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July 29–August 17, 2013
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
Course Taught by Diana Taylor
Workshop taught by Jesusa Rodríguez and Jacques Servin
Photo Module taught by Lorie Novak
This course explores the many ways in which artists and activists use art (performance, mural paintings, graffiti, writing, music) to make a social intervention in the Americas. We begin the course by examining several theories about art and activism (Brecht, Boal, Buenaventura, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Foucault, among others), and then focus on issues of agency, space, event, and spectatorship in relation to major political movements (revolution, dictatorship, democracy, globalization, and human rights) as seen in the work of major practitioners.
The theoretical part of the course, taught by Diana Taylor, will remain in active conversation with the practice-based-research component of the course. Jesusa Rodríguez will lead an intensive one-week performance workshop that will culminate in a public action as part of the course. Jacques Servin of the Yes Men will also participate, offering a lecture and a lab, and Lorie Novak will lead the digital media component of the course. Performances, video screenings, guest lectures, and visits to FOMMA, Chiapas Media Project, a Zapatista community and other activist projects will provide an additional dimension to the questions raised by the theoretical readings and discussions. Students will be encouraged to explore possibilities for practice-based research, develop their own sites of investigation, and share their work in a final presentation.
The course requires fluency in English. Knowledge of Spanish is a plus. Students are encouraged to bring laptops and digital cameras to use for their projects.