Irmgard Emmelhainz Overcoming Western Modernism: Gathering Tools for Decolonization

Date(s): Mar 18 to Apr 20 2016


Koman Ilel, 2016

Thursday, April 7 at 6 pm, at SBC Contemporary Art

As part of the M&M Curatorial Research Residency Exchange program

For her research residency at OBORO, Irmgard Emmelhainz will make use of historical, conceptual and empirical tools to draw comparisons between current theories and practices of decolonization in Mexico and in Quebec from a First Nations perspective, positing alternatives to the Western logic of progress-driven extractive capitalism.

Emmelhainz suggests that what is at stake in contemporary politics is life itself. The need thus arises to find ways of self-organizing collective life against neoliberal forms of social engineering. She posits that a key tool for contemporary politics resides in indigenous cosmologies, for instance, the notion of “comunalidad”, which emerged in the 1980s in Oaxaca to describe communal being and traditional ways of organizing which attempt to counter capitalism in favour of an ethical reconstruction of peoples.

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Koman Ilel, 2016

Irmgard Emmelhainz is an independent translator, writer and researcher based in Mexico City. In 2012, she published a collection of essays about art, culture, cinema and geopolitics, Alotropías en la trinchera evanescente: estética y geopolítica en la era de la guerra total (BUAP).

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