An exhibition about cultural guerrilla warfare from across the Americas


Against Conquest

A conversation with Sandra de la Loza, Fran Ilich and Jennifer Ponce de León on history as insurgency

Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Performance
  • Politics / Economics
  • Social Justice

Organizing Institutions

Slought, Social Justice / Global South working group at the University of Pennsylvania


Jennifer Ponce de León

Opens to public





4017 Walnut St Philadelphia, PA 19104

Slought is pleased to announce Against Conquest: Histories from Below and to the Left, a conversation with artists Sandra de la Loza and Fran Ilich and curator Jennifer Ponce de León on history as insurgency. The program will take place on Friday, September 22 from 6-8pm and is part of the exhibition Resurgent Histories, Insurgent Futures, on display through Sunday, October 1, 2017.

How does history forge our sense of the world and possibilities for changing it? How has it represented capitalist conquest, dispossession, and colonial logics as natural or inevitable, while attempting to eradicate all traces of alternative social projects or make them appear senseless, minor, or anachronistic? How have artists modeled other ways of thinking about history and the insurgency of practices and worldviews that (while consigned, by some, to the past or to the margins) are a vital compass for charting a path beyond ongoing conquest, environmental destruction, and genocide? How are artists participating in contemporary anticolonial struggles, including through the forging of networks and extradisciplinary practices that extend far beyond the purview of the arts? The conversation will address these questions through a discussion of the transdisciplinary art practices of Sandra de la Loza and Fran Ilich, whose work appears in the exhibition. It will also include the exhibition's curator, Jennifer Ponce de León.

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Sandra de la Loza is a trans-disciplinary artist from Los Angeles whose work examines power dynamics embedded in social space. Her practice incorporates extensive archival research, work with community-based groups, and the collaborative creation of autonomous spaces for artistic production, community action, and critical dialogue. She is the founder of the Pocho Research Society of Erased and Invisible History (PRS) and the author of The Pocho Research Society Field Guide to L.A.: Monuments and Murals of Erased and Invisible Histories (U. Washington Press, 2011). Her most recent project addresses ongoing decolonial struggles, their territorial inscriptions, and the counter-hegemonic approaches to research and archives.

Fran Ilich is an artist and writer based in New York City who works in the theory and practice of narrative media, experimental economies and finance, and hacktivism. He is the author of several award-winning novels, a monograph on narrative and ideology, and numerous works of narrative media that range from interactive web telenovelas, experimental theater, alternate reality games, and utopian experiments in social organization that link agriculture and art. In his recent project, Aridoamérica Winter Plan, he turned a storefront space in Williamsburg into a neighborhood coffee co-op with its own micro-economy.

Jennifer Ponce de León is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on intersections between radical left politics and contemporary cultural production in the Americas. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in, among others, the journals American Quarterly, e-misférica, and GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, and edited collections, Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy and Activism in the Americas (U. Chicago Press, 2017) and Dancing with the Zapatistas (Duke U. Press, 2015).