The 2020 International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico on 13-16 May 2020.
Améfrica Ladina, intends to take a step in the same direction as the title Nuestra América, instead of América Latina, which emphasizes the Latin tradition of this region, that is, its bonds with Europe, and hides or sets aside the participation of other populations such as amerindias or those of African origin in this process. The expression Améfrica Ladina, coined by the Afro-Brazilian intellectual Lelia González, seeks to explicitly expose the presence of these populations and mestizo populations in the social project of Nuestra América, and affirm this plural ancestry which has been disenfranchised.
Why “link worlds, knowledge and disciplines” and “weave hope”? First, because the marked conservative, exclusionary, misogynist and racist trends that characterize this recent “turn to the right” our region is confronting demand a strong, joint intellectual and political effort to explain and challenge them. Second, because the neoliberal rationality, which diffuses market values into all areas of life, has fragmented and broken the social fabric of the region and the recognition of our common humanity, increasing inequalities of class, gender, ethnicity and skin color. And, third, because in this context we need to promote the possibility of thinking about and interpreting different ways collective living and generating different collaborative practices to produce knowledge.
As the effects of this rightward shift on the continent materialize, producing a generalized despondency, it is worth turning our gaze and our expectations toward the teachings provided by many of the specific and every-day experiences of the closest neighbors of this Améfrica Ladina, in order to sustain the collective and individual, humane and inter- species life, preserving, repairing and prolonging it. They have interwoven social bonds, practicing the principles of solidarity, mutual care and reciprocal sharing. But, to what degree have these experiences impacted public policies, or have their voices been heard by the political decision-makers?
In the perspective exposed by the Améfrica Ladina Project, “Latin American” studies along with other forms of thinking linked to the struggle for depatriarchalization, emancipation and decolonization, may respond in new ways to both the intellectual and material questions and needs of this region.
The LASA2020 Congress in Guadalajara invites you to take some steps in this direction; connecting the international intellectual legacy with “ladino-amefricanas” realities and experiences, stimulating an in-depth analysis of the structure and dynamics of power and domination which includes the communications, both popular and counterpublics, on social media; promoting horizontal and interdisciplinary debate among Latin American scholars, and with the social movements; incorporating academics who focus on Latin America and communicate mainly or exclusively in English, in equal conditions, that is, without a privileged or dominant voice; promoting greater participation of indigenous intellectuals and those of African descent (women and men) in all sectors; improving opportunities for these intellectuals to participate in different academic activities that promote LASA.
We need to bring together worlds and knowledge that address the same problems from different perspectives and angles, the separation of which has been accentuated by the logic of the market and political trends to the right. We must weave hope, intellectual, social, ecological, political and cultural, in order to advance on the winding road toward a sustainable future in which Améfrica Ladina has lessons to share in survival and re-existence.