The postcolonial artist and the crisis-ridden ‘white’ order of Europe, a moment of transformation? This paper seeks to look at how contemporary global crises (financial, over population, and perhaps above them all in terms of its destructive potential, environmental) manifest themselves and are responded to in a European context. I am particularly interested in exploring how the relationship between the local, national, regional and pan-European is negotiated. While this can of course be examined in terms of aesthetics as the call for papers suggests, I will be more concerned with the relationship between those forms of representations that we classify as art or aesthetics, and the social reality such arts that we classify as postcolonial address. If we look at these contemporary crises, and how they are explored artistically, through a postcolonial lens, this must necessarily include a negotiation between a historical legacy produced by colonialism, and its transformations as for example the empires come back to the former metropolitan centres to roost. Europe has for long been provincialised as a cultural, social, political world centre, as Chakrabarty points out, but in what ways can a contemporary European provinciality begin to address the universal crises facing humanity? My argument is premised on the notion that the European dominance during colonialism, which guaranteed the ‘universality’ of the ‘provincial’, has left the ‘white’ majority order with nowhere to assert itself other than as the symbolic self-representation of the nation. Consequently, the artwork that seeks to speak beyond a post-imperial crisis in Europe comes from those whose identities are not trapped within such increasingly narrow configurations of identification. I wish to take this question to work on selected artistic representations, and at the time of writing am considering looking at the Chilean-Danish artist Marco Evaristti.
postcolonial; Marco Evarissti; Greenland; Climate Change
Main Research Area:
16th annual conference of the Italian Health Economics, 2011