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FOCUS with Yana Gaponenko: Pharma Coloniality

Start the weekend with a walkthrough by Yana Gaponenko, on Pharma Coloniality.

Snowflame, one of the New Guardians - #2 Blow in the Wind comic’s characters – the comic which Ana María Millán uses in her exhibition at Witte de With, is able to increase his strength and cover himself in white fire when he ingests cocaine. The concept of pharma coloniality (pharma colonialidad) by Julio Ramos denotes an inverse process of colonization of the western world, whereby Latin American substances — sugar, tobacco, coffee, cocaine — intervene to stimulate European rationality and co-produce the rhythm of modern temporality. Laurent de Sutter calls our age the age of anesthesia. Large aspects of our lives are now characterised by the management of our emotions through drugs, ranging from the everyday use of sleeping pills to hard narcotics.

“Contrary to alcohol, which incites violence, the stimulants in question create feelings of joy and celebration, but at the same time, oblivion, forgetfulness and egotistic individualism as well as disregard in Europeans for other individuals in the colonies, particularly Blacks and Indians”. © Walter Mignolo

FOCUS is a series that offers personal perspectives by the Witte de With team or other related participants, into artworks or projects currently on view.

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