First and foremost, I would like to say shoutouts to Jon’s haircut in this one. It looks nice.
Re: Religion as Weapon
In one of our previous classes, we discussed (briefly) the use and implementation of religion re: the new world. In my group, we discussed that religion has the ability to be used as a weapon intended to indoctrinate people. One of my classmates in the discussion called himself a “recovering catholic”, and never have I found a term with more relatability than that one. Upon leaving this discussion, I wondered if there was any room for spirituality in religious institution. It seems to me that in history (such as the Philippines, which was also a Spanish colony at one point), religious institutions are primarily used to instill certain morals and ideas in the best interests of the colonizers. The term “ethnic cleansing” comes into play in the lecture in pertaining to this, with the King and Queen of Spain made it clear that an unwillingness to concede to their religion would be punishable by death. I find it really tough to come up with a response to this aside from silence and a lot of lingering thoughts all pointing to “that’s so wrong.” Really depressing stuff.
Re: Casta Paintings
Casta paintings are an interesting breed, as they function as art pieces, as well as a potential piece of anthropological and historical research for a shifting culture. I kind of see a lot of relevant contributions that casta paintings. The first being the aforementioned potential piece of anthropological and historical research of latin american culture during colonial rule. It allows us, as people who are looking into history and culture, to contextualize and peer into the ideals and societal perceptions of the spanish colonial elite on the growing society they are a part of, as well as how they perceived groups of people. However, that component is dedicated more to the future (us as observers) as opposed to the present of the casta paintings. I feel like casta paintings have the capacity to be construed as blueprints for to literally box in certain groups into certain stereotypes. And even as anthropological and historical research, they can get pretty unreliable at certain parts, like having certain groups of people labelled as “I don’t know understand you are” or “a step backward”. There are points when looking at and reading about casta paintings where it’s remarkably easy to say “that’s problematic”.