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Issue 22

Radiant

14.02.2022 - 02.05.2022

Disenchanted
perpetually dazzled Illimani
—Óscar Cerruto

The metaphysics inherited from the different nations and Indigenous peoples of Abya Yala—still current today—account for the fact that animal species and other species are conceived as many types of persons, peoples, societies; that is, as political entities. In this sense, a lizard that wonders how the perfume exuded by the great battles emanating from the pages of books ignores the arduous walk of insects, animals, and their trail of crumbs on its pages, is a political question. Lizards have an extraordinary peculiarity: they are always spatially located. Although temporality is not elusive to them, reverie, sleep, or a siesta are lizard-conceptualizations of space: to quiet down, to escape. Although dreams powerfully bind the effects of truth and reality, a profound instance of knowledge and emancipation, it is the exceptional territorial astuteness of lizards, their slight but profound trace upon the land that summons us to their gaze. The lizards’ gaze is a line of inquiry that will vibrate through the next three issues of Terremoto, to be published in 2022. This inquiry is a ploy against the western specular imposition in which sameness and otherness become persecutory forms: instead of mirrors we propose material and spiritual thinking and practices that serve as an invitation to mutation, to the critique of mono-technological and mono-cosmological fantasies, to question the desire for the future as apocalypse. The gaze of the lizards aims to instigate multiple cosmoaesthetic diplomacies among its participants.

In this first stillness on earth, the lizards’ gaze, immersed in the sweet greenery of the yunga, where the fiber-optic connection does not resist the high temperatures, the cables melt, the signal comes and goes and thus interjects small disruptions into the imaginary of invisibility, ubiquity, non-mediation of neoliberal freedom. These untimely disconnections allow us to talk softly with one another on the hillsides, under the curious gaze of the toucans, and ask ourselves about the apparent impossibility of thinking about practices for emancipation other than just being free—freeing ourselves— from helplessness, despair, fear, precariousness, violence— economic, racial, gender, and so much more—that is, just the freedom of survival. Between the breath of the trees, the thundering of insects’ footsteps, the bursting of fruits, the lizards’ gaze wonders: How does freedom concern us? How to encode freedom for life, to build communities and worlds that aren’t only “sustainable” but racially, socially, environmentally, economically, corporally, poetically just, where living together with other ontological furnishings is not a constant threat to life? Is it possible to redefine the freedom that is co-opted for accumulation, of aggressive, totalizing reaction, that freedom too close to the domination of things, where “things” in turn acquire such a value that they make people suffer? Nothing is certain here; these texts have been written by opening the petals of uncertainty, dazzled from the confinement, sifting and fleeing, creating imaginary villages from the effervescence of a small insect, building a world of bricks with no heritage beyond the act of mud itself. Erring once again, failing, creating a trance of pain, inventing much more than survival on the skin of our deserts. Word-binding, singing, freestyle, sound and baguala: the writing here is overthrown, by dance, sweat, and siestas. These texts have been written with a radiant heart.

***

This edition of Terremoto was possible thanks to the support of the Sistema de Apoyos a la Creación y Proyectos Culturales (SACPC), through the program “Fomento a Proyectos y Coinversiones Culturales (FPCC)” 2021.

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