Category Archives: Latin America

What it takes to tango

Opening of 'Make the Common Precious' in Santiago, 2006, showing links between art from everyday materials in Australia and the poetry of Pablo Neruda

Opening of 'Make the Common Precious' in Santiago, 2006, showing links between art from everyday materials in Australia and the poetry of Pablo Neruda

On 29-30 August 2012, the University of Melbourne hosted a two day event Melbourne-Latin America Dialogue which was designed as a ‘space for high-level exchange of ideas and experiences that brings together Latin American and Australian experts from scientific, technological, artistic, business and educational fields.’ It was indeed an intense series of events, with up to two hundred people, including the full contingent of Latin American ambassadors and many caped volunteers.

After welcome and opening remarks, the dialogue began with a focus on resources, including professors of mining and representatives of business. This marked the main theme of the dialogue – economic opportunities provided by the growth of Latin American countries. Of particular interest was the $65 billion privatisation process recently announced by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, offering a significant opening for foreign investment.

By the final session, ‘Opportunities and challenges for the Australia-Latin America relationship’, participants were very upbeat about future partnerships. But there were issues to overcome. Ronaldo Veirano, Honorary Consul of Australia to Rio de Janeiro and Executive Director of the Macquarie Funds Group, pointed out the obstacles in the way of realising these opportunities. For many Australian businesses, they still see Latin America as a politically unstable continent, while for Latin Americans Australia is barely visible.

Given that cultural stereotypes were raised as a major issue in development partnerships, it was odd that there was no session devoted to culture, arts or ideas in this dialogue. The more or less exclusive focus was on economic opportunity. While this is clearly a limited range of engagement in terms of broader international relations, it is also fraught within its own terms. If the aim is to expand business activity into Latin America, it seems critical to change these stereotypes through broader cultural exchange between Australia and Latin America.

In the final session, Jose Blanco, the Chairman of the Australia-Latin America Business Council, spoke about team Australia-Latin America in competition with team Australia-Asia. If this is indeed the scenario, then it is worth looking at how the competition have been building up their capacities. Ever since the Asian focus was elevated when Paul Keating was Prime Minister, it has been seen as important to develop our regional identity through cultural programs – sending a diverse range of Australian exhibitions and performances to Asia and hosting Asian artists here. Both the Asia Pacific Triennial and Asialink were established as necessary platforms to pave the way for future economic ties.

Much of the exchange currently is being handled by the Council of Australia Latin American Relations. This is largely a back-room body, supporting individual projects. Those businesses that are keen on Latin America could do worse than the Myer Foundation, who largely funded Asialink, and help establish a public body to foster cultural ties. Like Asialink, this could be done through a hosting of exchanges and visitors, publishing thought pieces, and nurturing a broader narrative about cultural partnership.

There are some obvious common interests across the Pacific:

  • the place of Indigenous cultures in a contemporary context
  • impact of globalisation, particularly on cultural diversity
  • intellectual property in the information age
  • impact of mining and development on communities
  • multiculturalism
  • relationship to nature
  • gender in society

There are immediate opportunities for business across the Pacific. But if these are to grow into long term partnerships, then an understanding of common interest would need to be developed.

It may take two to tango. But both have to learn how to dance first.

Términos Claves De La Teoría Postcolonial Latinoamericana: Despliegues, Matices, Definiciones

TÉRMINOS CLAVES DE LA TEORÍA POSTCOLONIAL LATINOAMERICANA: DESPLIEGUES, MATICES, DEFINICIONES

I Coloquio del Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios en Teoría Poscolonial, Facultad de Humanidades y Artes, UNR
2, 3 y 4 de julio de 2012
Facultad de Humanidades y Artes
Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Argentina

Conferencia Inaugural

DR. GUSTAVO VERDESIO
University of Michigan – Miembro del CIETP
Conferencia de Cierre

DR. ÁLVARO FERNÁNDEZ BRAVO
New York University Buenos Aires– CONICET – Miembro del CIETP

Presentación especial y debate

POSCOLONIALISMO, POSCOLONIALIDAD,  DECOLONIALIDAD
DRA. ZULMA PALERMO
Universidad Nacional de Salta

También presentaremos

TIEMPOS DE HOMENAJES / TIEMPOS DESCOLONIALES: FRANTZ FANON
Dr. ALEJANDRO DE OTO (Comp.)
CONICET, CCT Mendoza, Miembro del CIETP

Objetivos y ejes de reflexión

Este I Coloquio del Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios en Teoría Poscolonial tiene como objetivo inaugurar un espacio de discusión interdisciplinario e interregional sobre los conceptos y términos claves de la teoría poscolonial, y articular un diálogo crítico sobre los mismos desde el entorno específico de América Latina. Dicho diálogo tendrá como fin matizar las distintas ramas crítico-teóricas y los campos de aplicación relacionados con esta heterogénea vertiente teórica (tales como la teoría poscolonial latinoamericana, el giro decolonial, los estudios subalternos, los estudios latinoamericanos, los estudios coloniales), y cotejar su circulación y difusión a la luz de la meta más amplia de la descolonización epistémica, disciplinaria y académica. Nos interesa recibir trabajos que aborden alguno de los siguientes ejes, a fines de promover una reflexión crítica colectiva e interdisiciplinaria sobre los mismos.

  • El impacto del pensamiento decolonial en el arte y la literatura latinoamericanos desde la colonia hasta hoy. Arte, literatura y subjetividades (pos)coloniales. Diálogos e intercambios entre las producciones artísticas y/o literarias contemporáneas y las configuraciones culturales surgidas en la etapa colonial: discrepancias, sincronías o convergencias. Crónicas visuales, estrategias gráficas y contradiscursos en el campo de la imagen.
  • El impacto de la teoría poscolonial y sus vertientes latinoamericanistas en el ámbito de disciplinas específicas, sus metodologías, sus categorías críticas, y la propuesta transdisciplinaria en este marco, especialmente en el ámbito institucional y político de las universidades e instituciones académicas latinoamericanas.
  • Subjetividades (pos)coloniales: cuestiones de raza, etnia, género, sexualidad.
  • Problemas, desafíos y ventajas de la inclusión de la teoría poscolonial en sus diferentes vertientes en la currícula universitaria.
  • Reflexiones crítico-teóricas sobre términos claves tales como: colonial, imperial, poscolonial, sujeto colonial, hibridez, ambivalencia, entrelugar, subalternidad, diáspora, nación, colonialismo interno, descolonización, etc.
  • Problemas de traducción, circuitos de producción y recepción de la teoría (pos)colonial.
  • La recepción, problematización, formulación y/o reformulación de términos tales como colonialidad/modernidad, decolonialidad, liberación, raza, género, imperialismo, subalterno/subalterna, territorio, colonialismo académico, etc. en Latinoamérica, a través del estudio crítico de las teorías del grupo colonialidad/modernidad/decolonialidad.
  • La recepción, problematización, formulación y/o reformulación de términos tales como discurso colonial, semiosis colonial, discursividad mestiza, discursividad criolla, sujeto colonial, agencias criollas, mestizaje, mulatez, sincretismo, transculturación, etc. en los estudios coloniales y (pos)coloniales latinoamericanos.

