Mecila
nº 67 | Joanna M. Moszczynska

Truths That Hurt: Socialist Affects and Conviviality in the Literary Journalism of Gabriel García Márquez and Ryszard Kapuściński

nº 67 | Joanna M. Moszczynska

Truths That Hurt: Socialist Affects and Conviviality in the Literary Journalism of Gabriel García Márquez and Ryszard Kapuściński

nº 66 (April 2024) | BERIT CALLSEN

  • This paper examines how three recent Chilean documentary films depict water as an active, influential element within aquatic ecosystems.
  • Using concepts from blue humanities and material ecocriticism, it explores how these films create counter-narratives against neocolonial exploitation and environmental destruction.
  • The analysis highlights the films’ focus on peripheral knowledge and resistance strategies, showcasing water’s dynamic role in Indigenous territories.

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nº 65 (April 2024) | RAPHAEL SCHAPIRA

  • Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) practitioners in Rio de Janeiro often view their sport as a space free from discrimination, where everyone is considered equal.
  • Despite this perception, BJJ has historically been associated with Whiteness, shaped differently by the Gracie and Fadda lineages. The Gracie lineage reinforces their social status and superiority by aligning BJJ with Whiteness, while the Fadda lineage, focused on low-income areas, uses anti-Blackness to distance their students from negative associations.
  • This paper argues that the embrace of Whiteness and anti-Blackness within BJJ connects to broader political currents in Brazil, including the appeal of figures like Bolsonaro. The concept of “inclusive conservative conviviality” is introduced to understand these dynamics within Brazil’s current reactionary context.
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nº 64 (April 2024) | PATRIZIA KOLB

  • The paper investigates how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected unpaid care work and housework in Berlin, focusing on gender differences.
  • Women, especially mothers, have taken on more unpaid work during the pandemic, exacerbating existing gender inequalities.
  • Socioeconomic factors like income and employment status play a role in shaping the distribution of unpaid labor, and pandemic measures have reinforced traditional gender roles, despite prior efforts for gender equality.
  • The paper advocates for policies to address these disparities and promote a fairer division of unpaid work.
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nº 63 (December 2023) | ANA CAROLINA TORQUATO

  • Overview of animal captivity and human-animal relationships in zoos.
  • Analysis of how literary fiction, specifically Clarice Lispector’s “O búfalo”, portrays themes of animal captivity and confinement.
  • Examination of psychological and emotional reflections through the protagonist’s experience at the zoo, linking to broader themes in Lispector’s works like “A paixão segundo G.H.” and others.
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nº 62 (December 2023) | SUSANA DURÃO

  • The study investigates the relationship between security, sociability, and inequality in São Paulo, Brazil, focusing on the role of security in gated communities.
  • The research, conducted over seven years, examines how security practices influence social interactions in São Paulo’s urban areas, viewing security as part of a larger moral and social context.
  • The paper discusses the impact of social norms like cordiality and the experiences of security guards, considering various aspects of inequality, such as material wealth, power dynamics, environmental factors, and knowledge disparities.
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nº 61 (September 2023) | VANESSA MASSUCHETTO

  • The study looks into the lives of colonial women in the 18th century by examining court cases about concubinage  to understand their experiences and interactions within society.
  • It focuses on how these cases reveal the accepted social and moral norms of the time, including the impact these cases had on society and how they were handled by the judicial system.
  • By analyzing historical documents from 18th-century Brazil, the paper discusses the importance of public scandals in shaping social, legal, and moral ideas, especially in Portuguese America, and how these influenced the daily lives and reputations of individuals.
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nº 60 (August 2023) | SÉRGIO COSTA, MARIANA TEIXEIRA, AND THOMÁS MATTOS

  • This paper focuses on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted social interaction and inequality in Berlin, Germany.
  • It examines various aspects, including how access to protection affected infection rates, the impact of containment measures on income and well-being among different social groups, changes in household and neighborhood interactions, and shifts in online communication during social distancing.
  • The study involved 2,502 households in Berlin and used telephone interviews to ensure representative responses. It analyzed the findings using three levels of inequality analysis proposed by Goran Therborn.
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nº 59 (July 2023) | ÉLODIE BRUN Y JESÚS CARRILLO

  • Revisión de literatura sobre desigualdades globales centradas en los estados como unidad de análisis y el concepto de configuración convivial.
  • Crítica a tres debates académicos clave: desigualdades económicas, funcionamiento de las organizaciones internacionales y calificación del sistema internacional.
  • Destaca la importancia del estado como actor fundamental en la reducción de las desigualdades y la necesidad de estudios interdisciplinarios sobre este tema.
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nº 58 (June 2023) | JESSICA O’LEARY

  • This paper analyzes the trial record of Íria Álvares, a unique case of an Indigenous woman tried by the Inquisition in sixteenth-century Brazil.
  • Íria’s trial record provides a valuable opportunity to understand the experiences of a freed Indigenous woman navigating both her local upbringing and colonial society.
  • The analysis of Íria’s trial reveals her strategic use of her knowledge of colonial society to negotiate the legal processes of the Portuguese Inquisition.
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nº 57 (May 2023) | LAURA FLAMAND, CARLOS ALBA VEGA, ROSARIO APARICIO Y ERICK SERNA

