Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Electronic Theses and Dissertations bannerUCLA

Rotiskenrak�te: Violence and the Anti-Colonial


The past several years have seen the emergence of Indigenous film and music production among more mainstream audiences. Interestingly, several of these recent films and videos have centralized violence as a primary theme or plot device. While violence in Indigenous media has generally been represented as happening to Indigenous people, these films and videos have reversed that logic to represent Indigenous women, in particular, enacting or threatening violence as acts of retribution. Approaching Indigenous cultural production as a primarily political form of media, my dissertation, Rotiskenrak�te: Violence and the Anti-Colonial considers the relationship between violence and subjectivity formation, exploring expressions of violence or threats of violence as retributive acts that demonstrate the performer’s transformation of subjectivity. I assume a colonial subjectivity forming the basis of each main character’s identity at the outset of each narrative in order to expose the way violence often acts as a productive representational form that refuses colonial ideologies and the continuation of colonized subjectivities. My dissertation pays special attention to the representation of subtle shifts in self-understanding that takes place as characters/performers decide on, plan, and enact violence upon settlers participating in settler state structures upholding efforts to eliminate Indigenous people through various forms of settler violence. Understanding cultural production as having the capacity to reflect an anti-colonial representational practice in a settler colonial context, these forms of narration, moreover, embrace a logic of anti-colonial pleasure where the viewer experiences satisfaction at the representation of violence enacted in response to colonialism. Watching performances and reading literature that represents violence as an effective form of preservation which speaks to a future yet to be determined pushes the viewer/reader to reevaluate the role violence plays within Indigenous cultural production and our sovereignty and self-determination struggles. It, also, represents the potential representational violence holds as an anti-colonial ideology that pushes imagination into an Indigenous futurity that negates the assumption of a settler colonial future.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View