Consumption and Education in Recent Uruguayan Cinema: Between Sobriety, Joy, and Excess

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Dissidences, ISSN: 1553-6793, Vol: 8, Issue: 13, Page: 8

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Miguez, Cristina
Uruguayan cinema; consumption; self-objectification; education; Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Film and Media Studies; Latin American Languages and Societies
article description
Altering our physical and mental states through practices of consumption has formed a basis of our daily habits for hundreds of years. By the eighteenth century, consumption of stimulants such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, sugar, opiates, cannabis, coca, and other substances was widespread and democratized. Drug consumption was mirrored by a new universality of leisure reading of travel accounts and maps, sentimental novels, and pornographic works. Psychotropic mechanisms transformed not only habits and economies, but also affected the fantasies of millions of people, and changed existing ecosystems over the last few centuries. (Baghdiantz 2015; Baumann 2007; Courtwright 2001; Herlinghaus 2013; Smail 2007) I propose analyzing recent Uruguayan cinema as a psychotropic practice that changes our imaginary by introducing us to their characters’ dynamics of desire, consumption, and disposal, or by portraying them as objects of those same dynamics of being desired, consumed, or disposed of. Uruguayan films recreate subjects and objects within this equation of consumerism, where reducing people to instruments, bodies or body parts, becomes fundamental to understanding relationships in our time: from sobriety to compulsion to excess, from the cruelest objectification to the creation of subjects who can communicate with each other and learn in the process.