Latin American Racial Technologies in the 21st Century
Latin American Racial Technologies through the 21st Century
This working group takes as its starting point the dilemma of contemporary racialization in the Americas as a complex series of practices defined by both regional and national histories of coloniality, and by more recent tendencies tied to patterns of democratization and international human rights movements. Since the 1990s, the increased coordination of anti-racist, feminist, indigenous and related movements in international fora such as the United Nations have worked to challenge established constructions of nationhood, create new institutions tasked with the inclusion of previously excluded categories of people, collect statistics that portray populations as diverse, and add new media representations that challenge prevailing aesthetic and cultural frameworks. Yet colonial legacies and practices defined by historically encoded and visual epistemologies continue to overlay contemporary (and earlier, post-independence) experiences of individual, collective rights and emplaced ontologies, albeit in fragmented or inconsistent ways. The concept of “racial technologies” serves as an approach to thinking through the shifting modalities and actions of race across the Americas and across a range of discursive, historical, and geopolitical locations.