Friday, 26 April 2019 18:06

Jill Lane: What is Performance Studies?

This Teach-in will familiarize participants with the field of Performance Studies. Our discussion will explicate and compare different critical approaches to the study of performance, including performance ethnography, the performativity of language, liveness, political performance, digital performance, the performativity of gender and race, and performing visuality. Theoretical paradigms will be illustrated by selections of pivotal moments in the history of performance art.


Jill Lane is Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU and Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese. She is author of Blackface Cuba (UPenn 2005) and writes about contemporary political performance and performance art.

Published in Teach-ins
Friday, 26 April 2019 18:04

12 No carnival! Critical Creation Lab


This work group proposes to put into action and proliferate the processes of meaning-making that are activated when habitual meanings have been saturated to the point of dissolution, forced, strained, and rendered absurd. To that end, we take the idea of carnival, with its horizontalizing nature, its ability to generate non-hegemonic interactions between the various actors, and apply it to the development of creative artifacts.

We are in search of new languages for artistic production: new codes of expression, hybrid languages, incomplete, experimental languages that escape the capitalist subject’s will to control, and the unconscious that is unleashed by that will. We are driven by a conception of artwork as play, as a tool for epistemological dissidence that tends to generate times of suspension of the habitual patterns of building worlds. We are interested in working with activists, artists, and critical researchers, in the production of creative trinkets that can be activated outside the work group as devices for artistic practice and collective reflection. We are developing a virtual platform that can house these materials.

Format and Structure:

Before the Encuentro, we will contact participants to collectively create a preliminary course of action based on the most pressing issues brought up by the group. During the first two sessions, we will work with games as tools for critical creation that will allow us to explore lines of analysis for the issues that concern us. The third and fourth sessions will be dedicated to building, through a creation laboratory, a network of artists, activists, and thinkers that will contribute, from their diverse experiences, to the development of the platform destined to the dissemination of our trinkets.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

English, Spanish, Italian, French.


Cristina Morales Saro is a researcher and instructor at the Escuela de Literatura de la Universidad de las Artes in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She obtained her PhD in Philosophy at the Universidad de Oviedo and the Universidad de Turín in the aesthetics field. She directs the research project, “Ecologías Relacionales en la Época del Big Data” (VIP-2017-055). Her areas of interest navigate the interstices between aesthetics, linguistics, and political theory; feminist, queer, decolonial, and decolonial studies; and pedagogy.

Jerónimo Rajchenberg is a composer, educator, and multi-instrumentalist. He received a PhD in Music at the California Institute of the Arts as a composer-performer. He directs the research project, “Learning to play like animals/Haciendo música a lo bestia,” which generates a musical practice that is collective, fun, efficient, and addictive. A cyclist at heart, a linguist by contagion, a cook for survival, and a lover of animals, Jerónimo has an intense international career as a composer and musician that has led him to present his work in different latitudes.

Norberto Bayo Maestre is an art curator, administrator, cultural producer, and university instructor from Cartaya, Huelva, Spain. He holds a BA in Music History and Science from the Universidad de Granada, and a double MA in Aesthetics and the Grammar of Contemporary Art from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. He is pursuing a PhD in Aesthetics at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (U.N.E.D) under the co-direction of Jordi Claramonte and Miguel Álvarez Fernández. He teaches trainers and is a cultural and educational mediator at the Universidad de Cienfuegos in Cuba, the Centro de Arte Santa Mónica in Barcelona, and the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia in Spain. He is currently a full-time researcher and instructor at the Escuela de Artes Sonoras, and directs the Jefatura de Nivelación Emblemática at the Universidad de las Artes in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Alejandra Bueno is a visual artist, arts researcher, and cultural worker who experiments with the uses and limits of audiovisual language and its hybridization with representation systems in real time. She explores interactive and generative art for artistic and pedagogical purposes. She holds a BFA in Fine Arts, an MFA in Visual Arts and Multimedia, and a PhD in Art, Production, and Research. She created and directs the International Festival of Video-Art and Gender FEM TOUR TRUCK. She is currently a researcher and professor at the Universidad Nacional de Educación. She has been a part of over 50 individual and group exhibitions, has won different awards for her artistic work in video, photo, and interactive installation, and has received several fellowships and artistic residencies.

Alexandra Cárdenas is a music composer, programmer, and improviser. Her journey has taken her from classical Western composition to improvisation and live electronic music. Making use of open source software like SuperCollider and TidalCycles, her work focuses on exploring the musicality of code and the algorithmic behavior of music. An important part of this exploration is the practice of live coding, including top-level performances in various countries as a pioneer in the Alorave scene. She currently lives in Berlin, where she got her MA in Sound Studies at the University of the Arts.


