decolonial anti-monuments

Part of the Public Program of the exhibition If we remain silent

Saturday, 14 October 2023, 14:00–19:00 / Casco HQ
RSVP via 
Symposium with Noor Abed, Ana Bravo Pérez, Cristina Flores Pescorán, Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti, Rosalba Icaza (moderator), and Anguezomo Mba Bikoro. Presented in collaboration with Unsettling Rietveld Sandberg and MA Fine Arts of the Sandberg Institute.

Organized by Ana Bravo Pérez and Joram Kraaijeveld in conversation with Rosalba Icaza, Judith Leysner, and the team at Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons.

Livestream available here

decolonial anti-monuments is a symposium bringing together artists whose practices involve collective commemoration and making silenced stories visible in the public space. The aim of the symposium is to think-feel together about what decolonial anti-monuments might be, to exchange experiences and share knowledges on their developments, and to speak together about how these art projects offer forms of collective mourning leading towards healing colonial wounds.

During the symposium, each of the artists will give a presentation about the backgrounds, processes and developments of their various artistic practices. The symposium will address why a feminist, decolonial approach to making memorials leads to the creation of anti-monuments that encompass sanctioned histories, silenced voices, oral traditions, and collective knowledges and practices. At the same time, the symposium offers the occasion to consider how the impermanent, tactile, participatory and generous natures of anti-monuments allow for ways to rewrite history with personal experiences and neglected accounts. Engaging people in diaspora in collective processes, these art projects have countered the silencing of voices, by amplifying those people, women in particular, that have been suppressed. 

Next to the participants, many more artists have realized temporary, large-scale art projects from a feminist, decolonial artistic position in collaboration with diasporic communities that commemorate victims of colonial oppression in public spaces. This feminist, decolonial approach to memorials evoke the idea of a monument while they do not seek to be imposing and make space for oppressed voices, oral traditions, collective knowledge and marginalized histories. In doing so, the artists add a chapter to the notions of anti-monument or counter-monument, which have been used in Europe primarily in connection with memorials to victims of the Holocaust. Recently, the notion of the antimonumentas has been used in Mexico in particular to refer to public memorials that demand justice for women who suffer from violence in the country. At the symposium, the participants will invite those present to engage in conversations about what these different concepts entail, specifically for their artistic practices and beyond.

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