  • En este paper se analizan los efectos de la pandemia de covid-19 en las desigualdades sociales y las prácticas de convivencia en la Ciudad de México.
  • Se examinan las diferencias de estos efectos entre hombres y mujeres, así como entre mujeres con características distintas, a través de una encuesta estratificada original y cuatro grupos focales.
  • Se demuestra que la pandemia ha intensificado la precarización del trabajo remunerado. Además, se destaca la sobrecarga considerable que las mujeres han experimentado en el trabajo de cuidados no remunerado.
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nº 56 (May 2023) | JUAN I. PIOVANI, LUCAS ALZUGARAY, MARÍA LAURA PEIRÓ Y JULIANA SANTA MARÍA

  • Encuesta sobre las consecuencias sociales de la pandemia de covid-19 en Buenos Aires revela desigualdades de género en tareas domésticas y cuidado.
  • Las mujeres asumen carga desproporcionada de trabajo doméstico y acompañamiento escolar durante la suspensión de clases presenciales.
  • Desigualdad más pronunciada en mujeres madres de sectores vulnerables y desventaja en comparación con otros sectores sociales.
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nº 55 (April 2023) | SIMONE TOJI

  • The paper examines the impact of Brazil’s intangible cultural heritage policy on Tooro Nagashi, a cultural practice of Japanese descendants in the Ribeira Valley in São Paulo, Brazil.
  • By using the concept of “friction,” it uncovers new accounts and silences related to Tooro Nagashi and its history.
  • The paper also shows how silence can be an important part of collective experiences in contexts shaped by migration, war, and repression, and how Japanese families in the Ribeira Valley are actively shaping their conviviality.
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nº 54 (March 2023) | JÖRG DÜNNE

  • This paper looks at two Latin American films, La mujer de los perros (Laura Citarella and Verónica Llinás, 2015) and Los Reyes (Iván Osnovikoff and Bettina Perut, 2018), about street dogs in marginal urban areas of Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile.
  • The films explore how humans and dogs interact outside of typical domestic settings and show alternative forms of conviviality between the two species.
  • The paper proposes the concept of “interspecific contact scenes” as a tool to analyse these convivial relationships in Latin American cities.
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nº 53 (March 2023) | GABRIEL KESSLER, GABRIEL VOMMARO Y GONZALO ASSUSA

  • El paper examina los factores que contribuyen a la polarización política en América Latina.
  • Analiza el papel de los factores económico-distributivos y cultural-morales en esta polarización.
  • Utiliza datos de cuatro países (Argentina, Brasil, Colombia y México) para analizar estos factores.
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nº 52 (January 2023) | MARÍLIA MOSCHKOVICH

  • Este estudo examina como o estado brasileiro usa a categoria “família” para promover uma abordagem conservadora dos direitos humanos enquanto ignora desigualdades sociais.
  • Analisa os canais digitais do Ministério da Mulher, da Família e dos Direitos Humanos no Brasil durante o governo Bolsonaro.
  • O estudo constata que o foco na “família” ajuda a apagar desigualdades institucionais que as políticas de direitos humanos visam resolver.
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nº 51 (November 2022) | JOSÉ RICARDO CASTELLÓN OSEGUEDA

  • Este trabajo examina los cambios en la estructura familiar a causa de la migración en los países del Triángulo Norte de Centroamérica y su desplazamiento hacia los Estados Unidos.
  • Se enfoca en el periodo comprendido entre finales de la década de 1970 e inicios de la década de 1980, el cual fue el ciclo más notable de la migración de los centroamericanos y que configura decididamente su transnacionalismo.
  • Recurre a los conceptos inequidad y convivialidad para analizar la fenomenología de la migración desde su óptica y proponer que en la familia subyace una correlación de inequidades y convivialidades en que la movilidad produce nuevos contextos de ese vínculo.
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nº 50 (November 2022) | SUSANNE SCHULTZ

  • This paper explores the issue of reproductive justice in global feminist movements, particularly in Brazil, where Black and popular feminism has embraced it.
  • It examines setting priorities by addressing inequality in reproductive health and the challenges faced by stigmatized mothers and parents.
  • The paper also investigates how reproductive justice fosters alliances among diverse feminist groups, navigating positions and supporting each other in everyday interactions with insights from anti-racist and social movements in Brazil.
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nº 49 (October 2022) | JERÓNIMO PINEDO

“¿Cómo se vivió aquí en la pandemia?” es la pregunta que organiza esta investigación sobre la convivialidad durante la crisis epidémica mundial de la enfermedad de la covid-19 provocada por el virus SARS COV 2. A partir de un enfoque cualitativo y microscópico basado en un trabajo de campo etnográfico en barrios populares de la ciudad de La Plata, Argentina, durante los años 2020 y 2021, propongo un doble movimiento. Por un lado, utilizar la perspectiva de la convivialidad para explorar la pandemia como experiencia espacial y temporalmente situada, y, en simultáneo, aprovechar esos trazos elaborados por mis anfitriones acerca de su experiencia pandémica para interrogar empírica y analíticamente el concepto de convivialidad abordado en su triple acepción: como formas sociales de procesar la vida juntos, como interacciones específicas entre entidades humanas y no humanas, y como repertorio de saberes acerca de la vida en común.

