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Gibara, Cuba

VOCES Undergraduate Journal of the Caribbean and Latin American Studies and Hispanic Studies Association

Fall 2014 Volume 1, Issue 1 McGill University Print: ISSN 2368-6863 Online: ISSN 2368-6871


Editors Madeline Craig MarĂ­a JosĂŠ Torres-Santeli Mary Torrance Faraz Oman

Illustrations Madeline Craig

Photographs Josh Berman Adriana Mendoza Igarza (Cover Photo)


Table of Contents Preface




Women in Central American Guerrilla Movements: An examination of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Cuba Siobhan Brown ....... 5 El Toro: Espíritu Español Carlos Burgues


Inside the House of Desires: Interiors and Interiority Noah Tavlin . 48 A brief introduction to slavery in Brazil and Quilombo communities of the past and present Allison Jones ... . 65 Una España amordazada en tiempos de reflexión Carlos Burgues ...


Gender roles in biography of a runaway slave Gabriel Proulx


The limits of development: Coloniality of power, imperial globality and the continuing struggle for decolonization in Latin America Camila Rivas-Garrido ..95


Preface VOCES es un compendio de trabajos sobre América Latina que busca transmitir, desde diferentes ámbitos, el carácter de un continente tan diverso, multicultural y fascinante como lo es Latinoamérica. De esta manera, dicho compendio incluye perspectivas tanto políticas como históricas y sociales, así como análisis literarios y teatrales, presentando distintas facetas a través de las cuales podemos internarnos dentro de esta rica cultura latinoamericana e hispana. Todos los trabajos que se verán a continuación han sido escritos por estudiantes de McGill. Nosotros, CLASHSA, la Asociación de estudios hispánicos, latinoamericanos y caribeños, espera que disfruten de la lectura. VOCES is a compendium of works about Latin America that seeks to transmit, through distinct areas, the character of such a diverse, multicultural and fascinating continent as Latin America. VOCES includes political, historical and social perspectives as well as literary and theatrical analyses, presenting distinct aspects through which we can perceive the rich Latin American and hispanic culture. All the essays have been written by McGill students. We, CLASHSA, the Caribbean and Latin American Studies and Hispanic Studies Association, hope you enjoy the reading.


VOCES est une combinaison de travaux qui cherche transmettre, à travers différents cadres, le caractère d’un continent divers, multiculturel et fascinant comme l’Amérique Latine. VOCES comprend des perspectives politiques, historiques, sociales, et aussi des analyses littéraires et théâtrales, en présentant des différentes facettes de la riche culture latino-américaine et hispanique. Touts les travails ont été écrits pour étudiants de l’Université McGill. Nous sommes CLASHSHA, l’association des études des Caraïbes et l’Amérique Latine et études hispaniques, et nous vous souhaitons beaucoup de plaisir lors de la lecture de VOCES.


Women in Central American Guerrilla Movements: An Examination of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Cuba Siobhan Brown Abstract: This paper is an examination of the changing roles of women in Latin American guerrilla movements in the late 20th century, focusing in particular on studies of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Cuba. The arguments will focus on socioeconomic changes, a changing ideological landscape, and the personal situations of each individual guerrilla as motivating factors for militant or non-militant action. Socioeconomically, the impacts of I.S.I. on urban migration and community organization served to encourage and provide support for guerrilla mobilization. Ideological changes in feminist theory and guerrilla warfare strategy as well as the emergence of liberation theology occurring domestically and internationally arguably proved to promote more militant guerrilla action 5

in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Ultimately though, individual influences such as family involvement and specific external pressures ultimately proved to be the catalysts. Despite the fact that women have played significant roles in guerrilla movements for decades, their emergence in combat roles is a relatively new phenomenon, and one that proved crucial in numerous Latin American resistance campaigns during the 1960’s and 1970’s. This paper will examine the conditions under which females did or did not become militant and the positions they played within guerilla movements. The cases of Nicaragua and El Salvador will be used as case studies to illustrate some potential motivating factors for militancy, and the lack of similar factors in Cuba will serve as a counterpoint. First, the role of socioeconomic shifts within the state will be addressed, particularly in reference to a 6

changing agricultural industry and the resulting mass urban migration movement. Second, the changing ideological landscape of the globe and Latin America as a region will be discussed in terms of feminism, liberation theology, and transitioning theories of effective guerrilla warfare. And finally, a more personal look at the particular networks, family backgrounds, and external pressures of Nicaraguan and Salvadoran guerrillas will be examined as potential catalysts for the movement from non-violent dissent, such as that demonstrated by female Cuban guerrillas, to militant action. The nature of the economic change within Latin America during the mid 20th century brought with it tremendous social change that would result in a widespread shift in family structure, mass migration to urban areas, and the establishment of community ties among women. The period of Import Subsidized Industrialization (I.S.I.) within Latin America meant a 7

drastic restructuring of the agricultural sector. The privatization of small-scale land holdings by elites for the mass production of specific agricultural goods and cash crops brought huge changes for the rural work force. 1 Demands increased for a seasonal and non-labour intensive workforce, and the fierce competition for a relatively small number of positions meant decreased wages. 2 As a result, large numbers of men - who were more likely to profit from agricultural work and less likely to take on the primary childcare role – left their families in search of rural work; this left women as the primary beneficiaries for their children at home. 3 After a while, many men “became demoralized in the face of growing poverty or met new women�, never to return home.4


Chinchilla 1983: 6 Kampwirth 1964: 24 3 Ibid, 25 4 Ibid, 25 2


So how would this affect women’s eventual involvement in guerrilla movements? When faced with the challenge of providing for their families without a spouse, many women resorted to migrating to urban centres for job opportunities. 5 The result would be an increased involvement in the labour sector and other community organizations - mainly based around family care - both of which would later prove to be crucial mediums for recruitment into guerrilla forces. 6 The emergence of single-female headed households would have substantial affects on community organization and subsequent mobilization as well as familial ties, the importance of which will be discussed in more detail later. In short though, the changing economies of Latin American countries driven by I.S.I meant the abandonment of many women by their husbands, and a 5 6

Viterna 2006: 4 Reif-Labao 1986


resulting mass urban migration. The drive to the labour force as a means of providing for their families as well as their mobilization within female support communities provided a necessary organizational base for guerrilla movements that would follow. According to Ferree and Meuller, women had now assumed “masculine” roles of household heads, labour workers, and political activists while maintaining their “feminine” priorities of child care, household survival, and social welfare. 7 The combination of these two would encourage their involvement in social activism. This trend emerged both within countries that would foster militant (in our case, Nicaraguan and Salvadoran) female guerilla movements and non-militant (Cuban) ones, though much more prominently in the former. The migration that resulted from the drastic shift in the economic sector meant that the population of 7

