The Absent Stone

Event Start Date: April 03, 2017 6:00 PM
Event End Date: April 03, 2017 8:00 PM


The Absent Stone, Screening

Followed by a Q&A with Director Sandra Rozental

The Hippodrome

April 3 | 6:00 - 8:00 PM


In 1964, the largest carved stone of the Americas was moved from the town of San Miguel Cuatlinchan in the municipality of Texcoco to the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City in an impressive feat of engineering. The extraction of the monolith, which represents the pre-Hispanic water deity, set off a rebellion in the town and led to the intervention of the army.

Today, the enormous stone, now upright, is an urban monument; it has been transformed into one of the principal icons of Mexican national identity. The inhabitants of Coatlinchan insist that the removal of the stone has caused droughts. Representations and replicas of the absent stone appear everywhere in Coatlinchan, where it resonates in the memories of the inhabitants. Using animations, archival materials and contemporary encounters with the protagonists of the transport of the stone, this documentary explores the relevance of the ruins of the past in the present day.


Dr. Sandra Rozental

Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana – Cuajimalpa

Sandra Rozental has a Bachelors' degree in Culture and Politics and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University. She received her PhD in 2012 in socio-cultural anthropology from New York University. Her research explores national patrimony, cultural property rights, and heritage claims generated by the extraction of archaeological objects from local communities and other state-making enterprises. She is currently an assistant professor in the Humanities and Social Sciences Division of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana- Cuajimalpa in Mexico City. She has worked as an exhibitions researcher and curator in anthropology museums and cultural institutions in Mexico and has collaborated with artists and curators on several installations in museums and galleries. "The Absent Stone" (2013) is her first feature film which she directed alongside Jesse Lerner. The film has received several awards, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival Jury Award, and has screened in festivals and theatres in Mexico and abroad. 

This event is made possible thanks to the support of:

UF Center for Latin American Studies

UF Department of Anthropology

UF Center for the Humanities & the Public Sphere