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South-South relations: engaging with new constellations and dynamics in the Global Souths


In this thematic area we would like to engage with South-South relations from an historical, sociological, political, cultural, geographical, curatorial and artistic perspective. We are interested in ideas, images and imaginations, and also utopias of what other world orders and political alliances seem possible in the processes of decolonization.

One point of departure is the 1955 Bandung Conference of Asian and African states and the resulting non-aligned movement, which also includes countries in Latin America or Oceania. After gaining independence from colonial rule and building up nation-states, for a brief moment an alternative world order with countries of the Global South forming a political alliance was imagined. We would like to get in dialogue with the afterlife of these imaginations and political ideas through Southern art works, urban strategies, organized networks, exhibitions and cultural productions, and discuss their political and socioeconomic implications in dialogue with partners from the respective countries and contexts for understanding contemporary South-South relations and their future perspectives.

While the growing economic power of some parts of the Global Souths and the relevance of South- South economic relations is gaining a lot of attention, we would like to encourage transdisciplinary research on artistic, political and social collaborations among Southern countries, cities, and actors. Theoretically, we draw on a wide range of Southern and postcolonial theories. Empirically, we would like to study among others organized networks and collaborations in the cultural field, infrastructural projects, urban and rural environments, digital cultures, art projects and exhibition spaces in the Global North and South to comprehend of the multiple South-South entanglements, alliances and cooperations. Here we draw on Dilip Menon’s notion of the Global South as a knowledge project. As Menon (2018: 37) notes, “we have to reimagine the Global South as a knowledge project which aims to bring into our intellectual discourse on the world concepts drawn from the world and not only from Euro-America.”