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Art and decoloniality

Art et décolonialité

Figures de l’art n° 42, revue d’études esthétiques

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Published on Thursday, December 08, 2022


The question of a “decolonization of knowledge”, instilled in large part by cultural and postcolonial studies, today questions all of our university fields. Decolonization studies have nowadays acquired a wide audience in Anglo-Saxon universities.



The question of a “decolonization of knowledge”, instilled in large part by cultural and postcolonial studies, today questions all of our university fields. Decolonization studies have nowadays acquired a wide audience in Anglo-Saxon universities.

If this current of thought, whose precise contours are impossible to determine, proposes, in particular, to link the decolonization of knowledge to social and political actionson the ground, its most relevant contribution lies in the continuation of the reflection on “deconstruction” (a key term within postcolonial studies). It is indeed a question, not of "destroying", but of dismantling the presuppositions from which ideas, concepts and practices were able to build themselves in order to give them a new meaning and finally make visible their harmful and their stigmatizing effects.

In addition, following the example of postcolonial studies, many activist associations, qualified for some as “radicals”, claim the discourse of decolonial studies (Nicolas Bancel, 2019).

In France, this question weighs on many political, epistemological, institutional and disciplinary debates, with their passions and their polemics. These debates have repercussions in the field of reflection on art and culture, as well as on the practice of the arts. Artists, art historians, museum curators, and exhibition curators now explicitly refer to the theoretical field of postcolonial and decolonial.

Within contemporary production (known as “resistance” or even “activist”) artistic practices denounce a series of oppressions and alienations considered to be intrinsically linked to each other: Critique of neoliberal planetary capitalism and major catastrophes ecological – denunciation of wars, commercial conflicts and technological cyber perils – rejection of totalitarianism, nationalism and religious fundamentalism – defense of the rights of minorities and immigrant populations – adherence to feminist, anti-racist and LGBTQ struggles. All of this constitutes the framework for so-called “reactive” artistic productions (Christine Macel, 2020) within which postcolonial and decolonial struggles find their place.

This issue of the journal of Aesthetic Studies Figures de l'art, far from the controversies that often stand in the way of a real scientific debate, proposes to analyze the impacts of the phenomenon of "decolonization" both within the sciences of the art, than within artistic practices. It is a question of evaluating the possible epistemological and methodological repercussions, as well as the possible changes of objects of study and artistic approaches that this “question of the decolonial” may have given rise to.

This issue therefore proposes to study artistic productions, characteristics of this movement and the proposals that accompany it aiming to transcend the conditions of submission of yesteryear, to remove the remaining stigmata and to free oneself from a "cultural intimacy and epistemic with the former coloniser” (Enrique Dussel, 2000).

A few questions, non-exclusive and presented here in a non-exhaustive way, can serve as a common thread in the preparation of this issue:

  • Does the “decolonial” make a break with the “postcolonial” or not?
  • How “the coloniality of the matrix of power” (Anibal Quijano, Ramon Grosfoguel, Santiago Castro-Gomez, 2007 and Walter Mignolo, 2011), having resisted postcolonial independence movements and criticism, continues to manifest itself in the practices of the arts, in the institutions of the art world and in their theoretical approaches?
  • What are the contemporary legacies of a "colonial period", still in progress and still in the process of being constantly grasped and recaptured by different actors from the political world and the art world?
  • Can the combative dimension of decoloniality also be creative in the field of the arts?
  • Does the impact of the postcolonial and the decolonial in the sphere of the arts contribute to the construction of a “radical ethical critique”?
  • Can we perceive, within artistic manifestations and their theoretical substrates, the impact of the postcolonial and the decolonial in the emergence of an art aimed at a specific community?

URL: https://figuresdelart.fr/

Submission guidelines

Proposals must be sent to the following addresses:

  • nicolas.nercam@u-bordeaux-montaigne.fr
  • myriamodileb@gmail.com
  • cecile.croce@iut.u-bordeaux-montaigne.fr
  • Martine.Bovo@u-bordeaux-montaigne.fr
  • mathilde.bertrand@u-bordeaux-montaigne.fr
  • bernard.lafargue9@gmail.com

no later than Wednesday, February 15, 2023.

These proposals will be presented in the form of a summary (5 to 6000 characters including spaces) accompanied by 5 keywords and a bibliography of a maximum of 8references. The research problem, objectives and methodology will be clearly stated.

The authors will add a short biography, of a maximum of ten lines, mentioning their full contact details (status, institution of attachment and email).

  • Friday, April 14, 2023: back to the authors of the proposals.
  • Thursday July 13, 2023: receipt of complete articles (between 20,000 and 30,000 characters including spaces)
  • Friday, September 22, 2023: submission of final versions of articles by authors
  • Publication of the n° 42 of the magazine Figures de l’Art scheduled for December 2023.

The articles will be the subject of a double anonymous expert review.

Guest editor

Nicolas Nercam, université Bordeaux-Montaigne


  • Wednesday, February 15, 2023


  • art, décolonialité, colonialisme, héritage contemporain


  • Nicolas Nercam
    courriel : nicolas [dot] nercam [at] u-bordeaux-montaigne [dot] fr

Information source

  • Thomas Brunel
    courriel : thomas_brunel [at] hotmail [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Art and decoloniality », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Thursday, December 08, 2022, https://doi.org/10.58079/1a5p

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