4A Lab Seminar

Sria Chatterjee: Cultivar Modernisms: Art, Agriculture and Politics between India and Mexico

"Los Sabios" (The Wise), Mural by Diego Rivera in the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) Mexico City, 1923-1927.

Through Diego Rivera's murals 'Los Sabios' and 'Nuestro Pan', done at the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) in Mexico City (between 1923 and 1927), this work-in-progress talk explores the relationship between art, agriculture and politics in a highly networked global south in the early twentieth century. It examines how the history of communism – historical materialism, agriculture and 'Eastern' spiritualism intersect in Rivera's murals and more broadly, in Mexico City between the 1880s and the 1920s. Following the work of the Indian Agronomist Pandurang Khankhoje in Mexico, the Italian photographer Tina Modotti, the Mexican muralist and artist Diego Rivera, the Mexican writer and educator José Vasconcelos, and Rabindranath Tagore's Santiniketan-Sriniketan experiment in India, the talk focuses on both real networks and complex routes of cultural co-option afforded by South-South Orientalisms. The talk further asks what this meant for the rethinking of national identities, environmentalisms, and racial theories in India and in Mexico this period.

Current 4A_Lab Postdoctoral Fellow, Sria Chatterjee specializes in the political ecologies of art and design in the global south in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She holds a PhD from Princeton University and was awarded the Charlotte Elizabeth Procter Honorific Fellowship in 2019. She is currently Contributing Editor at British Art Studies, and a researcher with the Swiss National Science Foundation Cycles of Circulation project at FHNW, Basel. Sria's research has been supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Yale Centre for British Art, the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, the Rockefeller Archive Center among others. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as British Art Studies, Contemporary Political Theory, Cultural Politics among others.


This event will be documented photographically and/or recorded on video. Please let us know if you do not agree with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz using images in which you might be recognizable for event documentation and public relation purposes (e.g. social media).

07 July 2020, 3:00pm

Online 4A_Lab Seminar
The event takes place online
Internal event


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