Scholars from the University of Seville (U.S.), National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and University of California – Berkeley (UC- Berkeley), are collaborating and offering this seminar, which will be centered on a dialogue about Conquest and Dominion. But also concerning the dialectic of life in Latin America, Mediterranean Europe and the collective of peripheral subjects within the U.S., with an emphasis on specific places in which they develop (Andalusia, Mexico, USA), giving rise to thinking about the periphery , its relationships and connections , both “in” and “out ” of empires.
Relations between the understandings of the “internal” European conquest and the understanding of European conquest and domination of America? How to understand the conquest of America following the contributions of decolonial theory? How can you help Latin American theoretical tradition of dependency and center-periphery theories to understand the current situation of the European and Mediterranean periphery especially in Andalusia?
The conquest of America is the acceleration of an event oppressor, installed in a long process started in, what is now known as, Europe. We know that the colonial conquest, that either/both concluded or began with the arrival of Columbus, was certainly a turning point preceded by centuries of trials resulting in the gradual emergence of the figure of the modern state. We have reserved for the seminar a basic premise: in order for the conquest of America to develop as we have known, this is, as a condition of possibility of the modern world-system, the previous achievement was fundamentally “internal” with events like the so-called “Reconquista ” of Al- Andalus , and a process of eradication of internal diversity against indigenous knowledge and ancestral heritage , named witchcraft , heresy, subversion peasant commoner …
These realities of conquest tested in a particular region and on particular people , and implemented in other territorial and sociocultural contexts were played throughout the history of Europe and America. As the authors showed a huge Eurocentered bewilderment at the atrocities of Nazism , the worlds thinkers: Fanon and Cesaire colonized as indicated in the 50s with huge similarities existing between the policies of the Nazis and the Democracy applied by colonial powers against the people of the so-called “third world” . On the other hand, it is possible to note the similarities between the relationships of Dependence and Subordination in the development of Latin American capitalism and the European periphery relegated to play a subsidiary role as a source of cheap labor and raw materials , at the time their populations began consuming the products once manufactured .
Center-periphery relations are to be understood on different scales and the interpretations of these problems made historical in Latin America can shed light on the current situation of states like Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. Concepts such as ” internal colonialism ” (in reference to the situation of indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants in the American context), may be functional to analyze the situation of the people in a position of subordination within European nation-states. Likewise, reflections and debates on racism concerning indigenous people and Afro- Latin America can serve to discuss the status of the ” other inmates ” – nations and peripheral regions, women, youth and other groups – and minoritized ” external others ” – primarily – immigrant groups in the European context. Today we can see the very latest point of this dialogue of domination in the context of crisis countries of the ” European periphery “, where the implementation of the Brussels Consensus seems modeled on the steps of the neoliberal Washington Consensus applied in the 80s and 90s in Latin America, building a sad reality where the loss of political autonomy and subordination to the centers of power are now European and international incontestable facts.
As we see, the reality of domination and political, cultural and economic subordination exhibits profound complexities when required for the study of contrasted global analysis, surpassing the North-South dialectic to deepen the zones of being and zones of non-being and center- periphery at different scales, taking into account the changing nature of these relationships. This comparative result certainly cannot be entirely rebuilt without “another story ” of the not being people in the defense of their communities; Whom since very early on practiced various forms of resistance, establishing a dialectic of life with contacts between colonized crossed oceans; sufficient examples are the African Muslims of Bahia, Spanish exiles in Venezuela in their struggle against Spanish imperialism, exchanges between Cubans and Filipinos under the figure of Rizal, and nowadays clustering together representing the counterhegemonic South-South dialogue of Via Campesina .
This seminar will focus on the dialogue of conquest and domination but also on the life dialectic between the regions of Latin America and Mediterranean Europe, focusing – but not exclusively – on the cases closer to where they will be held – Mexico, USA and Andalusia, establishing the “reconquista ” a starting point we consider inexcusable for the role played in shaping the ideology, methods and strategies of global imperial colonial rule of the first modern state : Spain . After Seville, conquered in 1248, comes the Kingdom of Granada which is located in present eastern Andalusia. Here both the conquests converge within what is known as Europe , the new direction of Imperialism , before the besieged walls of this city figures of the American conquest such as Columbus , the Catholic Monarchs , Cardinal Cisneros, etc converge. There are several lines where the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula crosses paths with Latin America , as well as through the interesting intermediate case that led to the conquest of the Canary Islands , intersections at which the test of both regions may facilitate the understanding of the processes in one and the other .
First, the inner conquest in the Iberian Peninsula, the construction of the first modern state from the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon through military occupation, cultural homogenization and oppression of the peoples of the Iberian Peninsula. A process that can be interpreted as a trial or prior learning to conquer America or even as a simultaneous part of the process in the case of eastern Andalusia. Second, the construction of the dependent periphery in a historical process, the assignment of a role producer and exporter of raw materials for European industrial centers, subject to successive dominations, Spanish, Dutch , English and American . Third, as the current periphery, in a context in which geopolitical centers move, relations between states and regions change but so do the relationships between communities in what has come to be called ” Diplomacy of the peoples”.
We call on the academic, social movements and activists who want to participate with their contribution to this horizon of thought, for which we propose several specific objectives but open, which with their assistance, we hope to contribute to:
First we claim a theoretical and practical collective thinking about terms such as dependentista , postcolonial -colonial and anti-colonial , both when analyzing the phenomenon of ” colonialism of power / being / knowledge” as in the process of establishing collective subjects not hegemonic such as ” Abya Yala ” , ” Our America” or “Our Andalusia” . It is therefore an approach of political philosophy but also of geographical reallocation based on subject producers of life and strength. This involves evaluating the applicability of concepts and theories developed for Latin America in the European periphery and vice versa.
Secondly we intend to open research on comparative peripheral and dependent status of the European Mediterranean and Latin America, emphasizing Andalusia. A historical reconstruction of the processes of the peoples and communities to stay away from official discourse anchored to the myth of the state and the market. It is, in short, to relocate the people as subjects of life and reality producers, organizers of the/their future, and analyze the emergence and enforcement of the state and the global imperial system not as the culmination of history, but as a domain context of the Global/universal anecdote in the history of mankind.
In third place we try to take stock of the relations between the regions of non-being, their similarities and approaches, focusing on the areas of the Americas and Our Andalusia, but not closed to other contributions. The relationship of the people in this territory, the forms of production, the intimate relation between religious issues and daily life (read theology of liberation, but also of non-Christian worldviews reinvigorating) at the time of building spaces and territories of popular/Collective/Common power. In the present context, the priority is the coherent promotion (of coherent) speeches that are useful to critical social movements in Andalusia and the rest of the European periphery, and the strengthening of all the south configured thoughts.