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Interview with Dalida María Benfield, “Images of Struggle/Decoloniality” by Marina Gržinić

Dalida María Benfield, Ph.D., is a Latinx (Panamá/US) artist, filmmaker, theorist, curator, writer, and educator. Her research engages the gendered and geo-political dimensions of contemporary digital art, cinema, and activist media in the context of global flows of information, movements for social change, and critical pedagogies. She is currently the co-founder and Research and Program Director of the Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research, a nonprofit transdisciplinary research, education, and cultural organizing center. As an artist she produces video, installations, archives, artists’ books, workshops, and other pedagogical and communicative actions, across online and offline platforms and often, collectively. She is also the co-founder of the Institute of (im)Possible Subjects, a transnational feminist collective creating online and print publications, exhibitions, and workshops. Her recent work, los archivos del cuerpo (body files) invokes a decolonial feminist aesthetics and the poetics of knowledge sharing in the shadows of global colonialities, and takes the form of an open access archive of art and writing, an installation of video, photographs, and drawings, a video screening series, workshops, and print publications. The collective project, with work contributed by international artists and the public, exhibited at Huret & Spector Gallery, Emerson College, Boston (April 2015); and SALASAB, Bogotá, Colombia (October 2015), with its most recent iteration co-designed with the artist Robert Ochshorn. Alongside teaching in the Vermont College of Fine Art MFA in Visual Arts program (2013 – present), she was a Fellow and Faculty Associate with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University (2011-2015). She is also formerly a Professor of Art Education (specializing in critical media literacy, critical multicultural art education, social justice education, and social theory) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1997-2004); and Professor of Art (specializing in activist video, performance, and social theory) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1994-1997).


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