‘CAVCA Buries BIACI’: Activating Decolonial Tools in Cartagena de Indias

  • Martha Herrera-Lasso Gonzalez
  • Kimberly Skye RichardsEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Performance InterActions book series (CPI)


Our essay tells the story of the First International Biennial of Contemporary Art held in Cartagena de Indias from February to April 2014, and the creation of an artist activist collective forged as a result of the lack of support for the region’s artists. The Biennial was designed to attract the globetrotting art elite and promote Cartagena as an artistic center at a time when the state was attempting to improve its international image and present a new Colombia—one committed to peace. A group of local artists created an artist collective, entitled the Community of Visual Artists of Cartagena and Bolívar (CAVCA) to draw attention to the colonial processes in operation. CAVCA developed a repertoire of strategies to launch their complaints, including art-activist postering, digital vandalism, the parodying of ‘great art’ through performance, and the staging of mock funerals through the creation of Las Meninas Emputás!—a performance project that consisted of disruptive interventions online and in public spaces during the Biennial and in the years since. By comparing the strategies the Biennial employed with those generated by CAVCA, our chapter speaks to the sustainability of colonial logic through the arts and the conditions of possibility for its undoing.


Biennial Colonial logic Precariousness Decolonial tools CAVCA Digital vandalism 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martha Herrera-Lasso Gonzalez
    • 1
  • Kimberly Skye Richards
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.University of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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