Exploring the formation and transformation of the darker side of modernity: coloniality

Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on August 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm


After its outstanding debut last year, this second  edition of the series BLACK EUROPE BODY POLITICS was expanded with live performances and an all-day screening commemorating Malcolm X´s birthday at the Hackesche Höfe Kino, in cooperation with AfricAvenir.

DECOLONIZING THE “COLD” WAR is the first Afropean performance showcase and was accompanied by roundtable discussions on the aesthetic legacy of the Black Power movement in the radical imagination of Diaspora artists. Parallel to this, its influence in liberation and decolonization struggles in the Global South during the so-called “Cold” War was approached from the continuities of coloniality. According to Enrique Dussel, a liberation philosopher and decolonial thinker, this war was never “cold” in the Global South.

We are witnessing a kind of global revivalism on documentary material on the Black Power movement (a good example is the release (2011) of Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, by Göran Olsson) and dozens of seminars and conferences are mushrooming all over Europe on the so called “Cold” War. In these hegemonic narratives the global South is usually considered as a mere recipient of Western imperialism.

During this festival, the story was told from the perspective of the self-affirmation of Black Power. The emblematic figure of Angela Davis created a planetary movement of solidarity that went beyond the term “Black Internationalism”. These narratives of re-existence were analyzed in relation to Frantz Fanon´s fundamental role in global South liberation struggles during that period. His interactions with Jean-Paul Sartre were the focus of some of these unprecedented debates. The worldwide solidarities resulting from the Black Power movement united people beyond racialization and political agendas. BE.BOP 2013 celebrated a paradigm shift that transformed the Black Body into a source of inspiration and beauty prevalent until today.

A Project of Art Labour Archives + Ballhaus Naunynstraße

In cooperation with AfricAvenir + Heinrich Böll Sitftung

Alanna Lockward + Curator

Walter Mignolo + Advisor

Artwell Cain (Netherlands+St. Vincent) + Vaginal Davis (Germany+USA) + Teresa María Díaz Nerio (Netherlands+Dominican Republic) + Gabriele Dietze (Germany) + Simmi Dullay (South Africa+Denmark) + Moritz Ege (Germany) + Jeannette Ehlers (Denmark+Trinidad) + Jihan El Tahri (Egypt+South Africa+France) + Cecilia Gärding (Sweden+South Africa) + Quinsy Gario (Netherlands+Curazao) + Adler Guerrier (USA+Haiti) + Neil Kenlock (England + Jamaica) + Grada Kilomba (Germany+Portugal+São Tomé e Principe) + Adetoun Küppers-Adebisi (Germany+Nigeria) + Raúl Moarquech Ferrera Balanquet (Cuba+Mexico+USA) + Karen McKinnon (England+USA) + Mekonnen Mesghena (Germany+Eritrea) + Dannys Montes de Oca (Cuba) + Ingrid Mwangi Robert Hutter (Germany+Kenya) + Pascale Obolo (France+Cameroon) + Horace Ové (England+Trinidad) + Robbie Shilliam (England) + Ovidiu Tichindeleanu (Rumania) + Caecilia Tripp (France+Germany) + Rolando Vázquez (Netherlands+Mexico)


Center for Global Studies and the Humanities + IDEA. Arts + Society

Transnational Decolonial Institute

Media Partners

AFROTAK TV cyberNomads  + Reboot FM + Uprising Art + Afrikadaa

BE.BOP 2012 poster

A Project of Art Labour Archives in collaboration with Allianz Kulturstiftung and Ballhaus Naunynstrasse

Alanna Lockward, Curator

José Manuel Barreto (England) /Manuela Boatca (Germany) / Artwell Cain(Holland) / Teresa María Díaz Nerio (Holland)/ Gabriele Dietze(Germany) / Simmi Dullay(South Africa) / Elvira Dyangani Ossé (Spain) /Jeannette Ehlers(Denmark) / Fatima El Tayeb(Germany) / Heide Fehrenbach(USA) / Quinsy Gario (Holland )/ Ylva Habel(Sweden) / Ulrike Hamann (Germany)/Grada Kilomba(Germany) / William Kentridge (South Africa)/ Michael Küppers-Adebisi(Germany)/ Rozena Maart(South Africa) / Tracey Moffatt(Australia) / IngridMwangiRobertHutter(Germany) / David Olusoga (England) / Minna Salami(England) /Robbie Shilliam(England) / Sumugan Sivanesan(Australia) / Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung(Germany) /Robert A. Stemmle /    Emeka Udemba(Germany) Rolando Vázquez(Holland)

Walter Mignolo, Advisor

BE.BOP 2012- BLACK EUROPE BODY POLITICS was the first  international screening program and transdisciplinary roundtable centered on Black European citizenship in connection to recent moving image and performative practices. It was inaugurated at  Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, a translocal theatre space which serves as point of arrival for artists from (post) migrant communities and beyond, founded in 2008 by Shermin Langhoff with the support of Fatih Akin.

