The Arts and Individual and Collective Agency: A Brazilian Favela Case Study
Abstract views: 210 / PDF downloads: 59
Keywords:Brazil, civil society organization, democratic agency, neoliberalism, social imaginary
Brazil’s favela residents have long challenged the dominant media and social narrative that has, for decades, described them via discourses of criminality. This article examines the work of Redes da Maré, a civil society organization that offers cultural spaces and services for community-based creation and diffusion of the arts in its namesake favela. We employ the concepts of the social imaginary as well as individual and collective agency to investigate whether and in what ways a service-providing civil society organization that has adopted a cultural development approach encourages participants’ democratic attitudes and behaviors at the organizational and community level to challenge existing systemic social oppression by fostering participation in the development process and offering a platform for the expression of the voices of those it engages. Our analysis is based in part on interviews with 4 lead organizers and participants in Redes’ Free Dance School of Maré. Our analysis contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the roles the arts can play in encouraging democratic agency and possibility among favela citizens despite adverse political and social conditions exacerbated by neoliberal beliefs and policies.
Adams, D., & Goldbard, A. (2005). Creative community: The art of cultural development. Lulu Press.
Bacon, J. (2012). The art of community: Building the new age of participation. O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Basso, J. C., Satyal, M. K., & Rugh, R. (2020). Dance on the brain: Enhancing intra- and inter-brain synchrony. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14, Article 584312. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2020.584312 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2020.584312
Batley, R., & Rose, P. (2011). Analysing collaboration between non-governmental service providers and governments. Public Administration and Development, 31(4), 230–239. https://doi.org/10.1002/pad.613 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/pad.613
Benhabib, S. (2007). Another universalism: On the unity and diversity of human rights. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 81(2), 7–32. https://www.jstor.org/stable/27653991
Benhabib, S. (2008). Another cosmopolitanism. Oxford University Press.
Bennett, J. (2013). Moralising class: A discourse analysis of the mainstream political response to Occupy and the August 2011 British riots. Discourse and Society, 24(1), 27–45. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926512463634 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926512463634
Bledsoe, A. (2019). Racial sntagonism and the 2018 Brazilian presidential election. Journal of Latin American Geography, 18(2), 165–170. https://doi.org/10.1353/lag.2019.0021 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/lag.2019.0021
Boal, A. (1993). Theatre of the oppressed (C. A. McBride, Trans.; Tcg ed. edition). Theatre Communications Group.
Booth, K. (1995). Culture builds communities. The Partners.
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77–101. https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa DOI: https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa
Brinkerhoff, D. W., & Brinkerhoff, J. M. (2011). Public–private partnerships: Perspectives on purposes, publicness, and good governance. Public Administration and Development, 31(1), 2–14. https://doi.org/10.1002/pad.584 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/pad.584
Carothers, T. (2016). Closing space for international democracy and human rights support. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 8(3), 358–377. https://doi.org/10.1093/jhuman/huw012 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jhuman/huw012
Christensen, D., & Weinstein, J. M. (2013). Defunding dissent: Restrictions on aid to NGOs. Journal of Democracy, 24(2), 77–91. https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.2013.0026 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.2013.0026
Coe, D. (2017). “Dance has connected me to my voice”: The value of reflection in establishing effective dance pedagogy. Waikato Journal of Education, 9(2003), 39–49. https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v9i0.384 DOI: https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v9i0.384
Cohen-Cruz, J., & Schutzman, M. (Eds.). (2006). A Boal companion: Dialogues on theatre and cultural politics. Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203300794
Coutinho, M. H., & Soter, S. (2019). Teatro e dança no Centro de Artes da Maré: Ações de contra-mundo [Theater and dance at the Centro de Artes da Maré: Counter-world actions]. Urdimento: Revista de Estudos Em Artes Cênicas, 1(34), 60–76. https://doi.org/10.5965/1414573101342019060 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5965/1414573101342019060
Debroux, T. (2017). The visible part: Of art galleries, artistic activity and urban dynamics. Articulo–Journal of Urban Research, 15. https://doi.org/10.4000/articulo.3409 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/articulo.3409
Dupuy, K., & Prakash, A. (2020). Global backlash against foreign funding to domestic nongovernmental organizations. In W. W. Powell & P. Bromley (Eds.), The nonprofit sector: A research handbook (3rd ed., pp. 618–630). Stanford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1515/9781503611085-038 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9781503611085-038
Dupuy, K., Ron, J., & Prakash, A. (2016). Hands off my regime! Governments’ restrictions on foreign aid to non-governmental organizations in poor and middle-income countries. World Development, 84, 299–311. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.02.001 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.02.001
Fleming, R. L. (2007). The art of placemaking: Interpreting community through public art and urban design. Merrell London.
