action #1: decolonize zurich.
latin american perspectives

8 october 18:30

The roundtable is the first public action of DECOLONIZE ZURICH and aims to bring postcolonial theory closer to the public and challenge (neo)colonial patterns of thought and behavior in everyday life. The event will start with an input by Prof. Patricia Purtschert elucidating postcolonial theory in the Swiss context and will continue with an open discussion with Paloma Ayala (artist), Tomas Bartoletti (historian), and Adriana Domínguez (curator). The discussion will tackle aspects of decolonial processes and their relevance with regard to Zurich. The roundtable would be live streamed on our website.


Patricia Purtschert is philosopher and cultural researcher. She is co-head of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Bern. She is the autor of "Kolonialität und Geschlecht im 20. Jahrhundert. Eine Geschichte der weissen Schweiz" (2009) and co-editor of the volumes "Postkoloniale Schweiz. Formen und Folgen eines Kolonialismus ohne Kolonien (2012), Colonial Switzerland. Rethinking Colonialism from the Margins (2015) and Racial Profiling. Struktureller Rassismus und antirassistischer Widerstand (2019).


Paloma Ayala is interested in the relationship between domestic and political contexts. She often introduces fictional narratives as means of social, institutional or political critique, directed to different sorts of public, including people outside of ordinary cultural spaces. She is currently trying to resolve a connection between her Mexican native background and her current living space in Zürich, which until now has proven to be an elusive task.


Adriana Domínguez is curator and co-founder of the art space la_cápsula, an independent and experimental curatorial project that seeks to create a dialogue between the artistic and cultural production of Latin America and Swiss/local artists. la_cápsula discusses topics that affect both geographic territories, such as environmental issues, feminism, geopolitics, gender issues and decolonialism, are addressed in a wider sense and discussed within the context of Switzerland and its local population. 


Tomas Bartoletti is a postdoc researcher at the Chair for History of the Modern World ETH, focusing on the Glarus-​born naturalist Johann Jakob von Tschudi (1818-​1889) and his voyages in Latin America, his research project aims to research a paradigmatic case in the global history of knowledge and in the history of what a group of scholars has recently called “Colonial Switzerland.”

The event is supported by Latin American Center UZH.