The framework of this meeting was circumscribed within decolonial theories which expose how the idea of citizenship is linked to current racializing configurations and hence with the limits of humanity. In that sense, the racial hierarchy of human existence, originating in the Renaissance and prescribed legally during the Enlightenment, established current (white-male-heteronormative-Christian-Western) European notions of who is Human and who is lower in that hierarchy, thereby designating citizenship, one of the most important legacies of modernity. The time-based positions discussed at this meeting were selected because they contest (racializing) fantasies on European citizenship.

By means of analyzing these narratives of re-existence, BE.BOP 2012 aimed at facilitating a long-term exchange between specialists in disciplines unrelated to visual arts and time-based art practitioners of different contexts of the Black European Diaspora. It successfully created multiple dialogues across the fields of history, legal studies, theatre, art and political activism.

This meeting was motivated and theoretically embedded to Decolonial Aesthetics and more specifically to Decolonial Diasporic Aesthetics, a term coined by curator, Alanna Lockward. In the spirit of the transformative and liberating qualities of performance art, this event was free and open to the public.

May 4-6, 2012

From 10:00 – 18:00

Free and open to the public

Ballhaus Naunynstrasse

Naunynstr. 27 / 10997 Berlin / + 49 (0) 30 75453725


Partners: Center for Global Studies and the Humanities at Duke University / DEFA Film Library / Digits Without Borders / Imagery Affairs / Goethe Institut / Goldsmiths University of London / Kwa-Zulu Natal Society of Arts / National Art Gallery of Namibia /  Savvy Journal / Transational Decolonial Institute / The Bioscope Independent Cinema. Johannesburg / VideoArtWorld

Media Partners: AfricAvenir / AFROTAK TV cyberNomads / Exberliner / reboot.fm / Osvaldobudet.com


© Alanna Lockward 2013



In Uncategorized on August 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm

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2014 Decolonial Summer School Middelburg

In 2010 the Decolonial Summer School Middelburg was hosted for the first time at the University College Roosevelt (University of Utrecht) in cooperation with the Centre for Global Studies and the Humanities (Duke University). Opening the university to life’s diversity and other knowledges, Walter Mignolo and Rolando Vázquez have been bringing together students, activists, scholars and artists in the academic setting. Addressing the danger of the single story in the Modern/Colonial world order, the course invites to learn about the decolonial option. Participants and lecturers collectively explore creative alternatives to global (un)justice by critically engaging local histories to challenge global designs.

Situating ourselves in the town of Middelburg, we begin a dialogue that addresses global social justice, connecting at the same time the legacy of European slave trade and the jewish holocaust. The question then becomes how to make visible the pluriversality of experiences subsumed under the hegemonic design of the modern/colonial world order? We speak of ethics and tolerance while learning to listen and engage with one another with respect.



Democratic and Decolonial Futures

Middelburg Decolonial Summer Course
University College Roosevelt
16-June to 1st of July 2014

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 crisis of “western democracy” demands closer examination and invites us to seriously consider other conceptions to achieve peaceful futures. On the one hand, the seminar will show the connections between “civilization and unjustness” between “modernity and coloniality” in different domains of life. On the other, we will take seriously the movements of decolonial re-existence that are appearing across the planet.

We will show the historical connections between the transatlantic slavery and current neoliberal forms of the devaluation of life. From the start of Atlantic Slavery in the sixteen Century and the birth of a world capitalist economy centered in the West, we have witnessed the continuous growth of social unjustness. The racialization of non-European populations and its repercussion on current racism, the imposition of a colonial gender system, the increasing economic inequalities, the commodification and destruction of nature and the corporate control over water and food are tokens of the coloniality that keeps on characterizing global (un)justness.

We will pay special attention to the democratic disconnect that we are witnessing in the European “indignado/as” (Spain, Greece), North Africa and Middle Eastern “intifadas,” US and Europe “occupy,” Turkey and Brazilian “manifestations”, the uprisings in Eastern Europe, feminist and indigenous social movements in Latin America.

Sumak Kawsay and the birth of plurinational states in Latin America, Ubuntu in Africa, Confucian Constitutionalism in China, Shar’ia and Umma in the Islamic world are all co-existing options aiming at building harmonic social futures. They present alternatives to the democratic lag that characterizes the hegemonic conception of development and the neoliberal forms of governance.

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.


Slavery: The Past and Present of Social (Un)Justice. Introducing the Decolonial Option

Slavery remains as the most telling event and process in the formation of Western Civilization and the modern/colonial world in the Atlantic, from the XVI to early XIX centuries. An aberration upon which Western modernity built its economic foundations at the same time that managed to “normalize” the dispensability of human lives. Dispensable where lives of people considered lesser human and subjected to be enslaved and dispensed with when they were no longer necessary. Slavery was not only a set of processes and events. It was, above all, the consequence of a frame of knowledge that established a hierarchy of human beings. That frame of knowledge was and is what today we know as “racism.” Slavery was deeply rooted in epistemic un-justice.