Ferree and Mueller 2004: 8


Managua, Nicaragua’s capital city, leapt from 110,000 in 1950 to 662,000 in 1980.8 Many of the women included in these numbers joined the labour force to provide for their families, and as a result came to make up 29% of the total work force in 1977, a 15% jump from 1950. 9 This involvement in the workforce provided an ideal medium for broader community involvement and the expression of discontent, one which was not only limited to mothers. Emilia, a woman interviewed by Karen Kampwirth in the extensive research for her book Women and Guerrilla Movements , details how she too was forced to get a job at a young age upon her arrival in the city because her mother could not support the family alone.10 In Cuba too, the shift could be seen. Land concentration and mass migration were taking place due to a growing demand for specific agricultural products in the 8

Vilas 1995: 59 Mason 1992: 74 10 Kampwirth 1964: 28 9


international market, sugar in particular. The government was a strong proponent for elites hoping to take control of small farms – as much can be reflected in the 75% success rate of elites in their eviction lawsuits.11 The high rates of guerrilla involvement in the Sierra Maestra region were no coincidence12. It is telling that they coincided with high rates of eviction of the rural class. Nevertheless, despite having similar domestic economic changes, women were less drastically affected by them in Cuba. There were a far smaller percentage of female-headed households in Cuba: 14% as opposed to the estimates of 25% in other Latin American countries. 13 Evidence of the implications of this can be observed in a changing familial structure reflected by a study conducted on students involved in the Batista Movement in Cuba. It stressed an increased likelihood of youth participation whilst free from family control as a 11

Wickham-Crowley 1992:119 Ibid 13 Kampwirth 1964:122 12


deciding factor for participation.14 Family structure played a key role in mobilization, and was dramatically altered due to a change in domestic economic policy. If similar, albeit less pronounced, socioeconomic changes occurred in Cuba as in Nicaragua and El Salvador, yet a dissonance between female guerrilla involvements was still pronounced, logically other factors must be needed to explain the phenomena. It is argued that ideological as well as personal differences are the key factors towards building an understanding of the nature of women’s resistance in Latin America. The global awareness of feminism, as well as the regional movements towards liberal theology and away from foquismo style warfare, are three essential ideological shifts that may help explain why militant female guerrillas emerged in some countries and not in others.


Sucklicki 1979: 79


Though all three guerrilla movements took place in a similar timeframe, the impact of those few years between the Cuban Revolution and the resistance movements in Nicaragua and El Salvador are momentous. The revolutionary ideologies of the later were combined with a “global diffusion of feminist thought” that was not seen during the time of the Cuban Revolution.15 Even though it was not cited as a primary causal factor of female guerrillas in Kampwirth’s work, the impact that it had on society in general, including the male leaders of the guerrilla movements should not be undervalued. Many of the men who were proponents of women’s rights within Nicaragua had contact with American and European movements that supported feminist ideals.16 Those that did not have international contacts would still be influenced by the countless feminist publications and 15 16

Reif-Labao 1986 Chinchilla 1983: 4


media that were circulating at the time. Books such as Margaret Randall’s Cuban Women Now (La Mujer Cuban de Hoy) were cited as being one of ten books FSNL guerrillas had access to while they were actually underground.17 The role of the church and its liberation theology also played a crucial role in mobilizing the masses and creating a forum for community organization. Women within the church as well as those involved on a community level have emphasized the impact of the church on their social awareness. Dorotea Wilson, one of the three women to sit on the FSLN National Directorate as of 1990, had worked with the clergy, and stated that her contact with them had made her take a critical look at poverty and injustice in Nicaragua.18 Maura Clarke, an activist who left her convent to live and work with the 17 18

Randall 1981 Kampwirth 1964: 32


poor, also looked to her experiences with the church’s leftist theology as pivotal in her opinions of the state.19 The church also had an impact at an organizational as well as theological level. The CEBs, or Church Based Communities, that held support in many Latin American countries during the time of widespread resistance became easy targets for guerrilla recruitment.20 Oftentimes, the result of their presence was that “poor people were mobilized to prayer, analysis, and often radical action�.21 Women in particular would look to these communities, as mentioned earlier, for familial support. Furthermore, as husbands oftentimes disagreed with their wives participation in such organizations, the resulting makeup of the CEBs was commonly single women who, it has


Ibid Montgomery 1983: 92 21 Kampwirth 1964: 31 20


been argued, are more likely to participate in guerrilla resistance.22 The Medellin Conference held between bishops in 1968 is often cited as the birth of liberation theology, an event which took place post-Cuban Revolution.23 In the 1950’s Cuba had, in fact, the lowest percentage of practicing Catholics in all of Latin America, and the church in and of itself was in no way as socially outspoken as those during the following decade.24 The institutional parallels to CEBs found in the Catholic Action and the Young Catholic Workers organizations of Cuba may have disagreed with certain injustices created by Batista, but they made a point of not advocating openly for social or economic change.25 When the testaments of particularly prominent women within the Nicaraguan 22

Viterna 2004: 8 Ibid 24 Crahan 1987: 4 25 Ibid 23


resistance movement are taken into account, combined with evidence of the strong impact of the CEBs on community organization and mobilization, it suggests that the lack of a similar presence in Cuba may have created a void for women in society that was hard to fill. Finally, the shift in military strategy that took place in Latin America post-Cuban Revolution meant that a small, elite group of revolutionaries was dismissed in favour of a mass-mobilization approach, making women more susceptible to recruitment. Statements made by key leaders within the Cuban resistance movement make clear the selective process of guerrilla recruitment concerning women. Take for example, Che Guevara, as quoted in Loveman and Davies “it is desirable to remove as many combatants as possible who do not possess indispensable physical this stage a woman can perform her habitual tasks of peacetime; it is very pleasing to a soldier subjected to the extremely hard conditions of this life to be able to look forward to a seasoned meal which tastes like something� 18

In the attempt to seize Maconda, women were assigned such duties as ironing or nursing the injured.26 This inherent sexism combined with the belief that only a select few were useful in the guerrilla movement meant that women were given little opportunity to participate beyond any traditional role, much less a militant one. The focus was in organizing a “small, dedicated, and competent band, an army of elite revolutionaries” instead of investing in the training and education of a large group of society.27 Nicaragua on the other hand was a prime example of the Latin American nation that had moved towards a more Maoist ‘prolonged people’s war approach’, or a belief that widespread support of the masses was needed over a number of years to bring down the government.28 It was arguably this attempt at creating a mass base of 26

