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LACUA conference 2019

Esperanza/esperança/hope - Searching for hope in Latin America and Europe

Info about event


Friday 1 February 2019,  at 10:00 - 14:00


Aarhus Universitet


Latin American Centre (LACUA), Aarhus Universitet

At this conference we trace the politics of hope interconnecting both Latin America and Europe. Although far from being a homogeneous region, during recent years many parts of Latin America have seen the dismantling of democracy, backslides into violence, environmental devastation, crises of capitalism and petro-socialism - in short, politics of hopelessness. The region is enmeshed in a global context of rising nationalism, authoritarianism and incipient climate disaster. Yet, at the same time, movements and networks at civil society and grassroots level construct projects and imagine scenarios that bear, beyond outrage and protest, hope. Many of these social movements are transnational and very inspiring for European societies. Taking inspiration from notions such as "radical hope" (Jonathan Lear), "networks of hope" (Manuel Castells), "slow hope" (Christof Mauch), and “remembering hope” (Ann Rigney), we address hope not in search of definite solutions, but rather as an attempt to examine the practices and subjectivities - past and present - that sustain the anticipation of "a future goodness that transcends the current ability to understand what it is" (J. Lear).

Possible themes include:

  • The semantics of hope - How do people use the word esperanza / esperança?

  • Urban utopias - how do grassroots organizations imagine and practice the city of the future?

  • Up from violence - what futures result from peace and truth processes, how is "pacification" dreamt from below?

  • Post-extractivism/post-apocalypsis - what are the Latin American landscapes and ecologies of hope?

  • Lyrics, visuals and performances of hope - how is the good life anticipated culturally?