Décembre 2019 / July 2021
Latin American School of Thought (MCD): Modernity/Coloniality/Decoloniality
Editing a book on Race and Decoloniality with researchers working in France, Brazil and Canada. The main focus is the critical locus of knowledge, modes of being and actions leading to epistemic reconstitution within the colonial difference (Quijano/Dussel/Mignolo)
Authors/Organizers: Lenita Perrier / Luis Martinez Andrade / Alexis Martig
Book’s Title: Crossing Racial Borders
Subtitle: The epistemic empowerment of the subaltern
During the XVIe century, Europe became the political, economic and cultural hegemonic centre of the new born global capitalism, a world-system that evolved into the contemporary world order. According to the theoretical positioning of decoloniality’s critical school of thought, modernity as the material, symbolic and subjective social experience has been the expression of the new world power experience that gave rise to a global colonial matrix of power. Hence, ‘universal rationality’ has been the underlying logic of Western European control of the whole of the colonial/modern/rational capitalism that generated the entangled seminal concept of modernity/coloniality/decoloniality in the works of Peruvian sociologist Anibal Quijano and the group of scholars from this school of thought (MCD). Walter Mignolo’s contention is that: “Decolonial histories do not start from Greece but, rather, from the Atlantic detour. Without this 250-year detour (1500-1750), there would not have been a European Enlightenment” (2018, p. 378).
Within this delusive westernised ‘ideal-world-order’ framework, the aim of this book is to critically explore the contemporary lived experiences of the subaltern, i.e., the oppressed. This series of texts focuses on the identification and the analyses of the subalterns’ praxis of living, thinking, knowing and doing: their agency at work and their [inter]subjective/reflexive actions, gestures and thoughts deep-seated into subverting and resisting the material and symbolic up-down/dominant categorisation and oppression. Drawing from the sociological and anthropological scientific approach our ambition is to capture a new set of ideas and rationalities in order to uncover the complicities of modernity with coloniality (power-pattern) through new narratives and discursive epistemic-frames of empowerment and agency. That is, locating border thinking and border existence to reveal the entangled relational process of re-signifying and repositioning new material and symbolic spaces for transformative/performative critical locus of knowledge, modes of being and actions leading to epistemic reconstitution within the colonial difference.
We have, primarily, located race and racism as analytical subjects of modernity-power-pattern, relayed to the intersection of the categories of social class, gender and sexuality as capitalism’s conceptual core of domination, exploitation and othering embodiment. Hence, delinking from the Western colonial matrix of power exposes the coexistence of power differentials of lived experiences and doxa trapped in the web of Western claimed ‘superior’ ontological knowledge. Our main concern is therefore to explore and analyse different levels of investigation whereby empirical fieldwork and methodologies are positioned and contextualised within the articulation of the colonial matrix of power, i.e., modernity/coloniality/decoloniality. Likewise, we propose an in-depth reflexion, whereby this school of thought (MCD) can be reflected upon so as to reveal the specificities of the “decolonial turn” in Latin America’s contradictions or controversial arguments, assumptions, norms, rules, etc. That is, to develop a continuous reflexion upon the cultural, socioeconomic and political realities whereby the subaltern and oppressed groups can contribute to the critique of their own praxis of living, thinking, knowing and doing.
 “Quijano turned decolonization into decoloniality […] The goal of decoloniality was no longer to send the settlers home so that the natives might build their own nation-state, rather, to undertake epistemic reconstruction ̶ that is, precisely to change the terms (assumptions and rules) of the conversation rather than just the content, which were the splendours and miseries of decolonization” (Mignolo, 2018, p 380).