Smith and Padula 1996: 24 Kampwirth 1964: 127 28 Vitera 2004: 30 27


support that led Latin American guerrilla movements to accept women into their midst. The involvement of numerous community organizations, particularly ones involving education, were also a prime means of recruiting women into the movement by teaching lessons on Mao’s work and soviet literature.29 These socioeconomic and ideological factors are crucial in understanding the emergence of combatant female guerrillas in Latin America during the late 1960’s and 1970’s, and the lack thereof in 1950’s Cuba. Were these factors the primary reason why women in Cuba maintained more traditional roles, or occasionally passed messages on for the resistance, while women in Nicaragua and El Salvador rose to high positions of command? Obviously, to examine the domestic environment at the time is important in enhancing our understanding, but in no way sufficient in determining the radicalization of 29

Kampwirth 1964: 35


particular individuals. The crucial personal factors that affect each woman - manifested here in a survey of the networks, family ties, and specific external influences of Nicaraguan and Salvadoran women – are paramount. There were three primary levels of significant involvement by women in the guerrilla movements in our case studies: collaborators, coordinators, and combatants. Collaborators would usually bring food or supplies to guerrilla camps a few times a week but not live at the camp nor participate in any violent revolt.30 Coordinators would work with peasants in advocacy programs such as demands for minimum wage, health programs centred around raising crops and preventing sickness, as well as and organizing the logistics behind the fighting forces. 31 Sonia, a Nicaraguan woman interviewed by Kampwirth in 1997, described her role as “moving people around, 30 31

Vitela 2004:31 Kampwirth 1964: 34


getting false papers, buying arms, and also detecting people who turned (them) in to the Guard�. Finally, combatants would participate with the male guerrillas in strikes and violent opposition. Women would move up in the ranks of the army to become battalion commanders or political liaisons. 32 Fighting units comprised of solely women would also take on the fully trained government troops on occasion.33 Aside from the nationwide socioeconomic and ideological conditions that applied to all of society, the women participating in each of these three roles had specific individual circumstances which led to their participation. In a study of Salvadoran women, Vitela sets forth a mechanical formula for guerrilla involvement, that is: net influence of all networks – net influence of all biographical barriers = the probability of movement 32 33

Chinchilla 1983 Thompson 1986


activism. Movement activism + state-sponsored repression = guerrilla activism.34 In simpler terms, this means first, that she weighs the impacts of both previous networks – such as community organizations and relationships - that may have influenced involvement, as well as personal ‘biographical barriers’ such as motherhood, age, etc. The result will influence their involvement in activism in general. But it is this action combined with the repressive actions of the state that transform it into guerrilla activism. In the end though, her analysis of networks, family situation, and external pressures draw the eventual conclusion that state-sponsored repression should not be viewed as the most significant cause for the shift from activism to guerrilla fighting; focus instead should lie in biographical availability and the key role of refugee camps in recruitment of female guerrillas. 35 34 35

Vitela 2004:8 Vitela 2004: 36-38


Pre-established networks such as the previously mentioned Church groups and, most importantly, student groups, were a convenient way of recruiting guerrillas into the Latin American resistance movements of the 60’s and 70’s. They allowed for the establishment of an organizational structure, and a means of teaching potential candidates about revolutionary theory in school. In one of Vitella’s interviews, a woman describes how girls would be called together in the refugee camps to be taught politics.36 The heavy involvement of the FMLN in organizing schools, protest movements, and transferring supplies to refugee camps meant that they already had a network basis for recruitment.37 The family background of the women involved in guerilla fighting is one of the most important factors that may shine light on how they became involved. Randall 36 37

Ibid: 30 Ibid: 29


notes the importance of considering women from their position as mothers while examining the origins of their involvement. For example, the concentration of FMNL recruitment in Salvadoran schools was such that many parents were first exposed to the movement by their children. 38 Later on, it was often the women that would go to the police stations to protest the arrest of their children, as men were far more likely to be put in jail for doing so.39 Though a minority of the women who mobilized earliest in Vitella’s study were mothers, those that were cited it as a deciding factor for why they became involved. One woman said that she joined the movement with her children because she wanted them to learn the necessity of social struggle.40 Most of the women that participated were described as being young and single, therefore the most biographically available, though 38

Chinchilla 1983: 7 Ibid: 8 40 Vitella 2004: 21 39


mothers also made up a significant portion.41 In conclusion, while mothers did not often makeup the majority of the female guerrillas, those who were mothers considered it a definitive reason for their involvement. Another key aspect of the familial ties of female guerrillas in Nicaragua and El Salvador was the involvement of other family members in resistance. According to Monica, a guerrilla interviewed by Kampwirth in the late 1970’s, the role of her father as a political activist shaped her involvement. By the age of twelve she was helping him make Molotov cocktails, so it seemed to be only a matter of time before she mobilized on her own terms in the movement.42 The search for retribution after the death of family members was also a significant motivating factor for female guerrillas.43 One such woman was quoted as saying “I wanted to fight like 41

Ibid Kampwirth 2002: 37 43 Vitera 2006: 28 42


my father had fought. I wanted to defend. I wanted to release all of the bad that had happened to me�.44 The third and final factor from the personal approach was the external pressures felt by each individual to join the movement. Although state-led repression has previously been suggested as the catalyst in the transition from activism to guerilla fighting, Vitella found that it was mainly other external factors, such as limited economic resources or denied entrance into refugee camps that prompted motivations to join. Numerous women described their being turned away at the entrance to the camps because only old people, young children, and pregnant women were admitted.45 When faced with a choice between returning to the communities that they had fled from and joining the guerrilla movement, many women chose the latter. In conclusion, 44 45

Ibid:26 Ibid: 25, 27


though faced with substantial motivations from a changing global, regional, and domestic environment brought about by socioeconomic and ideological shifts, the individual situation should never be overlooked as the deciding factor between activism and guerrilla mobilization. After all, millions of women were affected by the socioeconomic and ideological shifts, meaning there must be some other causal factor that would explain mobilization. All in all, it is clear that numerous factors contributed to the emergence of women in guerrilla movements in Latin America. While broad national factors may have provided the basis for discontent and the means of organizing, personal situations ultimately proved the catalysts in determining whether a woman would join the movement or not. The lack of the initial broad based national factors in Cuba meant that women were denied the foundational stepping stones for mobilizations within 28

their own movement. Though some women were forced to migrate to urban areas as a result of the changing agricultural industry, the presence of single-female headed households was less noticeable, and the presence of women in the labour force did not compare to that in Nicaragua and El Salvador. As well, feminism had not yet gained global popularity, liberation theology had not emerged, and guerrilla warfare style was still concentrated into the hands of the few, not the many. While Cuban women played other roles in supporting guerrilla movements, as women in other parts of Latin America had done before them, the drastic change in social, economic, and political environments during the 1960’s and 1970’s combined with unique personal circumstances to bring the creation of a new guerrilla fighting machine: the Latin American woman.


