The research team ADS (Art/Design/Scenography – research laboratory of MICA – EA 4426), AMERIBER (Latin America, Iberian countries – EA3656) and CLIMAS (Cultures and literatures of the English-speaking worlds – EA 4196) of Bordeaux Montaigne University are organizing an International Symposium on Wednesday 26th, Thursday 27th and Friday 28th October 2022, at Bordeaux Montaigne University, France.
Under the direction of Nicolas Nercam ADS-MICA (UBM) associate researcher CEIAS (EHESSCNRS), Martien Bovo AMERIBER (UBM) and Mathilde Bertrand CLIMAS (UBM).
Image: "Icy and Sot offer up some postcolonial c" (CC BY-ND 2.0) by hragv
[French version blow]
[Download the bilingual CFP as PDF]
The question of a “decolonization of knowledge”, inspired in large part by cultural and postcolonial studies, permeates today across all university fields. The Decolonization studies have acquired a wide audience in Anglo-Saxon universities.
If this current of thought, whose precise contours are impossible to determine, proposes, in particular, to link the decolonization of knowledge to social and political actions on the ground, its most relevant contribution lies in the continuation of the reflection on “deconstruction” (a key term within postcolonial studies). It is indeed a question, not of "destroying", but of dismantling the presuppositions from which ideas, concepts and practices were able to build themselves in order to give them a new meaning and finally make visible their harmful and their stigmatizing effects.
In addition, following the example of postcolonial studies, many activist organisations, qualified for some as “radicals”, embraces the discourse of decolonial studies (Nicolas Bancel, 2019).
In France, this question weighs on many political, epistemological, institutional and disciplinary debates, with their passions and their polemics. These debates have repercussions in the field of theorical reflection on art and culture, as well as on the practice of the arts. Artists, art historians, museum curators, and exhibition curators now explicitly refer to the theoretical field of the postcolonial and decolonial.
Within contemporary production (constructed as “oppositional” or even “activist”) artistic practices denounce a series of oppressions and alienations considered to be intrinsically linked to one another: the critique of global neoliberal capitalism and of major ecological disasters – the denunciation of wars, of commercial conflicts and technological cyber perils – the rejection of totalitarianism, nationalism and religious fundamentalism – the defence of the rights of minorities and immigrant populations – an adhesion to feminist, anti-racist and LGBT struggles. All of this constitutes the framework for so-called “reactive” artistic productions (Christine Macel, 2020) within which postcolonial and decolonial struggles find their place.
This international symposium, "Art and decoloniality (practices, theory, paradigm)", far from the controversies that often stand in the way of a real scientific debate, proposes to analyze the effects of the phenomenon of "decolonization" both within sciences of art, and within artistic practices. The intention is to assess the possible epistemological and methodological repercussions, as well as the possible changes of objects of study and artistic approaches that this “question of the decolonial” may have given rise to.
This symposium therefore proposes to study artistic productions, characteristics of this movement, and the intellectual proposals that accompany them and aim to transcend the conditions of oppression of yesteryear, to remove the remaining stigmata and discard a "cultural intimacy and epistemic with the former coloniser” (Enrique Dussel, 2000).
The organizing team of this symposium intends to bring together researchers from diverse disciplines in order to reflect together on the various forms and conceptions of the contributions of decolonialism in the arts (thus strengthening and expanding our partnerships with foreign and French researchers).
A non-exclusive and non-exhaustive list of questions presented here in a non-exhaustive way, can serve as a common thread in the preparation of this colloquium: - Does the “decolonial” mean a break with the “postcolonial” or not?
- Under what guises does “the coloniality of the matrix of power” (Anibal Quijano, Ramon Grosfoguel, Santiago Castro-Gomez, 2007 and Walter Mignolo, 2011), having resisted postcolonial independence movements and criticism, continues to manifest itself in the practices of the arts, in the institutions of the art world and in their theoretical approaches? - What are the contemporary legacies of a “colonial period”, still in progress and still in the process of being constantly grasped and recaptured by different actors from the political world and the world of art?
- Can the combative dimension of decoloniality also be creative in the field of the arts? - Does the impact of the postcolonial and the decolonial in the sphere of the arts contribute to the construction of a “radical ethical critique”?
- Can we perceive, within artistic manifestations and their theoretical substrates, the impact of the postcolonial and the decolonial in the emergence of an art aimed at a specific community?