In the context of Latin America’s Cold War, the 1970s saw the expansion of a vast and dispersed transnational solidarity with and for the peoples of Latin America. This movement was not homogenous: solidarity for Latin America emerged from the structures of earlier Third World or Tricontinentalist solidarity movements but was also distinct in that it engaged with a newly empowered lexicon of ‘human rights’ (very broadly defined) and international responsibility, and was influenced by the activities and direct contributions of Latin American exiles. Solidarity was also increasingly transnational in nature and was not confined to political rights relating to state violence, but also inspired by a range of other struggles taking place during this period, including more grassroots and/or anti-imperalist struggles ‘from below’. Dedicated groups gathered data on human rights abuses, petitioned local political actors, rallied support from unions and other social justice organisations, and raised awareness through publications, press conferences, public protests, arts and culture, and many more.
The coup d’état that took place in Chile in 1973 accelerated these processes and networks. With the 50th anniversary of the coup in September 2023, the memory and legacy of solidarity movements with Chile in Western and Northern Europe as well as the US and Canada, return to the spotlight, as do related solidarity movements with countries like Brazil, Argentina, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, among others. On the one hand, solidarity is remembered and memorialised when moments of the past are revisited through texts, images, videos, material cultural production, and debates, as well as other symbolic gestures and representations. On the other hand, solidarity is called upon anew as structures, strategies, and symbols of the past are redeployed to meet new challenges and resist new forms of oppression. Understanding solidarity as a political relation, a form of memory, and a continuous and active process, this special issue explores the challenges of igniting, sustaining, and reactivating solidarity with Latin America across time. In particular, we seek to contemplate and problematise how solidarity struggles of the past are reactivated in the present and how the meaning of those struggles is reformulated with each new iteration.
Some suggested - but not exclusive - axes of reflection that we hope to include in the issue would engage with the following questions:
- How has access to particular resources, cultural artifacts, archives, and other primary materials shaped understandings and perspectives of Latin American (trans-continental or transnational) solidarities of the past? How have these challenged, contested, altered, or reinforced mainstream collective memory?
- How have solidarity movements of the past evolved through time? How do they inform and influence social and political movements today, and how is this reflected in place, space, discourse, and/or activism?
- What are the different mediums through which solidarity movements of the past are accessed? What has been mobilized, and to what end? (eg. murals, town twinning movements, political posters, memory archives, etc.) What role does the digital play in this context?
- What lessons can we learn from the methods, strategies, successes and shortcomings of past solidarity efforts with Latin America?
- How do we understand and conceptualise solidarity from these contexts?
We are keen to explore this topic from a wide range of methodological and theoretical approaches. Thus, this call is open to contributions from different disciplines, including social anthropology, sociology, political geography, history, cultural studies, Latin American studies, or any other related discipline. We also welcome texts from activists that are not in a research paper or standard journal article format.
If you would like to contribute to this special issue, please send a 150-word abstract before June 30, 2023, to the editors of the special issue:
Anna Grimaldi email@example.com
Samira Marty firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for final papers for accepted abstracts is November 31, 2023.
Alternautas is a multi-disciplinary journal devoted to counter-balancing mainstream understandings of development in/from Latin America – Abya Yala. Alternautas emerges from a desire to bridge language barriers by bringing Latin-American critical development thinking to larger, English-speaking audiences. The journal covers a broad range of development issues in a mix of regular and special issues. The journal was launched in 2014 and is fully open-access without fees for readers or authors. See more at: https://journals.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/alternautas/index