- My article “‘Pedagogies of cruelty’ and the patriarchal order of the nation-state: The Falsos Positivos as a paradigmatic example” is now out in Postcolonial Studies.
Abstract: This article deals with what has been described as ‘one of the worst episodes of mass atrocity in the Western Hemisphere in recent decades’ (Human Rights Watch 2015), which took place in Colombia in 2002-2010 under the rule of Álvaro Uribe: the Falsos Positivos, a subset of extrajudicial killings carried out by state armed forces in exchange for monetary bonuses, holidays and/or promotions and whose victims were more than 3,000 poor and mostly male people. I draw from Rita Segato’s work (Segato 2016; Segato 2018) to address this event from a perspective that re-centres patriarchy and ‘coloniality’ (Quijano 2000). Firstly, I argue that the very possibility of their occurrence, staging, symbolic function, scale, and the nearly-zero empathy they generated in the general population is the result of a historical implementation of ‘pedagogies of cruelty’ (Segato 2018) that in the context of Colombia —where never-ending multi-modal violence has raged for decades on end and has emerged with singular ferocity— have successfully trained the urban classes into what I will denote as ‘selective desensitisation’. Secondly, that as an extreme enactment of the ‘mandate of masculinity’ (Segato 2016), these crimes constitute an event that allows for the reinforcement of the patriarchal order that underlies the modern-colonial nation-state. Apart from providing an explanatory framework for an extraordinary example of lack of empathy for certain victims in the context of Colombia, I aim at expanding Segato’s concept of ‘pedagogies of cruelty’ so as to demonstrate its immense analytical potential in the current global political landscape.
- My article “SoHo as ‘virtual theatre’: performing gender, class, and race in 21st-century urban Colombia” is now out in Cultural Studies.
Abstract: In this article I explore the cultural significance of SoHo, a magazine produced by and addressed to the Colombian elite yet consumed across a wider urban social spectrum. I carry out an analysis of the magazine in connection with the broader political, cultural, and social context of its production and circulation during the period it was directed by journalist Daniel Samper Ospina (2001–2015). I argue that under Samper Ospina, SoHo played a significant role in shaping gender ideologies in 21st-century urban Colombia. Overtly addressed to a male audience (its title means ‘Only for Men’) and following the model of Playboy and Esquire, SoHo operated during the period studied as a ‘virtual theatre’ where the Colombian elite converged and where a sort of education in postmodern sensibilities of both men and women took place. Such an educational process took the form of a double-edged performance of gender, social class, and race: firstly, in Austin’s sense, upon the women it portrayed; secondly, in the theatrical sense, by the (mostly male) members of the Colombian elite that actively participated in its production. As a ‘virtual theatre’, SoHo carries out a specific type of ideological work that seeks to ensure cultural hegemony and, through it, the perpetuation of a system of domination that goes back to the colonial period and whose keys are ‘the lettered city’ (Rama 1996) and the ‘whiteness device’ (Castro-Gómez 2010).
- My article “Posfeminismo / Genealogía, geografía y contornos de un concepto”, for Debate Feminista, is now online and can be accessed here.
Abstract: The term postfeminism has had multiple and contradictory uses in the anglo-american media context and scholarly circuit. Despite the fact that the phenomenon it denotes has expanded beyond the borders of the social, economic, cultural and geographical context where it emerged, works in Spanish that consider it are virtually non-existent. This article aims at bridging this gap. Starting with a review of what I argue are the three foundational texts of postfeminism as a field of study (McRobbie 2004; McRobbie 2009; Gill 2007), I move on to review and critically engage with two more texts that attempt to expand the outreach of postfeminism as a critical concept (Jess Butler 2013; Dosekun 2015) and to present own work (Giraldo 2016), which connects it with “the coloniality of gender” (Lugones 2007). The final part of the article outlines postfeminism as analytical concept by, firstly, explaining other concepts inherent to it; secondly, critically reading hypersexualisation; thirdly, problematising —via Foucault’s approach to power (1980) and Judith Butler’s theory of subjection (1997)— postfeminism’s underlying notion of “agency”. The article aims at showing that the theoretical potential of postfeminism as a concept lies in understanding it as a regime of female subjectivity that has been projected globally, is intrinsically connected with capitalism and with the neoliberal ethos, incorporates spectacular femininity and hypersexualisation, puts the coloniality of gender to work, and, instead of destabilising it, reinforces patriarchy.