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Overcoming the State of Oblivion: Decolonial Approaches within Engaged Art Practices

Varas Ibarra, Ana C (2020) Overcoming the State of Oblivion: Decolonial Approaches within Engaged Art Practices. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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This research project focuses on tracking artistic responses to social, ecological, and economic sustainability, as well as social responses to artistic movements that go beyond turning art into a commodity in service of a neoliberal agenda. In this doctoral thesis, I provide a critical analysis of contemporary politically engaged art projects that claim to challenge dominant models of world-building and present alternative forms of living through the use of decolonial methodologies and political ecology approaches. In particular, I examine ‘alter-institutional practice’ in order to comprehend the role art plays in the search for social justice, political horizontality and autonomous forms of organising. This thesis draws a comparative analysis of three case studies—Campus in Camps, Institute for Human Activities and World of Matter—and interrogates if these alter-institutional initiatives can provide a platform where ‘spaces of hope’ can be stimulated and nurtured. Touching upon aspects of decolonial critique, I argue that alter-institutional projects use failure as a prolific tool to create ‘spaces of hope’ which can in turn lead to the development of autonomous forms of living and just world-building practices.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: socially engaged art, decoloniality, alter-institutional practice, spaces of hope, prolific failure
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
Depositing User: Ana Varas Ibarra
Date Deposited: 19 May 2020 10:33
Last Modified: 19 May 2020 10:33

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