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nº 48 (September 2022) | RAQUEL ROJAS SCHEFFER

In most Latin American countries, the upper and middle classes tend to meet their care needs through the market, resorting to options such as private schools and care centres, as well as the labour of domestic workers. However, these practices were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its containment measures. Drawing on a series of interviews with employers of domestic workers in Paraguay, this paper analyses the changes in convivial relations and arrangements regarding the distribution of care within households that outsource domestic chores and had to adapt to lockdown measures. By doing so, I seek to highlight not only changes in the routine of family members but also the exacerbation of inequalities regarding the social organization of care, and the discourses provided for justifying and naturalising these inequalities. I argue that while at first glance, lockdown measures seemed to have contested the separation of the world of work and family, they produced a rebound effect that translated into a reinforced separation of capital and care, expressed through a deepening of the privatisation, feminisation and commodification of care.

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nº 47 (July 2022) | CINTHIA WANSCHELBAUM

La reacción conservadora latinoamericana pretende cambiar y reformar la educación siguiendo preceptos neoliberales y neoconservadores fuertemente apoyados por poderosos grupos sociales. Para los gobiernos conservadores la educación es una de las herramientas más importantes para producir consenso y conformidad social. A través de la transmisión de conocimientos, valores e ideas construyen relaciones específicas de hegemonía y convivencia. Como parte de los objetivos del grupo de investigación temática de Mecila “Los proyectos educativos conservadores y sus configuraciones de convivencia-desigualdad en Argentina y Chile: los gobiernos de Macri y Piñera (2010-2020)”, este working paper examina el proyecto educativo del gobierno de Macri y los vínculos con actores privados, como empresas, fundaciones, y Organizaciones No Gubernamentales (ONGs).

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nº 46 (June 2022) | NICOLÁS SUÁREZ

Around the middle of the 20th century, various film museums and cinematheques were created in different parts of the world to preserve the cultural heritage of their respective communities. In the case of Latin America, as they were established in socially unequal and culturally diverse contexts, these institutions developed as convivial configurations in which the relationships between people and archives were affected by profound cultural differences and funding asymmetries. This article provides a comparative analysis of the history of a number of emblematic institutions in the Southern Cone that account for these relationships.

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nº 45 (June 2022) | SÉRGIO COSTA

The middle class, or rather middle classes, to do justice to their heterogeneity, have been and continue to be at the centre of the long political and economic crisis that has been ravaging Brazil since 2014. Available interpretations that try to explain the positions taken by different political authors are biased by structural, ideological, or cultural determinism. To escape these determinisms, I draw on Stuart Hall’s political sociology in order to understand the link between the class situation of the middle classes and their constitution as political subjects of various shades as contingent intersectional articulations. The emphasis on contingency obviously does not imply a belief that political developments are fortuitous and detached from social structures. Nor does it ignore the existence of groups with deeply held ideological or cultural convictions who consistently adopt, over long periods of time, political attitudes compatible with these beliefs. However, taken as a whole, the middle classes have shown a very heterogeneous and changing political trajectory over time. They adhere to discourses – both right-wing or more egalitarian ones – and make political choices based on the power of these narratives to capture, in given circumstances, their anxieties, expectations, claims and aspirations.

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nº 44 (May 2022) | MARIANA TEIXEIRA

The aim of this working paper is to foster the concept of “vulnerability” as a critical tool for social theory in general and conviviality-inequality studies in particular. First, to clarify the concept, an analytical distinction is established between vulnerability as either an experiential structure shared by all persons (constitutive vulnerability) or as historical social injustice that detrimentally impacts some more than others (contingent vulnerability). The paper then explores the contrast between approaches to epistemic injustice theory and standpoint epistemology as two opposing views with regard to the political and epistemic potential of vulnerability. From this contrast, finally, a critique of one-sided conceptions shows us that, for vulnerability to have a productive and critical use, it must be grasped as fraught with ambiguity, implying both a contingent risk of subjection and a constitutive opening to otherness. It is this ambiguity that makes vulnerability a useful conceptual tool for grasping conviviality as inextricably connected to inequality.

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nº 43 (April 2022) | MADALINA STEFAN

In the context of the Anthropocene, ecocriticism is gaining an increasingly important role, foregrounding the inextricability of nature and culture, on the one hand, and the postcolonial cultural representation from the Global South on the other. Against this backdrop, the present working paper will focus on the Latin American context, suggesting that conviviality signifies a crucial contribution to the discourse about the Anthropocene and serves as an ideal theoretical framework for the research project on “Postcolonial Resistance and Ecofeminism in the Latin American Jungle novel”, which is outlined at the end of the paper.

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nº 42 (February 2022) | JORGE ESTRADA

A desire to live together is perhaps a key idea in Roberto Bolaño’s narratives. His characters are constantly negotiating their involvement in diverse societies amid the historical catastrophes of the twentieth century, so this desire becomes highly differentiated. It undergoes perspectival shifts and creates “mirror games”, which express scepticism towards universalising forms and trigger reflections on history and modernity. In this working paper, I examine how, in 2666, the cosmopolitan desire of a self-legislating and self-authorizing individual is disassembled and superseded by a convivial framework and a relational subject that is crossed by diverse determining forces. This transition is correlated to Bolaño’s diagnosis of late capitalism, in which a matrix of domination that worked with the logic of potestas in the sense of the power to directly elicit determined actions is replaced by the channelling of potentia. This mutable capacity that allows creating a habit with diverse actualizations is channelled or governed with an apparatus for capturing a flow of lives whose features only come to light in forensic discourse and project the fictional city of Santa Teresa.

