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Corporeal Identities, Maternal Artivism: A New Decolonial Approach to the Study of Latin American Women Artists

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA
Arts 2019, 8(4), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040137
Received: 3 August 2019 / Revised: 24 September 2019 / Accepted: 12 October 2019 / Published: 18 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decolonizing Contemporary Latin American Art)
Stemming from Grosfoguel’s decolonial discourse, and particularly his enquiry on how to steer away from the alternative between Eurocentric universalism and third world fundamentalism in the production of knowledge, this article aims to respond to this query in relation to the field of the art produced by Latin American women artists in the past four decades. It does so by investigating the decolonial approach advanced by third world feminism (particularly scholar Chandra Talpade Mohanty) and by rescuing it from—what I reckon to be—a methodological impasse. It proposes to resolve such an issue by reclaiming transnational feminism as a way out from what I see as a fundamentalist and essentialist tactic. Following from a theoretically and methodological introduction, this essay analyzes the practice of Cuban-born artist Marta María Pérez Bravo, specifically looking at the photographic series Para Concebir (1985–1986); it proposes a decolonial reading of her work, which merges third world feminism’s nation-based approach with a transnational outlook, hence giving justice to the migration of goods, ideas, and people that Ella Shohat sees as deeply characterizing the contemporary cultural background. Finally, this article claims that Pérez Bravo’s oeuvre offers the visual articulation of a decolonial strategy, concurrently combining global with local concerns. View Full-Text
Keywords: third world feminism; decolonial theory; transnational feminism; Latin American art; Latin American women artists; Marta María Pérez Bravo third world feminism; decolonial theory; transnational feminism; Latin American art; Latin American women artists; Marta María Pérez Bravo
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Demori, L. Corporeal Identities, Maternal Artivism: A New Decolonial Approach to the Study of Latin American Women Artists. Arts 2019, 8, 137.

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