'Two Brazils': renegotiating subalternity through South-South cooperation in Angola
(Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio))
Marta Fernández (PUC-Rio )
Maira Siman (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro)
Paper short abstract:
Adopting a postcolonial perspective, this article approaches Brazilian South-South cooperation narratives in Africa as part of a politics of identity that helps redefine Brazil's place in the modern world.
Paper long abstract:
The article discusses how South-South Cooperation (SSC) operates as a site of knowledge and power through which a developmentalist Brazilian identity is reproduced and subalternity can be constantly renegotiated. Through a brief analysis of the narratives on the Brazilian involvement in Angola, it emphasizes how the production of the state self is also permeated by several ambivalences that update colonial tropes and bring new forms of subjugation. If, on the one hand, the movement undertaken in the article permits discussing the very ambiguity of the postcolonial condition - mainly by exposing the tensions and indeterminacies that permeate Brazil's engagements in the global arena - on the other hand, it opens up new theoretical avenues for analyzing Brazilian foreign policy. The article seeks to understand Brazilian SSC through the perspective of a situated post-colonialism, which considers the ambivalence of the Brazilian colonial experience in its attempts to reconcile antagonisms, producing the hybrid interrelation of 'two Brazils': one belonging to the past (to backwardness), and another destined to the future (to progress). In order to discuss how narratives of SSC with Africa contribute to the (re)production of a specific representation of the Brazilian self, this study analyzes some governmental discourses and practices related to the engagement of Brazil in Angola. By exploring South-South cooperation as a specific locus of power and knowledge, this article aims to emphasize the tensions and ambivalences that have permeated Brazil's engagement in the field of development over the last decade.Download the full paper
History and development: practicing the past in pursuit of 'progress'