Foweraker, J. (2001). Grassroots movements and political activism in Latin America: A critical comparison of Chile and Brazil. Journal of Latin American Studies, 33(4), 839–865. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022216X01006241 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022216X01006241
Fraser, N. (2000). Rethinking recognition. New Left Review, 3, 107–120.
Fraser, N. (2007). Special section: Transnational public sphere: Transnationalizing the public sphere: On the legitimacy and efficacy of public opinion in a post-Westphalian world. Theory, Culture and Society, 24(4), 7–30. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276407080090 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276407080090
Fraser, N. (2009). Scales of justice: Reimagining political space in a globalizing world. Columbia University Press.
Fricker, M. (2007). Epistemic injustice. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198237907.001.0001 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198237907.001.0001
Gaztambide-Fernández, R., VanderDussen, E., & Cairns, K. (2014). “The Mall” and “the Plant”: Choice and the Classed Construction of Possible Futures in Two Specialized Arts Programs. Education and Urban Society, 46(1), 109–134. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013124512438226 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0013124512438226
Gell, A. (1998). Art and agency: An anthropological theory. Oxford University Press.
Goldbard, A. (2006). New creative community: The art of cultural development. New Village Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt21pxmht
Goldbard, A. (2013). The culture of possibility: Art, artists and the future. Waterlight Press.
International Center for Not-for-profit Law. (2018). Building Alliances, Strengthening Freedoms [Annual Report]. ICNL. https://www.icnl.org/wp-content/uploads/ICNL-Annual-Report-2018-19-web-final.pdf
James, P. (2019). The social imaginary in theory and practice. In C. Hudson & E. K. Wilson (Eds.), Revisiting the global imaginary (pp. 33–47). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-14911-6_3 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-14911-6_3
Jornal Nacional. (2018). Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) é entrevistado no Jornal Nacional [Jair Bolsonaro is interviewed at Jornal Nacional] [Video]. Globoplay. https://globoplay.globo.com/v/6980200/
Kay, A. (2000). Art and community development: The role the arts have in regenerating communities. Community Development Journal, 35(4), 414–424. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/cdj/35.4.414
Kirakosyan, L., & Stephenson, M. (2019). Arts as dialogic practice: Deriving lessons for change from community-based art-making for international development. Psych, 1(1), 375–390. https://doi.org/10.3390/psych1010027 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/psych1010027
Kraehe, A. M., & Lewis, T. E. (2018). Introduction: Flashpoints—the breakthrough of sociocultural difference. In S. Travis, A. M. Kraehe, E. J. Hood, & T. E. Lewis (Eds.), Pedagogies in the flesh: Case studies on the embodiment of sociocultural differences in education (pp. 1–14). Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59599-3_1
Lacerda, D. S. (2015). Rio de Janeiro and the divided state: Analysing the political discourse on favelas. Discourse and Society, 26(1), 74–94. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926514541346 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926514541346
Lepecki, A. (2015). The choreopolitical: Agency in the age of control. In R. Martin (Ed.), The Routledge companion to art and politics (pp. 44-52). Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315736693-6
Lucas, S. D. (2018). The primacy of narrative agency: Re-reading Seyla Benhabib on narrativity. Feminist Theory, 19(2), 123–143. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464700117723591 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1464700117723591
Marneros, D. C. (2021). Against the populist ressentiment. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Populism, 2(1), 100–112.
