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Nell Haynes

Faculty Fellow, Colby College

Contributor, Platypus: The CASTAC Blog

About Nell

Nell Haynes is a Faculty Fellow at Colby College. Her research addresses themes of gender & indigeneity in Latin America. Specifically she is interested in the ways that notions of who counts as "authentically indigenous" become expressed through and troubled by popular culture and media. Nell earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology at American University in 2013 with a concentration in Race, Gender, and Social Justice, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Northwestern University in Anthropology and Theater. She is the author of Social Media in Northern Chile and co-author of How the World Changed Social Media.



Contributions to Platypus: The CASTAC Blog

View all of Nell's posts on Platypus: The CASTAC Blog.

Before They Erase It: Memory and the social media archive

This afternoon, I began to notice increasingly alarming images, posts, and tweets from my interlocutors in Santiago. It appeared that Santiago was on fire, and that the military was in the streets. Images of familiar streets and landmarks now felt doubly familiar, as their similarity to images taken during the coup of 1973 were undeniable. A quick Google search confirmed my fears; Piñera had declared a state of emergency in response to the student metro protests, that there were already deaths, disappearances, and torture reported, and that a curfew had been implemented. Switching over to Whatsapp, I sent frantic messages to my interlocutors and former host family to check that they were safe (they were.) However, it was clear that—even for seasoned activists—this felt different. Many recalled memories or iconic images of the 1973 coup, wondering if history might be about to repeat itself. As the day progressed, I began to receive WhatsApp and Facebook messages with videos, audio recordings, documents, and links with captions like, “save this, they’re trying to erase it.” Though it is unclear to whom this erasing “they” refers, Chileans have clearly learned—at great cost—the importance of actively preserving evidence of political corruption, military and police abuse, and human rights violations.  --Baird Campbell, Field Notes, 10/19/19 Both authors received these kinds of media files with similar messages asking them to save the files. Such statements reveal an anxiety around preserving memory, and indeed around media as a conduit for preservation. To many Chileans, media may be (more...)

Indigenous Women’s Engagements with Technology: From Anomaly to Autonomy

Introduction: Satellite Túpac Katari

In 2013, Bolivia became the last of South America’s major nations to launch a telecommunications satellite. The government outsourced construction and the satellite’s launch to the People’s Republic of China for USD302 million. Bolivia’s first Indigenous president, Evo Morales, was present in Xichang for the launch while those in Bolivia’s capital city, La Paz, watched on large screens erected in public squares. They cheered as the satellite, named after 18th century Indigenous leader Túpac Katari, started to climb.