Modern Architecture historiography and Latin America: postcolonial challenges to overcome silences and biases

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17th International Docomomo Conference - Modern Design: Social Commitment and Quality of Life, Proceedings
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Zein R.V.
Torrent H.
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© Design: Social Commitment and Quality of Life, Proceedings.All rights reserved.In a seminal article published in 1999 Sybel Bozdogan reflects on the pressing postcolonial challenges of the architectural history field, asking for adequate ways to “expose the biases and exclusions of the western canon without discarding it altogether”2, and how to “include the hitherto excluded and marginalized 'others' without either neutralizing their differences or essentializing these differences into incommensurable and timeless categories”3. Two decades later these are still open questions. This paper addresses the importance of debating ways to “resist the naturalization of differences by a [hypocritical] benign inclusion”4 arguing that expanding the field should be much more than just the indulgent act of allowing 'others' to have their 'peripheral place'. It briefly considers the inception and usefulness of the historiographical category “Latin American Architecture” the risks of its use in global debates, and how the plurality may become a mild inclusion and not an effective instrument of change of the status quo. It suggests ways to establish proper paths to fulfil the postcolonial challenge of building a comprehensive planetary vision of modern architecture history - considering Latin America, and beyond it.
Assuntos Scopus
Latin America , Latin americans , Modern architectures , Pressung , Status quo