Decolonial Witnessing: The Post-Cold War Testimonio of Human Rights


ACLS Fellowship Program


English & Gender, Race, and Identity


Working against the assumed epitaph of the testimonio genre, “Decolonial Witnessing” analyzes Latin American and Latinx literary and visual representations that expand how testimonio continues to operate into the twenty-first century. This project develops the analytic of decolonial witnessing—making US-supported state violence perceptible—to demonstrate how the human rights figures of the torture abolitionist, the Indigenous ecofeminist, the child refugee, and the reluctant DREAmer (undocumented student) confront Cold War afterlives in the present and revalue abjected bodies beyond state recognition. “Decolonial Witnessing” argues that testimonio—now as then—is a human rights genre that reveals an intersectional understanding of constructions of (non)citizenship.