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Symposium on Decolonial Aesthetics from the Americas

October 10 - 12, 2013
Hart House, University of Toronto

Organized by e-fagia organization in collaboration with FUSE Magazine and Justina M. Barnicke Gallery.

Decolonial Aesthetics image


The Symposium on Decolonial Aesthetics From The Americas will host diverse artists and scholars of the Americas and the Caribbean. Featuring papers, workshops and performances, the symposium will provide an unparalleled opportunity to engage the diversity of contemporary aesthetic practices informed by decolonial thought. A special issue of FUSE Magazine, to be published in September 2013, will serve as a reader.

Decolonial aesthetics acknowledges and subverts the presence of colonial power and control in the realm of the senses. A decolonial option refers to a theoretical, practical or methodological choice geared toward de-linking aesthetics, at the epistemic level, from the discourse of colonialism that is embedded in modernity itself. It is an alternative approach that challenges the hegemony of modern/colonial aesthetics. By sharing their research and creative practices, symposium participants will develop and explore the decolonial option within the context of art practices in the Americas.


Programme and Participants


Thursday October 10, 7:00 pm
Keynote Lecture: Dr. Walter Mignolo
Hart House (7 Hart House Circle, Toronto)

Saturday October 12, 7:00 pm
Keynote Performance: Rebecca Belmore
Unpack Studio (11 Willison Square, Toronto)

Keynote presentations are free and open to the public.



Each conversatorio or conversational panel will feature three to four people who will deliver a presentation that will serve to engage the audience in a collective dialogue. The presenters will have a space previous to the panel in which they can exchange their views in order to structure their participation as a conversation. The conversational panel's layout will be circular, allowing a relation that isn’t based on hierarchical structures, implying the acknowledgement and recognition of what is expressed by every subject.

Thursday, October 10th

Decoloniality and Art Spaces
Wanda Nanibush, Susan Douglas, Pedro Lasch, Dannys Montes de Oca
2:00 - 3:30pm, Music Room, Hart House

Colonial and Decolonial Landscapes
Berlin Reed, Pat Badani, Ron Benner, Dalida Benfield
4:00 - 5:30pm, Music Room, Hart House 

Friday, October 11th

Transcultural Alignments
Christian Chapman and Damien Lee, Emelie Chhangur, Gita Hashemi
11:30am - 1:00 pm, Music Room, Hart House

Performing Politics
Miguel Rojas Sotelo, Julie Nagam, Leah Decter and Carla Taunton
2:00 - 3:30 pm, Music Room, Hart House

Senses and Affect: Indigenous epistemologies
David Garneau, Raul Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet, Ruby Arngna'naaq 
4:00 - 5:30 pm, Music Room, Hart House

Decolonial Practices
Rebecca Belmore, Paul Vanouse, Walter Mignolo
7:00 - 9:00 pm, Music Room, Hart House

Saturday, October 12th

Futurity, Utopia
Rinaldo Walcott, Alejandro Campos, Katherine McKittrick
11:30 - 1:00 pm, Debates Room, Hart House

Decolonizing the Local: Canadian Artistic Practice in the context of the Americas
Dot Tuer, Gordon Ingram, Eugenia Kisin 
2:00 - 3:30 pm, Debates Room, Hart House


WORKSHOPS (enter here for more information)

Friday, October 11, 8:30am-11:30am

Decoloniality and the Shifting the Geopolitical of Reasoning
Walter Mignolo, Dalida María Benfield, Miguel Rojas-Sotelo, Raul Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet

Indigenous/Settler Engagement: Dialogic Conversations on Writing the Land
Mimi Gellman & Barbara Meneley

Saturday, October 12, 8:30am-11:30am

The Sovereignty of Indigenous Aesthetics
Dylan A.T. Miner

Archives of the past and future: decolonization and cosmopolitanism
Susan Lord, Dannys Montes de Oca, Isabel Alfonso 



The worktable is a model that will include several facilitators along with registered audience members in a roundtable setting. Throughout the 3 days of the symposium the worktables will meet to discuss questions relevant to the participants' practice in relation to the theme of decolonial aesthetics. At the end of the symposium they will be given the opportunity to present a summary of their findings and questions to a larger audience. Registration for worktables begins on September 15.



Natalyn Tremblay and Samantha Galarza
The Wind in the Leaves Collective

Friday October 11th, 9:00 pm
The Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick Avenue)



Full three days:

Regular $80
Student/Retired/Underemployed $50

One day only:

Regular $30
Student/Retired/Underemployed $20 

Workshop Registration

$15 additional to the symposium registration fee

Registration to the symposium includes a one year subscritption to FUSE Magazine, as well as the special issue on decolonial thought.
If your financial situation prevents you from paying the established fee, please contact the organizers for further arrangements.


For more information, please contact:

Maria Alejandrina Coates / Julieta Maria /