[-empyre-] Frente 3 de Fevereiro forward

brian whitener iwaslike at hotmail.com
Sun Jun 1 03:31:47 EST 2008

Dear friends,

I sent this e-mail yesterday, but I still haven't received it yet on the list.
Could you send it again for me, please?
And please explain that I sent it yesterday and not today.
Thank you very much.



Hi Everybody,

We, from the Frente 3 de Fevereiro, are really sorry to only contribute to this discussion in the end of it.
have been really busy in the last month finishing our Music Album and improving our Website.
We have finished both.
We invite everybody to visit the new website: http://www.frente3defevereiro.com.br/
The songs can be heard there and soon they will be available for download at the website (June 10th).

We would like to contribute to the discussion first by answering some questions that Brian Whitener has put for us.
The questions were:
1) How these
critiques that are very
conscious of global geo-politics with very localized, or situated and
responsive interventions, are conceived (and how do they direct the work)?
2) What are the
mechanisms of intervention?
3) What can we learn from these groups and
artists (most of whom have 10 or more years of working).
4) How can we
translate (conceptually, literally, and figurative) between these
experiences, contexts, and theorizations/embodiments of critique?
5) And
how can we potenciate a new cycle of struggle?
What are the forces in your context (both situated and historical)?
Globalization? Neoliberalism? Imperialism? (a related question would
be: can the Argentinean experience from 1999-2003 be collapsed into the
anti-globalization movement? What about Brazilian movements? Are we
still in the neoliberal moment? Or its crisis? Or is crisis its
7) What does the current moment look like/feel like?
(for example in Mexico, there several strong insurgent movements, APPO,
Zap,  but in Mexico City we continue to watch and wait. Thus, our
moment is much different from the Argentinean moment).
8) Current practices. What are you doing and why?
9) One question you think we should be thinking about.
10) The group started as
response to media, does it continue like this...?

11) Can you talk more about
the idea of "the cartographer is a true cultural cannibal¨"

12) Is it accurate to say
that your practice is concerned with inventing new ways of
reading and writing desires, therefore inventing new forms of

13) Current projects?

Here are the Answers:

Our group was formed with a very clear and specific objective: to
reflect and act upon the racism issue in Brazilian society. Of course,
from that we could connect this issue with other issues that are more
ample, and more global (like immigration problems, or mass
incarceration processes, etc.). Since the
beginning we have questioned exclusion and
oppression mechanisms like the racist bias in the police action, the
architecture of exclusion of our cities, the industry of fear, the
security bubbles created in our
society and the criminalization and mass confinement policies that
have targeted mainly black young people. The critique comes from the
identification of some sort of "urgency" that we feel and that we
consider that others also feel it. From this identification, we try to
find elements or symbols that could help us reveal the mechanisms and
contradictions surrounding the urgency context. The direct intervention
in the public space brings us new elements to make the urgency
situation evident and to provoke a reflection about it. So, the
critique of the mechanisms that creates urgencies is always the
starting point to our work, which seeks to not only make the critique
public, but to foster a reflections in the public about the problem.

To elaborate the intervention, we try to find a symbolic and artistic
way to expose the urgency. We also try to find cracks in the systems
that controls the public spaces, so that we can use these cracks that
are not foreseen by the system to foster a reflection in the public
space. The target are the people who are on the public space of the
action, but also, if it is possible to find a crack in the media
system, the possible viewers of the media system. For example, we
opened huge flags with messages questioning the racism in football
games, so we got to the public watching the game at the stadium, but we
also got the TV to show it live, so we reached everybody who was
watching the game. After that we also try to organize an artistic
presentation (with music, video and performance) to reach even more
people and new publics. This different arts combine to
create an artistic dialogue and discourse that allows different
appropriations from the viewers. So, the artistic and the political are always together in our work.

