Apr 8, 2010–Jan 2, 2011


Focusing on: 200 years of independence movements in Latin America

Concerts, Films, Exhibition, Discussions

200 years ago, the independence movement began in Latin America that led to liberation from Spanish colonial rule. The term “Bicentenario” for the events of 1809-11 is certainly thought of as being controversial in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. For the “Bicentenario” at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, artists and intellectuals, musicians and writers, theater directors and filmmakers from Latin America will develop a more differentiated view of the continent’s political, social and artistic relationships.

The focus begins April 2010 with an homage to the Uruguayan music star Rubén Rada in the series “Lifelines.” With his new interpretation of the Candombe culture on the Río de la Plata, Rubén Rada brought the repressed history of the African diaspora into the public consciousness of Uruguay and Argentina. The history of the indigenous and Afro-American population has been consistently ignored by the Creole elites of Latin America.

The project “The Potosí Principle”—which opens May 2010 at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, October 2010 in Berlin and 2011 in La Paz, Bolivia—reflects on a particular aspect of colonial history. It features monumental colonial paintings from the Potosí School—never before shown outside of Bolivia—and works by contemporary artists responding to the systematic exploitation of the Viceroyalty of Peru. The exhibit shows that not only commodities but also images, material and ideological, were transported from colonial Latin America to Europe, while the indigenous cultures were inundated with Christian iconography.

Furthermore, structures of globalization are just as inherent here as the constants of the dominant pictures of the world that should be called into question.

In advance of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt is organizing two literary programs: “Proof/Read” and “Argentina en el equipaje,” which is part of this year’s Latinale Program of young literary voices from the host country, Argentina. The program, curated by Timo Berger and Rike Bolte, and others, refers to Argentina’s vast experience as an exemplary immigration and emigration country. We are also planning a joint venture with the social and artistic publishing project “Eloisa Cartonera,” which was founded after the economic collapse in Buenos Aires and now has branches throughout the rest of Latin America: given the growing number of “cartoneros,” who make their living from waste paper and waste recycling, the Argentine author Washington Cucurto started a publishing company which produces inexpensive books for the general public as well as jobs for cartoneros.