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nº 41 (December 2021) | LÉA TOSOLD

Aiming at (re)thinking memory politics in contexts of ongoing total violence against non-white bodies, I propose, in this working paper, to engage with Maria Beatriz Nascimento’s multifaceted notion of quilombo. Once understood as alternative regimes of conviviality that entail existential (beyond material) aspects, Nascimento’s notion of quilombo enables critical access to the onto-epistemological basis on which memory politics generally takes place. After primary considerations about violence and the archives, I highlight three main aspects of Nascimento’s notion of quilombo to (re)think memory politics: (1) the introduction of a temporality that displaces underlying analytical assumptions of a linear, progressive and sequential time; (2) the idea of paz quilombola, which allows analytical space for “opacity” in the generation of knowledge; (3) the link between personal and collective intergenerational memory that, for Nascimento, requires the fostering of spaces of body encounters.

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nº 40 (November 2021) | YVES COHEN

Horizontality is a salient social phenomenon of the last decade. It asserts itself against hierarchies in social movements and countless other collective practices around the world. It constitutes a characteristic of an emergent sociality that demands the attention of the social sciences. The 2010s are a moment as important as “the Sixties”, a time when Ivan Illich called for the development of tools of conviviality, and horizontality may be categorized as one of them. Today’s horizontality may be related to that of populations that have been the focus of anthropologists interested in their longstanding propensity to work against the affirmation of the authority of commanding. Public squares, roundabouts, and the courtyards of apartment buildings welcome the early symptoms of democratic experimentation that circulates also among groups, collectivities, and associations with varied purposes. In all these places, equality asserts itself and cuts across differences. The Yellow Vests and an educational cooperative in São Paulo are the empirical foundation of this study

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nº 39 (September 2021) | CLEMENTE PENNA

This paper follows the enslaved woman Teofila from captivity to freedom in 19th-century Rio de Janeiro. To become a free woman, Teofila had to navigate the complex private credit networks of the West African community of the Brazilian capital city. With limited banking activity, the cariocas relied on one another for their financial needs, making for a highly convivial credit market that reflected and reinforced the vast inequalities of Brazilian slave society. While following Teofila through the courts of Rio de Janeiro, this paper will demonstrate that one of the cornerstones of the city’s credit market was the presence of an intertwined relationship between credit and private property. The commerce in human beings like Teofila produced thousands of negotiable titles, with slavery working as a propeller for credit circulation and one of its pillars – slave property was the primary collateral for unpaid debts.

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nº 38 (July 2021) | GLORIA CHICOTE

El presente trabajo interroga un texto literario, El juguete rabioso de Roberto Arlt, publicado en Buenos Aires en 1926, entendido como un contexto de convivialidad surgido del universo de las representaciones culturales. Para ello, partimos de una constelación de conceptos procedentes de la teoría y de la crítica literaria que resultan funcionales a la hora de situar las posibles implicancias de la convivialidad en el campo de las creaciones literarias de América Latina. Los tortuosos pactos de convivialidad en la Buenos Aires de principios del siglo XX, que atañen tanto la psicología individual como las representaciones sociales, serán asediados en este artículo a partir del significado de los recorridos por el espacio urbano en transformación y de la centralidad de la literatura como instrumento de consumo y de producción.

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nº 37 (June 2021) | JULIANA M. STREVA

This working paper approaches the current global crisis as a potential territoriality for radicalizing concepts and for learning with ongoing fugitive routes. Through nonlinear paths, I aim to examine the contours of the quilombo not only as a slavery-past event but as a continuum of anti-colonial struggle that invokes other forms of re-existence and convivial coexistence in Brazil. In doing that, this research draws attention to an Améfrica Ladina epistemology and a decolonial methodology embodied by living archives and oral histories.

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📓 Related post: “Quilombo as Metaphor and Strategy

🎧 Podcast: “Aquilombar com o oceano

nº 36 (May 2021) | JOÃO JOSÉ REIS

It was not uncommon in Brazil for slaves to own slaves. Slaves as masters of slaves existed in many slave societies and societies with slaves, but considering modern, chattel slavery in the Americas, Brazil seems to have been a special case where this phenomenon thrived, especially in nineteenth-century urban Bahia. The investigation is based on more than five hundred cases of enslaved slaveowners registered in ecclesiastical and manumission records in the provincial capital city of Salvador. The paper discusses the positive legal basis and common law rights that made possible this peculiar form of slave ownership. The paper relates slave ownership by slaves with the direction and volume of the slave trade, the specific contours of urban slavery, access by slaves to slave trade networks, and slave/master relations. It also discusses the web of convivial relations that involved the slaves of slaves, focusing on the ethnic and gender profiles of the enslaved master and their slaves.

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🎥 Introducing João Reis

nº 35 (April 2021) | ENCARNACIÓN GUTIÉRREZ-RODRÍGUEZ

This Working Paper discusses entangled migrations as territorially and temporally entangled onto-epistemological phenomena. As a theoretical-analytical framework, it addresses the material, epistemological and ethical premises of spatial-temporal entanglements and relationality in the understanding of migration as a modern colonial phenomenon. Entangled migrations acknowledges that local migratory movements mirror global migrations in complex ways, engaging with the analysis of historical connections, territorial entrenchments, cultural confluences, and overlapping antagonistic relations across nations and continents. […]

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nº 34 (April 2021) | GREGORY PAPPAS

In this paper, I argue that despite their different circumstances (size, location, history, demography), the Zapatistas (Chiapas, Mexico), Boggs Center (Detroit, USA), and Casa Pueblo (Adjuntas, Puerto Rico) share common lessons that are worth considering, at a time when there is so much uncertainty and disagreement about how best to address social injustices and much disillusionment with representative democracy. After a summary of the history and accomplishments of each of these American communal activist organisations, I present the common lessons and consider some challenges and possible objections. They provide an alternative between naïve optimism and
cynical passive pessimism. They practice horizontal models of conviviality and a holistic, ecological, and experimental approach to ameliorating injustices.

