BA UC Berkeley, PhD UCLA
Alessandra Santos is Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at UBC. Her research area is Latin American cinema and performance, and comparative studies in the hemispheric Americas. She is interested in utopias, technology, gender, Indigeneity, race, and social justice. Her interdisciplinary research applies postcolonial and decolonial theories, combining film studies and performance studies. Her research and teaching aim to address some of the main concerns of our era: anticolonial, antiracist, feminist and queer issues, social class and the environment. Her research has been supported by multiple grants, including a current SSHRC Insight Grant to examine intersections of African Diaspora and technology in Brazil and the Americas; the project includes a component on Afrofuturism cinema with a focus on cyberculture and embodiment.
Her publications include a book on Alejandro Jodorowsky’s cult film The Holy Mountain for the Cultographies series; and two co-edited interdisciplinary volumes on The Utopian Impulse in Latin America and Performing Utopias in the Contemporary Americas (both co-edited with Kim Beauchesne). These volumes offer innovative examinations on the concept of utopia through a variety of forms, including film and performance, as propositions of practical engagement. Her past publications include a book on Brazilian multimedia artist Arnaldo Antunes, and several articles on visual poetry, performance and film.
Her art practice entails performance, movement, and public interventions. Trained in collaborative practices, she participated in performance companies and artists collectives in Los Angeles and Vancouver. Conceptually, her artistic and research work are part of an ongoing investigation on the notion of utopias. Artistically, she is interested in art and education that envision possibilities for radical examinations of life. In addition, she is interested in the relationship between public and private spaces, interventionist art, and mediations on social practice.