Archaeologies of Dissent: Visual/Textual Cultures and Translocalities of Social Movements of the XXI Century Americas

Co-convenersOliver Arellano (UMass Amherst), Laura Doci (Independent Scholar), Ever Osorio (Yale University)

Abstract: This working group investigates the aesthetics and politics of visual/textual cultures in popular movements in the Americas in the XXI century. In the last twenty years, transnational feminisms and popular movements in the Americas against capitalism and fascism have communicated through visual languages materialized in carteles, memes, infographs, posters, performances and graffitis. The online circulation of these materials has accompanied and sparkled protests in dozens of cities around the hemisphere. At the same time, they have fueled not only interpersonal and collective connections but also epistemological breaks. These irruptions, we argue, have enabled not yet participants of these struggles to interpret and elaborate narratives that empowered them to join the movements as is the case of #metoo, #miprimeracoso and #niunamas to mention some of the feminist visual/textual poetics we aim to work with.

It is through these materials that we would like to explore the arkhe of transnational protests in the XXI Americas against patriarchal violence, ecocide, racial capitalism, neoliberal policies and land dispossession. Given that the etymological origin of the concept of architecture refers to a sense of “beginning,” “origin” or “source of action,” we propose to address such origins genealogically, by historicizing the visual/textual cultures we will be exploring as part of a fragmentary, yet assembling history of resistance and dissent. Being so that these movements rely heavily on social media to communicate, we will also address how digital technologies and culture simultaneously support and limit the development of different historical and political temporalities.

Application: To apply to this working group, please complete the general application here.