A.L. Camacho Puebla (Ana Laura)

PhD candidate - Department of Modern Languages and Cultures
PhD candidate - Radboud Institute for Culture and History

A.L. Camacho Puebla (Ana Laura)
Visiting address

Erasmusplein 1
6525 HT NIJMEGEN

Postal address

Postbus 9103
6500 HD NIJMEGEN

Working days Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

My research focuses on Latin American cultural analysis, specifically on the intersection of the theories of violence, affect, and materiality.
I have examined the artistic representation of violence in the context of the war against drugs in Mexico, focusing on the mechanisms through which these artworks can invite thinking about different levels of violence by engaging affect.
I have served as curator at the Museum of the Arts in Guadalajara, Mexico, where I developed exhibitions exploring diverse topics such as the influence of artistic trends in local art and affordances or materiality.
In my current project, I focus on the shifting perspective of peyote cactus. This plant rich in mescaline has been the centre of multiple, often contradictory narratives over the centuries. Traditionally, indigenous communities in Mexico and the United States have used it for religious and medicinal purposes. Its profound effect on the mind and body has piqued the interest and awe of nonindigenous groups, particularly early and mid-century scientists, the 1960s countercultural movement, and, more recently, the so-called “psychedelic renaissance.” However, peyote has also triggered anxieties and rejection, so it has been labelled as a diabolical, psychotomimetic, and narcotic substance, as its categorisation as a part of Schedule I of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 reflects. Despite this narrative, today, there is a growing global enthusiasm for the plant, especially for its spiritual benefits, raising severe concerns among academics, activists, and indigenous populations about ecological devastation and cultural appropriation. Such a complex panorama opens the space to ask what is at stake in developing such perspectives. In my research, I explore the role of affect and emotion in constructing the diverse imageries associated with peyote and how they have interacted with each other over the past century.

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