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Essays

Vistas of Modernity – decolonial aesthesis and the end of the contemporary

We are living in a time of polarization. Cultural and educational institutions are confronted with the responsibility to provide tools and spaces for critical reflection, for engagement, and, more fundamentally, for meeting and recognizing each other in our differences. In this decolonial essay Rolando Vázquez introduces his critique which offers an option for thinking and doing beyond the dominant paradigms. It provides a critical analysis of modernity understood broadly as the western project of civilization, while it seeks to overcome the dominion of western epistemology and aesthetics and their embedded eurocentrism and anthropocentrism.

Importantly for decolonial thought we are all located in relation to the colonial difference that structures our modern/colonial order. It is only from an awareness of our positioned realities that we can enter in relation with each-other, that we can listen to each-other and learn each-other.

Vistas of Modernity is part of the essay series by the Mondriaan Fund with essays on current topics within the visual arts and heritage. Eelco van der Lingen (director Mondriaan Fund) on the essay:

“Rolando Vázquez is cautious in presenting his analysis. He does not look for quick conclusions, but slowly guides the reader through the context of our history and the contemporary labyrinth of text, language, symbols and images which (often without being properly noticed) give great meaning to our existence. His decolonial aesthesis lifts us above the labyrinth and offers us a new panorama.”

Rolando Vázquez is co-organizer of the Middelburg Decolonial Summer School. He is associate professor of Sociology at University College Roosevelt and Cluster Chair at University College Utrecht, Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Rolando Vázquez, Vistas of Modernity – decolonial aesthesis and the end of the contemporary
Language: English
182 pages
€ 15, for sale via Jap Sam Books
ISBN 978-90-76936-53-6