Summer School: Democracy, slavery and the decolonial option
Today, the idea of “democracy” that was globalized through European imperial expansions is no longer the only way to conceive and organize harmonic and convivial societies. The democratic disconnect is obvious across the planet from Latin America to Eastern Europe and its borders (e.g., the events in Ukraine that show the limits of democracy as we know it). Why is western democracy failing?
The school brings together artists and academics from a wide variety of geographies and disciplines to engage with this question and seriously consider alternative conceptions to achieve viable and equitable futures. We will show the historical continuities from transatlantic slavery in the 16th and 17th centuries and current neoliberal forms of the devaluation of life.
From the start of Atlantic slave trade and the birth of a world capitalist economy centered in the West, we have witnessed the racialization of non-European populations, the imposition of a colonial gender system, the production of economic inequalities, and the commodification and destruction of nature. The intense debate in South America on notions such as Sumak Kawsay, to live in plenitude, as well as on the rights of nature, will provide us with a necessary grounding to explore conceptions of life that are not based on the complicities between western democracy and capitalism.
Designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate students (Phd and Ma) from all disciplinary backgrounds, we will encourage participants interested in creating “working groups” that will continue decolonial research agendas after the end of the seminar. The working groups would develop “reports” and “activities” that may take the form of traditional paper, video-documentary, web-page, artistic creation, museum exhibitions, community work or other initiatives connected to the participant’s interests.
Walter Mignolo (Duke University) & Rolando Vázquez (UCR)
Jean Casimir (Haiti; State University of Haiti), Maria Lugones (Argentina/US; State University of New York), Fabian Barba (Ecuador; Busy Rocks), Patrice Naiambana (Sierra Leone; Tribal Soul), Jeanette Ehlers (Denmark), Patricia Kaersenhout (The Netherlands/Suriname), Alanna Lockward (Dominican Republic/ Germany; Art Labour Archives) and Ovidiu Tichindeleanu (Rumania; IDEA Magazine).