All posts by Julian de Mayo

Julian de Mayo is a media scholar and memory activist based out of Brooklyn, NY. He was born in Bogota, Colombia to Colombian-Chilean parents and was raised in Vancouver, Canada. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Geography and Latin American Studies from Simon Fraser University, and is a Master's Candidate in Media Studies at The New School. Twitter/Instagram: @jagged411

New Territories


Specters of Communism: Contemporary Russian Art

Feb 6, 2015, 6:00 pm to Mar 28, 2015, 8:00 pm
The James Gallery

– See more at:

Curated by Boris Groys, Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies, New York University.

Join us for the opening reception on Friday, February 6, 6-8pm.

In contemporary Russia, where official political and cultural attitudes have become increasingly conservative, a new generation of Russian artists continue the critical tradition of the Russian Left and utopianism of the Russian avant-garde. Taking up this desire to change reality by means of art, they explore ideals of equality and social justice, radical politics, secularism and internationalism, without forgetting the long history of post-revolutionary violence. Guest curated by Boris Groys and held at both the James Gallery and e-flux exhibition space downtown, this exhibition includes the works of artists from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and New York.

This exhibition is organized in collaboration with e-flux, where art by Anton Ginzburg, Pussy Riot, and Arseny Zhilyaev is on view.

Opening at e-flux: Tue, Feb 10, 6-8pm
8pm: Anton Vidokle, The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun

e-flux location of the exhibition on view: Wed, Feb 11 – Sat, Mar 28
311 East Broadway

PLAYING WITH FIRE: Political Interventions, Dissident Acts, and Mischievous Actions

PLAYING WITH FIRE: Political Interventions, Dissident Acts, and Mischievous Actions

September 6, 2014 – February 7, 2015

Tracing the founding of El Museo del Barrio by Raphael Montañez Ortíz at the end of the 60s, an era of social unrest and radical activism in the United States as well as throughout the Americas, the works in this exhibition target colonialism, imperialism, urban neglect, and cultural hegemony with a vast array of weapons, including irreverence and humor. The artists confront the status quo with a wide range of disarming conceptual strategies and aesthetic detonators. The fire that surfaces in some of the artworks points to an equally dangerous and alluring element that consumes and transforms, one that must be handled with care.

Playing with Fire: Political Interventions, Dissident Acts, and Mischievous Actions purposely welcomes impolite, undomesticated, rebellious, hilarious, and even sacrilegious discourses and gestures that stick out their tongues at oppressive systems and push for the re-politicization of society and the art space.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: ADAL, Manuel Acevedo, Maris Bustamante, Nao Bustamante, Papo Colo, Abigail DeVille, Alejandro Diaz, Adonis Flores, Ester Hernández, Javier Hinojosa (b. 1956, México, D.F.) with the collaboration of Melquiades Herrera (Mexico, D.F., 1949-2003), Jessica Kairé, Carlos Jesus Martinez Dominguez, Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga, Carlos Ortíz, Pedro Pietri, Jesús Natalio Puras Penzo (APECO), Quintín Rivera Toro, Juan Sánchez.

The exhibition, as part of El Museo’s Carmen Ana Unanue gallery is guest curated by multi-disciplinary artist Nicolás Dumit Estévez.

Valentina’s Bio

I am a visual anthropologist and research scholar at Parsons from Ca’ Foscari University in venice. My involvement with Guatemala dates back to the year 1999/2000, when I was living in Guatemala in order to carry on the fieldwork for my Philosophy Degree thesis. I got there after meeting in Venice, my home town, a Q’ueqchi’ indigenous woman who had been fighting in the guerrilla. For one year I lived in Nebaj and in the CPR (Communities of People in Resistance), in the so-called Ixil area. During this period I interviewed about 60 Ixil women who had enrolled in the EGP (Ejercito Guerrillero de los Pobres). I was accompanied by a young and smart Ixil woman, Helena, who had been a guerrilla fighter herself and was at the time 16 years old. The ex-fighters explained to us the reasons why they decided to enroll in the guerrilla and recalled their experience as “guerrilleras”. While the main corpus of interviews was handed in to an indigenous NGO formed by ex indigenous guerrilla leaders (FUNDAMAYA) what has gradually caught my interest and became my main research topic has been the relationship between non-indigenous and indigenous guerrilla fighters inside the EGP, and also between men and women. 

This experience has surely marked my life. Since then, despite I never went back to Guatemala, my focus of interest has been the space of relationship and encounter between indigenous and non-indigenous people, especially in Paraguay. As part of my PhD in visual anthropology, I made a documentary about the history of an indigenous community in Paraguay (Casado’s Legacy), that has toured around a variety of film festivals. My actual project is still focused in the same area, and it is related to the history of a tannin factory where indigenous and non-indigenous people have worked together for about 100 years.

I am still in contact with Helena and the ex-guerrilla leaders who work in FUNDAMAYA, and who are currently organizing an indigenous university in the Ixil area.


Film Preview & Talk: Zona Intervenida // Colectivo Andén
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
ICI Curatorial Hub

401 Broadway, Suite 1620
Nitin Sawhney speaks about his upcoming documentary Zona Intervenida, co-produced with the Andén Collective in Guatemala, with a limited sneak preview of the work-in-progress film. He will also briefly discuss his emerging curatorial research project, Guatemala Después.

About Zona Intervenida
The film is an artistic exploration of the historic memory of violence, civil war and apathy in Guatemala. It follows a collective of young artists who use dance, performance, and poetry to intervene in a former train station in Quetzaltenango, which was converted to a military base during the worst atrocities of the war. Through movement, music, seeds and spoken word, the artists seek to activate and transform the dark memories of the space, while engaging public imagination and bringing light to Guatemala’s silenced past.

More about the project:

View the trailer HERE.
This event is a free limited-engagement screening. To attend, please RSVP to withZONA in the subject line.

A Panel Discussion in Conjunction w/ Exhibition Bearing Witness: Art and Resistance in Cold War Latin America

Please join the Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery and the Historical Memory Project (HMP) in welcoming a panel of scholars and artists to discuss the content of the exhibition, its sociohistorical context, and the significance of bearing witness. 

September 8, 2014, 6-8pm
at the Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery

at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

860 11th Avenue (New Building)
New York, New York 10019

Subways: ABCD1 to 59th Street-Columbus Circle

Our esteemed panelists:
  • Jeffrey Blustein, Arthur Zitrin Professor of Bioethics and Professor of Philosophy at City College and the Graduate Center, CUNY
  • Estrellita B. Brodsky, Independent Curator
  • Marcia Esparza, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at John Jay College, CUNY; Founder and Director of HMP
  • Cyriaco Lopes, Photographer; Professor of Photography at John Jay College, CUNY
  • Iván Navarro, Artist

Moderated by Lydia Shestopalova, Adjunct Faculty at Guttman Community College, CUNY; Assistant Director of HMP

The panel will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.

This meaningful event is the closing of HMP’s year-long photographic exhibit commemorating the 40th anniversary of the coup d’état in Chile, which took place on September 11, 1973. We celebrate this opportunity to mark the collaboration with visual and multimedia artists through the exhibit and through conversation. The exhibit bridges the power of photojournalism with artistic methods of bearing witness; the stimulating panel discussion will emphasize the importance of memory and put the exhibit in both historical context, as well as link it to the contemporary, political and social realities in Latin America and beyond.

This event is free and open to the public. ID is required to enter the building.
Light refreshments will be served.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Art and Music, John Jay College, CUNY.

For more information about Historical Memory Project (HMP) please visit website: 

Closes September 12, 2014

While censorship, kidnapping, torture, and murder became common tactics for repressive governments throughout Latin America during the Cold War, many artists from the region responded by producing poignant works of art that speak out against these atrocities. This exhibition brings together three distinct bodies of work that do so through documentation, poetic subversion and revelation.