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🎥 Video Abstract

nº 33 (March 2021) | JAN BOESTEN

This essay aims to utilize the concept of conviviality for connecting the coexistence of seemingly contradictory phenomena in Colombia. It argues that while conviviality implies a normative content – a society in which members do not slaughter each other is better than one in which members resort to violence – the meekness of that normative claim suggests that it is better used as an analytical tool that seeks to connect the contradictions that coexist in the real lifeworld. Colombia’s history of violence and democracy is such a contradictory case. Comparativists have situated Colombia’s deficits on the “extra-institutional playing field”, lamenting that it is a “besieged” or “threatened democracy”. Conviviality helps us to specify these “extra-institutional” defects by suggesting impediments exogenous and endogenous to the state-building logic of the Colombian nation-state.

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nº 32 (February 2021) | CAMILA ROCHA

This paper traces the origins of the New Brazilian Right, regarding the emergence of new leaders, new forms of expression and organization, as well as new sets of ideas, namely libertarianism and anti-globalism. Based on more than thirty in-depth interviews, conducted between 2015 and 2019 with right-wing leaders and activists; on a collection of historical data from right-wing organisations’ archives between 2015 and 2018, and on public data, I argue that this phenomenon started in the mid-2000s, after the onset of a corruption scandal related to the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) and the dissemination of the pioneering social network Orkut in Brazil. […]

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nº 31 (January 2021) | NILMA LINO GOMES

This Working Paper is a revised manuscript of the keynote lecture delivered on March 5, 2020, at the conference Living on the Edge: Studying Conviviality-Inequality in Uncertain Times (Mecila, São Paulo).

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🎥 Video Abstract

nº 30 (December 2020) | SUSANNE KLENGEL

The radical aesthetic of the historical avant-garde movements has often been explained as a reaction to the catastrophic experience of the First World War and a denouncement of the bourgeoisie’s responsibility for its horrors. This article explores a blind spot in these familiar interpretations of the international avant-garde. Not only the violence of the World War but also the experience of a worldwide deadly pandemic, the Spanish flu, have moulded the literary and artistic production of the 1920s. In this paper, I explore this hypothesis through the example of Mário de Andrade’s famous book of poetry Pauliceia desvairada (1922), which I reinterpret in the light of historical studies on the Spanish flu in São Paulo. […]

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nº 29 (December 2020) | MAYA MANZI

In the context of our current planetary crises, in a world that continues to be shaped by capitalist, colonialist, androcentric and anthropocentric visions, we are faced with the urgency of reconsidering, at the deepest levels, the way we relate with other human and nonhuman beings. This working paper aims to contribute towards that end by looking at human-nonhuman relations through the concept of conviviality, understood as the everyday living together with difference, and how it intersects with inequality. […]

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nº 28 (November 2020) | RAQUEL GIL MONTERO

Este working paper propone analizar el trabajo coactivo y la servidumbre en los Andes coloniales a partir de la reconstrucción de la convivencia en las haciendas con mano de obra de diferente origen. En particular se centra en los reclamos de personas que siendo legalmente libres se consideraban esclavizadas y/o eran consideradas así por testigos de su situación. El texto se inscribe en una sociedad que por definición era desigual, la de Charcas, y estaba obsesionada por la clasificación de las personas, ya que así se definían las condiciones sociales a las que se les reconocían privilegios, derechos y obligaciones. […]

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🎥 Video Abstract

nº 27 (October 2020) | RAQUEL ROJAS SCHEFFER

Households that hire domestic workers are a space of compulsive encounters where people of different origins and social class meet, experiencing physical proximity that makes the social distance that prevails between them even more noticeable. Drawing on current research and scholarship on paid domestic work in Latin America, this paper explores the different ways of analysing the encounters of women from highly unequal social positions in the narrowness of the private household, arguing that the combination of physical proximity and affective ties fosters the (re)production of social inequalities and asymmetries of power. But while it is within the convivial relations of these households that inequality becomes evident, it is also there where it can be negotiated, fought, or mitigated. […]

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🎥 Video Abstract

nº 26 (September 2020) | GABRIEL FELTRAN

In sustainedly unequal societies such as the Latin American ones, conviviality is inescapably linked to the reproduction of inequalities. Are convivial situations also part of the reproduction of violence, in societies that are not only unequal but also violent? This paper explores marginal conviviality, adding empirical evidence to Costa’s argument, as well as addressing his theoretical framework from an ethnographic point of view. A life story, followed empirically from 2005-2018 in a district of São Paulo, guides my argumentation.

