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The Discourse of Visual Images: a “Weapon” in the Conquest of America?

Date: 18.05.2022
Start Time: 9.45-11.15
Place: Reymonta 4, sala 11
Organiser: Instytut Amerykanistyki i Studiów Polonijnych

Guest lecture by Dr. Bea Tomšič Amon

This presentation will focus on types of visual and verbal texts that characterised communication among subjects after the conquest of the Americas. We will present examples of ethnographic texts, those in which the subjects of the European metropolises represent themselves to their Others (usually their conquered Others, as in the writings of Bartolome de las Casas), and autoethnographic texts, in which people describe themselves in ways that engage with the representations others have of them. These are representations that the others so defined construct in dialogue with ethnographic texts. They involve selective collaboration with and appropriation of idioms of the metropolis or the conqueror. These are fused or infiltrated to varying degrees with indigenous idioms to create representations of self that are intended to intervene in metropolitan modes of understanding, as in Felipe Guaman Poma's drawings. We will compare them to texts that cannot be translated because the recipient has no experience and cannot distinguish them from similar signs from his context, because according to Pierce, every perception is an interpretation. Tocapus and Quipus are examples that are not decorative motifs, but communication systems that are equivalent to an alphabetic script. These signs are not the standard for name sounds, but the referent itself. They are not expressed in a particular language and in order to use them, one should be able to invent signs that correspond to the referents within a common semantic system. Social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and wrestle, often in contexts of highly asymmetrical power relations, such as colonialism, slavery, or their aftermath, as lived in many parts of the world today, are sites for linguistic and cultural encounters where power is negotiated and struggles take place.


She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she graduated as an architect from the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism in 1987. In 1988 she moved to Slovenia and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of Ljubljana in 1993. She later earned a Master of Science in Sociology of Culture at the Faculty of Philosophy in Ljubljana. She is an Associate Professor of Didactics of Art Education at the Department of Art Education, Faculty of Education in Ljubljana, where she defended her PhD thesis on Experiential Learning and Spatial Design. Her areas of interest are art education, pedagogy of architecture, spatial perception, architectural theory and interdisciplinarity with special emphasis on inter-American studies.

Wydarzenie można zaliczyć w ramach programu OSA:
  • Opiekun: dr Katarzyna Górska
  • Liczba godzin OSA: 1,5 godziny
  • Forma zaliczenia: lista obecności sporządzona po spotkaniu.
W pierwszej kolejności wydarzenie kierowane jest do studentów latynoamerykanistyki, ale mogą w nim uczestniczyć również studenci innych kierunków.