  • Aaron Finbloom
  • Alberto Ortega
  • Celeste Landeros
  • Daiana Pereira
  • Debrah Montoro Rodriguez
  • Denise Rogers Valenzuela
  • Hannah Kaya
  • Hector Canonge
  • Joshi Radin
  • Maria Pinheiro
  • Sofía Acosta
Published in Work Groups


This working group examines the work, uses, and limits of Marxism for a world inside out. As retrenched authoritarianism and right-wing nationalism rise alongside and in response to capitalism’s continued (dis)ordering of the contemporary world, what political frameworks and practices do we have to fracture and denounce power and transform the political landscape? Rather than celebrating Marxism and class struggle as the answers to (neo)liberal world orders, this working group aims to queer Marxist commitments by analyzing the work to which minoritarian subjects put socialist and Marxist ideals in the past, present, and future. How, we ask, do the practices of disabled, racialized, queer, indigenous, trans, and feminist communities become occluded by Marxism’s universalism, yet amending its very tenets? What does redistribution look like when it contends not just with a focus on the means of production, but also on the material forces of indigeneity, third/first world divides, and racial liberalism? How does sexuality attend to capitalist production, and how is historical materialism shaped by desires, drives, pleasures, and their reproduction? Rather than prescribing answers to such questions, we turn to aesthetic, activist, and theoretical practices that help us grapple with our longings to build a world to come through the elaboration, praxis, and proliferation of minor Marxisms.

Format and Structure:

The larger goal of this working group is to create a network of scholars who are working at the intersection of performance studies and Marxist theory. Rather than consolidating the convention of the session into one or two hands, the conveners have established a central committee that will do the work of cultivating a diverse set of pre-circulated readings in Marxism with an emphasis on the minor: from classic and overlooked (or queer) texts in the Marxist tradition to the contemporary vanguards of Marxist praxis. A month before the conference, participants will submit to the central committee a 1 page double- spaced proposal for a paper, art work, or other form of contribution to the working group based upon the readings. Based on these submissions, the conveners will divide participants into small subgroups pooled by interest. Each day will follow a series of movements: a collective group discussion on the readings organizing the day, followed by a breakout into subgroups for more granular discussion. The second half of each day will be dedicated to one of the subgroups, which will (individually or collectively) present their proposed papers or art projects to the full group, followed by group synthesis and critique.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, German


Joshua Chambers-Letson is associate professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University where he conducts research in the areas of performance theory, critical race theory, and queer of color critique. He is the author of After the Party: Performance and Queer of Color Life (NYU Press, 2018) and A Race So Different: Law and Performance in Asian America (NYU Press, 2013, winner of ATHE’s 2014 Outstanding Book Award). With Ann Pellegrini and Tavia Nyong’o is a series co- editor of the Sexual Cultures series at NYU Press.

Kelly Chung will be a Postdoctoral Fellow in Asian American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Dartmouth College. She defended her dissertation in the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University in Summer 2018. Her research examines black and women of color feminist performances of inaction—slowness, stillness, and negation—within contemporary visual and performance art on labor. She is the former managing editor of the Journal of Critical Ethnic Studies.

Malik Gaines is assistant professor of Performance Studies in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His book, Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left (NYU Press, 2017), traces a circulation of political ideas in performances of the 1960s and beyond. His essays have appeared in “Art Journal, Women & Performance”, “e-flux”, and in many exhibition catalogues and arts publications. Since 2000, he has performed and exhibited widely with the group My Barbarian, whose work has been included in the Whitney Biennial, two Performa Biennials, the Montreal Biennial and the Baltic Triennial, among others.

Xandra Ibarra is an Oakland-based performance artist from the US/Mexico border who sometimes works under the alias of “La Chica Boom”. Ibarra’s work has been featured at El Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Broad Museum, Popa Gallery, Joe’s Pub, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, to name a few. She has been awarded the Art Matters Grant, NALAC Fund for the Arts, ReGen Artist Fund, and the Franklin Furnace Performance and Variable Media Award. She is currently curating a year long performance art series at The Broad Museum with Nao. As a community organizer, Ibarra’s work is located within feminist immigrant, anti-rape, and prison abolitionist movements. Since 2003, she has actively participated in organizing with INCITE!, a national feminist of color organization.

Hentyle Yapp is an assistant professor at New York University in the Department of Art and Public Policy. He is affiliated faculty with the Disability Council, Asian/Pacific/American Institute, and the Department of Performance Studies. His articles have appeared or are forthcoming in “GLQ”, “American Quarterly”, “Journal of Visual Culture”, and “Verge: Studies in Global Asias”. He is also a member of the Social Text collective. He received his BA from Brown University, JD from UCLA School of Law with specializations in Critical Race Theory and Public Interest Law, and a PhD from UC Berkeley in Performance Studies.


  • Alex Pittman
  • Ever Esther Osorio Ruiz
  • Kari Barclay
  • Kavita Kulkarni
  • Liliana Gonzalez
  • Maria Alejandra Rojas
  • Matt Jones
  • Matthew-Robin Nye
  • Nicole Fadellin
  • Roshanak Kheshti
  • Sara Mameni
  • Stephano Espiniza
  • Sue Ellen Case
  • Tavia Nyong'o
  • Wendy Lotterman
Published in Work Groups


This work group seeks to create a space for  body, somatic, conceptual, and performative experimentation focusing on caregivers. By thinking through the journeys of specific Latin American agents, which are parallel to critical feminist thought, as well as to authors such as Felix Guattari, Donna Haraway, Suely Rolnik, Peter Pal Pelbart, among others. We want to map practices of care, we want participants mobilize and identify poetic and methodological densities in these actions, and investigate the creation of care networks from a micropolitical and affect perspective. Therefore, we propose the notion of "Irreverent Care" to those that welcome artistic experimentation, but are not limited to it. They are those that establish the liminality, ambiguity, irreverence, ironies, and humor, when operating within collective experiences that are responsible for life. It is in the midst of these disorganizations, due to the relational form experienced, that some fun appears beyond the usual care. This mobilizes the hegemony of roles assigned by the subjects and also the ways in which they must be cared for. Leading  to the irreverence of the same effective results of care.

