Event Date: 6 April 2017
Birkbeck School of Arts
43 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PD
The Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS) at Birkbeck University of London presents:
‘Landscapes of Abandonment’ Roundtable
To accompany Freddy Dewe Mathews’ exhibition ‘El Encanto’ at the Peltz Gallery, ‘Landscapes of Abandonment’ considers the histories of the Putumayo region in Colombia and the challenges of a critical artistic practice that interrogates the legacies of exploitative activities on abandoned places.
After an introduction by Dr Luciana Martins (Birkbeck), there will be short presentations by Dr Jordan Goodman (UCL), Dr Leslie Wylie (Leicester), and Dr Ignacio Acosta (Brighton) followed by a Q&A session and a wine reception.
Jordan Goodman is an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at UCL. He has written extensively in the fields of economic history, history of science and medicine, environmental history and cultural history. He is currently writing a book about the eighteenth-century naturalist and President of the Royal Society, Joseph Banks (HarperCollins, due 2019). His book The Devil and Mr Casement (London and New York 2009) chronicled the crimes against humanity perpetrated in the Putumayo rubber region in the early twentieth century and the role played by the Irish humanitarian, Roger Casement, in exposing them internationally.
Lesley Wylie is Associate Professor of Latin American Studies at the University of Leicester, where she specializes in writing on and from the Amazon and Colombian literature and culture. In 2016 the Leverhulme Trust awarded her a Fellowship for her latest project on ‘The Poetics of Plants in Latin American Literature’. She is the author of Colonial Tropes and Postcolonial Tricks: Rewriting the Jungle in the novela de la selva (2009), Colombia’s Forgotten Frontier: A Literary Geography of the Putumayo (2013), and co-editor of Surveying the American Tropics: A Literary Geography from New York to Rio (2013).
Ignacio Acosta is a London based, artist working with photography and exploring power dynamics in minerals, geographies and historical narratives. In the series Copper Geographies he investigates the links between distressed ecologies of copper exploitation in the Atacama Desert, Chile and global centres of consumption and trade in Britain. Acosta understands landscape as a cultural construction; the result of problematic images, whose supposed innocence and peacefulness needs to be demystified. He is interested in challenging the viewer to reflect on what is lurking behind idyllic landscapes that can expresses the impact of capitalism.
The roundtable will be followed by a private view of the exhibition at the Peltz Gallery.