sexta-feira, 24 de outubro de 2014

The Search for Decolonial Love

Follows an excerpt from a conversation between Dominican - American writer Junot Díaz and Paula L.M.Moya:

JD: [Nods quietly] One has to understand that all the comments, all the things that Yunior does in Oscar Wao, move him inexorably away from the thing that he most needs: real intimacy which must have vulnerability, forgiveness, acceptance as its prerequisites. So that even though Yunior is sexist, even though he’s misogynist, even though he’s racist, even though he mischaracterizes Oscar’s life, even though he’s narcissistic—at the end he’s left with no true love, doesn’t find himself, doesn’t find that decolonial love that he needs to be an authentic self. In fact, he ends up—like the work that he assembles and stores in the refrigerator—incomplete.

You know how he assembles this work on Oscar, how he says it needed someone else to complete, a someone he fantasizes as Lola’s daughter, Isis? Isis’s name, of course, is a bit of an inside joke, but an important one. Because, what does Isis do, what is she known for mythologically? In the Egyptian legends I grew up on, Isis assembles her lover/brother Osiris, she assembles the pieces of Osiris that have been chopped up and scattered by Set. That’s one of the great mythical tasks of Isis, except—What does she leave out? In the legends it says that Isis doesn’t find Osiris’s penis, but I like to believe she just leaves it out. Osiris comes back to the world alive but penis-less. Which for some is a horror but for others a marked improvement. In keeping with the Isis metaphor I’ve always thought, the thing with Yunior is that he couldn’t reassemble himself in a way that would leave out the metaphoric penis, that would leave out all his attachments to his masculine patriarchal phallocratic privileges. Which is what he needed to do to finally “get” Lola. In the end, Yunior is left . . . with not much. No Lola, no Isis, no Oscar.

Thinking about Yunior as having been raped made (in my mind at least) his fucked-up utterances in the novel have a different resonance. And while he wasn’t yet ready to bear witness to his own rape, it gave him a certain point of view around sexual violence that I don’t think would have been possible otherwise. It helped me produce a novel with a feminist alignment. A novel whose central question is: is it possible to overcome the horrible legacy of slavery and find decolonial love? Is it possible to love one’s broken-by-the-coloniality-of-power self in another broken-by-the-coloniality-of-power person?

PM: You have a new collection of short stories, This is How You Lose Her, appearing in print very soon. And you are also at work on a new novel, a portion of which you had intended to read from yesterday before you decided instead to give that amazing and insightful lecture. Will you tell me a bit about Monstro?
I have to wrestle with all this weirdness, have to wrestle with the voice, have to wrestle with the characters.

JD: Of course. Monstro is an apocalyptic story. An end of the world story set in the DR of the near future. It’s a zombie story. (On that island, how could it not be?) It’s an alien invasion story. It’s a giant monster story. It’s about the Great Powers (China, the United States) attempting to contain the growing infestation by re-invading the Island for, what, the twelfth time? I always say if people on my island know about anything they know about the end of the world. We are after all the eschaton that divided the Old World from the New. The whole reason I started writing this book is because of this image I have of this fourteen-year-old girl, a poor, black, Dominican girl, half-Haitian—one of the Island’s damnés—saving the world. It’s a book is about this girl’s search for—yes—love in a world that has made it its solemn duty to guarantee that poor raced “conventionally unattractive” girls like her are never loved.

PM: That’s so interesting because just a couple of days ago I went to a talk by the Stanford sociologist Corey Fields; he is doing some pilot studies about the impact of race on black women’s love lives. During his talk, Fields mentioned a book by Averil Clarke called Inequalities of Love. The thing about this book is that it talks about the fact that college-educated black women, in particular, date less, marry less, and have fewer romantic relationships than their college-educated white and Latina counterparts, and than non-college-educated black women. But the important intervention that Clarke makes is that she points out that everyone talks about this fact as a kind of difference. Well, sure it is a difference, but it is not just a difference—it’s an inequality. So she frames the situation in terms of an inequality and describes it as a “romantic deprivation” that black women suffer.

