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‘Landscapes of Abandonment’ roundtable

Starts 06 April 2017 - 18:00
Finishes 06 April 2017 - 21:00
Venue Birkbeck Cinema, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square
Booking details
Free entry; booking required
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Event description

To accompany Freddy Dewe Mathews’ exhibition ‘El Encanto’ at the Peltz Gallery, ‘Landscapes of Abandonment’ considers the histories of the Putumayo region in Colombia and the challenges of a critical artistic practice that interrogates the legacies of exploitative activities on abandoned places.

After an introduction by Luciana Martins (Birkbeck), there will be short presentations by Jordan Goodman (UCL), Leslie Wylie (Leicester), and Xavier Ribas (Brighton) followed by a Q&A session and a wine reception.


  • Jordan Goodman is an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at UCL. He has written extensively in the fields of economic history, history of science and medicine, environmental history and cultural history. He is currently writing a book about the eighteenth-century naturalist and President of the Royal Society, Joseph Banks (HarperCollins, due 2019). His book The Devil and Mr Casement (London and New York 2009) chronicled the crimes against humanity perpetrated in the Putumayo rubber region in the early twentieth century and the role played by the Irish humanitarian, Roger Casement, in exposing them internationally.
  • Lesley Wylie is Associate Professor of Latin American Studies at the University of Leicester, where she specializes in writing on and from the Amazon and Colombian literature and culture. In 2016 the Leverhulme Trust awarded her a Fellowship for her latest project on ‘The Poetics of Plants in Latin American Literature’. She is the author of Colonial Tropes and Postcolonial Tricks: Rewriting the Jungle in the novela de la selva (2009), Colombia’s Forgotten Frontier: A Literary Geography of the Putumayo (2013), and co-editor of Surveying the American Tropics: A Literary Geography from New York to Rio (2013).
  • Xavier Ribas is a photographer, lecturer at the University of Brighton, and associate lecturer at the Universitat Politècnica de València. His photographic work investigates contested sites and histories, and geographies of abandonment. His recent works take the form of large photographic grids, often including text, archive materials and moving image as multiple, composite forms of examining temporary settlements, sites of corporate development and exclusion, border territories, and geographies of extraction. Ribas has been involved in many international exhibitions including the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Bluecoat Liverpool, and Aperture Gallery in New York.

The roundtable will be followed by a private view of the exhibition at the Peltz Gallery. This event is free but you need to reserve your place here.