Autogestión: Reconfiguring the spaces of cultural production in Latin America

Selma Feliciano-Arroyo, University of Pennsylvania


Throughout the twenty-first century, the concept of autogestión has come to occupy an increasingly significant and visible place within the discourses managed by independent cultural projects. However, few scholarly studies have addressed how the term is conceived by these practitioners or what types of aesthetic proposals are articulated through it. This dissertation examines the uses of autogestión in contemporary Latin American cultural production by analyzing the projects of Dominican writer and performer Rita Indiana Hernández, Puerto Rican playwright Aravind Adyanthaya, and the political cabaret staged at the Mexican theater-bar El Vicio. I contend that autogestión is deployed as an alternative to the cultural logic of neoliberalism, which has been increasingly used in the past decades to reconfigure State practices and to organize the economic activities of the mainstream, privately-owned culture industries. Adopting practices of autogestión allows independent cultural practitioners to emancipate themselves from these more centralized corporate or statist structures. Additionally, it allows artists to imbue even the management of their projects with aesthetic and political significance by turning it into a creative and self-reflexive activity. By embracing autogestión, artists contest the widespread logic of neoliberalism through the active production of novel imaginaries of socioeconomic organization. Thus, autogestión provides a useful framework through which to organize a critical study of the relationship between mode of aesthetic production and work of art.

Subject Area

Latin American literature|Caribbean Studies|Theater|Latin American Studies|Performing Arts

Recommended Citation

Feliciano-Arroyo, Selma, "Autogestión: Reconfiguring the spaces of cultural production in Latin America" (2011). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3500228.