Giulia Cilla

The Return of Social Movements in Recent South American History: Rethinking the notion of radical imagination through the new generation of art activist collectives.

Installation project of white foulards by the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, 1987,  in memory of the abolishment of the Argentinean dictatorship (1976-1983). Foto: anonymous
My research consist of an investigation into the forms of resistances, activism and counterculture in South America, (Uruguay and Argentina) from the period of the military dictatorship of the 1970s until today. Starting from a biographical approach, I will problematise individual and collective issues related to migration and identity: how can we re-appropriate historical memory erased by the repression of dictatorship, torture, disappearance, diaspora and historical trauma? The question is how to produce a narration other than the official one, a micro narration in becoming, through words that are alive and acting?
This study will also lead me to focus my work on the feminine role and in particular the Mothers of the Place of May and the new artistic collectives which, often in collaboration with the movement of the women, have been redefining – by a concrete social ethics which starts from a fundamental dimension of citizenship – the role of education and thus the relationship between art and politics. This is expressed in the position of the Mothers as a new political actor. Their movement maintains collaborations with the association of children (HIJOS) and the new artistic collectives which aim, through art, to draw a new radical imagination.
The structure of the project rests on three fundamental axes: the concept of “radical imaginary”, theorized by Ana Longoni, an argentinian theoretitican, allows me to study the return of the social movements and to include/understand through which strategies they are reactualized in the context of the post dictatorship. A second objective is the analysis of the question of the issues related to the artistic documentation of historical events. My theoretical study is done simultaneously with a visual research that i started by working on and with the fundamental theme of testimony/oral narration and thus, the role of the present generation, that of the the political children of refugees, the one I belong to.
This project will lead to the creation of a platform of independent studies in Montevideo in order to study these questions and to generate a zone of sharing.
Giulia was born in Tessin, Switzerland, in 1983, Italian and Uruguayan by origin. She studied at the Academy Fine Arts of Brera in Milan, Italy. She moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where she lives and works, to join the CCC program (Critical Cross-cultural, Cybermedia). Interested in education, mediation and alternative pedagogy she developed a project consisting in guided tours in museums and ateliers conceived for psychotics conical patients in collaboration with a team of social assistants and psychologists in Lugano (CH) and she was enrolled in an internship at the Atelier des Enfants at the CAC (Centre d’Art Contemporaine), Geneva.
She has exhibited at the CAC, Geneve; Espace Labo Geneva, Neon Gallery, Bologna; NoPASSWORD festival, Genoa, Shedhalle, Zürich; the EU commission in Bruxelles, among others.