Instrucciones para el envío de resúmenes y ponencias
Enviar un mensaje de correo electrónico a [email protected]. Especificar en asunto del mensaje “Coloquio 2012”

En el cuerpo del mensaje de correo electrónico, por favor consignar los siguientes datos:

  1. Nombre completo
  2. Afiliación académica y/o pertenencia institucional
  3. Dirección Postal
  4. Teléfono
  5. Email

En un archivo adjunto (.doc o .rtf, por favor no enviar archivos en .docx),  guardado bajo título APELLIDODEL AUTOR.doc o APELLIDODEL AUTOR.rtf (por ej. Martínez.doc o Martínez.rtf), incluir:

  1. Título
  2. Resumen (200 palabras, en castellano )
  3. Palabras clave (en castellano)

Fecha límite para la recepción de resúmenes: 30 de abril, 2012
Fecha límite para la recepción de ponencias: 21 de junio, 2012

La propuesta será evaluada y se comunicará su aceptación antes del 15 de mayo de 2012.

Costo de la inscripción
Aranceles
Expositores/as: Podrá abonarse en la inscripción durante el Coloquio.
Nacionales $ 150
Nacionales Estudiantes $ 90
América Latina U$S 65
Otros U$S 100

Asistentes: Será abonado durante los días del Coloquio.
Nacionales $ 50.
Nacionales Estudiantes $ 20.
América Latina U$S 20.
Otros U$S 30.

Publicación de las ponencias

Está prevista la publicación de las actas del Coloquio. Tras la realización del Coloquio, se enviará la información sobre el modo de presentación de los trabajos para participar de dicha publicación.

Centro De Investigaciones Y Estudios En Teoría Poscolonial–Conferencia inaugural

CENTRO DE INVESTIGACIONES Y ESTUDIOS EN TEORÍA POSCOLONIAL

TÉRMINOS CLAVES DE LA TEORÍA POSCOLONIAL  LATINOAMERICANA: DESPLIEGUES, MATICES, DEFINICIONES

I Coloquio del Centro de Investigaciones  y Estudios en Teoría Poscolonial, Facultad de Humanidades y Artes, UNR

2, 3 y 4 de julio de 2012
Facultad de Humanidades y Artes
Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Argentina

CONFERENCIA INAUGURAL

DR. GUSTAVO VERDESIO
University of Michigan, Miembro del CIETP

Objetivos  y ejes de reflexión

Este  I  Coloquio  del  Centro  de  Investigaciones y   Estudios  en  Teoría Poscolonial tiene como objetivo abrir un espacio de discusión interdisciplinario e interregional sobre los conceptos y términos claves de la teoría poscolonial, y articular un diálogo crítico sobre los mismos desde el entorno específico de América Latina. Dicho diálogo tendrá como fin matizar las distintas ramas crítico-teóricas  y los campos de aplicación relacionados con esta heterogénea vertiente teórica (tales como la teoría poscolonial latinoamericana, el  giro decolonial, los estudios subalternos, los estudios latinoamericanos, los estudios coloniales),  y cotejar su circulación  y difusión a la luz de la meta más amplia de la descolonización epistémica, disciplinaria  y académica. Nos interesa recibir trabajos que aborden los siguientes ejes, a fines de promover una reflexión crítica colectiva e interdisiciplinaria sobre los mismos.

  • Términos claves de la teoría poscolonial tales como: colonial, imperial, poscolonial, sujeto colonial, hibridez, ambivalencia, entrelugar, subalternidad, diáspora, nación, colonialismo interno, descolonización, etc.
  • La recepción, problematización, formulación y/o reformulación de tales términos en Latinoamérica, a través del estudio crítico de las teorías del grupo colonialidad/modernidad/decolonialidad, tales como colonialidad/modernidad, decolonialidad, liberación, raza, género, imperialismo, subalterno/subalterna, territorio, colonialismo académico, etc.
  • La recepción, problematización, formulación y/o reformulación de tales términos con relación a Latinoamérica, a través del estudio crítico de las teorías del campo interdisciplinario de los estudios coloniales  y poscoloniales latinoamericanos  y sus propios términos claves, tales como discurso colonial, semiosis colonial, discursividad mestiza, discursividad criolla, sujeto colonial, mestizaje, mulatez, sincretismo, transculturación, etc.
  • El impacto de la teoría poscolonial y sus vertientes latinoamericanistas en el ámbito de disciplinas específicas, sus metodologías, sus categorías críticas, y la propuesta transdisciplinaria en este marco, especialmente en el ámbito institucional  y político de las universidades e instituciones académicas latinoamericanas.
  • El impacto del pensamiento decolonial en el arte y la literatura latinoamericanos desde la colonia hasta hoy. Arte, literatura  y subjetividades (pos)coloniales.
  • Problemas, desafíos y ventajas de la inclusión de la teoría poscolonial en sus diferentes vertientes en la currícula universitaria.
  • Problemas de traducción, circuitos de producción y recepción de la teoría poscolonial.

Instrucciones para la inscripción y envío de resumenes y ponencias

Enviar un mensaje de correo electrónico a [email protected] Especificar en asunto del mensaje “Coloquio 2012”
En el cuerpo del mensaje de correo electrónico, por favor consignar los siguientes datos:

1) Nombre completo
2) Afiliación académica y/o pertenencia institucional
3) Dirección Postal
4) Teléfono
5) Email

En un archivo adjunto (.doc o .rtf, por favor no enviar archivos en .docx), guardado bajo título APELLIDODEL AUTOR.doc o APELLIDODEL AUTOR.rtf (por ej. Martínez.doc o Martínez.rtf), incluir:

1) Título
2) Resumen (en castellano  y en inglés)
3) Palabras clave (en castellano  y en inglés)

Fecha límite para la recepción de resúmenes: 30 de abril, 2012

Fecha límite para la recepción de ponencias: 7 de junio, 2012

La propuesta será evaluada  y se comunicará su aceptación antes del 15 de mayo de 2012.

Costo de la inscripción

Aranceles
Expositores/as: Podrá abonarse en la inscripción durante el Coloquio. Nacionales $ 150
Nacionales Estudiantes $ 90
América Latina U$S 65
Otros U$S 100

Asistentes: Será abonado durante los días del Coloquio. Nacionales $ 50.
Nacionales Estudiantes $ 20. América Latina U$S 20. Otros U$S 30.

Publicación de las ponencias
Está prevista la publicación de las actas del Coloquio. Tras la realización del
Coloquio, se enviará la información sobre el modo de presentación de los trabajos para participar de dicha publicación.

