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As part of this year’s Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth, the speakers address the radical potential of indigenous cultural expression.

How does the practice of artists who self-identify as indigenous make us rethink categories of activism, indigeneity and artistic intentionality? This panel welcomes papers that consider approaches to human rights, migration, extractivism, urban place-making, decoloniality and ontology.


2020 Pinacoteca de Sao Paulo Exposicao Vexoa Nos Sabemos Foto Levi Fanan 5 2

Jaider Esbell "Árvore de todos os saberes", 2013, Pinacoteca de São Paulo, Photo by Isabella Matheus


Recent years have seen ever greater interest in the practice of artists who self-identify as indigenous. Reaching wider publics through internationalised frameworks of contemporary art, many such artists have become artistic and political points of reference, mobilising diverse agendas while re-addressing their own indigeneity. Processual work with artists requires a deep sense of responsibility: it is our contention that such engagements open up new possibilities and challenges for anthropologists and indigenous peoples to establish lasting and meaningful collaborations. Starting from perspectives put forward by artists in Latin America, this panel asks how artistic practice might allow us to rethink categories of indigeneity. Do indigenous artists challenge anthropological analyses that have perhaps overlooked vectors of class and mobility? How do such processes oblige us to rethink anthropological practice in terms of a responsible discussion on the tropos of "indigeneity" in the contemporary world, not only in terms of indigenous voices but also regarding bodies, practices and networks? How might a parallel anthropological/curatorial approach facilitate arenas of collaboration and the possibility to think beyond? We also consider how artistic practice touches on global questions: Does the practice of indigenous artists through the apparatus of contemporary art enable us to rethink categories of activism and artistic practice?  To what extent can we interrogate the manner in which large institutions seek to work with 'indigenous art'?


Fotografia de Edgar Correa Kanayro 2

Xakriabá Indigenous group in Minas Gerais state, Brazil, Photo by Edgar Correa Kanayrõ



Giuliana Borea, “Amazonizar”: indigenous cosmopolitanism, new cities and knowledge production in Brus Rubio's art practice 

Olivia Casagrande, Aesthetics of the otherwise: indigenous urban art, decolonial epistemologies and the question of indigeneity 

Alessandra Caputo Jaffe, Art and indigeneity in Venezuela: a complicated relationship 

Sung-Hoon Hong, When is indigenous art?: inventing a new question to rethink the ontology of underground indigenous groove musicians in Seoul, South Korea 

Sung-Hoon Hong, The curator as a txai, the txai as a curator 

Idjahure Kadiwel and Jamille Dias, ‘Making Cracks in the Walls of Museums’: Véxoa: Nós Sabemos [Véxoa: We Know] and Contemporary Indigenous Art in Brazil -

Lúcia Sá, Contemporary Indigenous art and antropofagia: a radical encounter 

Ana Vivaldi, “Indigenous” / “Afro” Theatre? Reconstructing Indigenous and Afrodescendent Lives on Stage Within and Beyond Art/Activism

The conference is organised by Giuliana Borea and Alex Ungprateeb Flynn and is part of next year's Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth (ASA) conference "Responsibility", taking place online this week hosted by the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews.

More information and registration available here. 


Image: Ailton Krenak, Tatu. Photo by Isabella Matheus/Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo

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