Friday, 26 April 2019 18:02

03 Direct Action & Art Clinic


This work group will create a collective artwork from the aesthetic perspective of the Fluxus movement (sound as urban intervention) in the sociopolitical context of Mexico City and with an anti-neocolonial stance. The common problems that Latin America suffers today respond to  a new version of colonialism and to a systematic violation of human rights. Our urban intervention will convene bodies to meet, dialogue, and collectively claim public space.

General objective: To collectively create an urban intervention as an occupation strategy and a political-aesthetic vindication, based on themes that will emerge from the group.

Specific objectives:

  • Discuss specific problems that affect us
  • Design an intervention based on collective consensus
  • Study the site where the intervention will take place
  • Perform and or execute the action/intervention

Format and structure:

As a theoretical foundation for our urban intervention, we will research the work of the Fluxus movement and its poetics, as well as other authors like Judith Butler. The group will work during the Encuentro for four hours a day, exploring a series of models and creation devices that range from silence to sound, while the participants share their individual aesthetic, political, and activism experiences.

With these affective and sensorial experiences anchoring our process, and taking into account the social, political, and cultural contexts of Mexico City, we will collectively create the intervention to be (dis)located in urban space—a space of political-aesthetic occupation.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

Spanish and English


Jorge Hernández Esguep is a visual artist and professor of Visual Arts at the Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación in Chile. He holds a PhD in Humanities from the Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, and a Masters in Visual Arts from the Universidad de Chile. His research focuses on the field of performance, fluxus, art / action and urban intervention. He received a scholarship from the Chilean Ministry of Education to study the "Development in Art Education" at the University College St. Mark & ​​St. John, in Devon, England. Amongst individual and collective exhibitions in the field of visual arts are: "Perder la forma humana: Una imagen sísmica de los años ochenta en América Latina”, Museo Nacional Reina Sofía (2013); "Hibridaciones", Museum of Contemporary Art of Valdivia, Universidad Austral de Chile (2013); and "China-Town", Galeria Metropolitana (2011).

Iñaki Ceberio de León is a professor and member of Asamblea el Retamo de Nonogasta, a citizens’ assembly fighting a socio-environmental problem linked to the contamination of a tannery. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Universidad del País Vasco (Spain) and was a postdoctoral scholar at the Centro de Estudios Ambientales at Universidad Austral de Chile, under the direction of Dr. Manfred Max-Neef. He worked at the Universidad Austral de Chile’s School of Visual Arts, where he collaborated in the accreditation of the visual arts program, and participated in artistic projects with visual artist Jorge Hernández Esguep. He is currently a professor at the Universidad Nacional de Chilecito (Argentina), where he teaches philosophy and engages in research and other projects related to the environment.

Doris Difarnecio is the director of ARTEACCIÓN: a digital platform for art as public action and resistance against femicide, sexual violence, homophobia, and racism. Between 1999 and 2016, she was the theatrical director of Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya (FOMMA) in San Cristobal de las Casas (Chiapas, Mexico), a group of Mayan women who use theater as a tool for education, the preservation of indigenous communities, and women’s rights. She served as director of Centro Hemisférico, a satellite of the Hemispheric Institute in Chiapas between 2008 and 2013. Her MA’s in cultural studies and sociology are from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and the Centro de Estudios Superiores de México y Centroamérica (CESMECA, at Universidad de Ciencias y Artes in Chiapas), respectively. Difarnecio currently lives in New Mexico, where she collaborates with the Rights and Equality Center, which works to give voice to low-income immigrant workers under attack by Trump's anti-immigrant public policies.

Javier Serna is professor of Literature and Analysis of Cultural Processes at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Mexico. Publications include: 150 Años de Teatro en Nuevo León (2009), Narcocorridos (2003) and Oratura (2014). Serna holds a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University, and an MA in Drama and Anthropology from the Drama Center, London.


  • Anadel Lynton Snyder
  • Carolina Novella
  • Elizabeth Gray
  • Geraldine Lamadrid Guerrero
  • Luana Pfeifer Raiter
  • Mariana Rotili
  • Mark Nelson
  • Michele Louise Schiocchet
  • Paulo Maia
  • Ricardo Sarmiento
  • Suzanne Schmidt
Published in Work Groups


The Decolonizing Memory work group offers an interdisciplinary and transnational space to challenge the field of memory studies and its demand for redress. The main goal is to problematize the tendency, both inside and outside of academy, of thinking about memory and its journey across time and space in ways that do not exceed already established geographical (“East-West”, “Global South- Global North”) and temporal (“past-present-future”) categories. Inspired by the temporal turn in recent queer and feminist theorizations, our group wishes to reflect upon non-modern ways of apprehending time, in order to contemplate different modes of approaching memory and its inheritance.  Bringing together activists, artists and scholars of memory, this work group aims to subvert categories of space and time recovering/centering/ the ludic, the ironic, and the carnivalesque within practices of active commemorations of different difficult pasts.

By looking at the challenges posed by the conversations among seemingly incommensurable memories and experiences of past, present and future, this working group aims to create durational and collaborative connections among scholars, activists and artists. While asking the question of, “How do we talk about “decolonizing memory” through humor, noise, laughter, carnival, and performance across disciplines, geographies and times?” This interdisciplinary platform unsettles pre-determined itineraries of memory and pushes against normative conceptions of temporality and inheritability. It aims to highlight the presence of the Now in the encounter with the past and the potential this encounter can offer.

Format and Structure:

This work group will consider the following structure:

  • Day 1-2: Presentation of work group’s goals and participants introductions. Brief presentations of each participant’s work during the first two days (10 people per day).
  • Day 3-4: Group activities in which we will address, through discussions and participatory dynamics, historical timelines and spatiality of remembering of our countries of focus and dismantling their official ordering in order to propose different historical routes/possibilities.
  • Day 5: A carnivalesque Memory route  focused on the issue of the violence against political dissidence, particularly on the commemoration of the October 2nd, 1968--the day of Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City. We would begin at the Memorial to the Tlatelolco victims at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, and follow a route to politically charged sites of mobilization in order to think about how everyday life can become a point of convergence to reanimate and connect the past to present events of violence and disappearance (the 43) even if that past has not been lived by younger generations.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

Spanish, English, Portuguese, French (understood)


Daniella Wurst is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University. Her dissertation analyses photography, documentary theatre, and literature of the post-generation  focusing on the tensions present in Cultural Memory Practices in Argentina, Chile, and Peru.

Dilara Çalışkan is a PhD student in the Anthropology Department and Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also a graduate student fellow of the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University and working on the links between queer kinship and non-normative forms of “intergenerational” transmission of memory. Since 2010, she has been involved with Istanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association, which particularly focuses on transgender rights and opposes the criminalization of sex work, and supports its recognition as work.

Noni Carter is an author and fourth year student of French Caribbean Literature at Columbia University. Her doctoral research engages with both Enlightenment and contemporary French Caribbean literature that all interrogate slavery, its literary and commemorative representations, its gendered dimensions, and the modalities of symbolic and literal violence that enfold it.

Manuela Badilla Rajevic is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at The New School for Social Research. Her work explores the intersection of the design of public memory, social movements, and post-conflict generations in Chile. Her paper 'The Day of the Young Combatant, generational struggles in the memory field of post-dictatorship Chile' was just published online in Memory Studies Journal.

Marianne Hirsch teaches Comparative Literature and Gender Studies at Columbia University and is one of the founders of the Center for the Study of Social Difference. Recent books: The Generation of Postmemory;  Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory with Leo Spitzer; co­ed. e­misférica “On The Subject of Archives” and Rites of Return.


  • Alberto Gomez
  • Beshouy Botros
  • Brenda Garcia
  • Charlotte Gartenberg
  • Cole Rizki
  • Dasha Chapman
  • Diana Delgado-Ureña
  • Diana Raznovich
  • Dot Tuer
  • Emilia Yang
  • Isabel Dominguez Seoane
  • Itza Varela Huerta
  • Jamie Lee
  • Jarula Wegner
  • Jeannine Murray-Román
  • Maite Malaga
  • Mirta Kupferminc
  • Mya Dosch
Published in Work Groups


We invite artistic or pedagogical interventions and critical analyses of cultural texts that use cabaret as method. We welcome artists, scholars, community organizers, and others who are using cabaret methods, including but not limited to: variety, satire, urgency, risk, distributed expertise, sharing the stage, fabulousness, and provocation on and off the stage. In light of the theme of the Encuentro this year, we might particularly reflect “the strategy of juxtaposing the humorous and the sober” (Gutierrez 2010) used to such great effect by cabaret artists to investigate the serious ideas of the day.

We convene this Work Group in order to open the discussion about cabaret as on ongoing translocal moment in which “sexual, racial and economic minorities push back against the individualist, exemplary modern subject, cultivating instead tactical cultures of collaboration, shared resources and coalition politics” (Cowan 2015). Furthermore, we hope that this Working Group will allow for us to develop a translocal genealogy of political cabaret within the Americas, a genealogy that is often overlooked in favour of a nostalgia for European fin-de-siècle and wartime cabaret artistique.

Format and Structure:

The group will be organized based on participants’ interests. We hope to explore what cabaret means as a performance practice, and as a portable, cross-platform set of tactics and methods that continue to be central to protest movements, online organizing, and as a mode of teaching, research, knowledge production, and knowledge transfer. In this working group we will share each other’s stories of using cabaret methods on and off the stage (in performance, in the classroom, in our research, in the streets). Each participant will have an opportunity to discuss their work and receive group feedback. In the final days we may decide as a group to build something together - a performance, a street intervention, a research paper, a manifesto — or perhaps all of these!

Questions that we will like to address in the working group (not limited):

  • What is cabaret to you? What is cabaret where you live/perform?
  • What does cabaret allow you to do, where you do it?
  • Is cabaret a consciousness-raising tactic/political pedagogy?
  • Is there such a thing as a ‘cabaret methodology’? If so, how and where does it move beyond the stage?
  • If there is a theory of cabaret, what is it to you?
  • What are some limitations of cabaret? How does cabaret get a bad reputation?
  • How does cabaret differ from place to place?
  • How does cabaret become political? Is it always political?
  • Under what conditions is cabaret an organizing method?
  • How does a cabaret analysis/method/practice inform broad categories of performance and theatre like variety, humor/satire, political performance?
  • What does it mean when ‘cabaret’ means different things in different contexts?
  • How do we translate cabaret practice/method/theory? Is cabaret portable?
  • How does cabaret work beyond the stage/the theatre/the bar?
  • How might scholarly work and pedagogy also deploy the "cabaret methodology?"
  • What are ways to theorize, foreground or signal a cabaret methodology as trans-discipline, inter-discipline, intra-discipline or anti-discipline when we theorize cabaret within the larger ‘disciplinary’ history and practice of Performance Studies or Activist Studies and/or when we use this method to engage with other objects/sites/scenes/bodies of inquiry?

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

Spanish, English, Portuguese, French (understood)


Laura G. Gutiérrez is Associate Professor of Latinx Performance and Visual Culture Studies in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her book Performing Mexicanidad: Vendidas y Cabareteras on the Transnational Stage (2010) won The Ninth Annual MLA Prize in United States Latina and Latino and Chicana and Chicano Literary and Cultural Studies. Gutiérrez has published essays and book chapters on topics such as: Latina/o and Mexican performance art, border art, video art, and political cabaret. She is completing a monograph on racial and sexual panics in mid-twentieth century Mexico through a reading of films from the period. Her ongoing research on Mexican political cabaret will also produce a cultural history of the genre.

T.L. Cowan is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media (UTSC) and the Faculty of Information (iSchool) at the University of Toronto. Cowan’s recent essays are published in Women & Performance (2018), Liminalities (2016), and More Caught in the Act: An Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women (2016). Cowan is currently completing a monograph, Transmedial Drag: Cross-Platform Cabaret Methods and developing two online projects: The Cabaret Commons Digital Platform and the Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory. T.L. is also a cabaret performer, perhaps best known for her alter ego, Mrs. Trixie Cane.


  • Carina Guzman
  • Cecilia Sotres
  • Christina Baker
  • Christina Streva
  • David Tenorio
  • Fabián Céspedes
  • Fernanda Souza
  • Eduardo Fajardo
  • Juliana Fadil Luchkiw
  • Mark Sussman
  • Martha Toriz-Proenza
  • Nora Isabel Huerta Huajardo
  • Pako Reyes
  • Stephen Lawson
  • Vicente Leite Filho
  • Yecid Calderón Rodelo
  • Maria Paz Valenzuela Silva
  • Rosanne Sia
  • Liliana Ramírez
  • Bretton White
  • Gisela Martinez
Published in Work Groups
Friday, 26 April 2019 17:59

Joshua Chambers-Letson

Joshua Chambers-Letson is Associate Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of After the Party: A Manifesto for Queer of Color Life (NYU Press, 2018) and A Race So Different: Law and Performance in Asian America (NYU Press, 2013). He is currently working with Tavia Nyong’o to prepare José Esteban Muñoz’s The Sense of Brown for publication with Duke University Press.

CDMX, Mexico. June 15, 2019.

Watch the roundtable with Joshua Chambers-Letson here.

