From the AIDS epidemic in New York to the politics of human rights in Buenos Aires, activists in the Americas of the late 1980s fought against state policies that defined which human lives should be protected and which lives could be abandoned. These activists created a politics of the precarious that revealed and contested conditions of vulnerability, exposure and survival suffered by citizens who were subject to the dictates of the state. In our current context, which intensifies social and political precariousness for many social groups, their interventions have a new relevance and urgency.
In this encounter --more a conversation than a traditional lecture-- we will discuss how the entanglement between precariousness and survival shapes activisms north and south. We will focus on materials that illuminate how AIDS activism and human rights activism were interwoven, engaging works by New York artist David Wojnarowicz (who traveled to Argentina in the mid-80s), and Argentine writers and activists Nestor Perlongher and Marta Dillon. We will debate the connections between these forms of activism in the 80s and 90s and contemporary debates about precariousness as well as new form of contestation and public intervention.
**Gabriel Giorgi is Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Director of Graduate Studies at NYU Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literature.