Format and Structure:

This work group will take place as a workshop. Each participant will produce a collective proposal which will culminate in a mapping and reflective action about the processes of care that will challenge our position in the world. There will be discussion of readings and some anecdotes. We are looking to sit be comfortable with each other in order to come closer and  empower ourselves critically.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

Spanish and Portuguese


Cristina Ribas is an artist, scholar,  and occasional curator. She is a postdoctoral fellow at UFRGS, Brasil. Since 2008 she has been organizing residencies for artists and other interdisciplinary projects such as Interações Florestais and Pedregulho Residência Artística. Her practice moves between diagrams, memory, history, archives, the public sphere and politics. Between 2005 and 2010 she developed the research project Arquivo de Emergência (Archive of Emergency), creating an archive for collective and public oriented artistic practices in Brazil. In 2011 part of this research was transformed into the open platform She is a Ph.D. candidate at the Fine Art Department at Goldsmiths College, London and has a Master’s degree in Contemporary Artistic Process from the Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). She was born in São Borja, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil in 1980, and currently resides  in Brazil.

Paulina E. Varas is a curator, professor and scholar at the Creative Campus of the Andrés Bello University, Santiago, Chile. She has a degree in Art from the Playa Ancha University and a PhD in History and Art Theory from the University of Barcelona. She is the coordinator of CRAC Valparaíso, a member of the “Red Conceptualismos del Sur” (RedCSur) since 2007, where she has participated in support actions and working groups in Chile, Spain, Argentina, and Peru, among others. She has written about Chilean and Latin American contemporary art in international magazines and publications. Her projects as a curator include:: "Cierto tipo de poética política" (Valparaíso 2008); Subversive Practices: Art under conditions of political repression, 60s-80s South America-Europe ", (Stuttgart, 2009); "Valparaíso: Interventions", (Valparaíso 2010); "Una acción hecha por otro es una obra de la Luz Donoso" (Santiago 2011), "Deisler, los años antofagastinos" (Antofagasta, 2012); "Artist for Democracy: the archive of Cecilia Vicuña" (Santiago 2014).

Albeley Rodríguez is a writer, scholar, professor, and curator. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Latin American Cultural Studies Program of the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (Ecuador), and holds a Master's Degree in Cultural Studies and Cultural Policy from the same university. Rodríguez has an MA in Museology (UNEFM, Falcón- Venezuela), and a BA in History of Art, (ULA, Mérida). Currently she is a professor and member of the “Red Conceptualismos del Sur” (RedCSur). Their curatorial works include: "Ecuaterrestres" (an artistic project by the Ecuadorian artist José Luis Macas), "ArteActual" (FLACSO) and "Chawpi Laboratorio de Creación", Quito, among others. She has published books and articles in contemporary Latin American art in specialized magazines in Argentina, Chile, Spain, Ecuador and Venezuela. As a professor and speaker her work has taken her to  Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia.

David Gutiérrez Castañeda holds a BA in Sociology from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2006),  a Masters in Art History from the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM, 2011), and Ph.D. in Art History with a focus on Performance Studies, Gender, Art and Politics in Latin America, and Contemporary Museology from the same university (UNAM, 2016). He is an Associate Professor of Art History Program at the Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Unidad Morelia (ENES) of UNAM. Gutiérrez is a member of the research group Taller de Historia Crítica del Arte and Red de Conceptualismos del Sur, and a fellow of  the Colegio Mexiquense and the Ford Foundation for the Libertades Laicas Program, in which he studies art and secularism at the Colegio de México (2006). Castañeda won the National Prize for Art Criticism of the Ministerio de Cultura in Colombia (2010), and is the author of the book Mapa Teatro 1987-1992 (2014).


  • Agustine Zegers
  • Ana Trincao
  • Christoforos Pavlakis
  • Everton Lampe
  • Florencia Carrizo
  • Hattie Houser
  • Julied Zapata Arias
  • Marta Peres
  • Naira Ciotti
  • Nayeli Pérez
  • Nora Daniela Márquez
  • Rosalia Lerner
  • Zoitsa Carolina Noriega
Published in Work Groups


For some time now, practice-as-research as a political and epistemological principle has interpellated hegemonic formations of knowledge, blurring spaces and temporalities of cognitive experience and meaning making, and turning traditional notions of perception, action, and embodiment inside out. This work group invites artists, scholars, and activists whose work employs performance to mobilize and/or theorize affective power, knowledge production, and collective politics, thereby broadening current understandings and approaches to practice-as-research. Putting in conversation theories of affect, play, and politics, we aim to explore creative research that engages performative and media-specific processes of hegemonic control, strategic subversion, and spontaneous formation. Questions that will frame our conversations are: How can performance be used as a method for tracking strategies of (de)saturation, disorientation, sensorial recalibration, (de)subjectivation, and collective excess? How can research composition perform affective epistemologies of thinking/feeling as well as address situations and multitudes rather than individuals? How might playful renderings of our political present combat “compassion exhaustion,” “wokeness” and platitudinal liberalism in order to make space for in-depth solidarity and systemic transformation? How can humor and play offer, not only tactics, but also structures of emancipation?  

Format and Structure:

We invite artistic, ethnographic, and theoretical analyses of events or practices that use performance as a method to understand and/or respond to affective-driven politics.

