The Aníbal Quijano Chair is a space of thought which pays homage to the memory of the great Peruvian thinker, a critic of the coloniality of power, and seeks to open a channel of collective reflection-action to incorporate it into the multiple viewpoints that today discover modernity deprived of its primal pledges.
This fifth edition, on the relationship between coloniality, memory and space, constitutes an enquiry on friendship and roots, drawing from Aníbal Quijano’s life and human experience. In his world of situated friendship, with the specific Andean spatial temporality, he represents a unique way of being in the world, giving rise to modes and powers of decolonial thought. Eager to avoid dissociating human experience and politics, the edition looks to reflect on the relationship between people, spaces and affects as a place of critical formulation and resistance inside the current ecological and geopolitical context, and from encounters and stage practices which centre bodies and territories.
The programme gets under way with a lecture by Walter Mignolo — one of the great decolonial thinkers, and a friend and successor of Quijano’s thought — with respect to the myriad dimensions of coloniality within the context of Spain. It continues with an encounter with photographer Marcelo Brodsky on the twentieth century’s forgotten holocausts and the relationship between the image and the idea of south, and a conversation between Mignolo and Rita Segato in relation to the validity of Quijano’s thinking in the present day. Furthermore, in conjunction with World Refugee Day, the Teatro Sin Papeles company presents the performance El sueño es vida (A Dream Is Life). The Chair concludes with another master lecture, this time delivered by Segato as she discusses her latest research project concerning roots and their consequences.
Marcelo Brodsky is an artist and human rights activist who lives and works in Buenos Aires. After the 1976 coup d’état in Argentina, Brodsky sought exile in Barcelona, where he studied Economy at the University of Barcelona and Photography in the International Centre of Photography, and was taught by Catalan photographer Manel Esclusa. Situated at the limit between installation, performance, photography, monument and memorials, his works combine text and image and are part of the collections of, among other centres, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Argentina and, recently, the Museo Reina Sofía.
Walter Mignolo is a semiotician and professor of Literature at Duke University. He worked alongside Aníbal Quijano and is one of the main successors of his thought. Over the past thirty years, he has devoted his research and work as a teacher to explaining and unmasking the historical pillars of what he defines as “modernity/coloniality”. In The Darker Side of Western Modernity. Global Futures, Decolonial Options (1995), he argues that coloniality has been constitutive and not derivative of modernity since its birth in 1500. Further, given that this cycle of coloniality is reaching its end, he focuses debate on the “postcolonial condition” with The Idea of Latin America (2005).
Teatro Sin Papeles is a company which was created in 2018, welcoming actresses and actors with migrant backgrounds to share their lives through theatre. Since it was founded, the company has activated different performances in cultural spaces linked to its surrounding reality, such as Teatro del Barrio (Lavapiés, Madrid) and Ateneu del Raval (Barcelona). Thimbo Sam is an actor and activist who reached Spain in a dugout canoe at sixteen years of age and faced a difficult life overcoming obstacles to reach one goal: to make his dream of becoming an actor a reality. He has participated in short films, documentaries, films and series.
Rita Segato is a professor of Anthropology and Bioethics in the UNESCO Chair at the University of Brasilia (Brazil). She was an expert witness on the trials of the Sepur Zarco case in Guatemala, where sexual violence was first tried and prosecuted, in the form of domestic and sexual slavery, as a war strategy used by the State. Her main fields of interest include new forms of violence against women and the contemporary consequences of the coloniality of power. Among her most important works are La Nación y sus Otros: raza, etnicidad y diversidad religiosa en tiempos de políticas de la identidad (Prometeo Libros, 2007) and La crítica de la colonialidad en ocho ensayos y una antropología por demanda (Prometeo Libros, 2013). She has directed the Aníbal Quijano Chair on decolonial thought in the Museo Reina Sofía since 2015.