JD: Love this!

PM: And this romantic deprivation has all manner of cascading implications for everything else in their lives.

For the full interview with the writer go hERE 

Poética da relação

 What follows is an intro to Édouard Glissant's book "Poetics of Relation":

                                                      A BARCA ABERTA

Aquilo que petrifica, na experiência da deportação dos africanos para as Américas, é sem dúvida o desconhecido, enfrentado sem preparação nem desafio.

A primeira treva foi o ser arrancado à terra quotidiana, aos deuses protetores, à comunidade tutelar. Mas isso ainda não é nada. O exílio suporta-se, mesmo quando sidera. A segunda noite foi de torturas, de degenerescência do ser, provocada por tantos incríveis sofrimentos. Imaginem duzentas pessoas amontoadas num espaço que mal poderia conter um terço delas. Imaginem o vómito, a carne viva, os piolhos pululantes, os mortos jacentes, os agonizantes apodrecendo. Imaginem, se forem capazes, a embriaguez vermelha das subidas ao convés, a rampa que é preciso subir, o sol negro no horizonte, a vertigem, esse deslumbramento do céu colado às ondas. Vinte, trinta milhões de deportados durante dois séculos ou mais. A degradação, mais sempiterna que um apocalipse. Mas isso ainda não é nada.

(Édouard Glissant: Poética da relação)

Manthia Diawara's lecture on Édouard Glissant and their journey documented in the film "One World in Relation" can be found hERE

Border Dwellers (SP)

                                      Carlos Motta, still from "Nefandus", part of the "Nefandus Trilogy", 2013.

How to talk about things that don't exist? Border Dwellers is a collab between a frequent traveller-thinker and a filmmaker from the tropics. It is inspired by the journeys across the Atlantic, such as the recent trip by Caribbean poet and thinker Édouard Glissant and African theorist and filmmaker Manthia Diawara from UK to Martinique on the board of Queen Mary II (recorded by Diawara); or the trip by French philosopher Félix Guattari to Brazil following the invitation by the psychoanalyst Suely Rolnik, in the aftermath of the military dictatorship, when new things began to emerge, which resulted in a book- Molecular Revolution in Brazil.

Border Dwellers is also much indebted to Tropicália movement, to which we would like to pay a homage, in form of “inverse antropofagia”, digesting Brazil's artistic and intellectual stimuli, and this way shifting the focus south.

As Madina Tlostanova puts it: “I would not even say that I consciously chose border thinking. Rather it chose me! When you are the border, when the border cuts through you, when you do not cross borders in order to find yourself on either side, you do not discuss borders from some zero point positionality, but instead you dwell in the border, you do not really have much choice but to be a border thinker.”

In São Paulo we would like to present a freshly squeezed and meticulously curated screening followed by Q&A, where the public is encouraged to engage as an active participant. Border Dwellers (SP) features a constellation of artworks that delve deeply into the issues proposed by this edition of the biennale (such as the “turn” or paradigmatic shift we're assisting), and elaborate on “things that don't exist”, unfolding artworks which we believe would have a special resonnance within the Brazilian context and beyond.

Édouard Glissant: One World in Relation” is a forementioned transatlantic journey filmed by Manthia Diawara, during which Glissant shares his thoughts, at the same time poetic and philosophical, while arguing for “one world in relation”. His ideas, inspired by the condition of archipelagos (islands in relation), take shape according to the poetics of multiplicity- a fragmentary theory of global relations.

“Waiting” by Zarina Bhimji, an artist who explores history and memory, especially of postcolonial Africa and Europe, was shot in a factory in Kenya, based on the previous research into this slice of history. The resulting artwork is an “abstraction that hovers somewhere between film and painting- a monochrome that combined with a soundtrack becomes immersive.”

