The Keynote speakers of the 16th edition of Participatory Design Conference are:

Glady Tzul

Gladys Tzul Tzul Maya / K’iche’

Gladys is a Maya K’iche’ sociologists and public intellectual specialized in the study of indigenous forms of government and land ownership in Guatemala. She is also the co-founder of the indigenous women photographers collective “Con Voz Propia» (With Own Voice). Her practice and research work addresses the politics of desire and indigenous forms of communal politics.

In the past decades Gladys has supported several important processes in her territory including the Maya, Garífuna and Xinka Assembly of Indigenous Authorities. Her latest books are Sistemas de Gobierno Comunal Indígena: mujeres y tramas de parentesco en Chuimeq’ena’ (2016) and Gobierno Comunal Indígena y Estado Guatemalteco. Algunas claves para comprender la tensa relación (2018). In 2018 she was recipient of the Voltaire- Preis Für Toleranz Völkeverständigung und Respekt vor Differenz,  a prize given by Potsdam University.

Photo credit: Sandra Sebastian

Producción comunal de imágenes: trabajo comunal y memoria indígena. // Communal production of images: communal work and indigenous memory.

Wednesday 17th of June  8:00 am (UTC -5)


El mundo comunal indígena se encuentra habitado de plurales, diversas e incontables imágenes que habilitan la reproducción de la vida, la fiesta, el duelo o los ritos. Esta charla presentará un panorama introductorio sobre las dinámicas de trabajo comunal y memoria indígena que imaginan, recomponen, producen y disfrutan de las variada iconografía comunal.

La charla será en Español con traducción simultánea al Inglés

Indigenous communal worlds are inhabited by plurals, diverse and countless images that enable the reproduction of life, of parties, mourning and rites. This talk will present an introductory overview of the dynamics of communal work and of indigenous memory that imagine, recompose, produce and enjoy multiple manifestations of communal iconography.

The talk will be in Spanish with simultaneous translation into English.

Arturo Escobar

Arturo Escobar  Colombia / USA    

Arturo is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His main interests are: political ecology, ontological design, pluriversal studies, and the anthropology of development, social movements, and technoscience. 

Over the past twenty-five years, he has worked closely with several Afro-Colombian social movements in the Colombian southwest, particular the Process of Black Communities (PCN). His latest book Designs for the Pluriverse. Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds (2018; 2016 and 2017 for Colombian and Argentine editions) engages with critical design discourses; making links between design, critical traditions, transitions, autonomia, relationality and collective forms of design.

Comunalizando la participación: La co-investigación y el co-diseño pluriversales // Communitizing Participation: Pluriversal Collaborative Research and Co-design practices

Friday 19th at 3.00 pm (UTC -5)


This talk develops a particular approach to participation(s) otherwise, based on a two-fold premise: first, that the imperative of selective de-globalization –clearer now than ever with the Convid-19 crisis–, requires not only the re-localization of productive activities but the re-communalization of social life within a relational perspective; second, that to the extent that design has a role in this process, it needs to be based on equally relational (non-dualist, decolonized) approaches to collaborative knowledge production that contributes to the communitizing group’s autonomy.  Thus reconceived, “participation” becomes a problematizing practice at the interface of design and ontological politics.

The talk will be in Spanish with simultaneous translation into English.