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Accepted Paper:

A decolonial cyborg? Disruptive memories of the future-past  
Scott Head (Federal University of Santa Catarina) Paulo Raposo (ISCTE-IUL)

Paper short abstract:

The performance of Trópicos Mecânicos (Mueda) (2021) and the black female cyborg therein offer a powerful figuration of the chronopolitical stakes involved in the decolonization of the arts, creatively and critically disrupting the analogy presumed between Europe/the future and Africa/the past.

Paper long abstract:

“This cyborg hand of mine is not the future of Africa. It is the past of Europe.” This pronouncement from Z - a character in the performance Trópicos Mecânicos (Mueda), by Felipe Bragança with the Teatro Griot and Catarina Wallenstein (2021) - imaginatively disrupts a widely held Eurocentric conception of time. It displaces a figuration commonly associated with the future - including afro-futurism - into an uncertain past, even as it refigures that time as a corporeal disjuncture between Africa and Europe. As such, that cyborg hand constitutes a metonym of the performance of which it is part, creatively and critically disrupting the analogical relation presumed between Europe and the future and Africa and the past. The performance intervenes in the linear conception of the history of that colonial relation - in this case regarding the Massacre of Mueda, as carried out by Portuguese soldiers in Mozambique in 1960 - through revisiting the multiply mediated memories of that incident in and through Ruy Guerra's Mueda, Memória e Massacre (1979-80), filmed twenty years later portraying the street-theatre reenactment of the incident by town residents. In this presentation, we flesh out how the performance offers a powerful figuration of the chronopolitical stakes involved in the decolonization of the arts. Here, for instance, the black female cyborg played by Zia Soares offers an extra-fictional response to that same performer's earlier call for the need to decolonize anachronistic conceptions implicated in decisions regarding the financing of the arts in Europe (Soares, 2019, memoirs.ces.uc.pt)

Panel P046b
Arts of the decolonial II
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -