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Accepted Paper:

Retracking cosmopolitan selves: how collective bodily practices empower people at an intercultural center in Berlin  
Nina Graeff (Universidade Federal da Paraíba)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines how collective bodily practices in the multi-sensorial atmosphere of an intercultural center in Berlin affect, transform and empower people of different sociocultural backgrounds, integrating and re-tracking their lives in a cosmopolitan city.

Paper long abstract:

Several worlds in one place: throughout 11 years, Forum Brasil became more than a meeting point in Berlin for Brazilian migrants and for German sympathizers of the far away culture. It is at once an intercultural center offering Capoeira and Portuguese classes as well as artistic and political events; a religious temple for the practice of the Afro-Brazilian religion of Candomblé; and a protected space for People of Colour to exchange experiences through the recent project Afropolitan, which also attracts LGBT communities. Despite their contrasting sociocultural backgrounds, many frequenters perceive Forum Brasil as a comforting place, where they feel at home and allowed to be themselves. In my paper, I will examine how not only music and dance activities, but also the multi-sensorial atmosphere of Forum Brasil, enable such transcultural identification. Therefore, I will track affects arising in individuals through their "mutually engaged involvement" (Ingold 2000), in order to explore how bodily practices transform subjects and their attitude towards the world, establishing more "resonant self-world relations" (Rosa 2016). Subjects "learn to be affected by differences" (Latour 2004), both by their own as by the differences of others, feeling empowered by the embodiment of alterity. The collective self-transformations taking place at Forum Brasil reveal to be decisive for coping with social and psychological constraints, such as gender and racial discrimination, as well as for integrating and, hence, re-tracking subjects in the everyday life of a cosmopolitan city.

Panel Body02
Affect and atmospheres in the ethnographic between [SIEF Working Group on Body, Affects, Senses, and Emotions (BASE)]
  Session 1 Wednesday 17 April, 2019, -