During the sessions, video streaming will be available here.

In this seminar, critics, artists, curators and activists are invited to explore the languages and practices of decolonisation that question the imperial and Eurocentric narratives and representations upon which the museums of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were founded. If, as Foucault pointed out, ‘the return of the subjugated knowledges’ has begun, then we should ask ourselves what are the epistemologies that these ‘local, discontinuous, disqualified and illegitimate’ knowledges articulate, what artistic practices do they support and what alternative institutions do they mobilise. In an academic and museistic context lacking in critical references to decolonial theories and practices, this encounter wishes to provide a cartography of counter-stories and critical instruments, and create a forum for debate and action capable of generating networks of production and research, and collectively imagine the transformation of contemporary museums.

If the museum was invented as a colonial technology capable of unifying the historical narrative, and as a collective memory prosthesis trying to re-write the past and prefigure the future in order to legitimise its hegemony, is it then possible to conceive a decolonial use of the museum? Is it possible to produce a knowledge capable of explaining the historical assemblages of subjects subalternised by colonisation? What happens when the tradition of enlightened modernity has to confront the critique of Frantz Fanon, Angela Davis, Aimé Césaire and Édouard Glissant? How should we understand the current process of art ‘globalisation’ and its impact on the relations between historical legitimisation, capitalism and Western critique? What are the differences between the de-Westernised museum and the decolonial museum?

On the one hand, the seminar explores the mutations of capitalism according to what Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker call ‘the multiethnic class’, the invisible ‘Atlantic proletariat’, the processes of racial, gender and sexual oppression that were central not only to the ‘primitive accumulation’ behind the Industrial Revolution, but to the invisible accumulation that today favours the expansion of global capitalism. On the other hand, we propose a critical re-reading of the authors and discourses responsible for the fiction of ‘European modernity’ and the ‘museum of modernity’, confronting the aesthetics and politics of emancipation with the overturning of artistic, cultural and global protest knowledges and practices: ethnopsychiatric, pan-Africanist, pan-Arab, third-world, Atlantic and tropical practices, feminisms on the border, bastard theories, cybergologies, Malinche translations, internationalisms, etc.

Following the logic of the tempestuous shake-up and dehabituation that led Gilles Deleuze to invite us to imagine philosophy with ‘a clean-shaven Marx and a bearded Hegel’, this encounter is an invitation to think of a tropical Marx and an effeminate, African Hegel. It takes into account the critical re-readings and exercises of political resistance and utopian elaboration that are ‘Marx-ist/ian’, post-Hegelian or of the Commons, and which originated in the processes of decolonisation and gender and sexual emancipation since the first modern revolution (the Haitian Revolution of 1791, not the French Revolution), by way of the processes of decolonisation of the 1960s (the independence of Morocco and Tunisia in 1954, and the independence of Algeria in 1962), the processes of independence of the African countries (1957–1960), the Casablanca Conference (1961), the Black Movement, until the present process of the Commons and the Bolivian indigenous process.

Thus a different profile of the museum is drawn, one that no longer functions as an instrument for legitimising the colonial processes, but as a critical and reflective apparatus proposing other ways of managing the archives, other forms of representation, other world-fictions.

PARTICIPANTS: Fatima El-Tayeb; Suely Rolnik; María Galindo; Clémentine Deliss; Cédric Vincent; Yolanda Onghena; Alanna Lockward; Declinación Magnética (Aimar Arriola, José Bueso, Diego del Pozo, Eduardo Galvagni, Sally Gutiérrez, Julia Morandeira and Silvia Zayas); Península; Daniela Ortiz; Diásporas Críticas; Nathalie Karagiannis and Àngela Lorena Fuster (Artcrisis); Aymara Arreaza R. and Lorena Bou Linhares/Ruta de Autor.

With the support of:
Programa Cultura de la Unió Europea
Film Still, Wildness (2012) Directed by Wu Tsang


27, 28 AND 29 NOVEMBER 2014
Venue: Meier Auditorium
Free admission. Booking required. Activity in English and Spanish with simultaneous translation. All sessions can be followed via streaming. Limited places

Thursday 27 November, 6 pm

Meier Auditorium. Doors will open at 5.30 pm
6 – 6.40 pm Fatima El-Tayeb: The Queer Life of Diaspora
7 – 7.40 pm Suely Rolnik: Micropolitcs of Thought. Suggestions for Those Who Try to Evade the Colonial Unconscious
8 – 8.40 pm María Galindo/Mujeres Creando: There is no Decolonisation without Depatriarchalisation

Friday 28 November, 6 pm

Meier Auditorium. Doors will open at 5.30 pm
6 – 6.40 pm Clémentine Deliss: Collecting and Curating Life’s Unknowns: Past Ethnography and Current Art Practice
7 – 7.20 pm Yolanda Onghena: Fragments of Categorisation
7.30 – 8.10 pm Alanna Lockward: Decolonial Aesthetics

[LAST MINUTE] Today, after the talking, PEI students have organized "La Ruta de la Coca". Meeting point: Auditori Meier main entrance

Saturday 29 November, 4 – 7 pm

Meier Auditorium
4 – 4.20 pm Magnetic Declination
4.35 – 4.55 pm Península
5.10 – 5.30 pm Daniela Ortiz: Coloniality in the Integration Requirements of the Migrant Population
5.45 – 6.05 pm Diásporas Críticas
6.20 – 6.40 pm Aymara Arreaza R. and Lorena Bou Linhares / Ruta de Autor

7.15 pmFilm screening: Wu Tsang, Wildness. USA, 2012, 75 min. Introduction by the author

Boychild presents Untitled
Special time at 9 pm, MACBA Atrium

(De)colonial Barcelona. Overseas Possessions and Urban Transformation (1835–98)

B.D. Women: From Colonial Wounds to Sexual Dissidence. Reading workshop conducted by Diásporas Críticas

Public Programmes
macba [at] macba [dot] cat
Tel: 93 481 33 68






(De)colonial Barcelona. Overseas Possessions and Urban Transformation (1835–98)
Roundtable discussion based on Decolonial practices, activism and networks
Ruta de Autor
Diásporas Críticas
Coloniality in the Integration Requirements of the Migrant Population
Magnetic Declination
Roundtable discussion based on Decolonising the museum
Decolonial Aesthetics
Fragments of Categorisation
Collecting and Curating Life’s Unknowns: Past Ethnography and Current Art Practice
Roundtable discussion based on Decolonising history, knowledge, desire
There is no Decolonisation without Depatriarchalisation
Micropolitcs of Thought. Suggestions for Those Who Try to Evade the Colonial Unconscious
The Queer Life of Diaspora
Gold does not take on any dirt. And gold, just are diamonds, is an exalted material. It possesses such a degree of abstraction that it encounters you –if you use it artistically– on an already exalted level.
James Lee Byars