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🎥 Video Abstract

🎧 Podcast: “Diante das leis I”

nº 25 (August 2020) | FERNANDO BALDRAIA

This paper, inspired by Frantz Fanon’s thought, offers a diagnostic of our present times enacted as a “psychotic reaction” that melts together different scriptural registers to advance the notion of conviviality as a space of analytical experimentation where inequality and difference share the condition of conceptual isonomy. The particular thought experiment performed here tries to accomplish this goal by exploring the vernacular repertoire of the Brazilian junction of an afro-indigenous Atlantic. Its analytical gamble, zumbification, is the sketch of an epistemological subject-position whose labor consists in a kinesics of (at least) three movements: 1) the situatedness needed for effectively making political demands; 2) the decenteredness necessary for attenuating the harmful effects of (even strategic) essentialism as well as of the unavoidable reproduction of hegemonic exclusionary patterns; 3) the willfulness required for amplifying subalternized epistemological approaches so that they may become more pervasive.

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🎥 Video Abstract

nº 24 (July 2020) | JULIA VON SIGSFELD

The government of Rafael Correa (2007-2017) embarked on an ambitious project of diversifying the national economy to transition from a primary resource exporting economy to a competitive Knowledge Society and a Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy as biodiversity was conceptualized as the country’s most significant comparative advantage. This paper traces how peoples’ and nationalities’ knowledges, so-called ancestral knowledges, were elicited in unprecedented ways in this context of bringing about a change of the productive matrix. While knowledge in general was reframed as an infinite resource, ancestral knowledges were made productive for a state-led project of capitalist modernization.

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nº 23 (June 2020) | ALEJANDRA MAILHE

Este trabajo analiza la resignificación del legado cultural indígena en la obra de varios intelectuales argentinos vinculados al espiritualismo (Joaquín V. González, Ricardo Rojas y Ernesto Quesada) entre fines del siglo XIX y los años treinta. En contraste con perspectivas hegemónicas que devalúan la alteridad indígena — como en el caso de Estanislao Zeballos y Bartolomé Mitre —, estos autores destacan la importancia de los vínculos socio-culturales entre las elites tradicionales y los indígenas. Forjados especialmente en el noroeste argentino (NOA) desde la Conquista, estos lazos se basarían en el supuesto vínculo de los grupos indígenas con las “grandes” civilizaciones precolombinas, y en su participación en las guerras de emancipación. Al imaginar instancias de convivialidad entre actores sociales antagónicos, estos discursos tienden a ocultar asimetrías implícitas a lo largo de la historia nacional, y a negar a los indígenas como sujetos sociales activos en el presente.

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nº 22 (January 2020) | BARBARA POTTHAST

This paper traces the origin of the powerful mestizaje discourse as a marker of Paraguayan identity through the lens of gender and family relations. Rules and practices of family formation and sexuality reflect not only cultural but also sociopolitical hierarchies, and they allow us to connect the micro- and macro levels. An analysis of the different regimes of conviviality in Paraguay and the role that legitimate or illegitimate birth played in the struggle over group formation and social hierarchy also shows the capacities of a peripheral colonial elite to establish their own standards of social distinction, or the ones of the old elite in early independence period to circumvent a policy directed at their destruction. Finally, we explain the rise of the nationalistic ideology of mestizaje as a uniquely Paraguayan characteristic at the beginning of the 20th century, and the reasons for its persistence in the 21st century […]

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nº 21 (September 2019) | RAQUEL ROJAS SCHEFFER

Housewives and paid domestic workers perform – to a certain extent – the same kinds of tasks. They also tend to share interest in the valorisation of domestic work: If this activity were recognised as such – as work – housewives could claim retirement rights, while domestic workers should be granted the same labour rights as any other worker. But even when sharing the historical burden of house and care work, there are other social hierarchies that interrupt the common experience of these women and hinder the creation of alliances between them. This paper analyses the relationship between paid domestic workers’ and housewives’ organisations in Uruguay and Paraguay, two Latin American countries that share many similarities in terms of territorial extension, population and economy size, but show contrasts regarding the organisation of domestic workers, particularly their relation to housewives’ organisations.

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nº 20 (August 2019) | CLAUDIA BRIONES

Distintas teorías políticas contemporáneas debaten maneras de reordenar un sistemamundo en que diferencias y desigualdades entre personas, colectivos y países aparecen tan densa como disparmente anudadas. Pocas de esas teorías se piensan por fuera de una modernidad que, como episteme, enmarca las jerarquías ideológicas, epistemológicas y ontológicas que naturalizan parte de tales anudamientos. Este ensayo hace foco en propuestas indígenas de Buen Vivir, para identificar qué diagnósticos y cuestionamientos esas propuestas realizan respecto de formas hegemónicas de convivialidad; qué contrapropuestas de convivencia promueven; y qué de ellas tiende a permanecer inaudible e invisible cuando distintos agentes no indígenas buscan reformularlas y universalizarlas como posible “alternativa civilizatoria”. […]

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nº 19 (August 2019) | RAQUEL GIL MONTERO; SARAH ALBIEZ-WIECK

In this paper, we analyse an unusual travel account from the seventeenth century. Besides the rarity of travel accounts from this period, its singularity resides primarily in the fact that the traveller, Gregorio de Robles, self-identified as a peasant. This exceptional Spaniard travelled dominions of the Spanish, Portuguese, British, French, and Dutch empires in America and Europe, and even briefly touched Southern Africa. His travel account is rich in information, but here we focus on one specific aspect: conviviality with the people he encountered along his way, with a special emphasis on his fellow compatriots. We will argue that this conviviality allowed Robles to create new networks and accumulate social capital and that the relationship with his paisanos resignified his belonging. By moving and traveling, he could attain a more privileged position than he had apparently been enjoying in his Castilian hometown.

