This year’s edition of Para Site’s International conference is interested in the renewed discussion throughout the world, often marked by symbolic actions if not yet by government policy, affecting what gets counted within the category of heritage, and who gets to do the counting: from the increasing debate around repatriation of looted artefacts by colonial powers to the varied and dissimilar processes of renaming and removing symbols of past eras, from India and Myanmar to Confederate America and Apartheid South Africa. China’s resurgent nationalism is also placing a (still developing) version of its imperial heritage at the core of its twenty-first century self-image. As these processes appear to occupy an increasingly prominent segment of the political discourse, with history seemingly becoming the major battlefield both for the left and for the right, we ask ourselves how can art reconfigure our collective foundational myths?
In her intervention on the second day of the conference, curator Tina Pang unpacks depictions of gender ambiguity found across Hong Kong popular culture, from mass media to consumer artefacts, between World War II and the Handover… She is followed by José Pablo Ramirez who applies the concept of plurilingual translation in an analysis on how tradition manifests and is interpreted in the work of contemporary indigenous artists from Guatemala and elsewhere. Historian and curator Marian Pastor Roces provides a critical view on the current “return” to indigeneity and the limitations of artistic practice on this topic in the Philippines.
More details here.