Directora
Dra. María Elena Lucero, UNR

Co-Directora
Dra. Laura Catelli, UNR – CONICET

Miembros Adherentes

Dr. Diego Beltrán, UNR
Dr. Alejandro de Oto, INCIHUSA- CCT Mendoza- CONICET Dr. Álvaro Fernández Bravo, Universidad de San Andrés, CONICET
Dra. Cecilia López Badano, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, México
Dra. Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Estados Unidos
Dr. José Antonio Mazzotti, Tufts University, Boston, Estados Unidos Asociación Internacional de Peruanistas
Dra. Concepción Pérez Rojas, Universidad de Sevilla, España
Dr. Gustavo Verdesio, University of Michigan, Estados Unidos

Indigenous Knowledges in Latin America and Australia conference

Please note the upcoming Symposium that SURCLA is organising: Indigenous Knowledges in Latin America and Australia | Locating Epistemologies, Difference and Dissent | December 8-10, 2011.

The symposium will bring together Indigenous educators and intellectuals from Mexico, Argentina and Chile to Sydney to meet with interested Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators, scholars and activists, as well as non-Indigenous practitioners and allies, to discuss different models and approaches of Indigenous Knowledges and Education in the tertiary sector and beyond.

This project aims at helping educators and researchers in the Higher Education sector of Australia and Latin America to identify opportunities for integrating in their research and teaching and learning relevant aspects of Indigenous Knowledges in the areas of culture, education and sustainability.

Apart from the symposium itself, academic publications, public lectures by distinguished visitors and the creation of a website, the project will stimulate debate on Indigenous Knowledge and film production in Latin America and Australia by hosting film screenings on the topic.

For more information, visit the website.

El congreso Ciencias, Tecnologías y Culturas–Chile January 2013

Convocatoria Estudiantes de Graduaçao, Pregrado, No-Graduados para III Congreso Ciencias, Tecnologías y Culturas

La Internacional del Conocimiento desea abrirse a la participación de la mayor cantidad posible de estudiantes de diversas disciplinas y países. Para ello ha establecido un conjunto de iniciativas. Se trata de promover entre estudiantes de grado-graduaçao la realización de un importante Viaje Intelectual a Santiago de Chile y a otras ciudades cercanas.

El congreso Ciencias, Tecnologías y Culturas se desarrollará en la Universidad de Santiago de Chile, 7-10 de enero-janeiro 2013

Simposios para jóvenes [email protected]

Habrá simposios especiales para estudiantes de graduaçao, sobre los temas:

  • Educación superior en América Latina
  • Energía, geografía y recursos
  • Integración latinoamericana y relaciones internacionales
  • Historia de América Latina
  • Temas políticos y movimientos sociales
  • Pueblos indígenas
  • Pensamiento, filosofía y teorías
  • Salud pública y ciencias de la vida
  • Medioambiente y calidad de vida
  • Comunicaciones, Internet, arte y cultura
  • Administración, desarrollo, economía, equidad
  • Recursos naturales, minería, piscicultura
  • Derechos humanos y derecho internacional
  • Turismo y patrimonio
  • Entre otros…

Presentación de trabajos

Los resúmenes (15 líneas, título, [email protected], institución, mail, contenido) deberán ser enviados hasta el 31 de agosto 2012. Se recomienda hacerlo con anticipación. Se podrá participar con o sin presentar trabajo. Se dispondrá de 15 minutos para presentar el trabajo

Comitivas-delegaçoes

La Internacional del Conocimiento espera recibir aproximadamente comitivas de estudiantes de graduaçao de unas 50 ciudades Al congreso 2010 concurrieron varias delegaciones de estudiantes de numerosas ciudades de Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia.

Organización de la comitiva

Se recomienda que se organice un equipo, de 2 o 3 personas, en cada ciudad o institución de educación superior que organice la comitiva y se comunique con la Internacional del Conocimiento, informando el interés por viajar al congreso

Equipo de Jóvenes Profesionales del Conocimiento

Es deseable que se aproveche la preparación para participar del congreso y de ese viaje intelectual para organizar un equipo permanente que promueva la realización de actividades especialmente destinadas a promover la investigación entre jóvenes. Este equipo puede permanecer ligado a la Internacional del Conocimiento, obteniendo así muchos beneficios de información y contactos.

Se organizará un Foro Latinoamericano de Estudiantes para pensar el futuro de la región, en relación a las tareas del estudiantado

Logamento-Alojamiento:

Instalaciones deportivas de la USACH, gratuito

Presentar carné estudiante [email protected] y certificado inscripción congreso

Pre-Inscribirse a través de comitivas-delegaçoes

Es necesario traer artículos de aseo y saco de dormir.

Inscripción

30 US o 17.000 pesos chilenos

Esta inscripción da derecho a materiales congreso, participación en todas las actividades académicas, presentación de ponencia, actividades recreativas, de convivencia, cóctel de bienvenida y asado-churrasco final.

Campanha Compromiso Intelectual

OJO: Si ya has adherido comunicar a tus colegas para que apoyen también. Necesitamos 10.000 adesoes-adhesiones. Manifiesto y datos en la pagina web.

Responsable: Mg. Eduardo Hodge Dupré: [email protected]

www.encuentrointelectuallatinoamericano.org 

www.internacionaldelconocimiento.org

David Turnbull – Other Knowledges: Reflections on Recent Archaeology in South America

Other Knowledges: Reflections on Recent Archaeology in South America
3 November 2011 7:30pm Institute of Postcolonial studies

David Turnbull considers recent research into the ancient civilisation of Caral in Peru, which questions the privileging of sedentary forms as necessary for complex social organisation. Turnbull reflects on the nature of heterarchy as framework for emergent knowledges and spaces. He relates this to the work of Enrique Dussel, which advocates ‘a space for transmodernity in which modernity and its negated alterity could co-realise themselves in a process of mutual creative fertilization.’

Dr David Turnbull is a philosopher of science who has published extensively on the history of space and time, with recent emphasis on concept specific to southern knowledges. His books include Masons, Tricksters and Cartographers: Comparative Studies in the Sociology of Scientific and Indigenous Knowledge (2000)

Institute of Postcolonial Studies
78-80 Curzon Street
North Melbourne
Victoria 3051 Australia (map)
Tel: 03 9329 6381
Admission – $5 for waged, $3 for unwaged, and free for members.

From Tasmania to Patagonia

 

28 years ago, the Australian Supreme Court banned the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the Franklin River, Tasmania, in a case which came to be internationally known as Tasmania v. Commonwealth.

At the beginning of the 1980s, the unemployment rate in Tasmania was 10 per cent (the highest in the country), and the local liberal government together with some big businesses and industries saw the construction of the Franklin dam as the remedy for all evils. This, however, required the flooding of a unique ecosystem, which had been declared as part of the World’s Natural Heritage by UNESCO. Against the plan stood the members of the Wilderness Society and the nascent Green Party who, joined by a number of community associations and independent citizens, proposed a different path to growth: one based on the respect for nature.

Eventually getting the support of the national Labor Party, those opposed to the dam generated the largest environmental campaign in the history of this Southern country. Their main argument was that the dam would not only violate the country laws, but also international agreements to which Australia had subscribed. After five years of protests, lobbying and media work, they triumphed and their story became one of the most quoted in the history of environmental litigation.

