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Shocking Pink and on the Street: Aesthetics of Queer Protest in São Paulo, Brazil
Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Recently, the Brazilian public has been inundated with images of mass protest crowds, presenting demands across the political spectrum. These images have come to symbolize Brazilians' uncertainties around a slowing economy, dissatisfaction with elected politicians, and cultural polarization around reproductive and sexual rights. This presentation considers a number of high-profile protests in the city of São Paulo that took place between 2011 and 2013. The talk draws on sustained ethnographic fieldwork within overlapping networks of LGBT activists that mobilized for federal anti-discrimination protections, where I analyzed anti-homophobia and anti-transphobia discourses that circulated between street protests, government reports, and journalists' accounts. During this time, LGBT activists held their own events and joined in protest marches led by organizers for marijuana decriminalization, free public transit, against police violence, and political corruption. Examining protests as sites of oppositional public address as well as experimental spaces for alternative social relations, I focus on rhetorical, aesthetic and affective registers of protest actions. Analyzing palavras de ordem (protest chants), the block colors of the crowd, and interactions with the built environment, I demonstrate how protests make social movements recognizable across multiple contexts.

Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Olin LC 120
Sponsor: Anthropology Program; Dean of the College
Contact: Laura Kunreuther.
E-mail: kunreuth@bard.edu
Phone: 845-758-7215

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