“Ecologies of Movement” – Madrid, June 13-14 2024

Image by Victor Barros.

Colonial and imperial systems—as well as the forms of collective resistance that have challenged them—have facilitated and conditioned the circulation of people, ideas, and experiences; the movement of technologies, images, and objects; and the transnational flow of desires, affects, and always changing, fluid identities. These forms of circulation are historical but also contemporary, and their reverberations make visible material traces and epistemic realities that elucidate a wide variety of practices within and in opposition to imperial ways of life.

Drawing on the discussions and debates that are central to the TRACTS network, this seminar and workshop brings together researchers, artists, and practitioners to consider how these circulations might give way to working methodologies rooted in cross-disciplinary exchange and collective/collaborative learning. The 2-day event will focus on tracking critical approaches to colonialism, its legacies, and the forms of resistance that have and continue to challenge the forms of violence and oppression central to it. Reflecting on a series of topic, such as colonial ecology, racial capitalism, and imperial memory, as well as the forms of solidarity that emerged from emancipatory projects of resistance, the event will consider how moments of political change are privileged contexts for rethinking the circulation of persons, ideas,
images, objects, cultural repertoires, and the ecologies of movement that challenge colonial epistemologies, forms of relation, and ways of being.

While this event does not commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution—an event forced by actions carried out in Africa by liberation movements of Portuguese colonies that marked the end of the Estado Novo dictatorship regime and its colonial project—it does engage with these events from a critical perspective, approaching this anniversary as an opportunity to think critically about
colonialism, the genealogies of contemporary racism, legacies of empire, difficult colonial pasts, and the politics of commemoration.
At the same time, it uses the Portuguese case as a point of departure for expanding how we think about revolutions and counter revolutions, about political transitions and other paradigm shifts. To do this in the Spanish context, where Franco’s fascist project, as well as a much more extensive history of colonial expansion, ended not in revolution but rather in silence, provides room to consider how the history of European fascism and imperialism overlap, how resistance to both were both local and transnational, and how culture was mobilized in multiple contexts as an important tool of resistance.

Finally, this event seeks to create a collective space in which to reflect upon the framework of
memory and the concept of the trace as points of departure for sparking new forms of circulation and movement through which forms of solidarity, collective emancipatory projects, and their imaginaries have created and continue to create futures otherwise.