What is the meaning of what’s happening in the world today? Where are we headed? Our time is defined by uncertainty and the renewed relevance of these questions. This confusion is caused by our way of relating to the past and the future, a relationship full of obstacles and contradictions that has trapped us in the sensation that there is “no way out.” Discourses of hate and intolerance we thought were overcome are now back with strength; the technologized life based on the immediacy affects how people share and live together; and voices silenced for centuries now claim their place in history. These contradictory phenomena reflect the complex reality of our contemporary times—the difficulty we have both in interpreting the past and looking ahead to the future. Some thinkers have called this disorientation: presentism.

Latin America lives these issues in a radical way, mirrored also across the Global South. A territory in which its history has an itinerary of violence, most of them coming from the North.

In an attempt to respond to the inertias of a presentist time and seeking to build a view from the reality of Guatemala with a regional focus, the 22 Bienal de Arte Paiz is proposed. The past in relation to the future, with violence as its theme, interculturality, contemporary and ancestral history of Guatemala as paths of entry.

Attacks against democracy, exploitation, human rights violations with their stories and micro-histories, as well as narratives and other forms of knowledge, are some of the themes that the artists will explore. All of them share a sensibility to the cultural and geographic diversity of Guatemala and the Global South.

Titled lost. in between. together, in a nod to one of the great thinkers of presentism, Reinhart Koselleck, the 22 Bienal de Arte Paiz aims to dig into the past and think and imagine together possible futures (the title was borrowed from a BAK publication, edited by Jonas Staal, Yoonis Osman and María Hlavajova). The curatorial project then raises the following questions: how should we address the pasts of the Global South today? Where do we identify the colonizing violences? How do we respond to them? What past do we build for the future?