In the Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization – Call for papers

Dear Colleagues,

From 24-27 October 2013, the Indigeneity in the Contemporary World Project will host a major international conference in Central London, U.K. This interdisciplinary event, entitled ‘*In The Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization*,’ examines the power and precariousness of indigeneity as a politicized cultural force in our unevenly connected world. The conference is planned in conjunction with a 17-day international festival and a performance-based exhibition, both focusing on First Nations Arts. Keynote speakers are *Faye Ginsburg, Michael Greyeyes, Tracy Devine Guzmán* and *Margaret Werry. Deadline for proposals: *30 April 2013

Further details, when available will be posted at

Genner Llanes-Ortiz
Postdoctoral Research Associate Indigeneity in the Contemporary World: Performance, Politics, Belonging Royal Holloway,
University of London
Professor Helen Gilbert
Indigeneity in the Contemporary World Project Centre for International Theatre and Performance Research Royal Holloway,
University of London
If indigeneity and globalization are seen to articulate (with) each other in cultural as well as political spheres, what hangs in the balance? Working through the analytical window of performance in a range of sites and modalities, this interdisciplinary conference examines the power and the precariousness of indigeneity as a politicized cultural force in our unevenly connected world. The growing visibility of artistic networks and ideological coalitions among indigenous peoples on a transnational scale urges a fresh look at the mechanisms of cultural entanglement and the particular rights and insights afforded by indigeneity in that process. Cast as an ethical touchstone in some arenas and a thorny complication in others, indigeneity now matters in global debates about natural resources, heritage, governance, representation and social justice, to name just some of the contentious issues that continue to stall the unfinished business of decolonization. Indigenous arts, simultaneously attuned to local voices and global cultural flows, have often been the vanguard in communicating what is at stake in such debates, to international as well as grass-roots audiences. At the same time, the global circulation of indigenous arts as cultural capital has affected the ways in which indigeneity is activated and understood across different social and aesthetic platforms. Our explicit focus on performance is designed to probe the specificities of these related movements at the level of embodied praxis. It should also prompt questions about the interactions, contradictions, disjunctions, opportunities, exclusions, injustices and aspirations that globalization entails.The conference will be held in central London in conjunction with two international events: the Origins Festival of First Nations and a performance-based exhibition, Ecocentrix: Indigenous Arts, Sustainable Acts. An extensive film programme is included. Expected participants in these events include Marrugeku, Peter Morin, Marie Clements, Rosanna Raymond, Fiona Foley, Charles Te Ahukaramū Royal and Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Cine y Comunicación de los Pueblos Indígenas.Proposals might bring indigeneity, performance and globalization into dialogue in reference to any of the topics listed below:

§ indigenous diasporas or cosmopolitanisms

§ (inter)cultural contact zones

§ anti-globalization movements

§ sovereignty, governance and citizenship

§ protests and activism

§ advocacy, collaboration, networks

§ democracy and the public sphere

§ mobility, locality and geopolitics

§ digital performance, hybrid arts practices

§ local/global platforms

§ branding, tourism, touring circuits

§ belonging, affect and the senses

§ mega-events and spectacle

§ languages, epistemologies

§ resources, ecologies, environments

§ margins and mainstreams

§ reconciliation/reparation movements

§ heritage, transmission, repatriation

§ curating and mediating events

Presentations are invited from, but not limited to, the disciplines of indigenous studies, film, dance, theatre, music, postcolonial studies, anthropology, cultural studies, politics, geography, history, sociology, and philosophy. We are especially interested in contributions that explore the participatory, phenomenological thickness of performance as a means of communication and the material processes involved in its making. While the focus is on indigenous cultures in or from the Americas, Australia, the Pacific and South Africa, outstanding proposals on topics outside this scope will be considered. Performative presentations are welcome.

 Send 250-word abstracts for 20-minute presentations and a short biography to Helen Gilbert and Dani Phillipson at by 30 April 2013. The main language of the conference is English though we welcome proposals in other languages and will facilitate translation for those wanting to speak in Spanish, French or Portuguese.

 This event is funded by the European Research Council project, ‘Indigeneity in the Contemporary World: Performance, Politics, Belonging’, led by Professor Helen Gilbert, Royal Holloway, University of London. Details will be posted at:


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