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nº 18 (July 2019) | GUILHERMO BONZANATO

Desde el comienzo de la era digital, determinadas políticas de gestión de la ciencia han incrementado las inequidades en las condiciones de producción del conocimiento y en las posibilidades de diálogo entre los colectivos de investigadores. A fines del siglo XX y principios del XXI se inició una reacción en las más prestigiosas bibliotecas y comunidades científicas de América del Norte y Europa Occidental, y América Latina comenzó el desarrollo de sistemas de visibilidad propios, al tiempo que sucesivas declaraciones fueron definiendo al Acceso Abierto como estrategia para superar tales inequidades. En esta dirección, se han desarrollado revistas en Acceso Abierto cuya sustentabilidad está siendo puesta a prueba. Este trabajo presenta un breve estado de situación actualizado sobre algunos problemas que enfrentan los autores, evaluadores y editores latinoamericanos en la gestión y publicación de los resultados de las investigaciones.

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nº 17 (July 2019) | SÉRGIO COSTA

Starting from a detailed review of recent publications oriented by the concept of conviviality and etymologically related expressions (convivialisme, Konvivenz, Konvivialität), the article explores a common analytical deficit in these different contributions: the disregard of the reciprocal constitution of conviviality and inequality. To overcome this deficiency, the essay develops an analytical framework, according to which inequalities – defined along four complementary and interdependent axes (material, power, environmental and epistemological asymmetries) – are always signified, reproduced, and negotiated within convivial interactions.

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nº 16 (June 2019) | ANNA GUITERAS MOMBIOLA

In the 1930s, the Bolivian elites promoted an education policy inspired by indigenist thought which sought to solve the problems faced by indigenous people – concerning welfare, hygiene, agricultural techniques, land issues – and to value to some extent their own culture. The ideal pursued was to shape a truly conviviality of Bolivian society with its otherness, giving rise to a new type of ‘Indian’ who would contribute actively and voluntarily to the progress of the nation. This educational project also addressed the Amazonian societies through the so-called school centres for “savages”. The ‘wild nature’ and ‘primitive state’ of the ethnic groups with which these schools operated – specifically the Siriono and the Moré – however, meant that the educational actions undertaken under indigenist ideals were also impregnated with civilizing principles.

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nº 15 (June 2019) | MAYA MANZI

Throughout Brazilian history, Northeastern droughts have been the context for massive rural flight and intra-national migrations. State policies and interventions have played a significant role in promoting or restraining the movements of those affected by such “natural” plights. In this paper, we examine the political ecology and moral economies that have underlined state intervention over drought and peasant migrations since the end of the 19th century. We compare two historical periods marked by contrasting regional perspectives on nature-society relations within the context of Brazilian semi-arid climate: the period known as the “fight against drought” (1915-1980) and the period of “coexistence with the semi-arid” (1990-now)

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🎧 Podcast: “Lutar contra ou conviver com a seca?

nº 14 (June 2019) | TILMANN HEIL

Current academic usages of the notion of conviviality often carry a normative connotation in which it is opposed to tension and conflict. Instead, I propose to use conviviality as an analytical term. This everyday living together is characterized by tensions, contradictions, and inconsistencies that complicate abstract theorization and the use of clearly defined concepts whose role is, as Stuart Hall once suggested, to give us a good night’s rest by feigning a stability we long for. If conviviality is, as I suggest, understood as a notion that embraces the inconsistencies, multiplicities, and complexities of new urban ways, I inquire into the emerging relationalities between recently-arrived Senegalese and their social context in Rio de Janeiro under the impact of multiple hierarchical orders, including race, origin, education, and class.

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nº 13 (June 2019) | OSVALDO BARRENECHE

Como el “principio olvidado” de la Revolución Francesa, uno que de todos modos ha permanecido en el vocabulario y la praxis política latinoamericana, este trabajo argumenta que la fraternidad tiene una dimensión política. Primero, la pieza analiza algunos aspectos generales de la fraternidad política. Luego, se tratan las principales objeciones al concepto. Posteriormente, el trabajo señala la presencia histórica de la fraternidad política en el contexto latinoamericano. Finalmente, se comparan los conceptos de diversidad, convivialismo y fraternidad, señalando algunas características comunes como así también las críticas que ellos reciben. El trabajo concluye destacando la importancia de profundizar el estudio de conceptos tales como Convivialismo y fraternidad, para reconocer y aplicar ideas innovadoras en el “vivir juntos con diferencias”.

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nº 12 (June 2019) | LUCIANE SCARATO

This paper analyses convivial contexts in unequal societies from a historical and comparative perspective in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Río de la Plata between the Conquest and the early twentieth century. It seeks to highlight how occurred on the ebb and flow of everyday life in unequal societies. In doing so, it aims to demonstrate that conviviality exists within inequality. It starts with a brief semantic cartography of the term conviviality, followed by its application on a selection of case studies about gender and family in Latin America. It explores ideals and structures of conviviality, underscoring individuals’ creativity to negotiate unequal power relations. It also looks at social movements to analyse conviviality in crisis, focusing on strategies to deal with, overcome, and subvert inequalities. In the end, it hopes to contribute to our understanding of conviviality in unequal societies.

