Sovereign TrickstersScholar and historian Vicente L. Rafael in conversation with artist Pio Abad
The conversation between Rafael and Abad explores the transhistorical webs of global populism, wealth, corruption, and violence that we face today.
The talk is in conjunction with Pio Abad’s solo exhibition, Kiss the Hand You Cannot Bite. Rooted within the multiple histories of exile, resistance, and displacement from the ’70s and ’80s, the presentation departs from narratives related to the former Filipino dictator, Ferdinand Marcos. Rafael’s most recent essay, The Sovereign Trickster (2019), speculates on the dual notions of sovereignty embodied by the notorious presidents Rodrigo Duterte and Donald Trump, representing the power of law while simultaneously being absolved from it.
Vincente L. Rafael is the Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History at the University of Washington in Seattle. Rafael is the author of several works on the cultural politics of the Philippines, including Contracting Colonialism, White Love and Other Events in Filipino History, The Promise of the Foreign and Motherless Tongues: The Insurgency of Language Amid Wars of Translation, all published by Duke University Press.