Decolonisation has become a buzzword. In this talk, researcher Francisco Godoy Vega takes a personal approach to this concept and recounts his childhood in Chile’s post-dictatorship years from 1990 onwards.
“When I was a little boy, my father would not cross the landmark of Plaza Italia uptown. It represented an invisible border in the urban area of Santiago. I, in my aspirational adolescence during Chile’s post-dictatorship era, just wanted to go uptown past Plaza Italia. Plaza Italia and above is where the wealthy white Spanish/European colonial descendants live; below that landmark the racialised and impoverished live. In this local example we find the world’s foundational racial and economic dividing line reproduced, which forms the basis of Eurocentric modernity.” — Francisco Godoy Vega
Francisco Godoy Vega reflects on the decolonial and the survival of the non- heteronormative, non-white and non-Christian bodies, from the context of his childhood memories and where he finds the world today. He touches upon questions including, is it really possible to decolonise the self, the common, the institutions, the nation-states? Who is decolonising whom? Who needs to understand whom? Is it possible to decolonise without violence? Which memories are alive today to reconnect with the processes of decolonisation? Who is hurt by decolonisation and who is freed?
Francisco Godoy Vega is a QPOC writer, artist and curator based in Madrid. He has a PhD in Art History and Visual Culture and is member of Colectivo Ayllu. He has published books including Exhibition as Recolonization (2018) and has curated exhibitions such as All Shades of Anger at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain (2018).
Brook Garru Andrew (moderator) is an Australian Wiradjuri artist, curator and scholar. His practice imagines alternative futures and challenges limitations imposed by ongoing colonial actions to re-centre Indigenous ways of being. He is co-curator of a group show on caring, repairing and healing which will be presented at the Gropius Bau in 2022.