Res: [-empyre-] Frente 3 de Fevereiro
lotu5 at resist.ca
Wed Jun 4 08:35:53 EST 2008
my favorite description of the goal of militant research or what shannon
bell calls "philosophy in action", comes from colectivo situaciones, in
a footnote(!) in this article:
'Faced with these deliberations, our friend poses questions: “How is it
that you do not believe in communicating and publishing texts?” In order
to separate ourselves from the alienating image of communication, in its
ingenuous version as a message from one consciousness to another, we
suppose that writing, implicit in a practice, in a living thought, is
particularly moving for those who search. We experience publication more
as a search for (producing-receiving) resonances than as a transmission
of messages. The final goal of publication is, in our case, extending
experimentation, establishing links with those who experiment in other
places. This bond is incompatible with the pure “will to communicate.”'
In this way, the practice of militant research becomes the practice of
reflecting on action in order to find resonance with others, in a way,
it is an act of building networks, but through resonances, shared
affects, not simply through attempts to communicate or convince, but to
find what is already there in others that is in you. I also see it as a
feedback loop between theory and action that both continue to inform and
change each other...
brian whitener wrote:
> thanks so much for all your contributions. it's great to hear your voices again.
> i wanted to ask another question. i'm working on a piece with ultrared right now about the artist as militant researcher. in the piece, i tend to follow malo's definition (rather, my interpretation of one part of her argument) of militant research as a search for a commons, or the construction of. however, this kind of cuts out the definition of militant investigation as the creation of knowledges that are imminant to a set of practices.
> i wanted to ask you how you all think about militant research and your use/practice of it, the experiences good and bad that you've had with it, if its important to you all, used to be more important and now not so, etc.
> Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 14:04:52 -0700
> From: felipetg3118 at yahoo.com.br
> Subject: Res: [-empyre-] Frente 3 de Fevereiro
> To: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> I Think of neoliberalism as a series of policy prescriptions that states that the state should not intervene at all in the market economy and almost in any area of the society, and that all countries should totally open their economy in order to develop themselves, because the free market would be more efficient than any state intervention.
> This prescriptions are old, but they became popular with the conservative turn in the 80's and reached its peak during the 90's, with the end of the cold war and the ecstasy of the utopia of globalization.
> But it seems to me that the absolute failure of the neoliberal policies in the third world (specially in Latin America), together with the exposition of the
> militarist character of the world superpower (the U.S.) with the neocons and after 9/11 and the mass protests starting in Seattle came to show that all of that was just a myth, an ideology that didn't correspond to reality.
> Instead of neoliberal economic policies we start to see nationalist economic policies, instead of free trade negotiations we see more protectionism, instead of multilateral and peace rhetoric we see more conflicts and wars, the words "empire" and "imperialism" became popular again, etc.
> When we see the victory of several leftist governments in Latin America and the new politics and policies that are being created in some of them, when we see almost every country with big energy reserves nationalizing and protecting them, the failure of the free trade agreements and the WTO, the rejection of the EU constitution in several countries, the growing tensions amongst the great powers, the growing social unrest in several coutries,
> etc. I don't think we can say that neoliberalism is still dominant.
> Nobody in saying that the state isn't important anymore, on the contrary they say the state is important to guarantee protection and investments on key areas such as high technology and defense.
> Of course that doesn't mean that neoliberalism is absolutely over, it is still present in many countries.
> We only need to see that the biggest leftist party of the western world got to power in Brazil and made neoliberal economic policies (despite some good things in other areas), or that the deregulation of the financial markets (made by the U.S. and U.K in the late 70's) is still causing all of the turbulence and the crisis in the world economy.
> Also, I can't see any new strong ideologies alternative to it.
> Maybe that's why it hasn't disappeared yet and why we could maybe talk of a post-neoliberal moment.
> Nobody knows what's next.
> I think that's what I meant.
> I'm not an
> expert, these are only my impressions.
> ----- Mensagem original ----
> De: Jennifer Flores Sternad
> Para: soft_skinned_space
> Cc: Felipe ; Daniel Lima
> Enviadas: Segunda-feira, 2 de Junho de 2008 17:01:31
> Assunto: Re: [-empyre-] Frente 3 de Fevereiro
> 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.
>> 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
>> 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
> 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
>> 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
> 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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