Works Cited Chinchilla, Norma Stoltz. Women in Revolutionary Movements. N.p.: Michigan State University, 1983. 1-16. Print. Crahan, Margaret. Religion and Revolution: Cuba and Nicaragua. Washington: Wilson Centre, 1987. Latin American Program, Wilson Centre. Print. Ferree, Myra Marx, and Carol Mueller. Feminist Organizations: Harvest of the New Women's Movement. Oxford: Blackwell, 1995. The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements. Print Kampwirth, Karen. Women and Guerrilla Movements. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002. 21-157. Print Loveman, Brian, and Thomas M. Davies. The Politics of Antipolitics. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997. Print. Rief-Labao, Linda. "Women in Latin American Guerrilla Movements: A Comparative Perspective." Comparative Politics 18.2 (1986): 148-69. Print. Mason, David T. "Women's Participation in Central American Revolutions." Comparative Political Studies 25.1 (1992): 63-89. Print Montgomery, Tommie Sue. Liberation and Revolution: Christianity as a Subversive Activity in Central America. New York: Pantheon Books, 1983. Trouble in Our Backyard: Central America and the United


Randall, Margaret. Sandino's Daughters: Testimonies of Nicaraguan Women in Struggle. Vancouver: New Star Books, 1981. Print Smith, Lois, and Alfred Padula. Sex and Revolution: Women in Socialist Cuba. New York: Oxford Press, 1996. Print. Suchlicki, Jaime. University Students and Revolution in Cuba, 1920-1968. Coral Gables: University of Miami Press, 1969. Print. Thompson, Marilyn. Women of El Salvador: The Price of Freedom. Mexico City: Comision de Derechos de Humanos de El Salvador, 1986. Print Vilas, Carlos. Between Earthquakes and Volcanoes: Market, State and the Revolutions in Central America. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1995. Print Viterna, Jocelyn S. "Pushed, Pulled, and Persuaded: Explaining Women's Mobilization in the Salvadoran Guerrilla Movement." The American Journal of Sociology 12.1 (2006): 1-45. Print Wickham-Crowley, Timothy P. Guerrillas and Revolution in Latin America: A Comparative Study of Insurgents and Regimes Since 1956. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992. Print


Illustration by: Madeline Craig

El Toro: Espíritu Español Carlos Burgues La historia de la influencia cultural que la imagen del Toro tiene en España puede ser trazada incluso hasta sus orígenes bíblicos. Tanto el profeta Ezequiel como el profeta Sirácides, entre otros, ambos hacen referencias particularmente interesantes vinculadas a este animal. En el capitulo 6, versículo 2, del Antiguo Testamento, Sirácides dice: “No capitules delante de tus pasiones; se volverían contra ti como un toro y te harían pedazos.” Aquí Sirácides enfoca el poder de destrucción que puede 32

tener el toro al relacionarlo con el abandono de las pasiones o los sentimientos. Ezequiel, en el capítulo 45, versículo 22, también en el Antiguo Testamento, cuenta la historia de un príncipe y como “ofrecerá un becerro como sacrificio por el pecado, por el y por todo el pueblo.” Ezequiel muestra como un becerro, o un toro de temprana edad, es considerado como material digno de ser sacrificado por los pecados de todo un pueblo. Ambos profetas muestran la importancia y la imponencia que conlleva la imagen del Toro. Mientras Sirácides apela a su fuerza de destrucción, Ezequiel apela a su poder de salvación. Estas dos características totalmente diferentes, como las dos caras de una moneda, convierten al Toro en una especia de “Yin y Yang,” en donde dos polos completamente opuestos forman una única imagen. Este corto análisis bíblico del toro es comparable a lo que el arte y la literatura Española ha mostrado a través de los


siglos, apuntado a la posible idea de que tanto la imagen del Toro como España sean la misma cosa. En el caso de España como tal, la influencia que tiene el toro viene marcada desde la prehistoria, cuando civilizaciones que habitaban España le otorgaban gran importancia en sus ceremonias religiosas. A través de los siglos, su imagen siempre presente en España, llegó pronto a convertirse en el juego popular que hoy se conoce como la corrida de toros, cuando Francisco Romero, junto a otros, impusieron las reglas modernas del juego a comienzos del siglo XVIII. El fuerte vínculo entre España y el Toro, hizo que este se convirtiera su animal nacional. Dada su dicha influencia en este país, es de deducir que tanto en el arte como en la literatura Española hayan algunos nexos con este animal. Es interesante ver como la imagen del Toro es acudida casi siempre en tiempos de opresión, tragedia y guerra, interpretándola tanto en pintura como en letra. 34

Antes del final de la Guerra Civil Española, Miguel Hernández, un partidario republicano, publica El hombre acecha en 1939. Este consiste de una compilación de poemas de guerras. En esta compilación, Hernández incluye el poema, Llamo al Toro de España, en el cual produce una especie de llamado al pueblo Español para ponerse en contra de los nacionales, dirigidos por el General Franco y luchar en contra al fascismo. Este poema también brinda una interesante representación de la imagen del Toro, en la cual se pueden destacar tanto los aspectos negativos y los positivos de este animal. Esto permite comparar y contrastar la imagen que Hernández pauta con las de otros pintores y autores en España. La estructura que tiene Llamo al Toro de España es una muy peculiar. Está formado por trece estrofas de cuatro versos alejandrinos cada una y estas estrofas vienen intercaladas por un verbo imperativo cada vez. Estos versos alejandrinos, o tetradecasílabos, son categorizados 35

como versos de arte mayor. Aunque en ocasión hay alguna rima asonante, no lleva una métrica consistente a lo largo del poema. Es interesante ver la relación que tiene cada una de estas estrofas alejandrinas y como están conectadas a la idea que presentan los verbos imperativos a lo largo del poema. Se podría decir que Hernández básicamente divide este poema en dos partes: una en la que le muestra a este “toro de España” cuales son sus defectos y como los debería superar, y otra en la cual le ordena a hacerlo. Esto último se convertirá más en como un canto a la fe y esperanza que le tiene el autor a su país, en donde establece lo que representa la idea del toro, exponiendo tanto sus facetas negativas como sus positivas en la tradición española. En la primera estrofa empieza haciéndole un llamado de despertar y lo yuxtapone con España. “Alza, toro de España; levántate, despierta. Despierta del todo … 36

