This essay discusses the concept of nostalgia as a paradigm that comes into play in engaged art and particularly in contemporary artistic practices and theories that relate to the global margins. While international art platforms and the museum are increasingly calling for decolonization, inclusion and diversity, issues of remembrance, migration and exile, trauma and loss, fragmentation and restoration, often appear to be negotiated or viewed through the paradigm of nostalgia. Can nostalgia be used as a critical tool to address these problematics? Can the aesthetics of nostalgia activate change or even inspire debate? Or, on the contrary, does nostalgia fix and maintain difference when it comes to gender and racial issues, as well as their intersectionalities? Is there a clear demarcation between the perpetrators of colonial nostalgia and the inheritors of its legacies? This essay intends to address these questions and expand the reflection on nostalgia as an effective term for the field of global art history.
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