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The Colombian Strike: A Historical and Political Conversation

Sun June 27 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT

Photo by Ken Walton on Creative Commons.


On April 28 of 2021, Colombians organized a massive general strike against the neoliberal regime of President Iván Duque, galvanized around his deeply regressive tax reform. The strike, however, has a longer history. Outraged by the ongoing extrajudicial killings of social leaders, enforced disappearance of peasants, continuous reports of state crimes—named in Colombia with the euphemism of false positives—and the constant intimidation that especially black and indigenous people continue to face in their territories, when seeking to protect them from state-sponsored extractivism, the people took to the streets. Indigenous people’s historical Mingas, black people’s continuous mobilization to force the state to respect their constitutional right to prior consultation, as well as the massive student movement around the MANE (Mesa Amplia Nacional Estudiantil), and the general strike of 2019, are all important antecedents to the ongoing strike of 2021. In this webinar, we will historically contextualize the strike, while attending, too, to what is unique about some of its most democratically instructive dimensions, and its vulnerabilities too. Register Here.

Speakers and Moderator:

Kevin Young will be moderating the event. Young is a Professor of History at UMASS Amherst. He is the author of the book “Blood of the Earth: Resource Nationalism, Revolution, and Empire in Bolivia” (2017)

Andrés Fabián Henao Castro is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Before joining UMB, he was the Karl Lowenstein Fellow at Amherst College, and then held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory at the University of Bologna. His research deals with the relationships between ancient and contemporary political theory, via the prisms of decolonial theory, feminist psychoanalysis, critical theory and poststructuralism. His current book manuscript, Antigone in the Americas: Democracy, Sexuality and Death in the Settler Colonial Present, criticizes the theoretical reception of Sophocles’ tragedy, Antigone, in democratic theory, queer theory, psychoanalysis, deconstruction and the theory of biopolitics by foregrounding the settler colonial logics of capitalist accumulation by which subject-positionsare aesthetically distributed in the play and its theoretical reception. His research has been published in Settler Colonial Studies, Theoria, Theory & EventRepresentationLa Deleuziana, Theatre SurveyContemporary Political TheoryHypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, among others. He is also a member of the international research network Performance Philosophy.

Angélica Maria Bernal is Associate Professor of Political Sci­ence at UMass Amherst and faculty affiliate with the Center for Latin American, Latinx and Caribbean Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Her research and teaching focus on issues of popular power, constitutional change, decolonial theory and politics, and indigenous social movements and resistance in the Americas.  Her first book Beyond Origins: Rethinking Founding in a Time of Constitutional Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2017) was named the 2018 Foundations of Political Theory First Book Award Honorable Mention by the American Political Science Association.  She is the editor of De La Exclusión a la Participación: Pueblos Indígenas y sus Derechos Colectivos en el Ecuador (Abya Yala Press, 2000) and a former and current Fulbright Fellow to Ecuador. Bringing together a hemispheric and comparative theory approach, her new project centers on emergent philosophies of nature and anticolonial resistance surrounding indigenous struggles to fight against natural resources extraction in the Americas.

Co-sponsored by Latin America Solidarity Coalition of Western Massachusetts


Sun June 27
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT
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