Luíza Bastos Lages is a PhD student in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley where she is the recipient of the Berkeley Fellowship and the Silverman Fellowship. Luíza comes from Itabirito, Brazil, the ancestral and unceded land of the Guarachués. She is a multimedia artist with a Masters in Art, Culture, and Technology from MIT (2020), an Architecture and Urban Planning BA and Professional degree from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil, (2013) as well as experience in praxical research devised alongside communities and anti-capitalist social movements.
At UC Berkeley, Luíza’s doctoral research centers the contemporary art practices of Indigenous, Black, and Mestiça artists from Latin America, and their diaspora in the United States, with a focus on how particular aesthetic practices articulate non-modern (non-western) knowledges and interrogate the concept of coloniality of gender—and its intrinsic hierarchies of racial categorization. Adopting an abolitionist and decolonial frameworks in dialogue with Women of Color feminist methodologies, Luíza considers how art practices may reconceptualize the human as delinked from the imposed modern colonial episteme, affirm multiple ways of existing, and elicit ‘a sensory-erotics of affinity carved out of—and in spite of—difference’ (as inspired by Chela Sandoval). By extension, she also intends to explore how specific art practices may open possibilities for a reconception of aesthetics, one detached from Enlightenment aesthetic philosophy which has decisively served to regiment hierarchies of the human, determining who gets to be a subject of rights in a liberal state.