El Sendero de los Apátridas. Comprender La Modernidad Latinoamericana desde la Europa de Entreguerras

Translated title of the contribution: The Path of the Stateless. Understanding Latin American Modernity from the Interwar Europe

Julian Garcia Labrador

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


What is modernity in Latin America today is a source of endless debate. Is there a Latin American modernity? Can European modernity be legitimized in Latin America? Does Latin American modernity demand its own type of episteme? In what sense can a critical modernity develop in Latin America? These are some of the questions that arise when addressing the issue of modernity and its relation to Latin America. This chapter aims to shed light on the debate from the presentation of modernity by Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin. Walter Benjamin's thought has been reclaimed in Latin America, both from the critique of the Western civilizational model and from the exploration of the meaning of the culture industry.7 Hannah Arendt's political insight is being appropriated in the hermeneutic reflection of the analysis of the conjuncture and the experiences of direct democracy in the Latin American context. We believe, however, that the deconstructive dimension of modern history practiced by both authors, whose keys can help us to answer the questions posed, is being neglected. Arendt and Benjamin had to face the onslaught of National Socialism in their own flesh, they were forced to leave their native Germany and become stateless. Both had been removed from academic careers and coincided in the Paris of exile. Educated in the liberal tradition, the triumph of the Nazi party was for them not only a reason to flee and resist, but also the root of a deep restlessness that was to accompany them all their lives. Their thinking became an exercise in critical reflection on the present time and a questioning of history and the modern era. The need to understand totalitarian barbarism prompted in both authors a permanent and determined search for meaning. Both traced the history of the modern era, searching for the elements, the conceptual inversions, the crossings, the experiences, the misunderstandings and the oversights that decanted the world that saw the emergence of the totalitarian phenomenon.
Translated title of the contributionThe Path of the Stateless. Understanding Latin American Modernity from the Interwar Europe
Original languageSpanish (Ecuador)
Title of host publicationAspectos de la Modernidad Latinoamericana: Rupturas y discontinuidades
PublisherEditorial De La Universidad Veracruzana
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)978-607-502-592-6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

CACES Knowledge Areas

  • 413A Social and Cultural Studies


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