The fourth edition of the Middelburg Decolonial Summer School focused on ” Slavery: The Past and Present of Social (Un) Justice.” It was designed to investigate the logic and presupposition of Global Un-justice in the modern/colonial world, from 1500 to 2000. The seminar took place in Middelburg, a key city of the Dutch slave trade and it is set against the backdrop of the 150 anniversary of the abolition of slavery in The Netherlands.

The ‘Decolonial Option’ aims to open new perspectives for understanding global (un) justice as well as to overcome them in the process of imagining and building just and convivial futures. If coloniality, as unfolded in the collective project “modernity/coloniality”, is the logic behind social un-justices, it remains hidden under the rhetoric of modernity, Decoloniality shall be—therefore—the process of disclosing and undoing coloniality to promote and contribute to enact social justice. Global un-justices operates at all levels of the socio-economic and cultural spectrum, from economy to politics, from religion to aesthetics, from gender and sexuality to ethnicity and racism, and above all, in the control of knowledge.

The Decolonial Summer Seminar took advantage of what Middleburg has to offer to understand the history of slavery and its connection to the formation of Western power. Building on the local history of Middelburg, we theoretically explored the nature and consequences of slavery and drew the continuities between the colonial past and current forms of social un-justice around the world. We paid special attention to emerging project, parallel to the project modernity/coloniality/decoloniality who are working toward overcoming the legacies of the South-North divide. If the colonial matrix of power encompasses several domains (economy, politics, gender, cosmology, aesthetics, racialization), the task of overcoming coloniality requires of many people in many areas of knowing and doing. Activists, artists, scholars, journalists, among others, contributed to the goals of the 4th edition of the Decolonial Summer School at Middleburg.


In Uncategorized on August 30, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Poster Decolonial Aesthetics


WORKSHOP: May 4–6, 2011. Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, Duke University.
EXHIBITION: May 4–June 5, 2011. Fredric Jameson Gallery & Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University.

The 6th Annual Workshop of the Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, at Duke University, was devoted to “Decolonial Aesthetics.”  This workshop and exhibition was a continuation of the show that at under the same title opened in Bogotá, Colombia, on November 10, 2010.   Although with the same title, the Duke edition was not be a replica of the former but a continuation of it.

Dalida María Benfield (Artist / Scholar / U.S. / Panama)
Zoe Butt (Curator / Vietnam)
Teresa María Díaz Nerio (Artist / The Netherlands / Dominican Republic)
Marta Lucía Gómez Bustos (Artist / Scholar / Colombia)
Roberto Dainotto (Scholar / U.S.)
Jeannette Ehlers (Artist / Denmark)
Luigi Fassi (Curator / Italy)
Raúl Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet (Artist / Scholar / U.S. / Cuba)
Pedro Pablo Gómez (Artist / Colombia)
Lewis Gordon (Scholar / U.S.)
Marina Grzinic (Artist / Scholar / Austria/Slovenia)
Ana Hoffner (Artist / Austria)
Guo-Juin Hong (Artist / Scholar / U.S.)
Nayoung Aimee Kwon (Scholar / U.S.)
Ricardo Lambuley (Artist / Scholar / Colombia)
Pedro Lasch (Artist / México / U.S.)
Viet Lê (Artist / Curator / Scholar / U.S.)
Dinh Q. Lê (Artist / Vietnam)
Alanna Lockward (Curator / Scholar / Germany / Dominican Republic)
Nelson Maldonado-Torres (Scholar / U.S.)
Walter Mignolo (Scholar / U.S.)
Tanja Ostojic (Artist / Germany/Serbia)
Miguel Rojas-Sotelo (Artist / Scholar / U.S.)
Isa Rosenberger (Artist / Austria)
Maria Ruido (Artist / Spain)
Zvonka Simcic (Artist / Slovenia)
Aina Smid (Artist / Slovenia)
Hong-An Truong (Artist / U.S.)
Rolando Vázquez (Artist / México / The Netherlands)
Catherine Walsh (Scholar / Activist / Ecuador)

Walter Mignolo
Chief Curator

Marina Grzinic
Alanna Lockward
Guo-Juin Hong

Nayoung Aimee Kwon
Hong-An Truong
Miguel Rojas-Sotelo
Guo-Juin Hong
Tracy Carhart

At Duke:
Romances Studies
Duke in the Andes
the Program in Literature
Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Center for Global Studies and the Humanities
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South
Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies

From Abroad:
Facultad de Artes ASAB, Universidad Distrital Francisco
José de Caldas, Bogotá, Colombia
Institute of Philosophy of ZRC SAZU Ljubljana, Slovenia
Roosevelt Academy, The Netherlands
TDI/Transnational Decolonial Institute