Open Access

Editorial Note

Kathryn Bishop-Sanchez

As this current issue 59.2 goes to press, we are reminded how much we live in a globalized, changing world, and the articles in this issue reflect some new and timely work that the Luso-Brazilian Review hopes to embrace more fully with each publication. In this issue, we are pleased to present an article on Performance Studies by Ana Pais, erotic black female poetry by Ana Claudia São Bernardo, and recent Brazilian documentary film by Sophia Beal.

Our lead article could not be more relevant given the Brazilian presidential election’s second round on October 30, 2022, and the victory of returning President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva over far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in a stunning comeback. This opening article is co-authored by anthropologists Erika Robb Larkins and Susana Durão: “Os profissionais de segurança. Creating Moral Security Subjects in Bolsonaro’s Brazil.” Drawing from fieldwork in the form of interviews and observations, the authors analyze how Brazilian private security industry has focused on discourses around the concept of professionalism in opposition to the security subjects imagined immoral, lazy, apolitical vagabundo others. The article is an excellent introduction to security systems in Brazil as it begins with a short history of the racialized private security industry in Brazil that currently employs close to 526,000 registered guards and even more unregistered ones, a sector that became unionized and more organized during the Lula and Dilma administrations, and that was central to Bolsonaro’s presidential campaign as he positioned himself as a security world insider, a defender of morality and advocate for good citizens, and thus the solution for the disorder of contemporary Brazil. Next, the authors discuss how the security subjects they worked with view their roles and perceive their position in the workforce and in society in opposition to the above-mentioned vagabundos as targets of crime prevention measures but also historically loaded figures. The last part of the article addresses this key concept of professionalism that places security guards as good citizens in opposition to the elusive vagabundos.

In the second article, “Performance, Collaboration, and Authority in Contemporary Brazilian Documentaries,” by Sophia Beal, the focus is on three relatively recent Brazilian documentaries: Rodrigo Siqueira’s Terra deu, terra come (2010), Ariel Ortega and Patrícia Ferreira’s Bicicletas de Nhanderú (2011), and Adirley Queirós’s Branco sai, preto fica (2014). To explore the creative performances of the protagonists as they relate to the films’ directors, Beal provides background to this form of documentary in relation to the typical “talking head” interview format and discusses the different power differentials between the directors and those filmed on camera. In these films, marginalized subjects occupy a position of knowledge through performances that neither elicit pity nor present them as victims. Furthermore, these protagonists are individualized and rather than representative of an oppressed collective, can be seen as unique and irreplaceable, and participate to differing degrees in the directing of the documentaries. This essay also provides a rich discussion of race, class, and Indigeneity in contemporary Brazilian documentaries as seen through these films set in a contemporary quilombo, an Indigenous village, and a low-income community on the periphery of Brasília.

Ana Claudia São Bernardo’s article, “Beyond the Bedrooms. Sexuality in the Poetry of Louva Deusas, a Feminist Collective of Black Brazilian Women Writers,” is an examination of black erotic poetry as a means for liberation from past and present constraints embedded in Brazilian society. São Bernardo foregrounds Miriam Alves’s literary exploration of lovemaking and the image of the bedroom inherent to Carolina Maria de Jesus’s well-known text Quarto do despejo to then analyze the collective work of poetry Além dos quartos by the feminist collective Louva Deusas. In particular, the author reads this collective work of poems as efficient tools against the erasure of the black body from Brazilian mainstream culture, racial and gender-based oppression, and a means to project a bold view of black women’s power through their sexuality.

In “Thinking at the Edge with Luso-Brazilian Performers,” Ana Pais introduces the performative methodology TAE (“Thinking at the Edge”) devised by the American psychotherapist and philosopher Eugene Gendlin and discusses her experience using TAE with two Portuguese-speaking artists, the Portuguese actor and director Miguel Fragata and the Brazilian performer and choreographer Gustavo Ciríaco. As this article illustrates, TAE can be applied to both performance praxis and academic research: through felt sense or self-sensing competence, TAE is a vehicle to understand, map, and connect with bodily processes and sensations as attune to affect and affective textualities in a deep and meaningful way.

Next year we will be celebrating the 60th-year anniversary of the LBR. From the very beginning, the journal hoped to be a forum for graduate students and early-career researchers to publish their work, alongside more seasoned scholars. With this still very much at the heart of the mission of the LBR, starting next year, we will be establishing an “article incubator” for graduate students working in history and social sciences. More information will be forthcoming on the website and social media platforms of the LBR.

I am grateful to our dedicated LBR editorial team who move the journal forward with their ideas and dedication, and all our selfless and hardworking reviewers who keep the peer-review system functioning despite the many demands on their time. To them, my wholehearted thanks. This issue we are especially pleased to welcome Steve K. Smith to the LBR as copyeditor. Steve graduated with a PhD in Brazilian Studies from the University of Wisconsin, and we are fortunate to have him join the LBR staff.

As always, we look forward to receiving your submissions in the areas of our journal and especially from scholars working in Portuguese-speaking Africa in all disciplines.

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