In 1972, Julio Le Parc, in collaboration with the artist group La Denuncia, produced a vividly explicit installation entitled La Tortura ( The Torture). The work exposed the secret detention and interrogation methods that took place during Brazil’s military dictatorship. Based on accounts by fellow artists and the Brazilian Friar Tito, La Tortura is comprised of seven panels, painted in a hyper-realistic style, depicting individuals undergoing torture.   La Tortura’s cell-like installation recalls such iconic works as Francisco Goya’s Disasters of War series, the journalistic photography of Carlos Marighella, and Christ’s martyrdom by Caravaggio, all of which denounce the consequences of human degradation and atrocities in the name of civilization.

In contrast to the brutally graphic quality of La Tortura, photographs by Juan Carlos Caceres and 
Rodrigo Rojas De Négri document public displays of power and protest in Chile during Pinochet’s military dictatorship in the1980’s.  These images demonstrate powerful moments in the prolonged struggle against state violence.  Caceres, by immersing himself within the local context, created images that allow us to witness the plight of Chileans under Pinochet’s regime.  De Négri, who returned from exile in 1986 to document and participate in the resistance movement, was killed by government forces at the age of 19.  He was subsequently honored as a member of the Association of Independent Photographers (AFI), for his important work which appears courtesy of his mother, Verónica De Négri.

Formed in Santiago de Chile in 1979, at the height of Augusto Pinochet’s brutal military regime, CADA (Colectivo de Acciones de Arte) was a short-lived artist and activist collective that included visual artists Lotty Rosenfeld and Juan Castillo, and writer Diamela Eltit, poet Raúl Zurita, and sociologist Fernando Balcells. Combining conceptual practices and effective agitprop tactics, the group developed a number of performances and urban interventions that challenged political repression and solicited viewers’ participation.

The video, The Missing Monument For Washington D.C. (2008) , by Chilean artist Iván Navarro offers yet another reaction to conditions in the region by responding to the killing of singer-songwriter Victor Jara in 1973. The touching video, features two men, one of whom is strumming a guitar while speaking the lyrics composed by the popular Chilean singer song-writer, Jara entitled “Estadio Chile?”.  Written in September 1973, while Jara was held captive in a stadium along with thousands of others, the poem was smuggled out by survivors. Jara himself was tortured and murdered, his body thrown in a mass grave.

Through the use of archival material, witness accounts and direct observation the artists represented in Bearing Witness offer both overt and subversive reactions to the history of political violence in cold war Latin America.  Their powerful works compel us to engage with the historical record of oppression in the region as well as the legacy of political violence as it continues to affect our lives today.

Curated by Roberto Visani, Estrellita B. Brodsky, Pierre-Yves Linot, with the assistance of Lydia Shestopalova.

Gallery Hours: 1-5pm, M-F, or by appointment
for further information please contact

Pablo Jose Ramirez at Independent Curators International

Pablo José Ramírez: To Think the Impossible
(Radical indigenous contemporary art)
Thursday, September 4, 2014
ICI Curatorial Hub

401 Broadway, Suite 1620
FREE and open to the public

Pablo José Ramírez, curator, political theorist and writer based in Guatemala, presents a talk titled “To Think the Impossible (Radical indigenous contemporary art).”

What happens when those deemed unauthorized produce contemporary art? Several artists operate from uncomfortable places of enunciation: they challenge the controlled discourse which attempts to dominate and sanitize certain art productions that speak from twisted places or cultural forms that do not fit in with the idea of the white mestizaje or neoliberal multiculturalism. Artists like Reyes Josué Morales, Benvenuto Chavajay, Javier Calvo, Sandra Monterroso, and Terike Haapoja operate within the limits of modernity; these particular experiences are intersected by community, the political state of art, indigenous cultures, the problem of language, the ritual, and border epistemologies.

In this discussion he will address these approaches by exploring the experiences of projects such as:Estados de Excepción, produced by Ciudad de la Imaginación, the XIX Bienal de Arte Paiz in Guatemala, andThe Party of Others by Terike Haapoja. These curatorial projects attempt to think of models for exhibiting that operate at the crossroads of the object of art, the writing of seminal histories, and the material culture of the artist.

This event is free and open to the public. To attend, please RSVP to with PABLO in the subject line.

Visit ICI’s event page for more information.