Giuliana Borea and I are organising a panel entitled ‘Rethinking categories of indigeneity and artistic practice’.  The panel is part of next year's Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth (ASA) conference to be held online between March 29th and April 1st 2021 and the amazing Prof. Lucia Sa will be our discussant.

Panel line-up:

“Amazonizar”: indigenous cosmopolitanism, new cities and knowledge production in Brus Rubio's art practice - Giuliana Borea 

Aesthetics of the otherwise: indigenous urban art, decolonial epistemologies and the question of indigeneity - Olivia Casagrande

Art and indigeneity in Venezuela: a complicated relationship - Alessandra Caputo Jaffe

When is indigenous art?: inventing a new question to rethink the ontology of underground indigenous groove musicians in Seoul, South Korea - Sung-Hoon Hong

The curator as a txai, the txai as a curator - Daniel Dinato

‘Making Cracks in the Walls of Museums’: Véxoa: Nós Sabemos [Véxoa: We Know] and Contemporary Indigenous Art in Brazil - Idjahure Kadiwel and Jamille Dias

Contemporary Indigenous art and antropofagia: a radical encounter - Lúcia Sá

“Indigenous” / “Afro” Theatre? Reconstructing Indigenous and Afrodescendent Lives on Stage Within and Beyond Art/Activism - Ana Vivaldi

Short abstract
How does the practice of artists who self-identify as indigenous make us rethink categories of activism, indigeneity and artistic intentionality? This panel welcomes papers that consider approaches to human rights, migration, extractivism, urban place-making, decoloniality and ontology.

Recent years have seen ever greater interest in the practice of artists who self-identify as indigenous. Reaching wider publics through internationalised frameworks of contemporary art, many such artists have become artistic and political points of reference, mobilising diverse agendas while re-addressing their own indigeneity.  Processual work with artists requires a deep sense of responsibility: it is our contention that such engagements open up new possibilities and challenges for anthropologists and indigenous peoples to establish lasting and meaningful collaborations.Starting from perspectives put forward by artists in Latin America, this panel asks how artistic practice might allow us to rethink categories of indigeneity. Do indigenous artists challenge anthropological analyses that have perhaps overlooked vectors of class and mobility? How do such processes oblige us to rethink anthropological practice in terms of a responsible discussion on the tropos of "indigeneity" in the contemporary world, not only in terms of indigenous voices but also regarding bodies, practices and networks? How might a parallel anthropological/curatorial approach facilitate arenas of collaboration and the possibility to think beyond? We also consider how artistic practice touches on global questions: Does the practice of indigenous artists through the apparatus of contemporary art enable us to rethink categories of activism and artistic practice?  To what extent can we interrogate the manner in which large institutions seek to work with 'indigenous art'? We welcome papers that consider approaches to human rights, migration, extractivism, urban place-making, decoloniality and ontology. How are indigenous artists approaching and mobilising these issues?

Image credit: Denilson Baniwa, Indigenous Land, 2017, digital print. Courtesy the artist.

auflynn [at]

Alex Ungprateeb Flynn is an Assistant Professor at the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, University of California, Los Angeles. Working as an anthropologist and curator, Alex’s practice explores the intersection of ethnographic and curatorial modes of enquiry. Researching collaboratively with activists, curators and artists in Brazil since 2007, Alex explores the prefigurative potential of art in community contexts, prompting the theorisation of fields such as the production of knowledge, the pluriversal, and the social and aesthetic dimensions of form.