Decolonial AestheSis

Decolonial aestheSis asks why Western aesthetic categories like ‘beauty’ or ‘representation’ have come to dominate all discussion of art and its value, and how those categories organise the way we think of ourselves and others: as white or black, high or low, strong or weak, good or evil. And decolonial art (or literature, architecture, and so on) enacts these critiques, using techniques like juxtaposition, parody, or simple disobedience to the rules of art and polite society, to expose the contradictions of coloniality. Its goal, then, is not to produce feelings of beauty or sublimity, but ones of sadness, indignation, repentance, hope, and determination to change things in the future.

Decolonial AestheSis: Colonial Wounds/Decolonial Healings

Rolando Vazquez and Walter Mignolo

  I This dossier is one more step of the journey that began toward the end of 2009/beginning of 2010, and that already has roads planned into the future. The idea of this dossier, however, emerged in Middelburg, The Netherlands, […]

The Decolonial AestheSis Dossier

Rolando Vazquez and Walter Mignolo

In this dossier we look at the geopolitics of sensing, knowing and believing that have been at play in the variegated versions of the project decolonial aestheSis. The participants are intellectuals, curators and artist and many of them all at […]

The Observatory of the Bereaved: Unbinding the Imaginary in Eurasian Borderlands

madina tlostanova

In locales where the resources are scarce and the imperial-colonial configurations more complicated than in the West-East or North-South dichotomies, the politics of physical survival and the politics of servility towards the criminal state unfortunately dominate. There are no recipes […]

Black Europe Body Politics: Towards an Afropean Decolonial Aesthetics

alanna lockward

  The conceptualization of decolonial aesthetics[i] is fairly recent, however its points of departure — the epistemic shifts that have been challenging coloniality in the artistic and cultural practices of the Global South — are as old as the colonial […]

Decolonial AestheSis in Eastern Europe: Potential Paths of Liberation

ovidiu tichindeleanu

The postcommunist transition has been characterized in Eastern Europe by the return and rearticulation of capitalism and coloniality in this region of the world. Seen from Eastern Europe, the postcommunist transition can be understood as the top-to-bottom integration of East […]

Crossing Borders / Development of Diverse Artistic Strategies

tanja ostojic and Walter Mignolo

Introduction by Walter Mignolo Tanja Ostojić? And what is decolonially aestheSis in her work? Simply, Tanja’s work unveils the logic of coloniality through the intersectionality of the European Union’s politics of migration, gender, and sexuality. When Rolando and I invited […]


dalida maria benfield

The Panama Canal, completed in 1914, creates a borderland of North and South. The nation of Panamá was invented by it, a consequence of centuries of Spanish occupation and US imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The canal initiated […]

Decolonial AestheSis at the 11th Havana Biennial

raul moarquech ferrera balanquet and Miguel Rojas-Sotelo

  The Biennial Statement The written curatorial statement from the organizing committee of the 11th Havana Biennial arrived via email the same day that we were preparing a dossier for the Romanian magazine IDEA. As we put together a brief […]

Decolonial Moments in Hong Kong Cinema

vivian lee

Hong Kong cinema has been in a state of ambivalence for a long time despite the fact that it has always been so unambivalently commercialized. This is less a cause than a consequence of the fissured condition of cultural production […]

What/Where is "Decolonial Asia"?

hong an truong, Nayoung Aimee Kwon and Guo-Juin Hong

LOOKING BACK — The Decolonial Aesthetics Exhibition at Duke University   The Decolonial Aesthetics Exhibition (May 4-June 5, 2011) at Duke University’s Fredric Jameson Gallery and The Nasher Museum of Art, among other venues, curated installations by scholar-artists Guo-Juin Hong […]

Be.Bop 2012. Black Europe Body Politics

robbie shilliam

How do decolonial aestheSis accord with but also depart from a “post-” sensibility, be it modern, structural, or, perhaps, even colonial? Édouard Glissant is instructive in this respect, when he comments upon the metropolitan poststructural heritage as a French citizen […]