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[May 16] Epistemic Injustice and Decolonial Resistance in Contemporary Brazilian North-eastern Literature and Cinema

Date: 16 May 2024 (Thursday)

Time: 5:30 pm

Venue: Room 5.41, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Speaker: Mr Henrique Gomes, PhD candidate in Latin American Studies, HKU

Discussant: Mr Clifford Pereira, Researcher, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London

Moderator: Prof Bárbara Fernández-Melleda, Assistant Professor in Latin American Studies, HKU


This presentation posits the existence of a discernible decolonial tradition among contemporary writers and filmmakers in Northeast Brazil, who persistently engage in the critique of coloniality within their works. The study undertakes an analysis of four distinct works to outline this tradition: the novels Viva o Povo Brasileiro (João Ubaldo Ribeiro, 1984) and Torto Arado (Itamar Vieira Junior 2019), and the feature films A Idade da Terra (Glauber Rocha, 1980), and Bacurau (Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles, 2019). I investigate how these fictional narratives evoke the political landscapes of their contexts of production, namely the military dictatorship of 1964-1985 and the period preceding Jair Bolsonaro’s election in 2019. More specifically, the presentation probes how these works portray decolonial resistance within scenarios of epistemic injustice as a way of opposing racial and ethnic bias towards Afro-diasporic and indigenous populations.

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