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Discussion | Creating Worlds Otherwise: Conversation on Art and Extractivism with Paula Serafini

Jul 06, 2023 | 06:30 PM - 08:00 PM
Poster: Creating Worlds Otherwise

Poster: Creating Worlds Otherwise

Event in English spoken language | free admission | no registration required | partially barrier-free access: Please indicate your specific accessibility needs when registering

Extractivism is a systematic form of relentless natural resource extraction. While it produces enormous resource outputs, the collateral effects of extractivism are deeply harmful to the surrounding landscape and its inhabitants, including pre-extractivist activities such as expropriation. Latin America has been particularly affected by extractivism, and the concept has been embraced by decolonial activists and thinkers to critically examine the dynamics of dependency and exploitation by the Global North. Extractivism is connected to an underlying notion of a hierarchical division between nature and culture, which solidifies the idea of Latin America as a provider of natural resources. It therefore plays a central role in sustaining contemporary power relations rooted in colonialism.

In her recent book, "Creating Worlds Otherwise: Art, Collective Action, and (Post-)Extractivism" (Vanderbilt University Press, 2022), Serafini explores this concept to study several cases of artistic and creative activism, both within institutions and emerging from grassroots movements. Since art plays a fundamental role in sustaining and shaping social order, cultural practices can become deeply entwined with the extractivist ethos. However, art can also challenge dominant forms of hegemony. Serafini examines artistic responses to extractivism, demonstrating how art can critique its presence in Latin America by mobilizing counter-hegemonic narratives that lead to profound ontological shifts.

Building upon the theoretical approach presented in Serafini's book, this discussion will explore the possibilities of intervening in extractivist systems and the alternatives created by activist and artistic practices. We will also examine the potential of extending the concept of extractivism from Latin America to a broader context.

Paula Serafini is a Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries at Queen Mary University of London. Her research is situated in the field of cultural politics, and her interests include extractivism, social movements, art activism, performance, cultural labor and policy, and socioecological transitions. She employs interdisciplinary approaches, drawing from cultural and media studies, political ecology, political ontology, sociology, anthropology, and art theory. In addition to her research, she has been involved in collaborative pedagogy and organizing alongside autonomous collectives in London, where she is currently based. She is the author of "Performance Action: The Politics of Art Activism" (2018) and "Creating Worlds Otherwise: Art, Collective Action, and (Post)Extractivism" (2022).

Organizers: Diana Figueroa (LAI), Kaimé Guerrero (A03), Laura Rogalski (B03), Myriam Sauer (LAI). In cooperation with the Lateinamerika-Institut.

Time & Location

Jul 06, 2023 | 06:30 PM - 08:00 PM

ZI Lateinamerika-Institut
Raum 201
Rüdesheimer Str. 54-56
14197 Berlin

Further Information

Contact: Laura Rogalski laura.rogalski@fu-berlin.de