que respiras la luz y resumes la sombra.” Aquí Hernández personifica al toro con su país. Le resalta las cualidades negativas, las cuales probablemente podrían representar la situación actual en España en ese momento. Es interesante la imagen que expone el autor, mostrando como este toro inhala la luz, o en otras palabras, todas las cualidades positivas a su alrededor y sólo transmite y deja reflejar la obscuridad y las cosas negativas. Claramente podría ser una alusión al fin de la guerra y la manera en la que España se ha dejado invadir por el fascismo. Esta manera de abrir el poema le permite a Hernández detallar algunas de las características negativas del toro, pero a la vez lo alaba y confía en la suprema fuerza que tiene el toro dentro de si, una que está a la vanguardia del despertar. En la tercera estrofa, Hernández vuelve a acudir a los aspectos negativos del toro. Menciona que “con las dos herramientas de asustar a los astros” el toro es capaz “de amenazar al cielo con astas de tragedia.” Aquí se 37

presenta la idea de cómo tanto poder puede amenazar y hasta cierto punto causar desgracia. Esta imagen, la de cómo el toro es capaz de causar tragedia, en este caso con sus cuernos, o “las dos herramientas” que posee, ha sido recurrida por una cantidad de autores. Federico García Lorca, exponente en la literatura Española del siglo XX y contemporáneo a Hernández, acude a la imagen de desgracia que brinda el toro en su poema La cogida y la muerte. En este poema Lorca le hace una elegía a uno de sus mejores amigos, Ignacio Sánchez Mejías, un torero destacado que muere poco tiempo después de ser corneado en un corrida. Lorca hace énfasis en el horario al repetir la frase: “a las cinco en punto de la tarde” durante todo el poema, ya que era a esta hora cuando empezaban las corridas de toros en España. Esto enfoca el sentimiento de odio que tiene el autor hacia la fuerza incontrolable del toro en todas sus acciones. Lorca hace varias referencias a la muerte, atándola a la idea de las corridas, cuando 38

escribe “lo demás era muerte y sólo muerte.” Luego hace referencias a como muere su amigo. Escribe como “la muerte puso huevos en la herida,” ya que Ignacio no murió al instante, sino que murió dos días después cuando se le infectó su herida, contrayendo gangrena. Se podría decir que para Lorca la imagen del toro sólo representa llanto y muerte, algo con lo que Hernández no estaría totalmente de acuerdo. Similarmente, Pablo Picasso, ilustre artista y principal creador del cubismo, hace un llamado al horror y representa al toro en su “obra maestra,” el Guernica. La inspiración para pintar este cuadro le llega en 1937, después de que la ciudad Vasca de Guernica fue bombardeada por la aviación alemana que estaba bajo el mando de Franco. En su obra, Picasso muestra rostros de personas y la de un caballo, todos atemorizados. Incluye la peculiar figura de un toro que se encuentra alrededor de todo este caos. Aunque el toro no tiene una expresión de 39

miedo, si es notable que su expresión no es una positiva. Quizás Picasso haya decidido incorporar este animal en su cuadro en el medio de tanto horror, ya que el toro puede ser asociado como la causa de la destrucción. El rostro que tiene el toro de Picasso en el Guernica pareciera como si estuviese asombrado, y a la vez arrepentido de tanto daño que ha causado. Independientemente del propósito que haya querido ilustrar este artista, es notable el hecho que de algún modo asocia al toro con tal catástrofe. Miguel Hernández también acude a la conexión entre la tradición de este animal y la de su país. En la cuarta y en la onceava estrofa el autor menciona como el toro en España es “más toro, toro que en otras partes” y luego llama a “este toro de siglos” a que se revuelva “en el alma de todos” ya que “este toro dentro de nosotros habita.” El autor hace referencia en como la tradición de los toros y la de España prácticamente viven en comunidad. Muestra como el toro es más toro en España 40

que en otras partes. El hecho que muestra como ese animal vive dentro de los españoles habla mucho de por si, sobre todo en como su historia se amalgama con la del país. Similarmente, José Ortega y Gasset una vez dijo, “La historia del toreo está ligada a la historia de España, tanto que







comprender la segunda.” Esto apunta otra vez a la idea que la tradición del toro hace que tanto el animal como el país se conviertan en una misma cosa. Otro célebre pintor español, Joaquín Sorolla, también dedica una de sus obras a lo que concierna este tópico de la tradición. Sorolla se centró mucho en el arte costumbrista y en los comienzos del impresionismo. El arte costumbrista reflejaba muchas de las costumbres o tradiciones que practicaba la gente. En el cuadro Plaza de la maestranza, Sevilla, Sorolla captura de forma impresionista lo que vendría a ser la famosa Plaza de la maestranza en Sevilla, una de las plazas de toros más 41

famosas en España y una de las más reconocidas a nivel mundial. Es interesante los colores que el artista usa para pintar el suelo de la plaza, ya que son rojo y amarillo, los colores de la bandera Española. Usa estos colores nacionales para definir aún más la conexión y mostrar como están entrelazadas las corridas de toro con el país. Hernández, en su poema, presenta la idea de la fuerza de destrucción del toro y la de su tradición, pero su punto principal es mostrar el llamado de fe que le tiene a este animal. A través de su poema, el autor de cierta forma le da consejos al toro de las cosas que tiene que hacer y de las que tiene que evitar. Le dice que “no te van a castrar: no dejarás que llegue hasta tus atributos de varón abundante” y explica como “no retrocede el toro: no da un paso atrás.” Con esto el autor le demuestra sus respetos y le recuerda las cualidades de fuerza, perseverancia y gran ímpetu que posee este animal. Eventualmente son estas cosas las que hace que este animal logre surgir, tal como 42

lo haría una nación. Admira la manera como el toro está “partido en dos mitades” y que “con una mataría y con la otra mitad moriría luchando” Esta es una alusión que compara una corrida de toros, en donde el toro no se rinde sino hasta que muere, con una guerra, en donde los soldados no se rinden hasta morir. Hernández incluso podría ver parte de él mismo en esto, cuando apoyó al partido republicano en la guerra civil española, y vio como muchos de sus compañeros que si lucharon por este ideal, dejaron la vida por su país. En su última estrofa, Hernández une las dos partes de este poema, ya que recapitula todo los verbos imperativos y le hace el llamado final al “toro de España.” Con el uso de los imperativos, le ordena, “Despierta toro: esgrime, desencadena… revuélvete.”