When we exchange experiences with other groups, we get in contact with
other realities, which helps us to understand better the mechanism of
the processes that we confront in the local context, but that are also
linked to global processes. We also get in touch with other ways of
action and their relations to the specific contexts. This gives us the
opportunity to reflect about our own conceptions and practices. So,
both our knowledge of our reality and our creative process can enlarge
in contact with other groups.

4) We consider that we can
translate these experiences by two ways. One is by analyzing their
local context and how it relates to global processes and compare this
to how our local context also relates to global processes. The other is
by analyzing their strategies and its relations to the local context
and then understanding the differences and similarities of these
relations with the relations between our strategies and our local
contexts. Again, this allows us to translate these experiences as to
their realities and to their methodologies or strategies.

This is a really difficult question. We don't think that anyone has the
final answer to it. For now, we believe that we have to keep exchanging
experiences between our groups and creating international networks. But
these networks shouldn't be just for discussing, they must be useful to
create partnerships for mew works, that is, they must allow the
different groups not only to share experiences, but to put groups from
different contexts to work together in some other local contexts. Here
we agree with Bijari about the "situação-relacional" ("relational

6) In the reality of our country, we can identify
some of this forces like neoliberalism or imperialism. But the kind of
forces that we more directly deal with are criminalization and
anti-social mechanisms that create exclusion in the cities and in its
public spaces. These (and the forces related to them like mass
incarceration and increasing violence in the urban conflicts) are the
processes that have a more direct effect on us. Of course, they are
connected to the more general forces, like neoliberalism
; also
but we try to act upon the more concrete ways in which these general
processes really affect peoples lives, so we deal more with these other
more "local" forces. We are not sure if it is clear that the Brazilian
movements are related to the anti-globalization movement. Of course,
there is influence (it is not a coincidence that the firsts World
Social Forums were here), but also, the reality of most of the people
here is very distant from such global discussions.
Just as a personal
note, I consider that neoliberalism is actually in crisis and that we
are experiencing some kind of post-neoliberal moment not only in Latin
America, but also in the world.

7) In Brazil, we have two
contradictory movements going on. One is a much wider discussion on
topics like public security, affirmative action, criminalization,
incarceration policies and social exclusion and inequality. On the
other hand, there is a conservative reaction that affirms the idea of
the fear of the urban criminal violence and therefore creates support
for more oppression and penalization. So this is a crucial moment in
Brazil and we still don't know which way the country will follow.
Therefore, the social mobilization is critical to influence the
direction that we think is right. We consider our work very important
in this context to contribute to a more democratic, inclusive and
public society, with new forms of sociability.

We just finished a music album, which was the third part of a work that
included a documentary and a book. Right now we are developing a
project that will discuss the issues of the geography of exclusion in
three different contexts: Johannesburg, São Paulo and Berlin. This will
help us to reflect about the mechanisms of exclusion and the potentials
of overcoming barriers in really different realities.

9) Some questions:

What are the possibilities to
break the established order and in which way they can contribute to

How can we scape from

What are the mechanisms that
create exclusion in the cities?

Actually, we don't really respond to the media. We take advantage of
some facts that the media are making public and use them to question
established ideas about racism and exclusion, reaching the public that
gets in touch with these issues trough the media. We still act this way.

This idea means that the cartographer appropriates himself of
everything around him so that he can poetically express new forms of
reading and writing his desires, that which makes him move and act. In
this way, he uses everything he can from the world to create new and
multiple practices, ways of understanding and forms of sociability.
This is what we try to do.

12) That is exactly our ultimate goal.

As we said, we just finished the music album and the new website, we
are developing the Johannesburg-São Paulo-Berlin project and we are
trying to develop a project to take the group to the U.S. to discuss
the connections between the Prison Industrial Complex, Racism and
Immigration issues.

Sorry for the very long e-mail.

And sorry for contributing just at the end of the discussion.

We are open for further discussion, questions, or doubts.

Thank you very much,

                Felipe and Daniel - Frente 3 de Fevereiro

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