[-empyre-] Frente 3 de Fevereiro

Jennifer Flores Sternad jf at post.harvard.edu
Tue Jun 3 06:01:31 EST 2008

Dear Daniel and Felipe, thank you so much for your responses!

 I wanted to ask you if you could elaborate on your comment, Felipe:

"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."

also, if anyone else has thoughts on this...


On Sat, May 31, 2008 at 10:31 AM, brian whitener <iwaslike at hotmail.com> wrote:
> 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.
>           Abrazos,
>   Felipe
> Hi Everybody,
> We, from the Frente 3 de Fevereiro, are really sorry to only contribute to this discussion in the end of it.
> We
> 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?
> 6)
> 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
> moment?)
> 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
> sociability?
> 13) Current projects?
> Here are the Answers:
> 1)
> 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.
> 2)
> 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.
> 3)
> 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.
> 5)
> 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
> situation").
> 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
> (http://sociology.berkeley.edu/faculty/wacquant/wacquant_pdf/PENALISAPOVNEOLIB-EJPPR.pdf
> ; also
> http://sociology.berkeley.edu/faculty/wacquant/wacquant_pdf/DICTATORSHIPOOR.pdf),
> 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.
> 8)
> 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
> emancipation?
> How can we scape from
> criminalization?
> What are the mechanisms that
> create exclusion in the cities?
> 10)
> 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.
> 11)
> 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.
> 13)
> 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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Jennifer Flores Sternad
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