Accepted Paper:

For subversive political aesthetics: mestizo performances challenging monuments of whiteness in Santiago's urban space  
Olivia Casagrande (University of Sheffield) Claudio Alvarado Lincopi (Universidad Católica de Chile)

Paper short abstract:

Addressing indigenous and mestizo artistic and political performances, this paper interrogates imaginaries of 'whiteness' attached to monumental sites and visual icons within the urban space, elaborating on gestures of rupturing dominant and colonial narratives, representations, and aesthetics.

Paper long abstract:

In Santiago, indigenous presence is usually relegated to certain places: the outskirts of the metropolitan area, the museum, certain cultural events, the artisan's market. In the city centre, monuments and landmarks are mostly dedicated to celebrate the colonial past, and visual icons and symbols 'forget' indigeneity or at best depict it as something related to the past. Recently, these representations have been defied by both urban art and political protest. Through artistic and political performances, indigenous and mestizo artists and activists have staged subversive representations, challenging racialisation processes embedded in the urban space. Addressing the spaces and materialities of the capital city, imaginations of 'whiteness' and 'europeannness' are being questioned through claims for mixture and 'morenidad' under the (white) skin of the Chilean nation. Building on two years of collaborative work with Mapuche artist and activists in Santiago, this paper interrogates these representations and the challenges they pose for rethinking visual icons in a moment of social change in Chile and beyond. Drawing on three performances realised in a monumental site in downtown Santiago in different moments - during the research process in 2018; as a staged theatre piece in 2019; and during the Chilean uprising later that same year - and their audio-visual documentation, the paper examines the use of performance and art in contexts of inequality and racial discrimination, elaborating on the political aesthetics enacted by gestures of rupturing dominant and colonial narratives and representations.

Panel P16c
Global Black Lives Matter: representations of resistance, memory and politics
  Session 1