Published in Interviews
Friday, 26 April 2019 17:59

Petrona de la Cruz Cruz

Petrona de la Cruz is co-founder of Fortaleza de la Mujer Maya (FOMMA) with Isabel Juárez Espinosa. She has achieved international recognition for her work. Her play, Una mujer desesperada was produced in 1993 in San Cristóbal as part of International Women’s Day and has been published in Holy Terrors: Latin American Women Perform (Duke University, 2003). She has also participated in diverse acting and directing workshops in the United States with Doris Difarnecio, Amy Trompetter, and Paty Hernandez. She is currently a board member of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics.

CDMX, Mexico. June 14, 2019.

Published in Interviews
Friday, 26 April 2019 17:58

Lilian Mengesha

Lilian Mengesha is a director, dramaturg, and Assistant Professor of Race and Performance in the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at Tufts University. Her research focuses on contemporary indigenous performance art of North and Central America, particularly on art that address legacies of violence against women. In her performance work, she aims to make legible temporal scales of memory as measured through social and ecological difference, as in “manifestroom” (2014), “an emotion is a sign that something has shifted” (2016), and in her current devised work that focuses on the history of the ocean.

CDMX, Mexico. June 12, 2019.

Published in Interviews
Friday, 26 April 2019 17:58

Donna Kaz

Donna Kaz is a performer, activist, author, and a leading feminist voice on how to combine activism and art. For the past 20 years, she has been proving feminists are funny with Guerrilla Girls On Tour. Her new eBook, PUSH/PUSHBACK: 9 Steps to make a Difference with Activism and Art, is at | @guerrillagsot @donnakaz

CDMX, Mexico. June 12, 2019.

View Donna Kaz's lecture here.

Published in Interviews
Friday, 26 April 2019 17:58

El Ciervo Encantado

Nelda Castillo founded El Ciervo Encantado in Havana in 1996 as a space of experimentation and exchange that fosters innovative connections between theater, visual arts, music, literature, dance, theoretical research, etc. Thanks to this interplay of knowledges, El Ciervo Encantado connects with different spaces of artistic and cultural production, escaping any attempt at categorization.

CDMX, Mexico. June 14, 2019.

View El Ciervo Encantado's performance here.

Published in Interviews
Friday, 26 April 2019 17:57

Antonio Prieto

Antonio Prieto-Stambaugh is a professor and researcher in the School of Theater and the Center for the Study, Creation, and Documentation of the Arts at the Universidad Veracruzana, where he is also Coordinator of the graduate program in Performing Arts. He is a member of Mexico’s National System of Researchers (SNI), specializing in contemporary Mexican theatre and performance with a particular interest in artists who work on issues of gender, the nation, sexuality, and ethnicity. He holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a Ph.D. in Latin American Studies from the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM). He has edited four books, including Jerzy Grotowski. Miradas desde Latinoamérica (Universidad Veracruzana, 2011) and Corporalidades escénicas. Representaciones del cuerpo en el teatro, la danza y el performance (Universidad Veracruzana, 2016), with con Elka Fediuk. He is currently Director of the journal Investigación Teatral. Revista de artes escénicas y performatividad.

CDMX, Mexico. June 12, 2019.

View Antonio Prieto-Stambaugh's keynote lecture here.

Published in Interviews

Despair & disgust vs integrity & wisdom: An endgame in 7 acts

Samuel Beckett tells of a tailor taking weeks to make a pair of trousers, while God needed only six days to create the world. Which turned out better? Can art out perform nature? What are the possibilities for millions of species, including our own, in the Anthropocene? Do artists have special responsibilities and powers to help effect a transformation of attitudes and behaviors? On a personal as well as social-political level, is there anything to be optimistic about when the choice is despair and disgust versus integrity and wisdom?


Richard Schechner is editor of TDR, author, theatre director, and University Professor Emeritus in Performance Studies at New York University.. His books include Environmental Theater, Performance Theory, Between Theater and Anthropology, The End of Humanism, The Future of Ritual, Performed Imaginaries, and Performance Studies: An Introduction. He was a producing director of the Free Southern Theater and founded The Performance Group. He has directed theatre, led workshops, taught, and lectured in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Didanwy Kent Trejo (Presenter) holds an MA and a PhD in Art History from UNAM. She is currently a full-time professor at the College of Dramatic Literature and Theatre at UNAM’s Faculty of Philosophy and Letters. She teaches in the Graduate Program of Music, the Graduate Program of Arts and Design, and the Graduate Program in Art History at UNAM. Her areas of research span the field of performing arts, particularly opera, theater, and performance, as well as contemporary social and artistic practices.

Published in Lectures
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