[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re:<eyebeam><blast> localization carnival

2 responses to Carlos Basualdo, from Andreas Hagenbach and Ricardo

>..... And this even if you both define Brazilian
>identity as, fundamentally, an open process of non-identification...
> It smells of some sort of dialectical argument...

andreas hagenbach <aah@thing.ch> writes:

Carlos Basulado, what really interests me it where you live and what
kind of inter-cultural exchange you have.

Non.identification -- isn't this a intelectual concept? Identity is
created every day by individuals and groups in Brazil.  The lack of
sense for history (and identity) is certainly a thing intended by "la
classe politique". Why is still illiteracy so high? While TV GLOBO runs
mostly US-films after ten in the evening. And "novelas" are kept so
poor. You will get connected to electricity first before torunning water
-- to run the TV. Where you hear the politicians say: Big Money came
from the US -- to build or to finish a (10 year lasting)road. Or it
didn't come at all -- sorry, we can't buy these so necessary steril
surgeon stuff.

Before the "real"  in Brazil as currency was established, you made
you're savings in US-dollars. A thing quite normal too for most of the
rest of world. But when you see the kind of civil-war going not only in
the favelas. When it is cheaper for a fazendeiro to shoot and burn
wood-workers instead of paying them, while the very wood goes to the US.
The "salario minimo" is about 120 US$. There are enough stories of this

I remember the premiere of a novela launched on TV Manchete around the
theme of Romeo and Julia. He, bandit from a favela meets her, doctor and
daughter from a "deputado federal". The plot was good as it looked close
to things going on. But the public didn't like this seemingly innovative
and critical new novela (too cruel), on many levels better than all
other things produced in Brazil.
Under such circumstances self-expression is not a virtual need - being
first dominated by European, later by another oligarchy -- it leads
resistence into social and cultural movements. This on large scale as
work with street-children can be seen. Or a simple apprentice in the
"terreiro". Identity for Brazilians runs on different rails than common
Western thought like to follow. But why have Brazialns to justivy
themselves for that?

> It is quite puzzling to see this reassertion of national (romantic)
> values happening in the net...

What you call nationalistic is cultural -- where else "cultura" and
"sociedade" is not seen seperately? (I do not agree that self-expression
has to be fit into some Western concepts, even in this academic list).

Verde, Anil e Amarelo
O Brasil tambèm é
Cor de Rosa e Carvão
Patrimônio de Antônio
Anônimo Nômade
(...) by Carlinhos Brown




Ricardo Basbaum <rirobas@visualnet.com.br> writes:

caro Carlos,
thanks/obrigado/gracias for replying (3/1/98).
Commenting your two questions:

"1. Why is it that it seems so difficult for you--at least in the
context of what you've written--to think of Brazil in relation to any
other country/culture that is not the US? In both your texts the US
appears recurrently as that which it is always already counterposed to
Brazil, defining its identity. And this even if you both define
Brazilian identity as, fundamentally, an open process of
non-identification... It smells of some sort of dialectical argument..."

But I did not, in my posting. Cultural borderlines are different from
the country's borders, they do not fit perfectly with each other. New
York is an obvious example, being very 'international' and not the
'true' USA. As practicing artists, writers, thinkers, we are  re-tracing
continuously cultural borderlines, re-inventing language, investigating
behavior, humor, provocation, etc. It seems suspicious to me any
strategy of "defining identities" as it is a perverse process of
domination of the other: forcing me to identify myself isn't it to trap
me in an already known position? My role in facing the problem would be
mainly to raise the complexity and contradictions involved.
"Brazilian identity as, fundamentally, an open process of
non-identification..." sounds nice, confortable, as no compromise. But
it annoys me, because it clearly reveals our limitations in
comprehending the cultural scene: we can only recognize
non-identification in relation to what we have already identified, but
as artists, writers, thinkers, etc, we (Brazilians) surely respond to a
cultural environment which we can't see precisely (but feel). Anguish.
No cultural tradition (as Europe)... and no money (as USA). Over this
void were built the cultural utopias for Brazil, known as Antropofagia,
Tropicalismo, etc, based in the perfectly possibility of recognizing
here the seeds of a new civilization, where the European cultural
heritage would mingle with Africa and Native Indians. A dream, but also
a nightmare. And, it seems to me, a big trap, that makes us not to look
ahead and accept and investigate the environment around. I guess that
what is important now is just to accept looking around and experience
local environmental and cultural specificities without fear. But maybe
it will take too long.

>2. And, related to that: why is it that the open process of
>non-identification that you call cannibalism, tropicalism, etc is
>reinscribed--in both your discourses--as a national(istic) trend? It is
>quite puzzling to see this reassertion of national (romantic) values
>happening in the net...

Why it puzzles you? As I said, it is impossible to survive without
questioning cultural environment, be it Rio, Buenos Aires or New York. I
do not want and did not talk about national values, because from my
recent past (as yours, you said it) they are linked to military
dictatorship and its slogans like "Ame-o ou Deixe-o" ("Love it or Leave
it" - the country, of course). The need for discussing local cultures
has been a consequence of the so called globalization, it has been
happening in other parts of the world. Possibly, the global network is
changing and the cultural lines are being re-traced differently. Where
is "global"? Obviously it is located in the economic centers: New York,
London, Paris, Berlim, Tokyo... The rest of the world is local.

>I would also like to hear more about the internal political problems
>that make the favelas what they are today -- and of course about the
>possible relation between these and globalization.

The favelas and their domination by gangs for selling drugs is clearly a
very interesting and complex case of international economy. Michael
Jackson shot a videoclip (in 1995) at Favela Dona Marta. Everybody there
(from commom people to drug dealers) wanted Michael there, but the Mayor
had almost forbidden the footage (he argued that international image of
Brazil would be dammaged). People who live in favelas have a very hard
living but they have TVs and videos and Parabolic antennae (I have no
data about computers and Internet).They probably can't afford
international trips, but some of them go to Paraguai to buy goods and
re-sell here with good profit. Sorry, but what kind of possible relation
do you have in mind between favelas and globalization? How would you
relate the discussion above with your experience between Argentina and

Ricardo Basbaum

a critical forum for artistic practice in the network
texts are the property of individual authors
to unsubscribe, send email to eyebeam@list.thing.net
with the following single line in the message body:
unsubscribe eyebeam-list
information and archive at http://www.eyebeam.org
Eyebeam Atelier/X Art Foundation http://www.blast.org