The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected Latin America particularly acutely, exacerbating existing inequalities, while adding new ones, marked by territory, gender and labour. Intensified by Jair Bolsonaro’s denialist behaviour, and a causal factor in Cuba’s recent uprising, the effects of the pandemic have been far reaching in socio-political, health and economic terms. In the political realm, the region has witnessed protests in Colombia, elections in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, and landmark moments for women's rights as Argentina legalised abortion and Chile secured gender parity in its historic constituent assembly, led by Mapuche leader and academic, Elisa Loncón. The rewriting of the 1980 Constitution presents an important moment in the potential disruption of neoliberalism in the region.
As the political scenario erupts, to what extent has this impacted upon cultural production as art and politics collide on the street and in the digital sphere? In what ways do the intersections of old and new debates around environmental protection vs environmental development, gender and sexuality vs religion, eurocentrism and plurinationality, emerge in filmic, literary and artistic production and social action in the region?
When thinking about Latin American Studies, how has the pandemic forced us to reconfigure our methodological approaches to research? In a global context of increasing discourse and action around decolonisation, what are the contributions and tensions that emerge within the discipline?
We aim to explore the multiple facets of contemporary and historic socio-political dynamics, how these are reflected within cultural and literary production, and examine the potential futures for Latin American Studies.