Dr Olivia Casagrande

Marie Curie Research Fellow

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Research interests

Regional Specialisation: Latin America, Chile

Topical Interests: Political Anthropology, Indigenous Movements of Latin America; Political Violence; Trauma; Memory; Urban Anthropology; Anthropology of Space and Place; Visual methods; Art and Performance; Life History and Biographical method; Narrative and Storytelling; Experimental Methods and Collaborative Anthropology

My interests centre on indigenous lived experience, particularly Mapuche biographical narratives and memories. My research explores the ways collective and personal memories as well as political practices and imaginations contribute to the construction of meaningful life-worlds, aiming at understanding the interplay between affectivity, narratives and spatial and political performances.

I have worked on the Mapuche political movement, looking at the contemporary experience of political prison by indigenous activists; on the struggles for the land during the 60s and 70s as well as on Mapuche resistance and exile in Europe during the Pinochet dictatorship, and its memory and legacy to the following generations.

Other areas of interest are the multiple ways of dwelling the city by indigenous youngsters and their artistic, political and reflexive engagement with it; and the matter of (in)security and the construction of fear in contemporary urban contexts.


Recent and Current Projects

I am currently developing a EU funded (Marie Slodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship, Global Fellowship, Horizon 2020) research project in Santiago, Chile. The MapsUrbe project engages in participatory and collaborative methodologies in order to investigate experiences of urban space among young indigenous Mapuche living in the Chilean capital. Through the implementation of practice-based and visual methods, the project aims at understanding the daily lives, circumstances and moral perspectives of a growing population subject to displacement and social exclusion, and who are often at the margins of national policy and invisible to the public perception.

For more information about the project, see: https://www.mapsurbe.com/


I recently participated in the project Reducing Boundaries - Understanding exclusion through security defensive systems in wealthy urban areas. Porto Alegre, Brussels, Veneto region (Marie-Curie International Research Staff Exchange: Latitude, Iuav University of Venice, Universidade Lasalle, Canoas) about the perception of urban (in)security in Europe and Latin America (2014-2017). One of the final results of the project is the video-documentary ‘Na Bolha’ set in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

For more information about the project, see: http://www.reducing-boundaries.net/ and http://www.latitude-platform.eu/


Research and projects