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Contemporary developments in different fields have radically contradicted previous expectations broadly disseminated among scholars and progressive political actors. If one once considered that globalization would mitigate social inequalities, reinforce democracy and human rights, and facilitate coexistence in and with differences, recent developments might be frustrating.

Recent electoral victories of right and far-right forces in different countries have unequivocally shown how democratic structures are both essential and fragile. Additionally, shifts in social and power structures at the domestic level have led to more tensions in everyday interactions and to the construction of new fictitious enemies (refugees, migrants, minorities, etc.). This can be noted in the increase of concentration of wealth, a middle-class squeeze, and the reconfiguration of gender and ethnoracial asymmetries, among other factor.

At the level of human-nature relations, even though the awareness about the finitude of existing resources has been accompanied in some contexts by more environmental prudence, in other contexts, it has opened a new cycle of market fundamentalism and environmental robbery.

This is the general context for a discussion on the link between conviviality and inequality, that is, in accordance to the Mecila’s research agenda, how social inequalities and hierarchies are negotiated and rearticulated in everyday interactions as well as within and between institutions.

In the conference, the nexus of conviviality and inequality will be discussed theoretically and also in specific contexts and phenomena. We will address both contemporary configurations as well as historical processes.

Living on the Edge will take place on March 5th and 6th at the Faculty of Law at the University of São Paulo, and all the lectures will occur at the 1st floor Auditorium of the Faculty’s main building.

The event is comprised of thematic panels and by single presentations from our Keynote Speaker: indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, Professor Nilma Lino Gomes (Federal University of Minas Gerais); and Professor Paolo Gerbaudo (King’s College). 

The conference will be open to all audiences, but we ask the audience to register here

The lectures will be mainly in English, occasionally in Portuguese. Simultaneous translation for both languages will be provided. 

The title “Living on the Edge” is a reference to the publication of the same name edited by Claudia Briones and José Luis Lanata on the Mapuche, Tehuelche, Rankuelche, and Selk’nam peoples.


05.03 – thursday

06.03 – friday

9:00 – 10:00 am: Welcome Address

  • Vahan Agopyan (USP)
  •  Floriano de Azevedo Marques Neto (USP, Faculty of Law)
  • Axel Zeidler (Consulate General of Germany)
  • Matthias Hack (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research)
  • Karina Batthyany Dighiero (CLACSO, Univ. Nacional de Uruguay)
  • Marcos Nobre (CEBRAP, Mecila)

10:00 – 11:00 am: Keynote Lecture

  • Nilma Lino Gomes (Univ. Federal de Minas Gerais)
    Chair: Marta Machado (CEBRAP, FGV, Mecila)

11:00 – 11:30 am: Coffee Break

11:30 – 1:30 pm: Presenting Mecila’s Research Programme

  • General presentation: Sérgio Costa (FU Berlin, Mecila) 
  • Research Area Medialities: Barbara Göbel (IAI, Mecila)
  • Research Area (Hi)Stories: Barbara Potthast (UzK, Mecila)
  • Research Area Politics: Laura Flamand (COLMEX, Mecila)
    Chair: Stephanie Schütze (FU Berlin, Mecila)

1:30 – 3:00 pm: Lunch *
* Several restaurants are at a walking distance 

3:00 – 5:00 pm: Human-Nature Relations on the Edge

  • Manuela Carneiro da Cunha (Univ. of Chicago, USP)
  • Frank Adloff (Univ. Hamburg)
  • Astrid Ulloa (Univ. Nacional de Colombia)
  • Discussant: Maya Manzi (Mecila)
    Chair: Christoph Müller (IAI, Mecila)

5:00 – 5:30 pm: Coffee Break

5:30 – 6:30 pm: Keynote lecture

  • Paolo Gerbaudo (King’s College)
    Chair: Carlos Alba (COLMEX, Mecila)

6:30 – 8:00 pm: Reception

9:00 – 10:00 am: Audiovisual resistance: the struggle of Brazil’s indigenous peoples

  • Vincent Carelli (Filmmaker)
  • Alberto Alvares Guarani (Filmmaker)
    Chair: Peter W. Schulze (UzK, Mecila)

10:00 – 11:00 am: Keynote Speaker

  • Davi Kopenawa Yanomami (Shaman, Indigenous Movement)
    Chair: Samuel Barbosa (USP, Mecila)

 11:00 – 11:30 am: Coffee Break

11:30 – 1:30 pm: Inequalities, Differences and Democratic Coexistence 

  • Karin Stögner (Univ. Passau)
  • Paula-Irene Villa (LMU Munich)   
  • Laura Carvalho (USP)
  • Discussant: Fernando Baldraia (Mecila)
    Chair: Marianne Braig (FU Berlin, Mecila)

1:30 – 2:30 pm: Lunch Break*
* Several restaurants are at a walking distance 

2:30 – 4:30 pm: Everyday interactions under Pressure

  • Claudia Briones (Univ. de Buenos Aires, Univ. Nacional de Río Negro)
  • Jeffrey Lesser (Emory University, Atlanta)
  • Renato Sérgio de Lima (FGV, Fórum Bras. Seg. Pública)
  • Discussant: Luciane Scarato (Mecila)
    Chair: Mariana Teixeira (Mecila)

4:30 – 5:00 pm: Coffee Break

5:00 – 6:00 pm: Conclusions

  • Juan Piovani (UNLP, Mecila)
  • Gloria Chicote (UNLP, Mecila)
  • Gesine Müller (UzK, Mecila)

Living on the Edge: Studying Conviviality-Inequality in Uncertain Times

When: March 5th and 6th 
Where: Faculty of Law (1st floor Auditorium) – Universidade de São Paulo 
For further information: +55 (11)  5574 0399 • ext. 118  |  mecila@cebrap.org.br
• Register here