecting the politics of attribution, authorship and authority across the region. In this short presentation I consider how recent Indigenous film production from the region not only challenges legal concepts, but crucially collapses the boundary drawn between law and culture.

Charlotte Gleghorn is Senior Lecturer in Latin American Film Studies at University of Edinburgh, and British Academy Mid-Career Fellow 2023-24. She is currently working on a book project, Indigenous Cinematics: Authorship and Film in Abiayala/Latin America and joins the HRC for November 2023 to develop research on the connections between Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) and film practice.

Image gallery

Date & time

Tue 14 Nov 2023, 10.15–11.15am


Baldessin Precinct Building, Level 4


Dr Charlotte Gleghorn, Senior Lecturer in Latin American Film Studies, University of Edinburgh



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