Resistance Begins at Home: Anticolonialism and Visual Culture Presentation uri icon



  • This panel addresses ways that the visual cultures of colonialism were resisted, reused, subverted, satirized, neutralized, or mobilized against themselves by artists and their circles in imperial centers. Political activists and artists not only attacked colonial policies but shared a generalized rejection of imperialist assumptions across a range of cultural positions. At the turn of the twentieth century, theosophy, spiritualism, feminism, socialism, anarchism, gay-rights activism, and other political agendas inspired artists and activists to reject the dominant cultural forms of the regimes of which they were citizens. Yet art and its creators cannot transcend their historical moment; artists are necessarily both of and against their culture. Papers address what forms of culture lent themselves to such oppositional uses; what strategies artists used to transgress the discourses of colonialism; how and why artists sought particular audiences; how modernism was variously aligned with cultural politics; and how to assess the aims and achievements of artists in light of the ambitions and/or limitations of their cultural positions. 

date/time interval

  • February 9, 2011 - February 12, 2011