Sofía Forchieri | Towards an Aesthetics of Discomfort: Feminicide in Contemporary Latin American Cultural Production

Towards an Aesthetics of Discomfort

Sofía Forchieri | Towards an Aesthetics of Discomfort: Feminicide in Contemporary Latin American Cultural Production | Radboud University | Supervisors: Prof. dr. Brigitte Adriaensen & prof. dr. Liedeke Plate | Duration: September 2020–September 2025 | Email: sofia.forchieri[at]let.ru.nl

“Current conversations taking place in the fields of memory studies and perpetrator studies insist on the need to complicate the victim-perpetrator binary in order to capture the systemic underpinnings of violence. Central to these debates are the arts, where indirect forms of involvement that enable large-scale harms are being explored with intensified urgency. This new sensibility towards issues of complicity and implication is particularly relevant in the case of recent Latin American cultural production dealing with the problem of feminicide. In recent years, impactful artworks have been emerging across the region that inquire how ordinary subjectivities, ostensibly positioned outside the violence against women, reinforce it obliquely. This project will offer the first comparative study of Latin American feminicide representation. Spanning different national contexts, genres, and media, it seeks to answer the question: What strategies are mobilized in contemporary artistic engagements with feminicide to disclose and work against implication in gender violence? The project departs from the hypothesis that these artworks cultivate an aesthetics of discomfort: a set of disruptive formal strategies that activate a range of experientially negative, discomforting affects. To test this hypothesis, it employs a close reading practice that analyses how media-specific affordances operate to render implication perceptible and mediate affect. Drawing on feminist theory, new formalism, affect theory, and memory studies, the project aims to develop an analytical toolset for investigating the aesthetic, critical, affective, and ethico-political work that the arts can perform to counter implication in gender violence in Latin America and beyond.”