Aquí se ve la

evolución de un toro joven, dormido y con falta de experiencia que rápidamente se alista para la batalla con todas sus cualidades predeterminadas con los consejos del 43

autor. Hernández le llama a que “truene” y le dice “atorbellínate” dándole énfasis a este espíritu guerrero que tiene tanto el toro como España. Sin embargo, las últimas dos líneas del poema reflejan algo que puede ser visto como contradictorios para muchos, ya que el autor hace un llamado a la salvación del toro. “Sálvate, denso toro de emoción y de España. Sálvate.” Es interesante ver la manera como concluye este poema, ya que el autor sólo había apelado al espíritu guerrero e histórico del toro. Dado el hecho que el toro está predestinado a morir en una corrida, es irónico que Hernández le pida a su salvación. El rol que tiene el toro en este poema es uno más complejo que el papel que tiene cualquier otro toro en una simple corrida. Para Hernández, esta no es una simple corrida de toros, esto se trata del destino de España. Al asociar a España con un toro, la corrida de toros se vuelve en una idea mas compleja, y no un simple juego y espectáculo. Se podría inferir que esta “corrida de toros” 44

no es la corrida común entre un toro y un torero. El toro y el torero en este caso son tratados como imágenes que representan algo más. Claramente la imagen del toro va asociada con España. La imagen del torero va asociada a la represión que ha enfrentado el país, llegando a convertirse en Franco y el fascismo. Conociendo las tendencias políticas del autor, esta idea se torna un poco más creíble. En cuanto a este “duelo particular” entre Franco y España, el autor tiene en cuenta el hecho de que el toro sólo en rara ocasión es capaz de vencer al torero. Ya que sabe que el toro no se rendirá sino hasta que muera, sin importar cuantos banderiíllas le hayan clavado, es por eso que llama a su gran poder pero también al de su salvación en la última estrofa. Para el autor, era el espíritu del toro el cual España necesitaba para despertar y atacar a lo que la estaba reprimiendo. Tomando en cuenta las innumerables censuras presentes durante la época del


General Franco, se explica la manera particular de cómo está escrito este poema. La figura del toro ha sido acudida por muchos a través de los siglos en España. No obstante, la manera como Hernández combina la imagen de guerra del toro con la de su país le permite mostrar todas las virtudes e incapacidades que posee. En el fondo, a él lo que mas le importa es que su país, el Toro, se salve y sea capaz de seguir adelante y vencer la opresión.

Bibliografía: Hernández, Miguel. Llamo al Toro de España. Versión de clase. Lorca, Federico García. Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías. Versión de clase. <> <> 46

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Photo by: Josh Berman

Inside the House of Desires: Interiors & Interiority Noah Tavlin In spite of festive and carnivalesque qualities that would suggest otherwise, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz sets Los empenos de una casa, or, House of Desires entirely within the aristocratic interiors of Don Pedro’s and Don Rodrigo’s homes. This pervading sense of interiority, extends to the play’s characters, who lack outside perspective on their romantic entanglement. A wide range 48

of theory on comedy and laughter suggests that the notable dearth of exterior influence in both the settings and characters generates the play’s comedic energy. The audience, as outsiders from an exterior world, mocks and directs its laughter at the characters as an expression of superiority over their interiority. Setting a play entirely within an interior world, as House of Desires does, affects the behavior of its characters. The entire play takes place in two homes-primarily Don Pedro’s, and to a lesser degree, Don Rodrigo’s. Scenes do occur in the garden. However gardens hardly possess the untamed qualities of the natural world that C.L. Barber refers to in his discussion of the saturnalian pattern. He articulates the relationship between natural impulses and a natural or green setting as: “Pleasures of nature and the naturalness of pleasure serves to evoke beneficent natural impulses” (7). Likewise, the opposite is true--the unnatural, interior setting evokes 49

inwardly-focused, selfish impulses. Essentially, every setting in the play expresses interiority, which evokes inwardly-focused behavior in the characters occupying these spaces. Northrop Frye writing on “the drama of the green world” (170) provides an applicable definition to further articulate the dearth of an exterior world on stage: “The green world charges the comedies with a symbolism in which the comic resolution contains a suggestion of the old ritual pattern of the victory of summer over winter… The association of this symbolism with the death and revival of human beings is more elusive, but still perceptible” (170-1). House of Desires cannot examine such binaries as summer and winter. The play occurs over three days, indoors, without a mention of the season. Weather plays no role in the interior setting. House of Desires therefore cannot examine death and rebirth as a triumph of seasonal life over seasonal death. On stage, the 50

play contains no exterior scenes, nor does it contain a literal green world. The home of Don Pedro, as an interior space, often hides characters or forces characters to hide their identities, suggesting the aristocratic home perpetuates the interior condition. While festive comedy traditionally moves towards “a new order over the old” (Bakhtin 207), in which “fear and authority are vanquished.” (Bakhtin 207), characters in House of Desires hide themselves from one another in locked rooms or behind grilles. For example, Celia tells the audience: “I’ve got Don Juan himself hidden in her room” (de la Cruz 25). Likewise, Don Carlos and Castaño only discover Leonor’s presence while hiding behind the grille, as orchestrated by Celia (de la Cruz 58). Characters must also hide their identities in these interior spaces. Castaño disguises himself as Doña Leonor. Doña Leonor disguises herself as Doña Ana to elude Don Pedro (de la Cruz 105). These are not 51

characteristics of a free society. Hiding and disguising further represent an enclosed, interior society. This disconnect between House of Desires and a freer society emphasizes its interiority as dictated by the spaces the characters inhabit. Several aspects of the plot depend on the interior setting. In Act 1 Scene 5, Don Carlos speaks to Doña Leonor through a locked door, thinking she is Doña Ana. Castaño’s cutting off of the lights in Act 3, Scene 6-impossible in the exterior world--is the key moment setting up the play’s climax and establishing the play’s conclusion. In the confusion of darkness, the characters end up in their final pairings. Predicating aspects of the plot on an interior setting naturalizes and synthesizes interiority into the plot. In addition to the literal setting, House of Desires’ mood suggests interiority. Although Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz wrote House of Desires for a festive atmosphere, as 52

an “homage to the viceregal couple, and to celebrate the entry into Mexico City of the new Archbishop” (Boyle 11), the play’s mood evokes a corrupted, interior version of the carnivalesque. The clownish Castaño fills the archetypal role of the fool. It has a secular plot and humor, which, as per the carnivalesque: “frees [it] completely from all religious and ecclesiastic dogmatism, from all mysticism and piety” (Bakhtin 197). However, Mikhail Bakhtin writes that carnivalesque laughter “tended toward carnival folk culture, the culture of the marketplace” (197). Yet the play’s interiority corrupts the carnivalesque. The public, exterior marketplace as a setting or ethos of a setting stands in contrast to the private, gentille home of Don Pedro. Furthermore, Bakhtin notes that “All...forms of carnival were… linked externally to the feasts of the Church… Even more significant is the genetic link of these carnivals with ancient pagan festivities, agrarian in nature, which included the comic elements in their rituals” 53

