Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Interfacial Archetypes in Afro-Brazilian Cultural Studies: The Pan-African Consciousness of Márcio Barbosa, Paulo Colina, and Salgado Maranhão

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Interfacial Archetypes in Afro-Brazilian Cultural Studies: The Pan-African Consciousness of Márcio Barbosa, Paulo Colina, and Salgado Maranhão

Article excerpt

Abstract

This article explores the works of writers who are innovative and traditional at the same time with a keen eye on the "universal" to reach towards humanism via Paulo Colina, Salgado Maranhão, and Márcio Barbosa. Hence, their comparative commonality within the trope of "interfacial archetypes" is conceived since all these cultural producers choose the urban setting for their imaginative works even when their subject matter transcends a fixed setting and includes a traditional or rural setting. The choice between the urban and the rural is a false option for the exigency of modernity and postmodernity demands that even the "rural" become subject to the critique of "primitivism" and "exoticism" that is usually associated with subaltern and indigenous societies. The very urban nature of slavery in Brazil especially in the geo-economics and politics of Coffee in São Paulo, Sugarcane in the Northeast, and Gold in Minas Gerais, ensured the post-emancipation location of African descendants in the urban areas. Even with the effects of labor migration from "arid" to "greener" pastures, such as from the Northeast to the South, did not have a significant economic reconfiguration or betterment of life as these "migrant populations" were contained within a space that is now known as favela [Slum]-a space that may be seen as both private and public. Within this shifting space and location, African cultures and religions survived in Brazil to the extent that the relics take on their own identity with universal ethos-hence the interfacial connections between the ancestral, the urban, and the human condition. This essay was originally part of the book, Afro-Brazilians: Cultural Production in a Racial Democracy (2009) which partly explains the 1987-2003 references, the period wherein Afro-Brazilian cultural production was at its best due to the centennial celebration of the abolition of slavery (1888) in Brazil in 1988 that allowed Afro-Brazilian artistic and cultural production to flourish.

Introduction

In the Brazilian context, "post-modernism" betrays what Linda Huntcheon calls a phenomenon that can be best defined as "totally complicitous or totally critical, either seriously compromised or polemically oppositional."1 The sense of irony and critical distance that postmodernism has invited has also brought about many mixed responses to its contradictory positions which may be summed up by the opposition between utopia and dystopia relative to the unfulfilled hopes and dreams articulated in the post-abolition era. In this essay, I explore the works of writers who are innovative and traditional at the same time with a keen eye on the "universal" to reach for humanism via the works of Paulo Colina, Salgado Maranhão, and Márcio Barbosa. That all these cultural producers choose the urban setting for their imaginative works is inevitable. The choice between the urban and the rural is a false option for the exigency of modernity and postmodernity demands that even the "rural" become subject to the critique of "primitivism" and "exoticism" that is usually associated with subaltern and indigenous societies. The very urban nature of slavery in Brazil especially in the geo-economics and politics of Coffee in São Paulo, Sugarcane in the Northeast, and Gold in Minas Gerais, ensured the post-emancipation location of African descendants in the urban areas. Even with the effects of labor migration from "arid" to "greener" pastures, such as from the Northeast to the South, did not have a significant economic reconfiguration or betterment of life as these "migrant populations" were contained within a space that is now known as favela [Slum]-a space that may be seen as both private and public. Within this shifting space and location, African cultures and religions survived in Brazil to the extent that the relics take on their own identity with universal ethos-hence the connections between the ancestral, the urban, and the human condition. …

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