Paula Barreiro López
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Cultural guerrilla
Tricontinental genealogies of ’68
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With the First Tricontinental Conference in Havana (1966), the configuration of a transnational movement of resistance to imperialism and support for the liberation struggles in the Global South (Latin America, Africa and Asia) took place. This network was founded with the aim of explicitly defending guerrilla action to achieve national liberation, independence and national sovereignty. Moreover, it aimed to mobilise revolutionary forces by bringing together the political movements, revolutionary organisations, trade unions, student movements, intellectuals and artists positioned against imperialism, apartheid and racial segregation in all contexts.

Developing a panoramic approach across the Atlantic, I take as starting point the Tricontinental and its extensive networks in which multiple artists participated and from which they took inspiration. My chapter reveals the Tricontinental genealogies of 1968, by analysing the experiences and identification of several artists and intellectuals with the revolutionary movements of the Global South. While Maoist Third-Worldist relations of 1968 (firmly rooted in French intelligentsia) have been widely explored, the alternative Latin American impulses and connections are often overlooked. Just some months before their militancy in the Parisian May 1968, key artists had direct on-site experiences of art and revolution in Havana, Cuba. This chapter discusses two critical events that constitute a Latin American genealogy to 1968: the Salon de Mayo 1967 and the Cultural Congress of 1968. Furthermore, by locating these experiences within the itinerant trajectories of participating artists, I demonstrate how the cultural guerrilla of 1968 was part of a global revolutionary process against imperialism as well as part of the media system of the 1960s.

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