(198). Not only does House of Desires have no feast, but Castaño constantly complains of hunger--an internal sensation. Furthermore, the aristocratic, entirely interior setting makes referencing pagan, agrarian rites of the outside world nearly impossible. House of Desires’ interiority inflects and corrupts the carnivalesque mood. While the carnivalesque is “a world inside out” (Bakhtin 200), the world of House of Desires is simply a world turned inwards; an introverted, aristocratic conception of the carnivalesque. An audience laughs at the characters in House of Desires for their interiority. Barber supports the notion that interiority generates comedic energy, characterizing a relationship between the unnatural world (meaning not relating to or of the green world) and unliberated, mocked characters: “The plays present a mockery of what is unnatural… The butts in the festive plays consistently exhibit their unnaturalness” (8). Likewise, House of 54

Desires operates much the same way. The constant unnatural, interior setting encourages the audience to mock its participants. The unnatural setting affects the characters’ behavior, further painting them as targets for laughter. The play’s interior setting facilitates the restriction of information that generates comedic energy. Characters hide the presences of Doña Leonor, Don Juan, and Don Carlos and Castaño in Don Pedro’s home from other characters. Therefore, no one character has a complete understanding of their predicament. No one character ever has equal or more information about these entanglements than the audience, who possesses omnipotence. Thomas Hobbes argues that “Laughter is nothing else but sudden glory arising from some sudden conception of some eminency in ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity of others, or with our own formerly” (Hobbes Chapter 9, 13). Subsequently, the audiences laughter represents the 55

audiences’ expression of superiority over the play’s characters for their lack of perspective on the totality and interconnectedness of their romantic entanglements While the interior world clearly dominates the exterior world on stage, an exterior world does come to exist. Bakhtin notes that carnivalesque plays “built a second world and a second life outside officialdom” (197). If the world of nobility represents officialdom, then House of Desires does construct this second world--not on stage, but in the exterior world of the audience. The audience mocks and laughs at the foolish behavior of the play’s Dons and Doñas. House of Desires attains its carnivalesque second world by isolating the stage in an interior. Everything outside of this stage becomes the exterior world, not bound by the oppressive homes and delicate social relations. While House of Desires does not have any characters clearly enlightened by experiencing the exterior 56

world, in a meta-reading of the play, the audience becomes the play’s festive, enlightened outsiders. In addition to existing spatially in the exterior to the play’s interior, the audience possesses superior knowledge associated with outside perspective and exteriority. When characters speak directly to the audience in their asides, they frequently express their skewed, perspectiveless understanding of their situation--and with confidence. For example, Don Pedro tells the audience: ‘I have a feeling that what’s coming will be to my pleasing” (de la Cruz 100), while the audience knows he will learn that Don Carlos has eloped with Doña Ana, thinking she is Doña Leonor. The audience laughs in the face of these asides, immediately recognizing their falsity. This response suggests that the audience laughs as an expression of superiority to the perspectiveless interior world. The audience laughs a great deal at Don Pedro, largely due to his lack of perspective. The fact that the 57

majority of the play occurs in Don Pedro’s home inextricably connects his character to the interior world. The play presents him as the most interior, and thus, the most ridiculous. Ironically, despite his proprietorship of the setting, Don Pedro arguably has less power than any other character. Don Carlos, Doña Ana, Castaño, and Doña Leonor all deceive him. The audience laughs at him as an expression of its superior understanding of the interior world in which he lives and supposedly controls. Even Don Pedro’s ambiguous bond with Castaño at the end of the play emphasizes his interiority. Sidney Donnell, reading the play largely in terms of gender, observes: “What happens when there are not enough white women to go around? Patriarchs--desperate from the rivalry and power--struggle between themselves--grab male servants in drag” (189). According to this racialized, feminist reading, Don Pedro does not need a mutual bond with an individual outside of himself. He requires only a 58

reproduction as a status symbol to elevate himself. His concern with his own status further suggests that he has an interior focus, creating the comedic nuptial arrangement. Furthermore, Don Pedro also represents the principle blocking character, directly preventing Don Carlos from possessing Doña Leonor, and preventing his sister, Doña Ana from having Don Carlos due to their rivalry. Henri Bergson argues, “In laughter we always find an unavowed intention to humiliate, and consequently to correct our neighbour, if not in his will, at least in his deed” (136). Don Pedro, as a character strongly associated with the interior, has no outside perspective on his critical position in the romantic entanglements. Therefore, as a corrective measure, the audience laughs at his unawareness of himself in relation to others. One can also understand Don Pedro’s blocking in a physical sense; as physical obstacle between two sets of lovers. According to Freud, the audience laughs at his 59

“psychical automatism that lies behind the wealth and apparent freedom of psychical functions” (258). Don Pedro’s ignorance of his physicality undermines his wealth and power, and evokes an unstated clumsiness. For his unawareness at his own physicality as a block, the audience laughs at him. Don Carlos, the protagonist, struggles against Don Pedro’s strategic block to win Doña Leonor. He parallels this struggle by performing significant acts in the offstage, exterior world--nearly killing Doña Leonor’s cousins after they attempt to stop his escape with her (de la Cruz 46). He only enters the plot as a result of seeking a freer life with Doña Leonor. Don Carlos’ relationship with the exterior world further demonstrates the relationship between a freer society and the exterior world--the opposite to his rival, Don Pedro. While the play does not spare him from laughter, he ultimately achieves both of


