The department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the department of Global and Cultural Studies gathered students and visitors at the Garrett House on Tuesday night to hear a lecture by Mexican author and Professor of Cultural Studies at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Sayak Valencia, to discuss topics pertaining to transfeminism, the border, and contemporary violence. Her book, Capitalismo Gore or Gore Capitalism, was also brought up to give some reference to her arguments. The lecture was given in Spanish, but slides were presented in English to help non-Spanish speakers or readers follow along with her talk. “My research over the last decade has focused on the situated analysis of the phenomena linked to neoliberalism on the border and what we could call ‘economies of death,’ especially those linked to the death in Mexico — related to drug trafficking and organized crime as economic paradigms — but also as a cultural, social, political and aesthetic,” explained Valencia in her lecture.
Valencia went into detail on the term “Gore Capitalism” in her presentation slides as “a concept that denotes the spilling of explicit and unjustified blood (as a price to pay by the third world, understood as spaces of neocolonial plundering, which cling to the logics of neoliberalism, each more and more demanding), the high percentage of [dismemberment] or disembowelment (often tied up with organized crime), the binary division of gender and sexuality and the predatory uses of bodies. In general, this term posits these incredibly brutal kinds of violence as tools of necro empowerment.”
“My interest in contributing concepts, elaborated from the border context, are to reflect on the reality of the transnational southern world (Global South), is circumscribed to a transfeminist ethical-political position, where the power of knowledge and the articulation of a common language helps us leave the social anomie that quantifies hundreds of dismembered bodies everyday in Mexico,” says Valencia. She continued examining the power of social media as a tool to connect with current events and its power to translate ideas to a large audience.
Joanna León, a second-year student, was in attendance. León explained that she “enjoyed the lecture because it pointed out things that may seem simple to us in the way that we have this opinion or background [information] when in reality there’s so much to analyze from just one concept.” She continued saying, “I thought what was really important was the misconception of ‘wanting to be white’ Sayak said that it’s not that we want to be white, it is that we want the same privileges as them because of their skin color.”