Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures


Fernando Degiovanni

Committee Members

Vicente Lecuna

Magdalena Perkowska

Alicia Ríos

Oswaldo Zavala

Subject Categories

Latin American History | Latin American Languages and Societies


El beso emancipador, Patria o muerte, Pelo malo, Revolución Bolivariana, Tiempos del incendio, Venezuela


In my dissertation, I study the novels Tiempos del incendio (2014) by José Roberto Duque, and Patria o muerte (2015) by Alberto Barrera Tyszka, the film Pelo malo (2013) by Mariana Rondón, and the performance El beso emancipador (2013) by Deborah Castillo. These works were created in a period of intense political and social transformations in Venezuela, in the context of the sickness and death of the president and leader of the Bolivarian Revolution Hugo Chávez (1999-2013). Because they contemplate nationalist symbols, historical events recovered by power, spaces taken by the State, and traditional claims in the country now exercised by the opposition forces to the government, they are now considered as readings and critiques of political polarization. While this consideration is valid, I propose these works also show other elements that have resulted in a critique of political categories and subjects of the national crisis, and therefore serve as an evaluation of all political impositions. Tiempos del incendio provides detailed descriptions of military injuries, which place their bodies as a fundamental reality that supersedes their political expectations. Patria o muerte describes a paranoid and eccentric character that diminishes the main character's political point of view. Similarly, Pelo malo focus on pauses and intimacy of the main characters which contrast with the popular neighborhood where they live that is considered a bastion of the Revolution. Finally, en El beso emancipador, the artist shows how through the corporeal repetition of a nationalist ritual, it is possible to subvert cultural impositions of power that are reproduced through the collective habits of a society.