[-empyre-] eje Sur-Norte - translation of BH by BH
lucioagra at gmail.com
Tue Mar 20 10:46:41 EST 2012
Just to add one or two infos that turn the things discussed here more
complex: one of the intelectuals who was responsible for a straight
connection between Sao Paulo and Ulm School in Germany, Decio Pignatari,
poet (also one of the creators of concrete poetry), McLuhan translator to
Brazil, once wrote a short essay called "Teoria da Guerrilha Artistica"
(Theory of Artistic Guerrilla) once wrote to a newspaper in the 60s then
reprinted in a book of the beginning of 70s (when dictatorship was at its
2012/3/19 Brian Holmes <bhcontinentaldrift at gmail.com>
> Hello Alicia and everyone -
> On 03/15/2012 04:19 PM, Alicia Migdal wrote:
> -- "There is a global agenda of thought that does not have to be the
> agenda for Latin American intellectuals. When the map of Europe changed so
> drastically after the fall of really existing socialism, it seemed as
> though the imperial North ceased to look enviously on the South, and its
> liberal intellectuals ceased to take us an occasion for their anti-systemic
> ideas. But all this is a new kind of optical illusion, because the empire
> acts by way of economics and doesn't need to disembark its troops on
> foreign soil to organize the process of expropriation. As we all know."
> Its incredibly interesting to read this kind of reflection, when one lives
> in the North without feeling entirely well-adapted to the surrounding
> environment. Based on my experience as a North American I agree with you
> entirely: here in the US, Latin America seems to have disappeared from the
> map. There is a strong presence of people from Mexico as immigrants - which
> is super-important and I don't want to minimize it - but as far as the
> richness and complexity of Mexican politics and culture, forget it, almost
> nothing is said. And even less about the Southern Cone. (Oh, I'd better
> correct myself on that one: I read somewhere that Buenos Aires is now the
> trendiest city in the world for kids who want to go out clubbing on the
> -- "Let's say that we Latin Americans have ceased to be present as a
> problem for the cogitations of the liberal intellectuals of the North.
> Guerilla wars, dictatorships and civil resistance were left by the wayside
> with the redemocratization of the Southern Cone and with a map that became
> increasingly more progressive or at least, increasingly without
> authoritarian governments. There was an unthinkable change in the origins
> of certain Latin American presidents: a worker, a woman, an indigenous
> person, a former priest, a former guerilla fighter, another woman."
> I have a friend who is no more than thirty years old, an impressive woman
> who works with prisoners (whom we have a lot of in the US). She's also
> working with others to put together a whole program of cultural activism
> around the memory of the torture of black citizens by the police forces of
> Chicago (where I live). Just to say that I am not poking fun at this woman,
> not in the least. To make money, she teaches art (when she can: almost all
> the professors are now temps). The other day she told me that, "even though
> I'm not qualified for this," she's teaching a class in "guerilla art."
> What's meant by this phrase is apparently non-conventional ways of
> expressing oneself, improvised interventions in the street and that sort of
> thing. I asked her if it had ever occurred to her to present to the
> students the biography of a more-or-less famous guerrilla fighter, maybe
> Douglas Bravo or someone like that. "What a great idea!" she replied. In
> effect, current social conditions are such that she had not really thought
> about the proper sense of the word guerrilla.
> --"It is as though some people only feel an interest for the perception of
> others during times of explosion and crisis. But the current characteristic
> of empire with respect to the slow-burning zones of the planet is to work
> precisely with low-intensity conflict, generating it, while at the same
> time removing us from the panorama of what's 'interesting'."
> Speakng seriously, you're completely right from the imperial viewpoint
> which is the one held by the majority. But I also want to tell you that for
> those few people who are attentive to Latin America there is really a lot
> of interest for what is happening now, and even for the last fifteen years.
> From this minority perspective, Latin America is at once the laboratory of
> democracy and the only place on the planet where there has been a
> philosophical and practical renovation of leftist thinking. What's more,
> this current interest seems to me to be less inspired by ideology and
> romantic-revolutionary passion than it was in the past. I personally spent
> a month in Argentina last year, for the first time since 2005, and the deep
> changes I could see in the political discourse, the economic analysis and
> the forms of popular mobilization seemed to signify a real effort to
> achieve social equality under the difficult conditions of global so-called
> "free trade". Despite all the criticisms that one can and should make of
> the Kirchner governments. Among the US students who are starting to
> mobilize against the privatization of the universities there is also quite
> widespread awareness of the Chilean student movements, with lots of
> curiosity and admiration. For years there have been discussions for and
> against what's happening in Venezuela, sometimes even nuanced discussions.
> And then, among the "veterans" of the antiglobalization movement - who are
> often also the "fresh start" of the Occupy movement - the fact of speaking
> Spanish, of spending time in Latin America and of learning about the
> geopolitics of the Southern Hemisphere appears - at least according to the
> sporadic contact I have with these kinds of people - to be something almost
> necessary, an integral part of life for those who respect others as human
> beings. I don't want to exagerate anything, the situation on the
> macropolitical level is exactly as you say, but I just wanted to add that
> nonetheless, there are a few of us in the US who do pay attention to the
> high degree of political and also cultural invention that is presently
> emerging from many Latin-American societies.
> Excuse me for all the mistakes of spelling and grammar and whatever else
> there must be in this message, but I wanted to write it in Spanish for
> obvious reasons. It is a pleasure to read you in your own language and
> thanks for your reflections.
> Brian Holmes
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
Se vc tem urgência de falar comigo, me ligue no celular! É mais rápido!
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