Human Race - 3D virtual exhibition by Artfocus Latinoamérica

Human Race

Tue, 10/12/2021 to Sat, 01/15/2022

curated by:

Human Race

As stated in this catalogue by Canary Island artist Acaymo Cuesta, a broad scientific consensus rejects the notion of race when it is used to establish differences in the human race. From the genetic perspective, there is no possible distinction of races, since there is no single fixed difference in the human genome, and instead we share 99.9% of our genes. In September 2019, four German scientists proclaimed at the Friedrich Schiller University the Jena Declaration, the heading of which specifies, "The concept of race is the result of racism and not its premise." In other words, racism established racial differences that have no biological basis, only ideological. The Jena document was immediately endorsed by 500 researchers.

The present Art Focus Latin America exhibition highlights this issue, which is linked to discrimination and classism, forced displacements and migrations, and which has historically justified segregation, slavery and genocide. Let us note that rejecting the existence of races does not diminish the concept of ethnicity, which subsists as a categorical framework of human diversity by geographic, cultural and linguistic origins. It is race that is under examination here. Defying prejudices, the artists invited to this exhibition assume themselves as subjects of arbitration, and embody their personal, family and ethnic history, problematizing origin, inheritance and certainly the violence, both physical and symbolic, of being, having been and coming from others who are different.

Human race, the title of this exhibition, must be pondered in a context of conflict. Since 1963, the UN promulgated the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, a first significant step, which, however, failed to question the existence of opposing races. In contrast, the current denunciation of the issue is part of the eclipse of the idea of globalization. Until recently, a sort of planetary amalgam in which human heterogeneity would tend to equalize, either through miscegenation or through tolerance and inclusion, marching towards the end of inequalities, was illusively conceived. The idea thrived that the end of discrimination would give way to the recognition of a single race, the human race.

One human race? This is certainly a contradiction in terms. There cannot be only one human race, since "race" being an adversative concept - which semantically is located in a game of oppositions - cannot be reduced to an exclusive unity: races exist if and only if they contrast or oppose each other. But does this discredit the current use of the formula "human race"? Certainly not, for at the moment its use is strategic, openly opposed to the ideological justifications of racism. To speak of the human race is to fight, today, for emancipation.

Jaime Moreno Villareal October 2021

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