I cannot help comparing this case with HidroAysén, a project from the Spanish multinational Endesa (subsidiary of Italian Enel) and Chilean Colbún, which involves the construction of five dams in Chilean Patagonia, to generate 2.750 megawatts –fifteen times more than the aborted Franklin Dam! Whereas the energy that was meant to be produced in Tasmania was at least destined for local consumption, in the Chilean case it is not the Patagonians who are going to get the benefits, but the capital, Santiago, and the big mining industries in the North of the country. After the controversial approval of the Environmental Impact Study of the dams last May, what is now under discussion is the other half of the project: namely, a transmission line of 2.300 kilometers that would cut through six national parks and 11 nature reserves, and would mean chopping over 20 thousand hectares of forests. If approved, this would turn out to be the longest line of direct current in the planet (and probably one of the most inefficient, losing an estimated 10 per cent of the energy on the way).

Some people are more prone to be convinced by arguments, while others are more easily persuaded by shocking images, powerful slogans and even musical jingles. The No Dams movement in Tasmania worked on both fronts effectively. On one hand, they won the support of public figures and intellectuals who repeated the message of what would be at stake if the dam were authorized. Together with the organizers, they led the protests, rallies and road blockades, and they even ended up in jail, together with hundred other campaigners. (At the peak of the movement, the Tasmanian prison system simply collapsed, unable to fit them all). Thanks to generous donations, the No Dams campaign could also be heard on the radio –Let the Franklin flow–, but arguably the most effective way to raise the public’s attention were the spectacular photographs taken by Peter Dombrovskis: emerald waters flowing down a rocky patch of the river, surrounded by dense forests and half covered by the early morning mist. “Could you vote for a party that would destroy this?”, was the question posed under the picture by the Labor party, in the federal elections of 1983. Few voters dared to answer in the affirmative, and Labor won with a large swing.

Another important point is that it was understood from the beginning that the decision whether to approve or reject the Franklin dam was not technical, but political. The solution could not come from a mere cost-benefit analysis, because what was at stake was something priceless, namely, what Tasmania wanted to be and to become. The Green Party and its founder, Bob Brown, clearly saw this and, after the battle was won, remained as crucial actors in the Australian political scene: today they are part of the governing coalition, and Brown is one of the most popular senators countrywide.

Finally, the campaign was not so much about opposing, but overall about proposing an alternative path to development. The No to the dam was a Yes to sustainable growth. Three decades later, the decision has proved to be correct. Today, tourism is the second major economic activity in that state, and gives jobs to half a million Tasmanians, it generates a billion dollars annually and it attracts almost a million visitors. Moreover, Tasmania is Australia’s leader when it comes to the production of renewable energy, which amounts to 87 per cent of its total. This comes mainly from wind farms and hydroelectricity (yes, hydroelectricity, but not from large dams, but from run-of-the-river power plants for local use).

How should the Tasmanian story illuminate the Chilean case? To start with, the Patagonia Sin Represas campaign has powerful arguments on its side. Among them, firstly, that what looks like the cheapest option in the short and maybe medium term will be the most expensive in the long term. Secondly, that HidroAysén is not the only alternative available to solve the country’s purported ‘energy shortage’, because we have other options in abundance, like wind, geothermal energy and sun. Thirdly, that if HidroAysén benefits anybody, it is not the Patagonians. And fourthly, that a number of recent studies show that big, old-fashioned dams like the ones planned are not the clean energy that they claim to be (given increased sediment build-up, the fragmentation of the river ecosystem which results on the massive death of fish, etc.). Patagonia Sin Represas has used all this arguments effectively, and it has also appealed to our senses through powerful images, like those of the beautiful rivers Pascua and Baker, where the dams would be constructed; the huemules, our national emblems who are now an endangered species and many of whom live in the five thousand hectares to be flooded; and the dramatic effect that the transmission line would have on some of the most pristine landscapes in Chile and the world. Moreover, just as the No Dams campaign, Patagonia Sin Represas has progressively won the support of the general public, transforming itself from a narrow environmental movement into a social one. The best example of this is that, after the initial approbation of the dams by the government, on the 10th of May, 30 thousand Chileans gathered in Santiago to march against the decision. In every regional capital from north to south, this support was replicated.

The battle so far has not been easy, though, and will not be. Whereas in the Tasmanian case the company which proposed the project had limited resources to promote it, HidroAysén, backed by the multinational Endesa, has spent millions of dollars lobbying for and publicizing its cause. An important part has been to infuse fear in the population, through threats such as that we are going to be left in the dark, or that the country will not be able to grow if the project is not carried out. Against this, the only option for Patagonia Sin Represas is to stand as a truly social and political movement with the legitimate support of the citizenry. Regarding this point, another important difference with the Tasmanian case is that, while in the latter the political parties swiftly took sides for or against the Franklin Dam, the main political parties in Chile have only made lukewarm declarations in support or against the project. Discounting a couple of independent senators and representatives, it looks as if our politicians are dragging behind the times, unable to take a stance on the national problems that really matter. In the background, members of the right-wing government have been explicit on their support to HidroAysén, and have had no quibbles to use their position of authority to put the message through. Moreover, no Green Party has been born to work for this and other pressing environmental and social causes (whoever the Greens are in Chile, so far, they have not managed to capitalize on the many voices of discontent).

image

image

HidroAysén has still a long way to go before its definitive approval, and it is in the meantime that those who oppose it have to come with concrete alternatives. Together with the No to the dams in Patagonia has to come a Yes to other paths not only of energy production but, more widely, of development and even property rights over common goods (under Pinochet´s dictatorship, the Chilean waters were privatized, and it was thanks to this law that Endesa could acquire a significant amount of the water rights, especially in the area of the project). What is at stake here is not only one of the most pristine landscapes in Chile, but in the planet. The conclusion should be obvious: One Patagonia is worth more than a thousand dams.

Author: Alejandra Mancilla, Chilean Journalist and PhD candidate in Philosophy, Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE), Australian National University, Canberra. www.alejandramancilla.wordpress.com

‘Decoloniality’ in Latin American art

This paper by María Helena Lucero was delivered at the Southern Perspectives series at the Institute of Postcolonial Studies on August 11 2011. It introduces recent Latin American thinking about modernity, particularly in the concept of the ‘decolonial’.

Beyond the Favela, the Rua and the Museum: Reading Hélio Oiticica and Artur Barrio from Decoloniality.
Fluctuations and Paradoxes of a Latin-American Modernity[1]

I

Thinking about modernity in Latin America implies revising the works of certain artists who have been protagonists of episodes of rupture in the local as well as in the international cultural arena, including the decades of the 1960s and 1970s. As we move in this direction, it is possible to recognize visible signs of a decolonial position in two emblematic artists of Brazilian, and thus Latin American art: Hélio Oiticica (1937-1980)[2] and Artur Barrio (1945). The aim of this paper is to focus on a reading of these two visual trajectories, from a critical perspective that is rooted in what Ramón Grosfoguel and Santiago Castro-Gómez (2007) have called the “decolonial turn,” given that it is necessary to re-evaluate certain cultural itineraries from an adequate epistemic framework if we are to concern ourselves with a Latin American specificity. Decoloniality formulates a vision of knowledge that is compatible with that of postcolonial studies, an aspect that will also be taken under consideration. In this way, the development of theoretical perspectives that aim for the expansion of discussions around the global-south implies pluralistic modes of perception and interpretation of the cultural productions that emerge there.

Hélio Oiticia

Hélio Oiticia

Artur Barrio

Artur Barrio

Hélio Oiticica has gone through different artistic stages, from the two-dimensional paintings we associate with the Frente group in the 1950s to his Cosmococas in 1973, or actions born out of “contra-bólido”’ toward the end of the 1970s. His explorations resulted in theoretically complex, vigorous, and coherent constructions, that drew a personal itinerary that stimulated a “permeable corporeity”: he would activate not just a connection with certain surroundings, but also perceptual channels that, at times of oppression, would work as zones of self-conscious liberation and as decolonial signs. Artur Barrio initiated, toward the end of the 1960s, a series of interventions in urban and peripheral zones in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. His well-known trouxas ensanguentadas, pieces that alluded to physical remains that were wounded or devastated, operated as provocation devices that altered the perception of the unaware walker-by, who would come across these disturbing packages that were squirted and stained with a violent red as he stepped along the city sidewalk.

Both trajectories have shown us visual propositions that, on one hand, instituted regional expressions within an international artistic arena, expressions that are tied to the subversive character of Latin American conceptualism –a counter-discourse strategy that questioned the political hegemony of the State and the fetishist condition of legitimated art. On the other hand, they openly rejected the military dictatorship that took place in Brazil (1964-1985), which reached its crudest and most violent moment in 1968, when the law AI 5 was passed to suppress the civil and political liberties of Brazilian citizens.

II

Before developing the concept of decoloniality, let´s consider the academic backgrounds of the members of the modernity-coloniality network, the nucleus from which the concept arises. Certain Latin American intellectuals, among them Aníbal Quijano in 1996 and Ramón Grosfoguel in 1998, while working in U.S. universities, began to debate colonial legacies, the geopolitics of knowledge, and the coloniality of knowledge in Latin America. Up to par with researchers like Santiago Castro-Gómez, Walter D. Mignolo, Edgardo Lander, Fernando Coronil or Enrique Dussel, these intellectuals participated in the activities of the modernity-coloniality network. As do Cultural and Postcolonial Studies, “…el grupo modernidad/colonialidad reconoce el papel esencial de las epistemes, pero les otorga un estatuto económico, tal como el análisis del sistema mundo” [… the Modernity/Coloniality Group recognizes the essential role of epistemes, but it assigns them an economic status, like world-system analysis] (Castro-Gómez, Grosfoguel, 2007: 16-17). This epistemic frame is in some ways linked with the theories of Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak, but it has also avoided automatically introducing postcolonial reflections on the Latin American stage, in order to examine regional singularities and to consolidate a discussion on Occidentalism “by and from” Latin America. It is in this context that the term “post-occidentalism” has gained currency, as a reformulation that conjugates decolonization and postcolonialism, where knowledge is forged in interstitial or hybrid ways, “…pero no en el sentido tradicional de sincretismo o ‘mestizaje’, y tampoco en el sentido dado por Néstor García Canclini a esta categoría, sino en el sentido de ‘complicidad subversiva’” [… but not in the traditional sense of syncretism or ‘mestizaje’, and also not in the sense given by Néstor García Canclini to this category, but in the sense of ‘subversive complicity’] (2007: 20).

Strictly speaking, decoloniality, as it has been mapped out by Castro Gómez and Grosfoguel, insists on the liberating nature of the term and encourages a second decolonization—of an intellectual and cultural nature, in comparison with a first decolonization that is restricted to the legal-political level, achieved by the Spanish colonies in the nineteenth century and the British and French colonies in the twentieth century. The transition from modern to global colonialism took place without a substantial transformation of binary organizations, such as the economic poles of centre-periphery, thus reproducing political and economic submission. The crisis of the modern condition produced cracks and variables in the historical canon of power that denied multiplicity, superposition or hybridity, making a turn toward increasingly plural global presences. In spite of these changes, the colonial traces of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries have endured. Thus, it follows that the decolonial perspective pushes for a culture that is intertwined with decisive effects on ethnic, racial, sexual, epistemic, and gender dimensions. In and of themselves, racial discourses provoke negative consequences in the international labour system, a worrisome aspect for decoloniality.

Racial premises would justify the access of supposedly “superior races”[3] to better offers in the labour market, as opposed to the “inferior races” that would be relegated to badly-remunerated tasks, thus tracing a way of thinking that inherited notions of the nineteenth century. This condition should be examined from a heterarchical perspective, where no level exists that dominates or subjugates others but, instead, there is a multiple and shared influence that works for a new and better paradigm. Let us remember that the idea of heterarchy, developed by sociologist Kyriakis Kontopolous, is antithetical to hierarchy and undertakes the analysis of social structures by including dysfunctional aspects in a partial, discontinuous, and non-homogenous way. Likewise, decoloniality confronts coloniality of knowledge, which is grounded on an economic dimension as well as on mechanisms of social control. As Mignolo (2007) has noted, decolonial thought has been configured as a resistant and different zone from modernity/coloniality itself. In this manner, coloniality exteriorizes the situation of domination of those who have been forcibly submerged in modernity.

Even though the theoretical alignment of the modernity/coloniality group traces differences and relocations with respect to postcolonial studies, they do share its interdisciplinary and deconstructive character with respect to the Eurocentric, colonial paradigm. Mellino (2008) has presented a revision of the term “postcolonial” in order to delineate a genealogy of its repercussions and incidences in the international academic world. He makes a distinction between a literal and a metaphorical interpretation of the concept of postcolonialism. In the first case, it would refer to a “post” moment of decolonization in the political arena, or forms of emancipation from territorial colonization at a given time period; in the second case, there appear far-reaching implications that are not contained within a segment of time. The crucial precedents for this way of thinking are to be found in Edward Said, an intellectual associated with anti-imperialist criticism; in Gayatri Spivak, who detects, in British literature, the echoes of colonialism and imperialism that subsist beyond the multiple cultural meetings, contacts, and shocks between Orient and the West; and in Homi Bhabha, whose expressions of “hybridity” or “the in-between” have endowed us with the capacity to give a name not just to the cultural interstices forged on fluctuating borders, but to new social actors who do not have a fixed locus. Here, postcolonial criticism works through the deconstruction of the Western imperialist subject, exploring the degree of epistemic violence in the narratives that are cast upon cultural alterities.

From Said´s, Spivak´s, and Bhabha´s contributions, the postcolonial paradigm came to be formed as a “desarrollo del pensamiento posmoderno orientado a la crítica cultural y a la deconstrucción de las nociones, de las categorías y de los presupuestos de la identidad moderna occidental en sus más variadas manifestaciones” [development of postmodern thought aimed at cultural criticism and the deconstruction of the notions, categories, and presuppositions of modern Western identity in its most varied manifestations] (Mellino, 2008: 51). For Homi Bhabha, colonial discourse attends to a system of symbols and practices that organize social reproduction in colonial space. According to him, the sense of “post” that is implicit in the term “postcolonialism” refers to a “beyond” and embodies a certain “inquietante energía revisionista” [unsettling revisionist energy] (Bhabha, 2007: 21) that has the ability of transforming the present into a locus of experience and plurality. In this operation (which, in the end, assumes a political stance), culture makes up a seminal dimension, founding a “estrategia de supervivencia es a la vez transnacional y traduccional…” [strategy of survival that is at once transnational and translational…] (2007: 212) and that establishes a space “in-between” that allows for the emergence of hybrid and interstitial cultural signs.

