Sharjah Art Foundation

March Meeting 2023: The Postcolonial Constellation: Art, Culture, Politics after 1960

9 March — 12 March, 2023


Christopher J. Lee moderating the panel, titled Revisiting the Global 1960s with Mahvish Ahmad, Zeina Maasri (remote), Jelena Vesić and Zoé Whitley at March Meeting. Sharjah Art Foundation, 2023


The period spanning the late 1950s to early 1970s was marked by major transformations and turbulent events worldwide. Yet, the bulk of the scholarship on it has remained predominantly western-focused, with emphasis on counterculture movements such as the hippies, or events such as Woodstock festival, the Cold War rivalry, the space and arms race, and the Civil Rights Movement in the USA and North America. There is also a corpus of literature on European events such as the Prague Spring or the May 68 student uprising in Paris. However, emerging scholarship on the 1960s has begun to offer more transnational perspectives.

This panel focuses on parallel events in other parts of the world, including the decolonisation and independence movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as the resistance to settler colonialism within the Anti-Apartheid Movement, and the ongoing Palestinian struggle against the brutal Israeli occupation. Lesser-studied landmark events such as the international solidarity with the Vietnamese people in their struggle against American occupation and aggression; the 1966 Tricontinental conference in Havana; the Cuban revolution; the Algerian war for independence; and the much-ignored war in Biafra, Nigeria will also be under purview. Panelists will reflect on these momentous historical events in relation to the literary, aesthetic and artistic practices of the late twentieth century while contextualising their relevance to the present.

Watch the video here