“Nefandus” by Carlos Motta is the first film from the Nefandus Trilogy that explores the relationship between colonialism and homosexuality from the viewpoint of the colonized. It is at the same time a personal and historical account, as well as a poetic journey into a vast and nameless landscape haunted by the ghosts from the past - a dark river in the tropical forests of Colombia. In other words: Decolonial aesthetics.

“Otolith II” by the Otolith Group (Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar) is the second film in the Otolith Trilogy. Shot partly in a Mumbai slum and narrated by a fictional character Dr. Sagar, it interconnects the harsh reality and improvisation of the life in the slum with “third world” feminist concerns and outwordly gravity.

“Ativu” by César Schofield Cardoso is a video inspired by resistance fighter Amílcar Cabral, a leading figure of the independence movement in Guiné-Bissau and Cape Verd, that reconnects his poetic legacy with the present-day activist positions from the archipelago.

Neil Beloufa's “Kempinski” is a fiction-doc that features people in Mali revealing their hopes and dreams for the future. The “actors” recount in present tense how they envisage the future to come. Their imaginaries reflect (un)realizable utopias. And precisely there lies their potential. Since we arrived at a point in history- perhaps a major historical turning point, a rupture in space and time- where we cannot any longer continue to “move forward”, putting the Western fiction of progress into question.

+ Free journal for take-away.


Rosana Sancin + Victoria Verissimo
Cape Verd Islands, February 27, 2014.

"I charge you to leave this body"

                                         ruby amanze: "i know who are. you are me.", 2013.

"Learning how to fly was the most necessary skill to acquire. To be okay at living in between, it was imperative that she remain light, leaving as gentle of a mark on the surface for fear it might crumble beneath her. This is how she became a ghost. Always a hybrid. Sometimes an alien. Borders are just pencil lines.

How can you divide something that is fluid [space]?

The whole world is mine."

: : Excerpt  from "I charge you to leave this body" by ruby onyinyechi amanze. Read the whole text and engage with the original drawings made by the artist hERE

sexta-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2014

Micropolítica: Cartografias do desejo

Suely Rolnik justifies her constant migration from one field of knowledge to another by arguing that '... what I was searching for was in none of them.' Her interest in what she calls the 'politics of desire' or 'micro-politics' grew out of her understanding that 'the colonial experience... was the repression of the body's knowledge, which was present in the cultures who founded Brazil, namely the African, native Indian and the Jewish-Arab cultures. Thus the primordial resistance, from a micro-political perspective, consists in summoning this knowledge.'

quarta-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2014

Molecular Revolution in Brazil

Yes, I believe that there is a multiple people, a people of mutants, a people of potentialities that appears and disappears, that is embodied in social, literary, and musical events.... I think that we're in a period of productivity, proliferation, creation, utterly fabulous revolutions from the viewpoint of this emergence of a people. That's molecular revolution: it isn't a slogan or a program, it's something that I feel, that I live....
—from Molecular Revolution in Brazil

Following Brazil's first democratic election after two decades of military dictatorship, French philosopher Felix Guattari traveled through Brazil in 1982 with Brazilian psychoanalyst Suely Rolnik and discovered an exciting, new political vitality. In the infancy of its new republic, Brazil was moving against traditional hierarchies of control and totalitarian regimes and founding a revolution of ideas and politics. Molecular Revolution in Brazil documents the conversations, discussions, and debates that arose during the trip, including a dialogue between Guattari and Brazil's future President Luis Ignacia Lula da Silva, then a young gubernatorial candidate. Through these exchanges, Guattari cuts through to the shadowy practices of globalization gone awry and boldly charts a revolution in practice.

Assembled and edited by Rolnik, Molecular Revolution in Brazil is organized thematically; aphoristic at times, it presents a lesser-known, more overtly political aspect of Guattari's work. Originally published in Brazil in 1986 as Micropolitica: Cartografias do desejo, the book became a crucial reference for political movements in Brazil in the 1980s and 1990s. It now provides English-speaking readers with an invaluable picture of the radical thought and optimism that lies at the root of Lula's Brazil.