Call for papers: Art & the Public Sphere

03 October, 2022 by milena grass | 0 comments

Call for papers: Art & the Public Sphere

A special issue of Art & the Public Sphere invites to examine the interrelationships between performance and activism in Latin-America, and their connection and resonance within the public sphere.

'Latin-American performance, activism and public space' (

Special Issue of Art & the Public Sphere

The relationship between performance and activism has a long history in Latin America. These artistic practices are being closely linked with social movements and socio-political developments and their beliefs. Focusing on Latin American themes but influenced from the development of new artistic disciplines developed in the United States and Europe, since the 1960s, a period of social and cultural transformation was reflected through the connection of performing arts and social movement expressed in the public space. These new forms of artistic expressions emphasize the possibility of proposing embodied practices that were understood as vital actions in which the body generates meanings, rites of passage and new form of repertoires of collective political action.

The social movements that have taken place in Latin-America are characterized, in most cases, by the appropriation of public space and the political use of the body of those who consider themselves excluded, as a way of reclaiming exclusion. Since the 1970s, artistic performances have been directly related to the protests against the civil-military dictatorships that occur in these territories, authoritarian regimes that permanently violated human rights and committed crimes against humanity. In the last twenty-years, public performances have been strongly connected with the developed of the student, feminist and ecological movements in Latin America. For example, during Chilean 2019 October’s outbreak, A rapist in your path was the most visible face of a group of performers and interventions that work collectively from the body with feminism, for memory and decolonization.

As Diana Taylor (2003) states, performances are considered an incorporated practice although together with other cultural discourses, performance offers a certain form of knowledge. The distinction underlines the understanding of performance as a simultaneously "real" and "constructed" phenomenon. Consequently, performances could be defined as a series of practices that bring together what has historically been separated and maintained as a discrete unit, as supposedly ontological and epistemological discourses. As Erika Fischer-Lichte (2008) explains, art performances challenge and question the relationship between subject/object, observer/observed and spectator/actor. Although the relationship between the corporality or materiality of the elements and their meaning, between signifier and signified, has been subverted.

This call is an invitation to reflect on the specific nature that makes a performance action so powerful within and beyond political protest.  This issue seeks to address the matter of performance and activism in Latin America as a form of political collective action, considering the socio-political regional situation and how they are represented by art, to produce reflection and resistance.

Contributions can address the following issues, but not exclusively:

• Theoretical relations on performance and activism in Latin-American context.
• Recognition of studies and research on performance and activism in Latin-American context.
• Performance and feminist movements in Latin-America
• Performance and human rights movements in Latin-America
• Performance and environmental movements in Latin-America
• Performance and student movements in Latin-America
• Methods of analysis on performance practices and activism in Latin-American context.
• Ontological and epistemological discussion on performance and activism in Latin-American context.
• Recognition and analysis of the problems concerning the link between performance practices and activism (privacy, authorship, copyright, cultural appropriation).
• Performative actions (individual and group of performance practices, performance actions as part of protest manifestations, etc.).
• Case studies and monographic contributions.

Deadline for abstracts/proposals (please send 300-word abstracts and specify approximate length of proposed submission): 15 October 2022

Decisions made by: 15 November 2022

Deadline for submissions for final papers: 1 January 2023

We welcome

• Long articles (up to 5,000 words) and short studies (3,000 words)
• Interviews (up to 3,000 words)
• Book reviews

If you want to discuss or propose an abstract, please contact Dr. Paulina Bronfman or Professor Milena Grass

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