The World Inside Out: Humor, Noise, and Performance

In the face of increasing inequality, rising authoritarianism and violence, and ongoing threats to democratic institutions, the Hemispheric Institute’s XI Encuentro sought to forge spaces of critical practice and creative inquiry to theorize and instrumentalize satire, humor, laughter, music, and noise in their broadest senses in order to make visible, unfold, denounce, fracture, and revert the assemblages of power behind these alarming processes. As we also celebrated liberatory and democratizing victories big and small, we proposed to confront both our collective outrage and our collective hopes by mobilizing art, action, and critical thinking that—through aesthetic inversion, mockery, critical pirouettes, noisy denunciation, and strident celebration—can reveal, disarm, and decolonize and, at the same time, give meaning to our desires for better futures.