The Future is Ancestral

When and Where

Tuesday, March 26, 2024 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Jackman Humanities Building 318
170 St. George St., third floor. Toronto, ON. M5S 2M8


Natalia Brizuela


We are delighted to welcome Natalia Brizuela for a visit to our Department, and gladly invite the community to this public lecture.

About the Presenter:

Natalia Brizuela writes and teaches about visual culture, art, film, media, literature and critical theory from Latin America, with a particular focus on experimental practices that bridge aesthetics and politics. She is the author of, among others, Fotografia e Imperio (2012), Depois da fotografia (2014), and co-editor of The Matter of Photography in the Americas (2018) and La cámara como método (2021) and has curated numerous exhibitions and film programs. She recently launched the online experimental exhibition Bits of the Planet, which she co-curated with Rachel Price and Ian Alan Paul. Brizuela is also finishing a book on the refusal of Time. She is Class of 1930 Chair of Letters & Sciences, the Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley, and a Professor of Film & Media and Spanish & Portuguese. 

About the Presentation:

In my talk I will seek to complicate the notion of “aftermath” which is usually inscribed in a modern Western linear conception of time as a projection, and points, like an arrow, to a future that is to come afterwards. In coexistence to this modern Western notion of time as progress, other notions of temporality exist that can allow us to envision aftermaths that are ancestral, that are already here, that have been here all along and continue to be activated through constant cultivation and practice of memory and dream. Some of these ancestral futures structure the temporalities of indigenous people from across Abya Yala, including, among others, Krenak, Muinane, Wichi and Yanomami worlds. Such temporalities complicate the modern Western notion of futurity, not only by placing what has already happened before and ahead of what is yet to come, but also by insisting on a vital form of presence. The present does not quite vanish, but is in everything, always. This talk will explore these questions in conversation with different artistic practices from Abya Yala.

Contact Information


Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Department of Art History


170 St. George St., third floor. Toronto, ON. M5S 2M8