III

In order to circumscribe the critical tone of the productions generated by the aforementioned artists, let us remember that the tone that preceded conceptualism in Latin America stimulated reflections on the idea of dematerialization. Mari Carmen Ramírez (2004) has pointed out that this cultural project did not depend on centre or metropolitan phenomena, but transcended the opposition “centre-periphery” and accentuated structural and ideological factors over perceptual conditions. A systematic “inversion” occurred through Latin American conceptual experiences with relation to the North American model, given the conditions of marginalization and repression that Latin America experienced in the 1960s and 1970s. The revision of conceptualism in these latitudes obliges us to approach it as “the recovery of an emancipatory project” (Ramírez, 1999: 557). These incipient enunciations predict developments in global conceptual art from an eccentric position, outside or displaced from the centre. Luis Camnitzer underlined certain mechanisms that marked Latin America as a “cultura de resistencia en contra de culturas invasoras” [culture of resistance against invading cultures] (Camnitzer, 2008: 31), whose visual and formal productions pollinated dimensions of the political along with poetry and pedagogy. These sides merged, and the result was a globality that transcended the dichotomy “agitation/construction”: the artist didn’t propose himself as an activist but as a builder of forms, objects, ideas that become embodied in the artwork. There would be a Latin American specificity in contrast with the U.S. conceptual process, observable when taking in account areas such as: the role of dematerialization, pedagogical incidence, the application of the text or literature. For the Latin American case, the process of dematerialization followed a politicized and politicizing condition, more than an aesthetic choice.

Oiticica developed part of his work in the period that immediately preceded as well as during the Brazilian dictatorship. The 1964 Parangolés were capes that were made of ephemeral materials, outside the art circuit. The spectators, besides integrating the work, would make movements in space to the rhythm of Rio de Janeiro samba, thus establishing a dialogue with the surrounding context. In this way, there appeared a new “una experiencia integradora donde la Percepción cumple el doble rol de estructurar y transformar el mundo de lo cotidiano (…)” [integrative experience where Perception has the double role to restructure and transform the quotidian world (…)] (Lucero: 2009a: 2). In 1965, the common denominator among artists and critics was their opposition to the system through protests of a cultural nature, that took place in events such as Propuestas 65 in São Paulo, an event that was similar to Opinião 65 in Rio de Janeiro. These were interdisciplinary exhibits that discussed the fate of the arts after the military coup. Hélio, in Propuestas 66, called this new trend “our objectivity”, thus underlining the avant-garde characteristics of these encounters, as well as promoting a space of experimentalism where subjects could free their imagination and, besides being part of that world, they could also be its creators.

Hélio Oiticica Parangolé P 08 Capa 05 – Mangueira, 1965; P 05 Capa 02, 1965; P 25 Capa 21- Nininha Xoxoba, 1968; P 04 Capa 01, 1964. Image from Ivan Cardoso’s film H.O, 1979. Credits: Catalogue Hélio Oiticica. The Body of Color, 2007, p. 317

Hélio Oiticica Parangolé P 08 Capa 05 – Mangueira, 1965; P 05 Capa 02, 1965; P 25 Capa 21- Nininha Xoxoba, 1968; P 04 Capa 01, 1964. Image from Ivan Cardoso’s film H.O, 1979. Credits: Catalogue Hélio Oiticica. The Body of Color, 2007, p. 317

Tropicália from 1967 was the product of diverse appropriations, which allowed him to advance his environmental agenda, and can be understood as “an idea of a garden for sensory and graphic experiences” (Figuereido, 2007: 118). The notion of anti-art coined by Helio emphasized the artist´s condition as an instigator of creation and that of the spectator as an active participant of the artwork. Anti-art was the response to a collective need in relation to the creative action, that was exempt from intellectual or moral premises: it was man´s simple position within himself, “in his vital creative possibilities” (Oiticica, 1999: 8). Dance was a direct search for the act of expression, and in contrast with ballet´s mechanical choreography, the movement suggested by the dances of carnaval was the equivalent to the exteriorization of the popular element in these communities. The collision with preconceptions related to artistic practices formulated “the connection between the collective and individual expression – the most important step towards this -” (Oiticica, 2006: 106).

Artur Barrio has been a reader of Frantz Fanon (also Oiticica had a translated copy of The Wretched of the Earth). This is an important detail that helps us understand his plastic choices as well as what it means to produce art in the periphery of capitalism. The reference to residues of cheap materials targeted hierarchies and reflected the idea of “economic leftovers”, or edge of the margin. In this sense, “la obra de Barrio incluye estrategias del Conceptualismo apelando al uso de elementos precarios, banales y frágiles, trazando una opción disidente respecto a los materiales industriales de alto costo económico” [Barrio´s ouvre includes conceptualist strategies, that make use of precarious, banal, and fragile elements that delineate a dissident alternative with respect to industrial, high-cost materials] (Lucero, 2009b: 6). The sum of his aesthetic choices constituted the equivalent of an attitude of resistance against others´ control over his own matter. “La postura estético-política de Barrio es una toma de conciencia en relación a la producción del arte en el Tercer mundo como resistencia a la contramodernidad” [Barrio´s aesthetic-political position is an act of conscience with relation to the production of art in the Third World as resistance to countermodernity] (Herkenhoff, 2008: 15), if we understand “countermodern” in Homi Bhabha´s terms, that is, as related to neocolonialism. In this way, Barrio took a clear position before an instance of oppression, that colonized liberty and the senses. In 1969, the artist piled up packages that were toned with blood in one of the rooms of the Modern Art Museum in Rio, that were presented under the title Situação..ORHHH.OU..5.000.T.E..EM.N.Y…CITY: the word “situation” set a deviation from traditional notions of art, while emphasizing an attitude of spatial intervention. One month later, those packages would be taken to the steps of the garden or to the street. The project became more and more extended and in 1970 Barrio deposited the trouxas ensaguentadas on the banks of the river that runs across the City Park (Parque Municipal).

