Can the Subaltern Speak?
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's landmark essay in decolonial thought is animated for a new generation with art by Estefan a Pe afiel Loaiza
In 1985, Indian scholar Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (born 1942) published what would become a landmark essay in the academic study of colonialism. "Can the Subaltern Speak?" interrogates the obstructions that prevent certain subjects from being heard and how this state-enforced silence maintains the degradation of those at the peripheries of society. Over three decades later, Spivak's piece is perhaps even more compelling in its affirmation of Marxism's relevance to contemporary decolonial thought. This volume revives Spivak's text for yet another generation of thinkers, placed in dialogue with artwork by Ecuadorian artist Estefan a Pe afiel Loaiza (born 1978). Loaiza's preoccupation with questions of occlusion and the need for and absence of image makes for an art series that shares a clear kinship with Spivak's line of reasoning. Loaiza's visual vocabulary echoes and refracts the central ideas put forth by Spivak in a compelling new interpretation of this essential text.