Performativity and the Social Body

with the Engine for Art, Democracy, and Justice

For the second session of our collaboration with the Engine for Art, Democracy, and Justice (EADJ), we share their session on Performativity and the Social Body.

How can we form agile and heterogenous alliances that circumvent systematic strategies of dehumanization and disenfranchisement of poly-rational, poly-cultural, and poly-directional beings? What are the shapes we can together imagine, that cultivate a plural dissidence - affirming manifold realities and bringing about necessary repair?

This session considers performativity as a practice of resilience, resistance, and transcendence: sociality, subjectivity, and other concepts of embodied research, will be discussed as antidotes to structures of oppression, inequity, ideologic white supremacy, and patriarchy. With the sessions’ interdisciplinary contributors, close attention to emotional and political gestures that bring silenced histories to the fore are conjured as means of voicing, rebelling, and persevering.

This episode is in conversation with Doris Sommer, Director of Cultural Agents Initiative and Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of African and African American Studies, of Harvard University; Cecilia Vicuña, Artist and Poet living between New York, U.S. and Santiago, Chile; Nikki A. Greene, Assistant Professor of the Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora of Wellesley College, U.S.; Paul Preciado, Writer, philosopher, curator from Spain; Okwui Okpokwasili, choreographer and performer from the US; and Regina José Galindo, Artist, from Guatemala.

Initiated by Magda Campos-Pons, as part of her appointment as the Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair Professor of Fine Arts, and curated by Marina Fokidis, EADJ is a platform for academic creative and social exploration that takes visual representation as a focus and allies with many arts to develop new knowledge and new practices. It is a forum for a diversity of approaches and inclusive discussion on cultural interconnections, historical entanglements, and the consequences of geographies, histories, and politics. In a series of virtual conversations and artistic collaborations, EADJ offers opportunities to engage with painful historical legacies, to progress toward more fair and democratic futures.

Photo: Conversation, Maria Magdalena Campos Pons (1997-2002)