Artur Barrio Trouxas ensanguentadas, in Situação…T/T1; Belo Horizonte, April, 1970; Credits: Inverted Utopias. Avant-Garde Art in Latin America, p. 370

Artur Barrio Trouxas ensanguentadas, in Situação…T/T1; Belo Horizonte, April, 1970; Credits: Inverted Utopias. Avant-Garde Art in Latin America, p. 370

He then packed five-hundred plastic bags with human remains, such as nails or bones that were splattered with bodily fluids, and he placed them in different sites in Rio and Belo Horizonte. The trouxas were, according to Herkenhoff, evidenciadores or “witnesses” that altered or brought a different dynamic to a particular state of affairs. These evidences or demonstrations translated into: operations of repulsion against countermodernity; distributive circuits in the urban and marginal fabric; objects that were “anxious” to force a confrontation with the visceral fear that emanated from the dismembered or gashed organism; visual contaminations, fragmented bodies, paintings, flesh, and finally, living mud. Also in 1970, he did an ambulatory experience that consisted in spending four days and four nights without food or sleep, and just smoking manga rosa, a seed that is grown (sativa) in Brazil that became popular during those years. His body was the physical support for an action that became effective at every moment, in a way that was erratic and to-the-limit. The artist recorded these explorations in perception in a notebook and eight years later he wrote a text defining the term “deambulário” as a one that was written and inscribed on the body (Klinger, 2007).

In Oiticica, the Parangolés provoked an attitude of emancipation in all of the participant´s perceptive dimensions. Each cape provided a different tactile arsenal, with different textures, and colours, promoting a decolonial sense in two ways: the independence involved in dancing with the piece of clothing, and the liberation of showing revolutionary and rebellious phrases: “be marginal, be a hero.” The Tropicália installation generated feelings of provocation and dislocation because it subverted the order of conventional visuality. There, a cultural need irrupted that made it possible for the subaltern to empower and renew himself, while rescuing the symbolic remains that accumulated in the margins and infiltrated the artistic production, an enunciation that was also political and that grew out of a bastard, emergent territory that induced new, contextualized ways of seeing.

Barrio, on the other hand, swept away with the high cost industrial façade while augmenting the symbolic value of throw-aways from the technological circuit. The trouxas ensanguentadas were furtive cargo that reinforced a decolonial strategy, not just because of the precarious and ephemeral materials from which they were made, but because of their subversive wink against despotism and nationalized torture. He reconstructed private cartographies (the location of the packages) as well as public ones, transforming the urban theatre through minimal interventions that were reiterations but also effective. The wandering that went on for days, that put in risk his physical and mental health, opened an erratic channel that, among other things, allowed him to explore his own bodily limits and his autonomy of action – a personal choice that is articulated within the mode of decoloniality.

IV

Why speak of a Latin American modernity that is vexed by fluctuations and paradoxes? From the field of sociology of communication, Roncagliolo (2003) defines the broad concept of modernity through its chronological and cultural aspects. When we think of the beginning of modernity since the end of the fifteenth century (and through the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries), this temporal category designates, in Berman’s words, a whirl of interacting, parallel phenomena. But this series of vertiginous events were directed toward three potential zones: a nucleus of cultural, scientific, and ethical signification; another of a financial and industrial nature; and another with political roots. The voracious development of economic modernization drove forward the accumulation of capital, an action that was stimulated by the colonization that has expanded toward non-Western territories since the fifteenth century. The projection of these modernising trends in Latin America was attempted with great difficulty, The geo-social reality here differed so profoundly from that of Europe: “América Latina fue una región necesaria para la modernización del mundo capitalista, pero ella misma no se modernizó cabalmente” [The Latin American region was necessary for the modernization of the capitalist world, but Latin America itself wasn’t completely modernized] (Roncagliolo, 2003: 114).

Some of these frictions stem from the persistence of unequal degrees of modernization and, as Achúgar (1993) notes—quoting the Mexican writer Fernando Calderón—, Latin America accepted the cohabitation of the premodern, the modern, and the postmodern. Mixed temporalities exposed paradoxes in our modernity, which provides the conditions of decoloniality.

I have noted here that decoloniality calls for a cultural, artistic, and intellectual decolonization. As a critical category, it refutes Eurocentric views within the field of culture and confronts the heavy weight of coloniality in the realm of knowledge. It opens other senses which, in confrontation with the cultural mainstream, strengthen contortions that betray, perturb, and invert that mainstream. The chain of signifiers is exposed in the objects themselves: the significances disperse, disseminating in the multiple gazes of the spectators. The cultural movements that began in the 1920s and continued in Latin America, and which became belligerently propelled in the 1960s, fought against this condition of coloniality that was rooted for centuries, allowing for the emergence of a “búsqueda de conformación de plataformas de pensamiento propias” [search in the formation of self-made platforms of thought] (Palermo, 2009: 16).

The restitution of local and regional materials, challenging the official status quo of art, and a deeply politicized visual production, are pivotal characteristics of Oiticica’s and Barrio’s installations. Moving their actions to public or socially neglected areas places these aesthetic versions on an institutional edge. At the same time, these artists proclaim, with a most fervent individual freedom, a cultural act that is fuelled by decoloniality. Both Oiticica and Barrio revealed a nucleus of signification that refers to disruptive gestures that, in turn, transcended legitimated art media channels, slipping beyond the favela, the rua, and the museum. They bore witness to a state of crisis not just in their own social and political context, but also in the notion of modernity itself that, as a local phenomenon, was marked by fluctuations and paradoxes, thus producing a cultural convulsion on the Latin American stage.

Bibliography:

ACHUGAR, Hugo. 1993. “Fin de siglo, reflexiones desde la periferia”. In AAVV. Arte Latinoamericano Actual. Exposición, Coloquio. Noviembre de 1993, Museo Juan Manuel Blanes, Montevideo, Uruguay, pp. 85-90.

BHABHA, Homi. 2007. El lugar de la cultura. Ediciones Manantial, Buenos Aires.

CAMNITZER, Luis. 2008. Didáctica de la Liberación. Arte Conceptualista Latinoamericano. HUM, CCE Montevideo, CCE Buenos Aires, Uruguay.

CASTRO-GÓMEZ, Santiago y GROSFOGUEL, Ramón. 2007. El giro decolonial. Reflexiones para una diversidad epistémica más allá del capitalismo global. Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Siglo del Hombre Editores, Colombia.

FIGUEIREDO, Luciano. 2007. “’the world is the museum’: Appropriation and Transformation in the work of Hélio Oiticica”. In Ramírez, Mari Carmen. Hélio Oiticica. The Body of Color. Tate Publishing in Association with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, pp. 105-125.

HERKENHOFF, Paulo. 2008. “De un Glosario sobre Barrio (dos apuntes: Tercer mundo y Trouxas)”. In AAVV. Artur Barrio. Catálogo de Exposición. Museo Rufino Tamayo, Colección Jumex, México DF, pp. 15-20.

KLINGER, Diana. 2007. “Artur Barrio y Hélio Oiticica: políticas del cuerpo”. In Garramuño, Florencia, et al. Experiencia, cuerpo y subjetividades. Literatura brasileña contemporánea. Beatriz Viterbo Editora, Rosario, pp. 197-205.

LUCERO, María Elena. 2009a. “Diluyendo los límites. Deslizamientos en la práctica artística de Hélio Oiticica (Brasil)”. In AAVV. I Jornadas Internacionales de Arte. Educación en la Universidad. PICEF. Universidad Nacional de Misiones (UNAM), Oberá. CD-Rom, pp. 1-4.

