Detlef Mertins Lecture on the Histories of Modernity

The Detlef Mertins Lecture on the Histories of Modernity is an annual lecture in honor of the life and work of Detlef Mertins (1954-2011), endowed by Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown. Previous speakers include Lucia Allais, Craig Buckley, Zeynep Cęlik Alexander, Ayala Levin, Anthony Acciavatti, and Sophie Hochhäusl.
Barrio Sur: Modernity for the Masses

Barrio Sur (in Spanish, southern neighborhood) is a neighborhood located in the south of Buenos Aires and associated with popular movements and the complicated legacies of populist president Juan Perón. Barrio Sur is also the name of a large unbuilt modern project designed in 1956 by Catalan architect Antonio Bonet. The project was part of the broader strategy of the dictatorship of Pedro Aramburu to erase Perón’s image, name, and legacy. This talk examines the multiple meanings of Barrio Sur through the lens of Aníbal Quijano and the Modernity/Coloniality group, and speculates on the South as a conceptual and political position. Barrio Sur, I argue, reveals the ways in which for the masses of Buenos Aires—and more broadly of the South—coloniality has always been a component of modernity.