La emergencia indígena en América Latina, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico City and Santiago, Chile Bonfil Batalla, G. () ‘Lo propio y lo ajeno: una. Bonfil Batalla, Guillermo. “Lo propio y lo ajeno: una aproximación al problema del con- trol cultural.” In Pensar nuestra cultura, ed. G. Bonfil Batalla. Araujo, Alejandro. ‘Mestizos, indios, extranjeros: lo propio y lo ajeno en la definición antropológica de la nación. Manuel Gamio y Guillermo Bonfil Batalla.

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Today, the antropofagia paradigm is increasingly being displaced by what we could call the from here paradigm. Rather than critically devouring the international culture imposed by the west, artists from around the world are actively producing plural versions of that culture. The difference is in the shift from an operation of creative incorporation to one of direct international construction ajejo a variety of subjects, experiences, and cultures.

The Sphere, a foot, 45,pound steel and bronze sculpture by Fritz Koenig, used to be one more public art piece standing in front of a skyscraper. On March 11,the ruined sculpture was re-installed at Battery Park, close to its previous location at ground zero, to serve as a memorial, its initial meaning drastically transformed by the events.

The sphere is the prppio gute Form, a basic shape of perfection. Traveling through Portugal, it is amazing to see the great number of monuments that include globes made of rock or bronze, or as a recurring decorative Renaissance and Baroque element. At times we see a great globe on a pedestal: This shows us that the idea of globalization already appears symbolically in the European imaginary at the beginning of the 16th century.

Dragons are now back in the 21st century. The sphere has been violently destroyed, and a new icon did not substitute it. Is this post-sphere an icon for post-globalization?

The much-mentioned gap between art and life was overcome in a most unexpected way, by the formal and conceptual transformation of an artwork, as a result of its invasion by harsh reality.

This invasion was a real attack, but also a forced entrance of new content into the piece. But at the same time we are going through a fascinating period of transition and reshaping of the whole system of art creation, distribution and evaluation at a global scale.

Regional and international art circulation has dramatically expanded through a variety of spaces, events, circuits and electronic communications. Many of them have propitiated some of the problems just mentioned. A good example is the proliferation of unfocused small biennials all over the world, or the spectacle-oriented, mall-like big ones. The art biennial is the amazing case of a 19th century institution that is not only still alive in almost its original format, but blooming all over the world.

This institution is part of a cosmopolitan, apologetic, exhibitionist, and mainly commercial spirit. In artistic and cultural terms biennials are often considered a failure, mainly in connection with their ambitious scale, their cost, and the invested effort.

Together with the increase of international art networks there is new energy and activity going on locally in areas were, for historical, economic and social reasons one would not expect to see interesting art. Working in such places as Central America, India, Palestine or Paraguay made me witness not only vigorous and plausible artistic practices, but also the foundation of alternative spaces and a notable array of anti or non-establishment actions. But these artists are frequently well informed about other contexts, about mainstream art, or are also looking for an international projection.

Sometimes they move in, out and about local, regional and global spaces. Usually their art is not anchored in nationalistic modernism or traditional languages even when based on vernacular culture or specific backgrounds. Even in the midst of war, as in Palestine, one discovers engaging works that challenge our preconceptions and ratify to what extent artistic dynamics are increasingly decentralized.

In addition, more and more new cultural and artistic agents have been appearing in the newly expanded international art circulation. No doubt, the fact that a certain number of artists coming from every corner of the world are now exhibiting internationally only means, in itself, a quantitative internationalization.


But number is not the issue. The question for these new subjects is agency: It is necessary to cut the global pie not only with a variety of knives, but also with a variety of hands, and then share it accordingly. In a process full of contradictions, new generations of artists are beginning to transform the status quo.

They are doing so without manifestos or conscious agendas; just by creating refreshing work, by introducing new issues and meanings coming out of their diverse experiences, and by infiltrating their cultural difference in broader, somewhat more truly globalized art circuits.

Naturally, this is not a smooth path, and many challenges and contradictions remain.

Is the situation turning more rich and complex or is it being simplified by the necessary degree of standardization that a transcultural, international communication requires? Is difference being communicated and negotiated or just converted into a self-complacent taxonomy? Who exerts the cultural decisions2, and on whose benefit are they taken?

A ajdno tendency is the internal broadening of the so-called international art and art language through the intervention of a multiplicity propi actors. This is crucially important because controlling language also conveys the power to control meaning. Obviously, the very notion of center and periphery has been strongly contested in these porous times of migrations, communications, transcultural chemistries and rearticulating of power. In all corners of the planet we are witnessing signs batallx change in the epistemological ground of contemporary artistic discourses based not in difference but from difference.

The Brazilian modernists used the figure of antropofagia3 anthropophagy in order to legitimate their critical apprehension of European artistic and cultural elements, a procedure peculiar to postcolonial culture in general. Bomfil is not only a cultural strategy but also a metaphor that indicates the tendency to creatively appropriate alien cultural elements, which we find in Latin America since the early days of European colonization.