McCall, V. (2005). Dancing bodies, social theory, and the critique of the social sciences. In T. Buckland (Ed.), Dance in the field: Theory, methods and issues in dance ethnography (pp. 34–55). Macmillan International Higher Education.
Meban, M. (2009). The aesthetic as a process of dialogical interaction: A case of collective art praxis. Art Education, 62(6), 33–38. https://doi.org/10.1080/00043125.2009.11519043 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00043125.2009.11519043
Moldavanova, A., Onishi, T., & Toepler, S. (2023). Civil society and democratization: The role of service-providing organizations amid closing civic spaces. Public Administration and Development, 43(1), 3–13. https://doi.org/10.1002/pad.2005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/pad.2005
Perlman, J. (2010). Favela: Four decades of living on the edge in Rio de Janeiro. Oxford University Press.
Póvoa, D., Reijnders, S., & Martens, E. (2019). The telenovela effect: Challenges of location filming and telenovela tourism in the Brazilian favelas. The Journal of Popular Culture, 52(6), 1536–1556. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpcu.12861 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jpcu.12861
Redes da Maré. (2021). Redes da Maré. https://www.redesdamare.org.br/en/
Rosas-Moreno, T. C., & Straubhaar, J. D. (2015). When the marginalized enter the national spotlight: The framing of Brazilian favelas and favelados. Global Media and Communication, 11(1), 61–80. https://doi.org/10.1177/1742766515574114 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1742766515574114
Salamon, L. M., & Toepler, S. (2015). Government–nonprofit cooperation: Anomaly or necessity? VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 26(6), 2155–2177. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-015-9651-6 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-015-9651-6
Samovar, L. A., Porter, R. E., McDaniel, E. R., & Roy, C. S. (2014). Intercultural communication: A reader. Cengage Learning.
Sharp, J., Pollock, V., & Paddison, R. (2005). Just art for a just city: Public art and social inclusion in urban regeneration. Urban Studies, 42(5–6), 1001–1023. https://doi.org/10.1080/00420980500106963 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00420980500106963
Soter, S., & Pavlova, A. (2017). Escola livre de dança da Maré in Rio de Janeiro: A ground to share. In J. Butterworth & L. Wildschut (Eds.), Contemporary choreography: A critical reader (2nd ed., pp. 266–276). Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315563596-23
Stephenson, M. O., & Tate, A. S. (Eds.). (2015) Arts and community change: Exploring cultural development policies, practices and dilemmas. Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315775814
Taylor, C. (2007). A secular age (1st ed.. Harvard University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4159/9780674044289
Toepler, S., Zimmer, A., Fröhlich, C., & Obuch, K. (2020). The changing space for NGOs: Civil society in authoritarian and hybrid regimes. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 31(4), 649–662. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-020-00240-7 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-020-00240-7
Travers, M. (2001). Qualitative research through case studies. SAGE Publications. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4135/9781849209724
Travis, S., Kraehe, A. M., Hood, E. J., & Lewis, T. E. (Eds.). (2018). Pedagogies in the flesh: Case studies on the embodiment of sociocultural differences in education. Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59599-3
United Nations Office of Human Rights. (2010). Special rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. https://www.ohchr.org/en/special-procedures/sr-cultural-rights/international-standards
Valladares, L. do P. (2019). The invention of the favela (R. N. Anderson, Trans.). The University of North Carolina Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5149/northcarolina/9781469649986.001.0001
Yin, R. K. (2014). Case study research: Design and methods (5th ed.. SAGE Publications.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
By submitting a manuscript to JECS, authors agree to transfer without charge the following rights to JECS upon acceptance of the manuscript: first worldwide publication rights and the right for JECS to grant permissions as JECS editors judge appropriate for the redistribution of the article, its abstract, and its metadata in professional indexing and reference services. Any revenues from such redistribution are used solely to support the continued publication and distribution of articles.