Possible Topics include:

  • Hemispheric iterations of practice-as-research
  • Play and media technologies: mimicry, competition, chance and vertigo
  • Affect and the flesh: political mediations
  • Machinic saturation: re-tweeting, over-sharing, and binge-watching
  • Agnotologic capitalism: ignorance and the post-factual
  • Networked mobilizations and meme insurgencies
  • Bots and trolling performances as “playing with”
  • Sensorial decolonization, delinking, fugitivity
  • Swarm formations and distributive selfhood
  • Disidentification 2.0
  • Anarchic responses to neoliberalism
  • Stillness, slowness and withdrawal
  • Delinquent aesthetics and uncaptured pleasures

Our sessions will be structured around two main components: discussions of critical essays that participants will have read in advance, and presentations of participants’ work (scholarly essays, performances, or tactical media practices). Conveners encourage participants to explore performative modes of presenting their work during the meetings. Before the Encuentro, participants will be asked to send final project descriptions and papers/ scripts/ experimental writing pieces. Conveners will assign a respondent to each written piece and ask respondents to compose a 5 minute reaction paper assessing the project’s engagement with and contribution to the work group questions.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

Portuguese, Spanish, English


Pablo Assumpção Barros Costa teaches in the Graduate Program in the Arts and the Dance Undergraduate Program at the Universidade Federal do Ceará (Fortaleza, Brazil). His research interests include practices of experimental ethnography, theories of embodiment, performance art and urban space, and queer theory. He is Editor-in-Chief of Vazantes (Journal of the Arts), in Brazil, and served as Global Visiting Scholar at New York University’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality in 2017.

Sebastián Calderón Bentín teaches in the Department of Drama at New York University. His research interests include performance theory, mass media, and Latin American cultural studies. His writings have appeared in the journals Theater Survey, TDR, Identities, and Istmo as well as book anthologies such as Neoliberalism and Global Theaters (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), and Support Networks (University of Chicago Press, 2015). As a theater-maker he has collaborated with Witness Relocation, Anna Deavere Smith, John Jesurun, Ann Carlson, Faye Driscoll, Tim Etchells and Matthew Goulish’s Institute of Failure, and the International Contemporary Ensemble, among others. He performs frequently with the Chicago-based theater company Every House Has a Door and is founding member of the performance duo Donovan & Calderón.

Marcela A. Fuentes teaches in the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. Her work focuses on performance and digital networking as tactical tools in contemporary insurrectionary movements. Through the concept of “performance constellations” she examines how practices of hacktivism, social media protests, memes, digital storytelling, flash mobs, and other technopolitical performances redefine notions of liveness, site-specificity, and embodiment as crucial aspects of transnational mobilization. She is currently on the Editorial Board of HemiPress, a digital publication initiative by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. She is  a member of the feminist collective “Ni Una Menos” (Not One Less), and an External Consultant for the Buenos Aires Performance Biennial.

Christine Greiner is Professor in the Department of Body Languages, Graduate Program of Communication and Semiotics and the Undergraduate Course of Communication and Body Arts at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil. She is the author of several books and articles on Contemporary Dance and Performance, Japanese Culture and Philosophy of the Body, including Readings of the Body in Japan and Cognitive Diasporas (2015), and Fabulations of the Japanese Body and Microactivisms (2017), both published by n-1 Publications (São Paulo, Brazil).


  • Adam J` Scarborough
  • Alma Martinez
  • Andre Carreira
  • Carminda Mendes André
  • Celia Vara
  • Elia Arce
  • Enzo Vasquez Toral
  • Evan Pensis
  • Hannah Schwadron
  • Isil Egrikavuk
  • Jean-François Côté
  • Jeff McMahon
  • Karen Schupp
  • Lo Bil
  • Lua Girino
  • Marlon Jimenez Oviedo
  • Melissa M. Wilcox
  • Zena Bibler
  • Marco Vidal
Published in Work Groups


“I’d suggest a campaign: not to fight the status quo with indignation’s flaming sword or with the pitiful trembling of sorrow, but to make evident how ridiculous, obsolete, corny, and idiotic they are. I assure you, we have sufficient material to laugh for quite a while. We need to laugh so much, because laughter is the most immediate form of liberation from what opresses us, from the alienation that imprisons us!”  

—Rosario Castellanos

Humor and laughter can be thought of as affections/affectations able to spark action and/or transformation. Humor’s potential as a weapon of resistance is a well-known practice of feminist performance and other cultural feminist productions. Many women have used irony and parody as critical tools/weapons, from the above-quoted Rosario Castelllanos to Jesusa Rodríguez. In the face of the inequity, injustice, and violence, humor heals us and saves us from sorrow. It ignites a blissful resistance that takes on patriarchal power: “I creatively disobey you.”

Feminist humor gives us the possibility to reelaborate and resignify socially constructed experiences within specific contexts according to different parameters such as gender, class, race, age, among other crucial differences that contribute to the symbolic systems through which every culture imagines its existence. Humor is always a situational affair. The uses of humoristic strategies in performance highlight specific epistemic movements that characterize our present times. Together, we will think about the uses of humor in feminist cultural productions in general, whilst focusing specifically in performance, asking ourselves: What are our ways of constructing feminist humor? How can we embody insolent feminist laughter?

Format and Structure:

The work group will be structured according to the participants’ presentations. In order to understand the communicative lines of every proposal and be able to create a final “action” through the formats proposed in the group sessions.

We will engage in a brief archival revision which will include own repertoires, whilst we think about what we—as an emerging and ephemeral collective situated in a quite specific context, and according to our presents, experiences, and political objectives—want to laugh at. We will search inside our repertoires for the humoristic strategies needed to communicate what we want through the body.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

English, Spanish, Portuguese and limited French.


Julia Antivilo is a historian and feminist artivist from Huasco, Chile. She holds a PhD in Latin American Studies, and recently completed postdoctoral research on artivism and sexual dissidence in Latin America. Antivilo is the author of: Belén de Sárraga: Precursora del feminismo hispanoamericano with Luis Vitale (2000), and Entre lo sagrado y lo profano se tejen rebeldías: Arte feminista Latinoamericano (2015), among others. She has also published several journal articles about cultural studies, as well as the social and cultural role of women, and art, gender, and feminism. In addition, as a feminist artivist, she has been part of several collectives in Chile and Mexico. She has particpated in academic, artistic and feminist events in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Cuba, U.S. and Canada. She currently resides in Mexico and collaborates with artivist groups and their archives, including La Pocha Nostra, Pinto mi Raya, and Producciones, and Milagros Feminist Association A.C.

Alejandra Gorráez Puga is a feminist scholar and performance doer/maker from Puebla, México. She is a PhD candidate in the Art History Program at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, where she is developing a research project entitled “Humor and Laughter as Weapons: Women Performers in Mexico,” which is an intervention in contemporary Mexican art history based on feminist and decolonial/anticolonial perspectives. She believes in the power of metaphors and her analytical and creative work focuses on their comprehension, assimilation, transmission, and embodiment, as well as the appropriation of performatic methodologies for the multidimensional intervention of the present  within which we exist as a part of feminist-collective-resistance-spiritual activism-cultural practices/strategies.


  • Adriana Orjuela
  • Alexandra Martins
  • Aurora Valverde
  • Carolina Van Eps
  • Claudia Medina
  • Dalia Yanina Orellana
  • Elena Igartuburu
  • Em Piro
  • Fabiana Faleiros
  • Fabiola Torralba
  • Juliana Mafra
  • Meryl Murman
  • Nae Hanashiro Avila
  • Olga da Costa Lima Wanderley
  • Teodora Elvira Lara Lecuona
  • Siri Gurudev
Published in Work Groups


To jump, escape, glide, transcend, laugh, guide, play, show, disturb, sing, play, exceed, transform, dance: actions that manifest themselves in the celebrations of the various cultures that cross us, creating a world of dynamic forms that deliberately distance us from the serious, the fixed, and the normative. We also focus on our everyday experiences both as researchers in the academic world and as participants in the making of the artistic scene, amidst the social noise of a topsy-turvy world. In this context and based on our experiences, we propose to question the intersections and hybridizations between sacred performances, artistic scenes, and the transfigured body that expresses itself and creates the scene. Characters from old traditions are recuperated and reconfigured in a difficult political moment, characterized by new forms of the old Latin American dictatorships. We invite artists, activists, and academics to participate in the research and study of events and performances that mobilize and shake our society in search of new forms of social, political, and cultural expression.

Format and Structure:

The participants will discuss and develop relevant activities in connection with the specific work group themes, using visual, sound, and/or embodied practice.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

Portuguese, English and Spanish.


Zeca Ligiéro is a writer, professor, theater director, and visual artist. He holds a Masters and a PhD from NYU and finished his postdoctoral studies at Yale University and Paris VII. Ligiéro is a tenured professor in the graduate program of Theater Arts (PPGAC) at UNIRIO – Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, founder and coordinator of NEPAA (Center for Afro-Amerindian Performance Studies), and a “Scientific Researcher from Our State” - Faperj. He is an expert in Afro-Brazilian  performance and experimental theater. His publications include Divine Inspiration from Benin to Bahia (USA), Iniciación al Candomblé  (Colombia), Malandro Divino, Carmen Miranda: uma performance afro-brasileira, Teatro e Dança como experiência comunitária and Corpo a Corpo: estudos das performances brasileiras (Brazil). He was the coordinator of Performance e Antropologia de Richard Schechner and co-coordinator of Augusto Boal: arte, pedagogia e política.

Ausonia Bernardes holds a BA in Dance from the School of Dance at Universidade Federal da Bahia; an MA in Musical Education from Conservatório Brasileiro de Música, Rio de Janeiro; and a PhD from the Theater Graduate Program at Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNI-RIO). Bernardes was the assistant dean and academic coordinator of Faculdade Angel Vianna (FAV), Rio de Janeiro, since its foundation in 2000 until 2011. She teaches Danca, Temporality, and History at FAV since 2009. She is also a researcher at the Center for Afro-Amerindian Performance Studies (NEPAA) at UNIRIO. Her areas of interest are corporeality and staging preparation, dance history, performance studies, and Afro-Brazilian dances.


  • Adriana Guzmán
  • Allende Renck
  • Bronwyn Sims
  • Bya Braga
  • Elderson Melo De Miranda
  • George Holanda
  • Helder Miranda
  • Honey Crawford
  • Lais Bernardes
  • Leandro Martínez Depietri
  • Maria José Villares Barral Villas Boas
  • Melissa Lopes
  • Oscar Enrique Serrano Ramírez
  • Roberson de Sousa Nunes
  • Sandra Sotelo-Miller
  • Tatiana Maria Damasceno
  • Eleonora Gabriel
  • Patricia Ordaz
Published in Work Groups


We will perform and think of laughter as a device for resistance and subversion of discursive limits that exclude specific bodies and subjectivities. Similarly, we will center the subversive use of laughter as a device for trans/feminist and queer action, as well as a space of realization for the desire of multiplicity, and an idea to approach knowledge through the triunfal incorporation of the party. (Kirkwood 1982).

The experience of embodied actions of protest from women, feminist collectives fighting for human rights, and trans/feminist-queer forms of activism teaches us that humor has served to resist, survive, transgress, and intelligently and ironically reimagine hard and risky situations.

How can we break normative frameworks and re-contextualize ownership of one’s body in contexts in which the possibility of freedom is taken away? How can we conceal the weight of ontology and explode the expectations of substantial identities? What advantages does performance offer as an embodied practice? What ethical and political opportunities are presented through parody and the subversive reorganization of a body? How can laughter translate the non-heteronormative conscience and experience? What are the repertories of laughter? In what ways can we move the panicked body? Through laughter, mamarracho, or subversion?

Our objective is to reflect and experiment on the use of laughter as an art form that weakness that facilitates the agile connection between knowing, doing, and saying; (De Certeau 2000; Ludmer 1985) a tool to think through other modes of expression and political resistance.

Format and Structure:

We will begin discussing the use of laughter and parody as tools of resistance and transgression of colonial and heteronormative frameworks. Thus we will study an archive of queer/cuir and trans/feminist artistic actions and activist practices in the Americas. In which we will be able to study humor as a mechanism to break down hegemonic narratives that seek to define the body and reign within contexts of political and patriarchal represion.

We will follow with a experimental theatrical techniques which will help us practice collective corporeal resistance that the participants will be able to use as a vessel to transform affective public and embodied experiences. Our objective is to transform uncomfortable feelings into action. We will use humor as an important tool to disturb order, to eliminate decomposition and work towards better lives.

To end, we will devise a performance which will be replicable, deformable, and adaptable in other contexts of protest and subversion. We will seek to articulate a riot of laughing and indisciplined bodies, which will shake the fiction off of biographic-sexual realism, and the civilizing seriousness of patriarchal language. We will put the body in perspective as a field for thought and action, as well as an invitation to consider its materiality and potential for the development of a revolutionary proyect seriously (but not too seriously) as we push the limits of social legibility.

List of what applications to the work group should include:

We are looking for artists, scholars, and LGTTBIQHAHAHA activists willing to unlearn and unarm themselves and willing to commit corpolitically to laugh at the seriousness of the civilization’s patriarchal language.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

Soledad Falabella: Spanish (first language), portuguese (regular oral and written skills, excellent reading), fluent in English, French, and Dutch (oral, written, reading), German (regular oral and written skills, (excellent reading).

Naty Menstrual: Spanish (first language).

Ana Laura López: Spanish (first language), English (regular).

Constanza Muñoz: Spanish (first language), Portuguese, English, German (regular).


Soledad Falabella holds a Ph.D. in Languages and Hispanic Literature from University of California, Berkeley. She is a professor of feminist critical theory, performance, and poetry in the Gender and Culture masters program at Universidad de Chile, and a member of the project “Women Mobilizing Memory” from the Center for the Study of Social Difference of Columbia University. She is the academic director of the Advanced Academic Writing course for scholars of the Consorcio para Investigación y Capacitación Avanzada in Africa, and a member of the Editorial Board for the magazine published by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (HEMI), as well as a director for ESE:O. Falabella is the author of ¿Qué será de Chile en el cielo? Poema de Chile de Gabriela Mistral (LOM Santiago, Chile 2003) and the editor several poetry anthologies by mapuche women such as Hilando en la Memoria: Curriao, Huinao, Millapan, Manquepillan, Panchillo, Pinda, Rupailaf, e Hilando en la Memoria, Epu Rupa (Cuarto Propio, Santiago 2006 y 2009 resp.). In 2007 she coordinated the performance “El cuerpo indecible” alongside the performer and visual artist Gonzalo Rabanal.

Naty Menstrual is a writer, actor, performer, deformer, designer, and visual artist. She studied radio broadcasting at the Instituto Superior de Enseñanza Radiofónica de Buenos Aires, as well as industrial textile design with Marcela Roldán and experimental design with Dante Taparelli.. In 2011 she was featured in Javier Van de Couter’s film Mía, and in 2015 in Juan Manuel Ribelli’s Huesitos de Pollo. She is the author of Batido de Trolo (Ed. Milena Caserola, Buenos Aires, 2005), Continuadísimo (Eterna Cadencia Editorial, Buenos Aires, 2008) and Poesía recuperada (Zindo y Gafuri, Buenos Aires, 2017). Menstrual is the protagonist of the Naty Menstrual Show Cabaret.

Ana Laura López studied Communication (UBA) and she is an actriz, theatre director, and writer. She has received awards for her poetry twice in consecutive years, from the Universidad de Morón, as well as an Argentores y Metrovías award for her monologue Las Manos de Perón, published by the Editorial Cadán, and the Eugenio Cambaceres award from the Bilblioteca Nacional and Televisión Pública for her novel LA MANADA.

Constanza Muñoz is an actor and holds a masters in Gender and Culture studies from the Universidad de Chile, where she is currently an assistant professor of feminist rhetoric. Since 2009 she has been a member of the artistic collective La Junta in which she has participated as a performer, dramaturg, and director in several experimental projects which focus on exploring the causes, limits, and consequences derived from systemic violence from neoliberalism in Chile and Latin America. She is also a theatre scholar, focusing on art, gender studies, feminism, performance, memory, and resistance practices. She is a coordinator and co-author of El género en escena: relaciones en la práctica laboral de teatro en Chile (Osoliebre, Santiago 2017), the first study in Chile that explores the reproduction of gender stereotypes and inequalities in theatre and its material and symbolic effects on labor. Currently she is writing her second piece on the use of humor as a rhetorical and political-aesthetic device in human-rights-female-activist performances during the Chilean dictatorship.


  • Andrea Vertone
  • Andres Carreño
  • Fernando Rodriguez
  • Karla Silva Ribeiro
  • Letícia Barbosa
  • Lin Alves Arruda
  • María José Rodríguez Ávila
  • Melina Gaze
  • Melissa M. González
  • Rae Langes
  • Ricardo Marinelli Martins
  • Roxana Gómez Tapia
  • Solana Chehtman
Published in Work Groups


This interdisciplinary work group invites activists, scholars, artists, community organizers, and cultural workers to explore collective strategies of resistance to extractivism. While extractivism commonly refers the logic of reducing nature to commodities, and the resultant hyper-exploitation1 of the mining, oil, and gas industries, we follow Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s assertion that it is, in fact, ideologically fundamental to colonialism and capitalism at their most endemic.2

1 Gómez-Barris, Macarena. The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2017. 29.

2 simpson

Narrative, performance, and visual culture are equally vital to both the perpetuation of extractivist ideologies and their resistance. From the stories of ‘corporate social responsibility’ told by mining industry elites to assuage company shareholders, to performatic mobilizations of protest, this work group will examine how (anti)extractivism is narrated, enacted, and represented. In doing so, we aim to increase our understanding of extractivism’s representational tactics—and to expand our capacities to resist them—through various means, from the performatic acting-out of relajo3 to acts of refusal. By attending to ways in which the logics of extractivism have been disrupted and contested through satire, mockery, and jubilant denunciation, we aim to fortify our capabilities to creatively refuse, resist and reimagine this paradigm.

Format and Structure:

This work group will be centred upon collaborative methods, exploring both the theme of (anti)extractivism and how we might work together in resistance. Taking inspiration from consultas comunitarias, or community referenda, we will highlight the idea of community consultation. In regions affected by resource extraction projects, there are frequently consultas comunitarias in which every member community is entitled to vote on whether to allow the project to operate. This consensus decision-making is enshrined in the UNDRIP4 and has been successful in certain contexts. All too often, though, it is seen as unbinding, and multinational extraction companies continue to operate with impunity and without social license.

In our initial sessions we will look at several case studies, examining various ways in which (anti)extractivism is performed. We will then work collaboratively to create a public site-specific intervention determined by work group participants, experimenting first-hand with the participation of nonstate actors and the role of creative interventions in contesting the power of the extractive industry. Our readings and discussions will also consider the extractive aspects of research itself, as we explore news ways of working together in resistance to extractivism in all of its guises, from the mine to the university.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

Spanish, English, Portuguese, French

3 Portilla, Jorge. Fenomenología del Relajo. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1986.

4 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


Merle Davis is a settler scholar on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit River, Petun, Huron-Wendat, and Seneca nations. They organize with the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network. Their MA research at York University in Science and Technology Studies focuses on resource extraction and the extractive paradigm. Merle is currently exploring research methods that resist the extractive paradigm in the academy.

Zoë Heyn-Jones is a researcher, artist, educator and cultural worker of European and unknown heritage, who grew up on Saugeen Ojibway land in Ontario (Canada) and on Tz’utujil/Kaqchikel Maya land in Guatemala. Zoë is a PhD candidate in Visual Arts at York University and a graduate fellow at CERLAC (the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean), researching the performance of solidarity activism in Guatemala and Canada. She will be expanding upon this work as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Canadian Consortium on Performance and Politics in the Americas in 2018-19.

Laura Levin is a settler artist-scholar and Associate Professor of Theatre & Performance Studies at York University. She is editor of Theatre and Performance in Toronto and Conversations Across Borders (with Guillermo Gómez-Peña); co-editor of Performance Studies in Canada (with Marlis Schweitzer); and author of Performing Ground: Space, Camouflage, and the Art of Blending In. Laura’s current research focuses on performance and political culture; site-specific and urban intervention; and performance and digital media. She is a Co-Investigator for the Canadian Consortium on Performance and Politics in the Americas.

Kimberly Richards is a settler scholar from the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy. She is currently a PhD Candidate in Performance Studies at the University of California-Berkeley and an Edward Hildebrand Graduate Fellow in Canadian Studies. Her research examines a range of performance practices on oil frontiers in which petro-politics are negotiated, extractive ideologies are staged, and theatrical tactics are deployed to impede the expansion of petro-imperialism. She is co-editing a forthcoming edition of Canadian Theatre Review on extractivism in canadian performance cultures.

