Skip to main content

April 4th, 2:00pm PST
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

Micaela Amateau Amato’s illustrations from Zazu Dreams projected during first break; Micaela Amateau Amato‘s art projected during 2nd break;  my projected photography on display during third break

Ladino (the language of my maternal and paternal family) is the ultimate polyvocal, interreligious language of cooperation, a hybrid of ancient Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, Bulgarian, Italian, French, and Greek—depending on where the Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews had fled when they were exiled from Iberia and Europe during the various expulsions beginning in the 14th century. A language of the trickster, Ladino reflects Diaspora; embracing difference and multiplicity. Ladino coemerged from and is a model for Convivencia, conviviality, hospitality, the stranger within; a language that reflects our histories as well as offering our futures alternatives to colonial rule, divide & conquer ideologies, false choices/ false binaries. For my Keynote speech at UCLA (on zoom), I will present how activists and artists can engage Ladino as a strategy for social justice. Through proverb and parable, personal narrative and historical investigations, I will challenge Ashkenazi-dominant assumptions (Ashkenormative) and explore how Ladino offers an exquisite example of multiple coexisting cultures; a synergy of difference that embraces contradiction and ambiguity rather than slipping into familiar norms of hierarchy and nation-state cultural domination.

This full-day symposium will include projections of my self-portrait photographs of the Sephardic body and art collaborations with my mother and co-conspirator, Micaela Amateau Amato.

Download- Quantum Entanglements: ReAnimating the Embodied Language of Ladino
See the Schedule