Project Description

Clara Han

FSC-Harvard Fellow 2005-06

Clara Han is a MD/PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University and the Dept. of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. During the past seven years, Clara has worked in Santiago, Chile, focusing on how the assemblage of poverty and debt has provided conditions for subjectivity and bodily experience that have been increasingly recognized through the disciplinary discourses of psychiatry and political economy. Working in La Pincoya, a poor urban poblacion on the periphery of Santiago, she writes about the intersections of violence, economy, and affective states; and, along with this, explores and critiques the conceptual and strategic use of human rights discourse. At the Film Study Center, she is working on her first documentary film, which both follows the daily lives of Paty and Leo and their three children in La Pincoya, as well as explores Clara’s close relationship to this family. As an ex-Communist militant, Leo was detained and tortured during the Pinochet regime. He did not give his testimony to the National Commission for Political Imprisonment and Torture, and was therefore excluded from State reparations. As a result of flexible labor policies, Paty and Leo live in perpetual economic insecurity, which they call a daily torture. Through the juxtaposition of conversations with Paty and Leo, other community members in La Pincoya, human rights activists, state officials, and National Commission officials, this film explores the lived reality of those who experience the violence of economics and questions how we conceive of human rights: For whom? And, at what cost?