The Strike as Theory: History of the Present and Uprising in Colombia

When and Where

Monday, March 25, 2024 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
Room 226
Woodsworth College
119 St George St


Alejandra Azuero-Quijano


Join us for "The Strike as Theory: History of the Present and Uprising in Colombia" with Professor Alejandra Azuero-Quijano, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Swarthmore College. This Public Talk is part of a 2023-2024 Andrew Mellon Sawyer Seminar titled “Evasion: Thinking the Underside of Surveillance.” 

About the talk:

In The Strike as Theory: History of the Present and Uprising in Colombia, Alejandra Azuero-Quijano invites us to conceptualize the 2021 national strike that swept the country as an epistemic uprising, an event that articulates national history to time-rhythms that allow us to rethink the past in order to imagine and actualize what is possible in the present. Through her analysis of popular repertoires of resistance and interruption, Azuero-Quijano shows how the national strike reorganized the coordinates through which Colombian politics is understood, imagined, perceived and represented and, by extension, the socio-political reality of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The strike, which began in April 2021 as a reaction against a controversial tax reform promoted by the government in the midst of the pandemic, ended that same year. Yet, as Azuero-Quijano argues, although the protesters are no longer on the street, the historical force of the strike exceeded its duration as an event, launching forms of aesthetic, political, and sense experimentation that are still ongoing.
The Strike as Theory invites us to dwell on the uprising as an event with the potential to change everything: from our politics to our ways of knowing and sensing, as well as our philosophy of history.

About Professor Azuero-Quijano:

Alejandra Azuero-Quijano is a lawyer and anthropologist, she currently works as Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia. In her first book, El Paro como teoría: Historia del presente y estallido en Colombia (Herder, 2023), currently being translated to English, Azuero-Quijano conceptualizes the 2021 national strike in Colombia as an "epistemic uprising", an event that articulates histories and time-rhythms, enabling a rethinking of the past to comprehend and update the politics of the present. Her next book project, Forensics of Finance, examines the role of financial forensic expertise in shaping Colombia’s most recent political transition. Azuero-Quijano holds an SJD from Harvard Law School and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago. Her academic work has been published in Cultural Anthropology, Filosofía & Co., Grey Room, and PoLAR. Her essays and poetry have appeared on The Philadelphia Inquirer, Al Jazeera, and New American Writing, among others.

Contact Information: Katharine Bell,


Contact Information

Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies


Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies


119 St George St