Towards a Conjuctural Political Economy of Non-Alignment and Cultural Politics

Ljiljana Kolesnik's picture
Call for Papers
September 27, 2021 to September 29, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations, Political Science

Workshop Concept and Call for Proposals


The research workshop Towards a Conjunctural Political Economy of Non-Alignment and Cultural Politics is the second of a series of workshops organised within the bilateral research project Models and practices of global cultural exchange and non-aligned movement. Research in spatio-cultural dynamics ( conducted at the Institute of Art History, Zagreb, Croatia and the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


The multidisciplinary research team focuses on emergent visual assemblages and new models of cultural exchange that emerged in the second half of the 20th century as a consequence of decolonization, and which we see as radical political and aesthetic interventions into the dynamics of global Cold War and North-South relations. We seek to explore the economic, social, cultural and political imaginaries of NAM through a spatio-temporal, or conjunctural, frame. We see NAM as an unstable, dynamic, set of practices connected, in complex and underexplored ways, with broader networks of cultural and political solidarity, of South-South exchanges, and contributing to a common political agenda of decolonization. Challenging the supposed universality of colonial modernity and questioning capitalist concepts of development, a conjunctural political economy of NAM explores the material conditions and socio-political contexts of cultural exchange.


Close to the 60th anniversary of the Belgrade summit that heralded the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement (1-5 September 1961), this conference, organised by the Institute of Art History, Zagreb in collaboration with the NGO Drugo more from Rijeka, will explore aspects of a critical conjunctural political economy of non-alignment and cultural politics. It has four broad aims:


  1. To explore aspects of the political economy of the Non-Aligned Movement and cultural politics across different spatio-temporal conjunctures with particular reference to its impacts in terms of North-South and West-East divisions and struggles, and in terms of the complex inter-relations between capitalism, colonialism and hegemonic racialised structures.
  2. To address the complementarities, contradictions and conflicts between non-alignment and other anti-systemic worldmaking projects including the Bandung spirit of Afro-Asian solidarity, the Tri-Continental, Pan-Africanism, pan-Arabism, and others, in terms of counter-hegemonic cultural politics.
  3. To identify contestations and complementarities in terms of socialist internationalist worldmaking in terms of cultural politics and cultural exchange, with particular reference to Soviet and Chinese politics and practices.
  4. To note elements of the spatio-temporal 'afterlives' of non-alignment and their significance for contemporary cultural politics, including Nasserism, Yugoslavism and Tricontinentalism.


In addition to invited keynote speakers, the workshop is open to all those interested in Non-Alignment, Decolonisation and Cultural Production and Exchange. We invite proposals for 15-minute scientific, research-based, empirical and/or theoretical  contributions that fit, in broad terms, aspects of these four themes to be considered for inclusion in the panel discussions. Anyone wishing to discuss their ideas should contact Paul Stubbs ( or Ljiljana Kolešnik (


A short abstract/description of the proposal, no more than 300 words, and a short biography, no more than 250 words, should be sent to no later than 31 July 2021. Those who wish to participate should indicate whether they would prefer to present in person or via Zoom. Those chosen to be part of a panel will have some of their costs of travel and accommodation reimbursed.    


Day One Monday 27 September 2021


Keynote Presentation: Vijay Prashad, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, author of Red Star Over the Third World


Panel Discussion I: Decolonial Worldmaking and Counter-Hegemonic Cultural Politics



Day Two Tuesday 28 September 2021


Keynote Presentation: Sara Salem, The London School of Economics, author of Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt: the politics of hegemony


Panel Discussion II: Non-Alignment and Decolonizing Culture



Day Three Wednesday 29 September


Invited Discussion: Budimir Lončar, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Tvrtko Jakovina, Professor, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, Universtiy of Zagreb and author of Budimir Lončar: od Preka do vrh svijeta


Panel Discussion III: Practices of Cultural Exchange 

Contact Email: