Transnational solidarity and visual culture: resistance and revolutionary memories from WWII to the Cold War


International symposium

Transnational solidarity and visual culture: resistance and revolutionary memories from WWII to the Cold War

Université Grenoble Alpes, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme

24 & 25 June, 2019


This international symposium aims to open up an innovative field of research on transnational solidarity movements crisscrossing cultural history and visual culture. This approach seeks to explore the role of visual culture as a transnational vehicle for collective dissent and consciousness, and its agency in shaping social movements through international networks of resistance.

We propose a framework that transcends national boundaries and connects movements, ideologies and practices between the Southern and Northern hemispheres. Indeed, despite apparent differences between geographical contexts, visual production developed by, or in connection with, solidarity movements, and can thus be considered as part of a transnational culture of resistance across Western, Eastern European and Third World geographies.

This symposium therefore aims to provide a deterritorialized mapping of solidarity movements in order to understand the connections between politically radical practices and a visual culture of resistance. This mapping is necessary to expose a history of transnational solidarity movements where visual and performative practices were central to a politics of solidarity and resistance. Important to this analysis will hence be a consideration of visual culture as social practice, and visual culture as social action.

The symposium will be attended by doctoral students, young researchers and established researchers whose work links visual and artistic practices with the political and cultural history of solidarity movements from the Second World War to the fall of the Berlin Wall. We are particularly interested in exploring the processes of transfer and exchange, focusing on networks and the circulation of images, people (artists, filmmakers, photographers) and ideologies. It seeks to show how these networks have shaped a transnational visual culture of resistance, while adapting to local contexts and political struggles.

The official languages of the conference will be English and French.

Report Report Multimedia Multimedia


Monday 24 JuneTuesday 25 June

9.30-9.40 > Registration

9.40-10.00 >  Welcome and introduction, Paula Barreiro López (LARHRA, Université Grenoble Alpes), Fabiola Martínez Rodríguez (Saint Louis University, Madrid) and Sonia Kerfa (ILCEA4, Université Grenoble Alpes)

Session 1 – Graphic cultures : Towards a visual aesthetics of solidarity and resistance 
Chairs: Jaime Vindel (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and Paula Barreiro López (LARHRA, UGA)

10.00-10.40 > Émilie Blanc (Université Rennes-2), L’affiche comme expression visuelle de résistance et de solidarité : échanges transnationaux depuis la Californie du Nord dans les années 1960 et 1970

10.40-11.20 > Debra Lennard (The Graduate Center, City University of New York), Solidarity in Print: A Poster for OSPAAAL by Jane Norling

11.20-11.45 > Coffee break

11.45-12.25 > Megan Strom (University of California, San Diego), Visuals as Resistance: Images of Transnational Student Solidarities in Cold War Uruguay

12.25-13.05 > Laura Ramírez Palacio (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Visual reverberations: mapping solidarity networks with Nicaragua and El Salvador in the 1980s

13.05-14.30 > Lunch break

14.30-15.30 > Keynote by Cristina Cuevas-Wolf (Independent scholar and curator), Montage, radical solidarity, and the Vietnam war: Entangled cultural politics of the Left, 1964-1975

Session 2

Soft power? Cultural agency, networks and exhibitions
Chair: Olga Fernández López (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

15.30-16.10 > Isabel Plante (Conicet, UNSAM), Solidarity Exhibitions. Worldwide Circulation of Chilean Arpilleras and the Resistance of Softness

16.10-16.30 > Coffee break

16.30-17.10 > Juliane Debeusscher (Universitat de Barcelona-LARHRA, Université Grenoble Alpes), A transnational community in resistance? Attempts to raise a third front (1977)

17.10-17.50 > Anita Orzes (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid-LARHRA, Université Grenoble Alpes), Curatorial Solidarity Networks? The Havana Biennial and its systemic triad (1984- 1989)

Session 3

Mechanisms of solidarity, Third Cinema, and montage
Chair: Sonia Kerfa (ILCEA4, UGA) and Jacopo Galimberti (University of Manchester)

10.00-10.40 > Alejandro Pedregal (University Wide Art Studies), “And Only the Light Should Be Seen”: The Common Appearance of Latin American Testimonio and Third Cinema

10.40-11.20 > Miguel Errazu (Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, UNAM), For a Revolutionary Cultural Politics: The Mexican Front of Cultural Workers in the Aftermath of the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua and the Exemplary Experience of Third Cinema

11.20-11.45 > Coffee break

11.45-12.25 > John Nieuwenhuys (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Domestiquer, produire et diffuser les images de la révolution. Ou comment la solidarité pro- palestinienne en Belgique a participé aux expériences d’un cinéma du réel et de l’errance (1969-1975)

12.25-13.05 > Olivier Hadouchi (chercheur associé à l’IRCAV (Paris 3) et programmateur indépendant), Cinéma : solidarité internationale & luttes de libération tricontinentale(s)

13.05-15.00 > Lunch break

14.00-15.00 > Lunch break activity: Projection and debate around the documentary David Alfaro Siqueiros: la década de la rebeldía (1960) (Mexico 2019) by Irener Herner in conversation with Fabiola Martínez Rodríguez.

Session 4

Transnational collaborations and global fraternity
Chair: Fabiola Martínez (Saint Louis University Madrid)

15.00-15.40 > Fabiana Serviddio (Conicet/UNTREF, Argentine), A Pan-American network for the Allies. Hemispheric collaborations during WWII

15.40- 16.20 > Stephanie Gonçalves (FNRS/Université libre de Bruxelles), Les chorégraphies « universelles » de Maurice Béjart au prisme de la paix : corps dansant transnational et esthétique de la solidarité

16.20-16.45 > Coffee break

16.45-17.45 > Keynote by Bojana Piškur (Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana), Southern Constellations: The Poetics of the Non-Aligned.

17.45-18.30 > Roundtable discussion chaired by Paula Barreiro López and Fabiola Martínez Rodríguez: with Irene Herner (UNAM), Cristina Cuevas Wolf, Sonia Kerfa and Olga Fernández.

Download the poster and the program

Consult the CFP

Paula Barreiro López (LARHRA, Université Grenoble Alpes)
Fabiola Martínez Rodríguez (Saint Louis University, Madrid)
Sonia Kerfa (ILCEA4, Université Grenoble Alpes)

Scientific committee
Paula Barreiro López (LARHRA, Université Grenoble Alpes)
Juliane Debeusscher (Universitat de Barcelona-LARHRA, Université Grenoble Alpes)
Olga Fernández López (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Jacopo Galimberti (University of Manchester)
Sonia Kerfa (ILCEA4, Université Grenoble Alpes)
Fabiola Martínez Rodríguez (Saint Louis University, Madrid)
Jaime Vindel (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

Symposium organized in the framework of the international platform MoDe(s)2 – Modernidad(es) Descentralizada(s): arte, política y contracultura en el eje transatlántico durante la Guerra Fría. HAR2017-82755-P, as the first activity of the project Ré.Part – Partisan Resistance(s): Visual culture, collective imagination and revolutionary memory of the Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpes (LARHRA). 

With the support of Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble INP and ILCEA4 (Institut des Langues et Cultures d’Europe, Amérique, Afrique, Asie et Australie) and Saint Louis University Madrid.