The very multi-syncretic character of Latin American culture facilitates this operation, since it turns out that the elements embraced are not totally alien. We could even say that Latin America is the epitome of these processes, given its problematic relationship of identity-difference with the west and its centers, by virtue of the specificity of its colonial history.

The practice of antropofagia has enabled us to enact and enhance our complexities and contradictions.

Only Japan beats Latin America as transcultural cannibal. Latin American anthropologists and critics have emphasized the creative and subversive aspects of these strategies bofnil re-signification, transformation, and syncretism, and how they became a paradoxical manner of constructing difference and identity.

It is a transgressive strategy from positions of dependence. It is not only a question of a dismantling of totalizations in a postmodern spirit; it also carries an anti-Eurocentric deconstruction of the self-reference of dominant models5 and, more generally, of all cultural models.

However, Antropofagia as a program is not as fluid as it seems, since it is not carried on in neutral territory but one that is subdued, with a praxis that tacitly assumes the contradictions of dependence and the postcolonial situation. Thus, the tension of who eats whom is always present.

Latin American artists have complicated to the bonifl the implications enveloped in transcultural quotation and seizure.

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Another problem is that the flow cannot always be in the same North-South direction, as the power structure commands. Regardless of how plausible the appropriating and transcultural strategies are, they imply a rebound action that reproduces the hegemonic structure, even when contesting it and taking advantage of its possibilities. A horizontal volley would also be welcome, one that could promote a truly global network of interactions toward all sides.

Rather than critically devouring the international culture imposed by the west, artists from around the world are actively producing their plural versions of that culture.

The difference is in the shift from an operation of creative incorporation to one of direct international construction from a variety of subjects, experiences and cultures.

Identities, as well as physical, cultural, and social environments are performed, rather than merely shown, thus contradicting expectations of exoticism. A tiger in the jungle does not say: I am a tiger. The metaphor emphasizes identity by action toward the outside, not identity by representation or internal assertion, as it has often been the case in postcolonial art.


Po, and not so much in, is a key word for contemporary cultural practice. Art from Latin America has strongly contributed to this dynamic. Its identity neurosis is now less serious, something that facilitates a more focused approach to art-making. It is not that they have lost interest in what happens outside art. But context tends to appear less as raw material and more as an internalized agent that constructs the text.

By this operation artists are slowly and silently democratizing the dominant canons and power relations established in the international networks and markets. This new situation carries new problems, but points toward a very plausible direction for culture in a globalized postcolonial world. It propitiates a polysemic and actively plural international environment.

III The lropio of contemporary migrations, with their cultural displacements and heterogenization, and the rising of a more dynamic and relational notion of identity, have been thoroughly discussed, especially by diasporic artists and scholars.

The vonfil on the richer country of reception and its culture by bataloa immigrant, and, moreover, its action on a global scale within a post-national projection, which includes the expansion of transnational communities, all have been fairly emphasized.

However, equally, if not more important cultural and social mutations will come from massive urbanization developing full speed in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

On the other hand, we must remember that the majority of humankind does not migrate. Another silent cultural revolution that is taking place nowadays is urban demographic growth in the so-called Third World. Now, one hundred years later, half of the globe po urban environments.

If urbanization was bonfi, of the developed world, and rural life predominated in the Third World, by urban population will prevail in the whole baralla But the crucial aspect is that two thirds of them will be living in poor countries. This urban revolution is chiefly taking place in the non-western world. Right now there are only two megalopolises7 in the United States and two others in Europe.

There are 19 in the rest of the batal,a, and their number will increase, mainly in Asia. Of the 36 megalopolises predicted in30 will be located in underdeveloped countries, including 20 in Asia. New York and Tokyo will be the only rich places to appear in bonifl list of the ten largest cities.

Guillermo Bonfil Batalla by Diana Paola Morales Lizarazo on Prezi

The cultural implications of this demographic penchant are obvious. A most important one is the complex, metamorphic and multilateral process that entails the substitution of the traditional rural environment by the urban situation, a clash that involves a massive amount of very diverse people.

Living in a city does not mean living in a house: A majority of them are children. The homeless are perhaps the ultimate city-dwellers: But a city might not be a home either.

lo propio y lo ajeno pdf merge

Before, jungles were bonfli space of danger and adventure, while cities were the protected realms of civilization. The situation has reversed nowadays: Just by going through statistics one receives strong symbolic impacts. This region, associated with small villages and tribal life, has achieved the highest rate of growing urbanization worldwide.

During the next decade, 50 million will move from the countryside to West African cities. In Lagos, with What implications will all these processes have for art and culture? Art is a very precious means to deal with cultural disjunctions and to find orientations. Many artists from the most diverse places are reacting natalla and participating in these transits.