ECLLA - 2024 - COLLOQUE Decolonizing the Avant-Garde

ECLLA - COLLOQUE International Decolonizing the Avant-Garde, I :Decolonizing the Postwar Avant-Garde in the West

The American University of Paris

This symposium is convened by Sascha Bru (University of Leuven), Fabrice Flahutez (Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne), Iveta Slavkova American University of Paris) and Isabel Wünsche (Constructor University, Bremen).

This symposium is part of a larger, three-year collaborative research initiative that seeks to explore how we can decolonize the post-1945 history and idea of the avant-garde.

 I. The Paris Symposium:

As the avant-garde often has been regarded as a typically Western phenomenon, it is perhaps to the West that we should turn first in an attempt to decolonize the post-1945 avant-garde.
This first symposium explores the impact of colonization and colonialism within Europe's, Northern America's and Australia’s geographical borders on post-1945 practices of artists related to the avant-garde across races and ethnicities.

Questions addressed include: How can we decolonize the post-1945 avant-garde within the West? What aspects of art and artists' trajectories and positionalities require special attention in this undertaking? What experimental artists or artists' formations in the West have been largely neglected and why? To what extent do creative decolonizing practices set forth by avant-garde artists from the West shed light on these issues? What, if any, alternative view(s) of 'the West' did the avant-garde give shape to and circulate? And when all is said and done, how do answers to these questions alter our understanding of 'the avant-garde'? Does it still make sense, for example, to talk about a 'Western' (neo-)avant-garde, or is a different nomination called for?

Far from aiming to be exhaustive, this symposium offers an exploratory forum for debate and exchange. That is why each paper (30’) is followed by 15’ of discussion, and why the symposium also closes with a plenary debate.


Participation, in-person or online, is free, but registration is required:


Future Iterations :
For more information about future symposia within this project, keep an eye on the site:





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