Latin America Research Seminar: “Afro-Colombian female resistance and resilience in ‘Ancestras’ by Petrona Martínez”
Presenter: Aned Ladino, PhD Candidate, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Abstract: This presentation focuses on the repertoire of Petrona Martínez, an Afro-Colombian singer and composer, and her recent album Ancestras (2021). The album revolves around bullerengue, a musical rhythm from maroon communities in Colombia, and it prioritizes voice, orality, listening, and poetry as a politic of expression. It brings together the voices of 14 Afro-descendant women to pay tribute to the Black diaspora ancestral memory and to articulate shared sorrows and joy. From a black feminism theoretical framework, this presentation aims to analyze how Petrona Martínez’s repertoire in Ancestras becomes a sonic space of resistance and resilience. I explore how the album’s oral and musical tradition of bullerengue contributes to a social transformation by highlighting black women’s spirituality, motherhood, and gender violence. These themes transcend through collaborative female practices, becoming a form of resistance. The folkloric rhythm of bullerengue favors female voices in the roles of cantadoras, singers, and composers, empowering them to become leaders, producers, and agents of their own stories. My project includes the analysis of the songs “El niño roncón” ft the Afro-Peruvian singer Susana Baca and “San Antonio de Padua” ft Monica Carrillo to explore how the conjunction among, the voice, the female body, and the musical ensemble turns into a political tool. In this research, the perspectives of race, gender, class, and age are crucial to understanding and exploring the notions of ancestral oral traditions as a decolonial form. This form allows for self-emancipation projects and knowledge creation through connections with the past.
Bio: Aned Ladino is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in the Latin American Literature and Culture field. Her primary research interests are female voices in literature, culture, and sound studies with an emphasis on hybrid narratives involving race, gender, and queer theoretical frameworks. Her current research and dissertation, titled: “Afro-Andean and Diasporic Oral Feminisms: Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador” aims to analyze orality as a politic of expression and decolonial feminism in musical and literary productions (1999-2021) by women of the African diaspora in Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. Aned is also a co-founder of the Georgetown Graduate Student Magazine; Plaza públicaLiterature Magazine, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador (2015-2017)
LARS will meet twice a month, on the second and fourth Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (see schedule below). Lunch will be served.
To see the full LARS schedule, please visit: https://clas.georgetown.edu/research/latin-america-research-seminar-lars/