Contemporaneity and transition: perspectives from the South of Europe


Contemporaneity and transition: perspectives from the South of Europe

Centro Cultural La Corrala, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Wednesday 17 October 2018, 10 a.m – 8 p.m

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Forty years after the approval of the Spanish Constitution, which opened the door to the democratization of the country and replaced a Bourbon at the head of state, the transition continues to be a disputed territory, a historical signifier that can be linked to other different meanings in order to take a stand and gain legitimacy in the present. Since 2008, in the wake of the emergence of new political actors and sensibilities in a context of deep economic crisis, the transition has been a recurring theme in the political and cultural arena. In recent years, many works have appeared that analyze the failures of this process, so often mythologized, from different points of view. However, there is still much to think about and learn about the role of practices of symbolic production during the transition process. Much has been written about the transition in historical, social and political terms, and relatively little about its imagery, about the visual construction of its memories or about the relationships between artistic practices, social movements, political organizations and historical dynamics. This seminar aims to fill this gap by questioning the process of transition from the territory of contemporary art and visual culture.

On the other hand, we cannot ignore the international situation in which the Spanish transition took place, almost in parallel with those of Portugal and Greece. The so-called “Third Wave of Transitions” allowed the three Mediterranean countries to move from dictatorial regimes of a very different nature to parliamentary democratic systems. In the last decade, the limitations of these processes and the problems arising from the subsequent European integration of the three countries have become apparent. The crisis of the sovereign debt and the resulting austerity measures imposed from Brussels have triggered major tensions between the European Union and its southern members, but also between the governments of Spain, Greece and Portugal and the social movements that are trying to resist the dismantling of the welfare state. From a moment marked by the European economic and institutional crisis, we are interested in thinking about the connections between the transitions of these three countries, reconsidering their political and cultural legacies, the artistic projects that have tried to evaluate their memories, as well as the echoes of those processes in a turbulent present.

Program (provisional):

9.30 >Presentation by Darío Corbeira, María Ruido, Juan Albarrán.

10.00 >Lecture by Kostis Kornetis

11.30 > Break

11.45 >Roundtable “Memories of struggle and repression”: David Moriente, Alberto Berzosa, Lola Lasurt and Lidia Mateo

14.00 > Lunch

17.45 > María Ruidoabout Plan Rosebud

19.00 > Conversation with  María Ruido


Read the report on the seminar by Alvaro Giménez Ibañez

Seminar organized in the framework of the research project investigación MoDe(s)2 – Descentralized Modernities: art, politics and counterculture in the transatlantic axis during the Cold War. HAR2017-82755-P.

Organizers: Brumaria, MoDe(s)2, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.