[dance-tech] Re: dance tech network attacks - Postcolonial dominations and the "superiority" of academic language - the need for TRANSLATIONS

  • From: "Jaime del Val" <jaimedelval@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 16:34:34 +0200

Re: [dance-tech] dance tech network attacksDear all,

the only way to generate an open space for debate is to be aware of the 
translations necessary between the different backgrounds and therefore the very 
different uses of language that necessarily happen in a transdiciplinary space 
like this one where there are artists, theorists and scientists and mixtures of 
these, and each one has very different artistic, theoretical or scientific 
backgrounds on top of that.

To assume that one needs to justify philosophically whatever one says, and 
pretend that the "high level" and seriousness of the discussion is only there 
in so far one can argue within certain very narrow channells of specific and 
reduced fields of academic writing is perhaps not a way of approaching this 

This doesn't mean that no hard critical comments can be done, on the contrary, 
but with a number of constraints:
    -to be open to the diversity of bakcgrounds means not to pretend to be in 
possession of the holy grail of academic logic and language and therefore 
implies to abandon attitudes of prepotence, which are unluckily part of western 
colonialism, by the way, and therefore very deeply inscribed in the academy and 
in people within the academy.
    -this former already implies to acquire a certain language of respect

Of course this raises a much larger issue on the problems of the academy itself 
as a monolithic structure which is part of our colonial past, and the 
difiiculties to approach any kind of transcultural arena in our postcolonial or 
neocolonial present, since we are so much believing that we live in a perfect 
world without power structures, and ignore the current power structures 

Obviously to try to impose a "serious" academic logic upon any kinds of more 
poetic utterances is a very common form of dominance well known to academic and 
colonial traditions, and it is perhaps not the ground for any kind of 
transdisciplinary arena, even less a  transcultural one.

Some people on the list have already manifested in the past their incapacity to 
communicate in a respectuful manner, and their rather rude way of preserving 
their territory of absolute "thuth", which is perhaps a manner of revealing 
uncertainty in our postcolonial present where academic turths are nevertheless 
put into question.

This doesn't mean that others should run away and think that there is no room 
for them: it is up to all of us to generate the space for translations and 
carefull listening.

Thess forums are hopefully not an extension of academic monoliths, but it is up 
to us to make them open... and make sure that no exclusions are made through 
old implicit categorisations with regard to the use of language.

Jaime del Val

Jaime del Val
Instituto REVERSO
Aguila Real 24, 28232 Madrid, SPAIN
Tel.: (+34) 687 558 436 

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