Mestizo Peace

Chair: John P. Santos

If wars are waged from the capitals of world power, perhaps peace can be imagined from the borderlands; from the places, and peoples, in the geographies that lie in the unmappable hinterlands of empires.  Yes, fronteras are often themselves scenes of conflict, testified to and currently chronicled in the BBC Mundo website, “Los Muros que no han Caido” (The Walls that have not Fallen).  But as described by anthropoligist Mary Louise Pratt, they are also contact zones, mestizo places where cultures meet and mingle, and new identities and forms of human imagination emerge, sometimes un-policed.  What role can artists, writers, media-makers, musicians and other insurrectionist imagineers play in imagining and helping to realize a peaceful future?  Amidst the new immigration wars, a resurgence of states’ rights ardency and narco-cartel sieges, this panel will explore testimonios y imaginacíones de paz from the pre-occupied American borderlands, what cultural critic José Limón has called “Greater Mexico.”