LUCERO, María Elena. 2009b. “Interpelar la opresión: los disturbios de Artur Barrio y Adriana Varejão”. II Congreso Argentino-Latinoamericano de Derechos Humanos: un Compromiso de la Universidad. Facultad de Humanidades y Artes, Universidad Nacional de Rosario (en prensa).

MELLINO, Miguel. 2008. La Crítica poscolonial. Descolonización, capitalismo y cosmopolitismo en los estudios poscoloniales. Paidós, Buenos Aires.

MIGNOLO, Walter D. 2007. La idea de América Latina. La herida colonial y la opción decolonial. Editorial Gedisa S.A., Barcelona.

OITICICA, Hélio. 1999. “Position and Program”. In Alberro, Alexander; Stimson, Blake (editors). Conceptual Art: a critical anthology. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. London, England, pp. 8-10

OITICICA, Hélio. 2006. “Dance in my Experience (Diary Entries)//1965-66”. In Bishop, Claire (edited by). Participation. Documents of Contemporary Art. Whitechapel London, The MIT Press Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp. 105-109.

PALERMO, Zulma. 2009. Arte y estética en la encrucijada descolonial. Cuaderno Nº 6, Ediciones del Signo, Buenos Aires.

RAMÍREZ, Mari Carmen. 1999. “Blueprint circuits: Conceptual art and politics in Latin American”. In Alberro, Alexander; Stimson, Blake (editors). Conceptual Art: a critical anthology. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. London, England, pp. 550-562.

RAMIREZ, Mari Carmen. 2004. “Tactics for Thriving on Adversity. Conceptualism in Latin America, 1960-1980”. In Ramírez, Mari Carmen y Olea, Héctor. Inverted Utopias. Avant-Garde Art in Latin America. Yale University Press, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, pp. 425-439.

RONCAGLIOLO, Rafael. 2003. Problemas de la integración cultural: América Latina. Enciclopedia Latinoamericana de Sociocultura y Comunicación, Grupo Editorial Norma, Buenos Aires.


[1] Translated from the original text in Spanish by Laura Catelli. The citations that appeared in Spanish in the original have been kept in the original language of publication and translated in parentheses.

[2] This presentation has been extracted from my Doctoral Dissertation, Approximations to the Construction of a Methodological Device from the Crossing of Disciplines: Analyzing Productions by Tarsila de Amaral and Helio Oiticica from an Anthropological Perspective. Here, decoloniality is formulated as one of the key concepts for the examination of the artworks.

[3] The term “race” is used here in quotation marks in order to highlight its biologicist and determinist sense. Let us take in consideration that the concept will be debated afterwards, given that it connotes a strong colonialist view that stems from the reflections of authors such as Bernier, Gobineau, Buffon, Renan or Le Bon. For more details, see Tzvetan Todorov’s “Race and Racism” in On Human Diversity: Nationalism, Racism, and Exoticism in French Thought (Harvard UP, 1994).

Dr María Elena Lucero teaches at the School of Humanities and Arts, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Argentina. She is Director of CETCACL (Centre of Critical Theoretical Studies of Art and Culture in Latin America), Universidad Nacional de Rosario. She is the author of many publications on Latin American art movements and artists, including Eugenio Dittborn, Cildo Meireles and Adriana Varejão. She has also written widely on pre-Columbian cultures.

Talk – Modernism as a local phenomenon: the art of Artur Barrio and Helio Oiticica

María Elena Lucero, Universidad Nacional Rosario, Argentina
11 August 2011 7:30pm, Institute of Postcolonial Studies, North Melbourne

María Elena Lucero

María Elena Lucero

Visiting Argentinian art theorist presents a paper on influential Brazilian artists Artur Barrio and Helio Oiticica in relation to recent ‘decolonial’ thinking in Latin America. In this, she tracks a particular local modernism that drew its materials from the margins. She makes reference to the tropicalia movement, which endures as a quintessential southern way of thinking and creating. Her paper reflects a ‘decolonial aesthetics’, as found in Latin America writers such as Ramón Grosfoguel and Walter Mignolo. Broadly speaking, such an approach advocates a system of meaning that is located in Indigenous forms of knowing that are independent of imperial ideology. This paper is a unique opportunity to consider the relation between the Latin American ‘decolonial’ and the Anglo ‘postcolonial’.

Dr María Elena Lucero is Director of CETCACL (Centre of Critical Theoretical Studies of Art and Culture in Latin America), Universidad Nacional de Rosario. She is the author of many publications on Latin American art movements and artists, including Eugenio Dittborn, Cildo Merilles and Adriana Varejão. She has also written widely on pre-Columbian cultures. María Elena Lucero is coming to Australia exclusively to speak at the Southern Perspectives series at the IPCS.

Southern Panoramas

A call from Videobrasil

Southern Panoramas: accepting submissions until March 10
With a new name, focus, and format, the 17th International Contemporary Art Festival SESC_Videobrasil is accepting submissions for the Southern Panoramas competitive exhibition up until March 10, 2011. Open to all artistic manifestations for the first time, the exhibition is accepting submissions of installations, performances, book-objects, and other experiments. Visual artists from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia (except Japan), Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania may submit artwork produced from May 2009 onwards.
View the regulations and entry forms for the 17th Festivall here.

And from Tokyo:

South by Southeast: Australasian Video Art
SJ RAMIR | Patricia PICCININI | Steve CARR | Angelica MESITI | Swirhana SPONG | Daniel CROOKS | Shaun GLADWELL | Damiano BERTOLI | Ronnie VAN HOUT | Daniel VON STURMER | David ROSETZKY | Richard BELL
10.30 – 12.30 Sunday 20 February 2011
16.00 – 18.00 Thursday 24 February 2011
Australia and New Zealand exist at a point somewhere between the eastern and western worlds, maturing away from British colonialism to become progressive modern countries with specific indigenous heritages. South by Southeast operates as a broad survey of recent single channel video works by Australian and New Zealand artists, reflecting the complex diversity of artists living in these countries and their unique approach to art making. The works emerge out of the specific cultural and geographical conditions of these isolated countries while reflecting the pervasion of, yet irrefutable distance from, the centres of global cultural influence.    
The works within the screening program seek to introduce a selected survey of current art practice from these countries, marking a shift from the documentation of the performative – prevalent in the early employment of the medium of video within an art context – as well as the narrative format prominent within conventional cinema works. This selection of single channel video works often foresake a stringent narrative linearity, instead creating drama that operates outside of a defined temporal sequentiality. These works are for the most part produced with a gallery and museum framework in mind, operating more within the realm of the moving image, rather than as films intended for a cinema context.
Many of the works evoke a strong sense of isolation, depicting singular figures within various situations or against the backdrop of almost undisturbed landscapes, be they urban, suburban or rural. This alludes to the distant position of these countries in relation to the rest of the world, whilst also referencing the relative expansiveness of their respective topographies and comparatively sparse populations. To this end, the Hitchcockian title refers to the idea of locating oneself, both physically and psychologically in relation to our geographic and cultural differences, and in particular, on the occasion of the Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions, to the geographical location of Australia and New Zealand in relation to Japan.
For more information on the program please go to:
Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions
Daydream Believer!!
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
17 – 27 February 2011