I was invited to New York by Sean Nesselrode and Juanita Solanas of the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art to present at the second annual IFA–ISLAA symposium for emerging scholars. "Beyond the Symbolic: Art and Social Engagement in the Americas". I am grateful to the Institute of Fine Art for arranging my travel.
I presented the paper 'Textile Art, Collective Memory and Transitional Justice' at the Institute of Fine Arts. A video recording of my presentation can be seen on the Institution of Fine Arts vimeo page. https://vimeo.com/216898718 [Vimeo video last accessed 11.06.2020] My presentation runs from 22.52mins to 44.34mins
This symposium interrogated the relevance of merging art and politics in the Americas, especially in works that explicitly seek to resist political oppression, economic imperialism, and legacies of colonialism through public discourse. It aimed to address not only contemporary works that marshal "relational aesthetics" at a moment of profound geopolitical crisis, but any intervention that has sought to target the body politic and yield political or social transformation. Less interested in quantifying the efficacy of such works, this symposium examined larger questions regarding the potential ability of artistic practice to produce concrete results—that is, the compatibility of art and activism. What constitutes success or failure?