Arts of the Working Class #15: Decolomania
The only thing we can decolonize is the future. In order to achieve this, we need to understand the past and change our very present. We start the year of the Ox, the second pandemic year, with Decolomania; an issue on art history, the history of politics, and the history of theory: all of them colonized and colonizing, much like our very selves. It is framed by reviews of books as a format that allows for new perspectives to be drawn, and a form of understanding and shaping a worldview, to get history moving again, evolving away from Eurocentrism.
“THE PURSUIT OF THE NEW DEFINES IMPERIALISM”
Paraphrasing the author Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, the headline of Decolomania maintains what decolonial theorists recognized as the dislocation between the colonial version of
the world and the concrete historical experience of the colonized. Marx's heritage of "historical materialism", directed in the 20th century by the control of the nation-state, lies in opposition to the historical experiences that since the 1960s have demanded the "democratic self-reproduction of the society". Today we must deal with the obstacles that impede the formation of a strong alternative imaginary.
Living in a grim present, leaving our imagined futures little light at the end of the tunnel, for the third year of Arts of the Working Class’ existence, we chose an overarching theme that will run through all issues of 2021: folk tales, Volksgeschichten, cuentos criollos, wieści ludowe. From conspiracy theories to identitarian or nationalist fantasies to planetary mythologies and – hopefully – narratives that do not amount to isolation and civil feud, we want to find a place in the differences. For human relationships and solidarity in the future, Decolomania is the start of our journey through 2021. Through these narratives that Arts of the Working Class hosts over the next twelve months, we will get closer to tactics of proximity and forms of conviviality, but will also unveil their manipulative power in favor of destructive economic and political systems.
We are currently experiencing an epistemological transformation: Our perception is narrowed by ceaseless exposure to the very devices that should revolutionize our communication. Those in solidarity with the doctrine of consumption impose the incessant flux of the “new”, promoting social homologation rooted in a collective amnesia. What we can negotiate and are ready to rehearse this year is the space of friction and connection between more diverse realities. When looking out for the potentials of narratives to organize our society, especially in the arts, the collective vista must ground and understand the struggle of others as the struggle of oneself. We wish you a sweet new lunar cycle.
Arts of the Working Class
John Holten, Mohammad Salemy, Clara Pacquet, Agnieszka Roguski, Pierre D’Alancaisez, Agata Pyzik, Chris Paxton, Zairong Xiang, Jéssica Zambrano Alvarado, Fette Sans, Will Furtado, Dalia Maini, Marina Gržinić and Tjaša Kancler, Elisa Fuenzalida, María Inés Plaza Lazo, Sebastjan Brank, Dahye Kim, Lo-Tek, Kaya Haslinger, Jean-Marie Dhur & Lisa Pieper, Matylda Krzykowski, Ira Konyukhova & Bermet Borubaeva, Maja Demska, Alberta Whittle, Liv Schulman, Mariana Castillo Deball, Leandro Pesantes, Sophie Utikal, Sung Tieu