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nº 11 (April 2019) | RAMIRO SEGURA

  • Este artículo explora cómo la antropología urbana ha abordado la convivialidad en ciudades latinoamericanas, analizando diversas investigaciones sobre temas variados en distintas ciudades de la región que no tienen como enfoque explícito la convivialidad.
  • Se identifican diferentes “contextos de convivialidad” en el espacio urbano, los cuales generan “formas de convivialidad” específicas dentro de ciudades socialmente desiguales y culturalmente heterogéneas.
  • Además, se proponen características compartidas por estos contextos y formas de convivialidad, así como se esbozan líneas de acción para un análisis explícito de la convivialidad en el espacio urbano.

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nº 10 (December 2018) | NICOLAS WASSER

  • This paper looks at the power dynamics of paid female domestic work and how emotions relate to social and employment status.
  • Previous research by feminist scholars in Brazil shows that feelings in the domestic working sphere focus on family and friendship.
  • The study shows how these relationships can both facilitate inclusion and support for domestic workers while also intensifying feelings of hierarchy and inequality. It uses a queer, feminist, and affect studies lens to analyze social inequality in daily interactions.

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nº 9 (December 2018) | FELIPE CASTRO GUTIÉRREZ

  • Este artículo analiza la relación entre convivencia y violencia en una ciudad de México colonial.
  • La violencia no era vista como algo anómalo, sino como parte integral de la vida cotidiana, y una forma codificada de expresar y mantener las jerarquías sociales.
  • Aunque la violencia tenía regulaciones explícitas e implícitas que la acotaban, ésta no siempre seguía la línea de las grandes desigualdades sociales y estaba organizada por medio de formas de cortesía, lenguajes corporales y representaciones personales.

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nº 8 (October 2018) | KAREN GRAUBART

  • This paper looks at how medieval and early modern Iberian monarchs governed by delegating jurisdiction to various groups.
  • The monarchs invited corporate groups like settlers, citizens, Muslims, Jews, and indigenous people to live under customary law, creating a tense everyday coexistence.
  • The paper shows how convivial relations produced legal markers of difference that could reflect power dynamics, but also how subaltern actors could use those differentiations strategically. The paper uses the concept of conviviality to show that consensus had to be constantly renegotiated within multiple group dynamics.

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nº 7 (August 2018) | PETER WADE

  • This paper explores the history and meanings of mestizaje in Latin America, focusing on Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, and its relationship to conviviality.
  • The paper examines how mestizaje was used for nation-building in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and how it has been challenged by multiculturalism.
  • The paper argues that mestizaje remains a resilient ideology due to its contradictory tensions between conviviality and racism, and discusses recent genomic research that supports the concept of a mestizo nation.

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nº 6 (July 2018) | JOSÉ BENJAMÍN INUCA LECHÓN

  • Desde mediados del siglo XX, los pueblos indígenas y nacionalidades de Ecuador se han organizado para exigir acceso a la tierra, educación y derechos culturales.
  • Estos movimientos han dado lugar a nuevos conceptos como “nacionalidad”, “plurinacionalidad” e “interculturalidad”, que enfatizan la importancia de reconocer y respetar las diversas culturas.
  • Las ideas de “alli kawsay” (buena vida) y “sumak kawsay” (vida hermosa, plena, digna) también son importantes para las comunidades indígenas de Ecuador, ya que desafían el modelo occidental de desarrollo y explotación.

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nº 5 (July 2018) | ARJUN APPADURAI 

This Working Paper is a revised manuscript of the keynote lecture delivered on July 13th, 2017 at the inaugural conference of the Maria Sibylla Merian International Centre Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America (Mecila) inaugural conference “Conviviality in Unequal Societies” (Berlin, Germany).

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🎥 Knout lecture

nº 4 (May 2018) | PAULA MONTERO

  • The working paper discusses how religious diversity was constructed in Brazil to regulate popular practices perceived as dangerous and superstitious since the country’s first republican constitution.
  • It argues that this diversity did not initially signify pluralism, as it was organized under the influence of Catholicism and syncretism.
  • The paper suggests that since the constitutional congress of 1988, pluralism became the main legal and political organizer of religious diversity in Brazil, promoting competition among religious organizations for social influence and primacy in their relationship with the state, as the Catholic Church’s hegemony declined.

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nº 3 (April 2018) | FRANK ADLOFF

  • The working paper discusses the Convivialist Manifesto published by French academics in 2013.
  • It compares the concepts of convivialism as a social and political theory to conviviality as a lived practice.
  • The paper develops a normative model of modes of conviviality, and suggests that exchange without remuneration and self-organised gathering can be seen as examples of a convivial social order.

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nº 2 (April 2018) | GESINE MÜLLER

  • This paper explores how Caribbean literature of the 19th century dealt with the question of conviviality amidst the establishment of discourses of racism.
  • It questions if a closer look at representations of conviviality can challenge essentialist constructions of race and nation in the 19th century.

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nº 1 (November 2018) | MECILA

  • The paper presents Mecila’s research programme.
  • Mecila will study forms of social, political, religious and cultural conviviality in Latin America and the Caribbean, and compare it to other parts of the world.
  • Conviviality is an analytical concept used to describe different ways of living together in specific contexts, ranging from more horizontal to highly asymmetrical models.
  • Mecila aims to create an innovative exchange between European and Latin American research, broadening the horizon of conviviality research and establishing a link to discussions about coexistence with differences in European and North American societies.

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