Summer 2011: Art and Resistance

July 24–August 13, 2011
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

Faculty: Diana Taylor, Jesusa Rodríguez with Reverend Billy and Savitri D, Julio Pantoja
Guest lecturer
, Claudio Lomnitz (Columbia University)
Guest workshop
, Elena Climent

Teaching Assistants: Kaitlin McNally-Murphy, Leticia Robles, Marcos Steuernagel

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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 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 Rodriguez will lead an intensive one-week performance workshop that will culminate in a public ‘acción’ as part of the course.  Rev. Billy and Savitri D will offer workshops and topics for debate. Julio Pantoja will lead a photography workshop.  The role of ‘acciones,’ protest, and photography will also be part of the discussion.  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. The final project will be a collaborative one—to develop an online manifesto of Art and Resistance.

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.