Mecila

João José Reis | nº 36

Slaves Who Owned Slaves in Nineteenth-Century Bahia, Brazil

nº 36 | João José Reis

Slaves Who Owned Slaves in Nineteenth-Century Bahia, Brazil

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.

nº 35 | Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez

Entangled Migrations: The Coloniality of Migration and Creolizing Conviviality

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. […]

nº 34 | Gregory F. Pappas

Horizontal Models of Conviviality or Radical Democracy in the Americas: Zapatistas, Boggs Center, Casa Pueblo

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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.

nº 33 | Jan Boesten

Violence and Democracy in Colombia: The Conviviality of Citizenship Defects in Colombia’s Nation-State

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.

nº 32 | Camila Rocha

The New Brazilian Right and the Public Sphere

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. […]

nº 31 | Nilma L. Gomes

Antiracism in Times of Uncertainty

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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).

nº 30 | Susanne Klengel

Pandemic Avant-Garde: Urban Coexistence in Mário de Andrade’s Pauliceia Desvairada (1922) after the Spanish Flu

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. […]

nº 29 | Maya Manzi

More-Than-Human Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America

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. […]

nº 28 | Raquel Gil Montero

Esclavitud, servidumbre y libertad en Charcas

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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. […]

nº 27 | Raquel Rojas Scheffer

Physically Close, Socially Distant: Paid Domestic Work and (Dis-)Encounters in Latin America’s Private Households

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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. […]