Revisiting Stuart Hall’s memories, I found many links between his personal trajectory of a successful migrant amidst a hostile environment and the modern dilemmas which entail the experience of any migrant that aims at the same success and recognition in the modern UK.
This is a reflection about the importance of understanding the historical, literary, and artistic narratives on South America and Africa. This article was written as an introduction to the readingtheperiphery.org, an online archive with texts about postcolonialism and European encounters around the world.
Afro-Brazilian religions in Brazil have faced persecution for centuries. Since the emergence of Neopentecostal churches, in the early 1980s, the profanation of sacred sites and the promotion of prejudicial views against followers of these religions have grown amid the lower middle classes. In this interview, Prof Vagner Silva from the University of São Paulo discusses these and other issues that threaten the life of Afro-Brazilian worshipers.
Liz Calder is such a cultural fixture in Brazil. The British editor and literary celebrity have helped to create the first large literary “festival” of the country, the so-called “Flip”. Based in Paraty, a colonial and picturesque city of the southeast, the festival has attracted much attention to a scene thought to be inexistent. In 2014, a version of this festival happened in Suffolk, England. By immersing in the backstage of the English counterpart, I got to explore all the grassroots web of contacts and voluntary work that surrounds any literary event. I discuss in this long-form reportage all the contradictions that stem from Flip as multicultural enterprise: The small web of influences surrounding authors, editors, and wannabe writers; the trajectory of a modern book Maecenas; and the obvious cultural clashes that pop up once one tries to conciliate the coloniser and colonised into the same frame of existence.
This Open Democracy article approaches the so-called “free-journalists” who have risen to prominence during Brazil’s 2013 national protests. An example of this prominence was seen when one of these groups claimed having raised 120,000 BRLs through crowdfunding. I survey many of these small alternative media groups to understand their motivations and the groups they claim to represent. Although the full picture of Brazilian politics seems to navigate much towards the right, the presence and variety of these media groups have enriched Brazil’s media environment with many inequality-focused conversations.
Vasco Araújo is a Portuguese artist who explores a comprehensive body of postcolonial topics. Here, I interviewed him during his exhibition at the Pinacoteca of São Paulo, one of the Brazilian city’s most celebrated museums. In his narrative, Araújo interprets the influence of Jean-Baptiste Debret, the French painter who portrayed many of the social dynamics of Rio de Janeiro. Debret has represented a turning point when one reads the Brazilian reality of the 19th century. While the city was still assembled as a Portuguese colony and sit of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Azores, it already staged tensions stemming from slavery. His scenes, as Araújo points out and try to reassemble with his work, echo a social organisation that struggled to keep up, and if it did, it was depended on a failed morality. Araújo concentrates his work in discussing sexuality, power, and race as three of the most flaming aspects that stems from Debret’s engravings and which are still relevant today.