Kate Klein is an educator and activist on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit River, Petun, Huron-Wendat, and Seneca nations. In her work organizing with the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN), she uses theatre and popular education as tools to explore issues of power, place, and the performance of corporate “morality.”


  • Alana Dunlop
  • Dana Prieto
  • Cordelia Istel
  • Gabriela Jimenez
  • Helene Vosters
  • Jarvis Brownlie
  • Roewan Crowe
  • Selena Couture
  • Syndey Lang
  • Valerie Frappier
Published in Work Groups


A wave of conservative governments has risen throughout the Americas, ending the Pink Tide that marked the early 21st Century. From Trumpism to the Movimento Brasil Livre, from neo-Fujimorismo to Macrismo, a New Right has (re)emerged that closely aligns neoliberal economics with social conservatism, specifically attacking advances in human rights, gender politics, and cultural diversity. In this sense, the calls for “austerity” imposed throughout the continent refer not only to the sacrifices the lower classes are called to endure for the sake of the “economy,” but also to the seriousness of the “good citizens” that are constructed as the authors of this call.

This workgroup explores the ways in which performance—both as practice and as methodological lens—challenges this call to austerity through humor, aesthetic inversions, purposeful excesses, and epistemological expansions. How have theater, dance, performance art been instrumental in exceeding the calls for austerity, in refusing the closure of alternatives? What can close readings of performance—embodied, on WhatsApp, in the news—reveal about the forces at play in this radical turn, about the echo chambers of fake news and denialism? How can performance practice expand our understanding of the implications of the downfall of the New Latin American Left for a global understanding of difference and diversity?

Format and Structure:

This transnational, multilingual, and transdisciplinary workgroup seeks to to bring into conversation a diversity of ways of thinking through/with/about performance. We welcome projects that combine intellectual rigor with aesthetic experimentation, be them academic papers/chapters in progress, lecture-performances, choreographic cartographies, experimental dramaturgies, short performances-as-research, scripts in process… All workgroup members will submit a draft of their contribution (papers/scripts/video documentation/born-digital materials) to the workgroup organizers at least a month before the Encuentro. We will then circulate these among all the participants and organize them into 10-20 minute presentations, followed by feedback and conversation, for the four days we will work together.

Possible topics might include:

  • Performances that challenge the univocality of the New Right
  • he re-emergence of unabashed white patriarchy (machismo/femicides/maga)
  • Attacks on gender diversity (and diversity in general)
  • News, new media, and elections
  • New denials of state-sponsored violence
  • Extractivism in times of austerity
  • Dissident and disruptive tactics and choreographies of protest and discourse
  • Performing citizenship in times of neoliberalism
  • New political articulations of racial difference
  • Site-specific performances of resistance
  • Recent cartographies of power
  • Allyship, solidarity, collectivity and grass-roots resistance
  • Neoliberal “excessive” practices of the everyday life  

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

English, Portuguese, Spanish


Sérgio Andrade is Artist and Professor of Dance, Performance, and Philosophy at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, where he also coordinates the LabCrítica. He holds a PhD and a MA in Philosophy from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, an MA in Performing Arts and a BA in Dance from Universidade Federal da Bahia. In 2014-2015, he was Visiting Scholar at New York University (PS Department and Hemi). As an artist, he has worked in dance, performance art, urban intervention, and videoart projects in Brazil, Colombia and the USA. He is co-editor of the book Performar Debates (2017).

Leticia Robles-Moreno is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre & Dance at Muhlenberg College. Her research is focused on collective creation processes in contemporary Latin American performance and politics. She explores how theatre, art, and activism, performed specially by women and transnational subjects, can build networked practices as strategies of resistance and survival. Most recently, she has connected community engaged research and artivism in the city of Allentown, PA. She has published scholarly articles in Latin American Theatre Review,Contemporary Theatre Review, Conjunto, and Hispanic Issues Online. Leticia holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University.

Marcos Steuernagel is Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Colorado Boulder, working at the intersection of performance and politics, Brazilian and Latin American theatre and performance, and the digital humanities. He is co-editor with Diana Taylor of the trilingual digital book What is Performance Studies? (2015). His upcoming monograph traces the relationship between politics and aesthetics in contemporary Brazilian theatre and dance. Marcos holds a Ph.D. in performance studies from New York University and a Specialization in Cinema and Video and a B.A. in Theatre Directing from Faculdade de Artes do Paraná, Brazil.

Patricia Ybarra is Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University. She is the author of Performing Conquest: Five Centuries of Theatre, History and Identity in Tlaxcala, Mexico (Michigan, 2009) and Latinx Theatre in the Times of Neoliberalism (Northwestern, 2017). She is co-editor with Lara Nielsen of Neoliberalism and Global Theatres: Performance Permutations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012; paperback 2014). She is also the immediate past-president of ATHE and a founding member of ATHE’s Latina/o Focus Group (now Latinx, Indigenous and Americas Focus Group). 


  • Amy Carroll
  • Andrés Martínez Ruiz
  • Aniko Szucs
  • Brian Batchelor
  • Carla Beatriz Melo
  • Claudia Calirman
  • Janaina Leite
  • Jennifer Tyburczy
  • Jimena Ortuzar
  • Laura Díaz Galán
  • Maya Wilson-Sanchez
  • Olga Gutiérrez
  • Ricardo Duarte Filho
  • Maria Paula Rodriguez
Published in Work Groups
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