extracolonial: reflections for action
February 12 - April 4, 2020
Latin American Speakers Series conversation with Yoshua Okón hosted at Vtape on February 13, 2020
Sur Gallery, Latin American-Canadian Art Projects, Toronto
EXTRACOLONIAL: Reflections for Action is an exhibition that brings together a group Indigenous and Latin American artists—Ulysses Castellanos, Monica Gutierrez Quintero, Yoshua Okón, and Onaman Collective—whose works examine the relationship between extractivism and colonialism as they have impacted the history of the Americas.
Ecuadorian economist Alberto Acosta describes extractivism as a “mechanism of colonial and neocolonial plunder and appropriation.” The term refers to the exportation and marketization of natural resources extracted from developing nations at the hands of greater economic powers.
The gathered works propose alternate activist models to address the sustained systems of inequality seeded in this legacy of natural resource exploitation, including the uneven movement of capital, expropriation of Indigenous ancestral lands, deterioration of the natural landscape, and instances of civil unrest.
Responding to global calls for action, the artists in this exhibition offer new points of entry into a series of complex causes and histories centered on the commodification of natural wealth. Looking beyond policy and approaching art as activism, their works expose entrenched systems of oppression, putting forward strategies to undermine extractivist profiteering.