Contemporary and América Latina More Than a Magazine

The launch of C&AL in Bogotá, Colombia, 2018
The launch of C&AL in Bogotá, Colombia, 2018 | Photo: Jana Burbach

The online magazine Contemporary and América Latina (C&AL), published by the Goethe-Institut and the Institute for International Cultural Relations (ifa), offers critical reporting on contemporary art in Latin America. It is now celebrating its first anniversary.

 The online magazine Contemporary and América Latina (C&AL) focuses on Afro-Latin American and Indigenous contemporary artistic positions. These are clearly underrepresented in public discourse and in artistic institutions. With this profile, the magazine gives the readership dynamic and critical access to the artistic connections between Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.The magazine was launched in April 2018 as the Latin American edition of the journal Contemporary and (C&), which has been investigating the links between Africa and its global diaspora since 2015. The editors-in-chief are Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba. The online magazine is published by the Goethe-Institut and the Institute for International Cultural Relations (ifa). On its first anniversary, we asked artists and curators from Latin America what they think is the magazine’s significance.

Uncovering parallel dynamics

Fabio Melecio Palacios, artist, lives in Palmira, Colombia:
 
"There are very few publications dealing with Afro-Latin American and Black artistic positions. These topics have always been associated with prejudices. Therefore C&AL is very important, as it is now possible to refer to artistic events as such and not as something exotic. This is the only way to inscribe us in the general critical and analytical discourse. It is certainly also interesting to trace parallels in the Afro perspective of different continents. Sometimes we think the dynamics are different, but they are actually very similar."

Fabio Melecio Palacio, performance “BMR” (“Bamba, martillo y refilón”), 2011. With the kind permission of the artist Fabio Melecio Palacio, performance “BMR” (“Bamba, martillo y refilón”), 2011. With the kind permission of the artist Aldeide Delgado, Cuban curator and author, lives in Miami:
 
"Since its launch, C&AL has been a platform of great reach and visibility on the South American continent. The magazine encourages critical analysis of the aesthetic positions of the Black and Indigenous communities. In addition, it initiates important discussions on South America’s crucial issues such as colonialism, power, identity and the term Latin America."

Making diverse voices audible

Rosana Paulino, artist, lives in São Paulo, Brazil:
 
"Already in its first year, I perceived C&AL as an important voice in conversation with other artists of the African diaspora. This is especially true for Brazil, the only Portuguese-speaking country in Latin America. Here most Black producers are not always fluent in English. Therefore, C&AL has taken on the role of bringing us Black Brazilian artists into contact with other production realities of the African diaspora and at the same time making the voices of Afro-Brazilian artists audible elsewhere."

Rosana Paulino, “A permanência das estruturas” (“The permanence of structures”). Digital print on fabric, cut and sewn, 2017. With the kind permission of the artist Rosana Paulino, “A permanência das estruturas” (“The permanence of structures”). Digital print on fabric, cut and sewn, 2017. With the kind permission of the artist

Bringing freshness and originality to the critical artistic scene

Adriana Bustos, artist, lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina:
 
"C&AL is more than a magazine – it’s a place where the contemporary artistic scene is viewed and reflected with a sharp, new eye. It is imperative to engage 'all over the planet' with this new 'Afro lens' – the perspective of African artistic positions – to understand the current tensions and dynamics in the world. There are still virtually no publications that show themselves socially and politically in this sense and thus overcome structural, historically conditioned censorship. That’s what makes C&AL so important."

Adriana Bustos, “El mar y sus múltiples afluentes” (“The sea and its many tributaries,” detail), part of the project “El retorno de lo reprimido” (“The return of the repressed”), 2017. With the kind permission of the artist. Adriana Bustos, “El mar y sus múltiples afluentes” (“The sea and its many tributaries,” detail), part of the project “El retorno de lo reprimido” (“The return of the repressed”), 2017. With the kind permission of the artist Hélio Menezes, Brazilian curator and anthropologist, lives in São Paulo, Brazil:
 
"C&AL has brought freshness and originality to Brazil’s critical artistic scene. Previously little-known artists are perceived and commented on by a broader audience due to the magazine’s articles. A publication medium like this one is absolutely necessary in times when the Brazilian art scene is suffering from cuts and censorship."