his goals--Doña Leonor and freedom. His redeeming qualities are those associated with the exterior world. Castaño also connects with the world external to himself in several fundamental ways. The carnivalesque inversion inherent to his transvestism allows him to assume a new role, and thus, a new perspective external to himself. Castaño roughly means “brown” or “chestnutcolored” in spanish, racializing him and further setting him apart from European gentility. Sidney Donnell confirms Castaño’s Mexican ancestry, stating: “We should remember that he is a manservant from Mexico, not of noble birth, and in all likelihood not of two European parents” (181). Castaño’s distinct, rough tone also suggests he originates from a world exterior to the world of the play. For example, while posing as Doña Leonor, he tells Don Pedro “You are taking a great liberty stopping a woman in my position from going out to stuff her belly” (90). At the end of the House of Desires, Castaño even 61

crosses the division between the interior stage world and the exterior audience world by saying â&#x20AC;&#x153;And here, most worthy gentlemen, and here, most discreet ladies, House of Desires ends. Forgive its faults and give it a big handâ&#x20AC;? (de la Cruz 112). CastaĂąo, like his master, Don Carlos, transgresses the boundaries of the interior world, changing the tone of laughter towards him from one of superiority to one of encouragement as he assumes the role of the fool. House of Desires creates two distinct worlds: Firstly, the interior world of the staged play; Secondly, an exterior world with what remains--the audience. Constantly reaffirming the superiority of its audience, it lures viewers into a self-satisfied mood, confident of their ability to possess perspective. The tone of this laughter, however, changes depending on how closely and exclusively a character associates with the interior world. Ironically, as many scholars have elaborated, the play 62

contains highly transgressive ideas about gender, class, and race. In a simple thought exercise, one can invert the audience-player relationship. While the audience laughs to express their superiority over the interior world of the stage, the characters may have the last laugh, as they parody the aristocrats for whom Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz writes the original performance. Works Cited Bakhtin, M. M. "Folk Humour and Carnival Laughter." The Bakhtin Reader: Selected Writings of Bakhtin, Medvedev, and Voloshinov. London: E. Arnold, 1994. N. pag. Print. Barber, C. L. Shakespeare's Festive Comedy: A Study of Dramatic Form and Its Relation to Social Custom. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2012. Print. Bergson, Henri, Cloudesley Shovell Henry Brereton, and Fred Rothwell. Laughter. London: Macmillan, 1921. Print. de la Cruz, Juana Ines, and Catherine M. Boyle. House of Desires. London: Oberon, 2004. Print. Donnell, Sidney. "From Cross Gender to Generic Closure: Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz's Los Empenos De Una Casa." JSTOR. Revista Canadiense De Estudios Hispanicos, n.d. 63

Freud, Sigmund, and James Strachey. Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious. New York: Norton, 1989. Print. Frye, Northrop. “The Argument of Comedy.” English Institute Essays 1948, ed. D. A. Robertson, New York: Columbia University Press, 1949, pp. 58-73.


Photo by: Josh Berman

A Brief Introduction to Slavery in Brazil and Quilombo Communities of the Past and Present Allison Jones Introduction The Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST, in English the Landless Workersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Movement) may be the most well-known organization advocating for land-reform in Brazil, but it is neither alone in this work, nor was it the first group to partake in this struggle. As Wright and Wolford (2003) suggest, despite 65

the lack of well-known examples of historical resistance to injustice in Brazil, we cannot assume that this injustice has gone unchallenged. Instead, we must realize that “perhaps people have been resisting in a variety of ways, but their efforts haven’t found their way into the official historical record because history tends to be written by the winners” (Wright & Wolford, 2003, p. 124). This paper explores the example of one such form of resistance: quilombos. Quilombos first emerged in Brazil during the time of slavery, which I will briefly summarize. Initially, quilombos were fugitive communities of runaway slaves, but over time they became a crucial element of the abolitionist movement, and are now part of the Brazilian Black Movement as well as the struggle for land reform. I will describe each of these aspects of the quilombos’ histories, and link the current quilombo movement to the MST’s work. Slavery in Brazil 66

Slavery in Brazil began primarily to supply labourers for the sugar cane plantations in the Northeast in the 1530s. Slaves at this time included local indigenous peoples as well as Africans. It was in the late 16th century that mass importations of African peoples to Brazil began, and the use of indigenous slaves declined (Klein & Luna, 2010). Around 4.5 million slaves were transported to Brazil from Africa between the 1520s and the 1850s. Nearly a third of all of the slaves transported from Africa to the Americas arrived in Brazil. The peak period for the import of slaves to Brazil was from 1801-1850, when nearly two million slaves were brought to Brazil (Graden, 2006). Slaves in Brazil worked on plantations, in mines, on farms, in factories, as trades- and crafts-people, on ships, and in cities. Slavery was abolished in Brazil in 1888, after a number of smaller reforms that limited the practice of slavery. Experiences of slavery varied enormously by time 67

period, region, type of labour, owner, and chance. Mattoso (1986) describes briefly some of the differences between different slave conditions. Slaves working on plantations and farms were generally very controlled by their masters, who absolutely relied on the obedience and hard work of their slaves to produce labour-intensive crops such as sugar, cotton, coffee, and tobacco. Slaves working in the mines were usually expected to give a minimum amount of their output to their master, and could keep anything they found beyond that, allowing them to save some money and sometimes buy their freedom. Slaves that tended livestock usually worked alongside their owners, and developed closer bonds with them â&#x20AC;&#x153;because the number of slaves required was small and because masters themselves lived a primitive lifeâ&#x20AC;? (Mattoso, 1986, p. 95); this isolation also left them with little room for social mobility. Urban slaves generally had a required sum of money that they were expected to earn 68

weekly and pay to their owners, unless they were domestic slaves that served their masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s immediate needs. They tended to have greater autonomy than the slaves in rural areas, because once they had paid their weekly due they were free to work to earn money for themselves. Located in cities, they had more opportunities to become socially mobile and enter the middle class by purchasing their freedom or gaining better jobs. Slaves in all these situations were expected to obey and remain loyal to their owners, and learn their language, religion, and jobs in order to best serve. Some slaves, rather than submitting to this system, resisted individually (for example through â&#x20AC;&#x153;attempts at abortion and suicideâ&#x20AC;?, Schwartz, 1970

References Anderson, R. N. (1996). The quilombo of Palmares: A new overview of a maroon state in seventeenthcentury Brazil. Journal of Latin American Studies, 28(3), 545-466. 69

Bowen, M. L. (2010). The struggle for black land rights in Brazil: An insider's view on quilombos and the quilombo land movement. African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, 3(2), 147168. do Rosรกrio Linhares, L. F. (2004). Kilombos of Brazil: Identity and land entitlement. Journal of Black Studies, 34(6), 817-837. French, J. H. (2006). Buried alive: Imagining Africa in the Brazilian northeast. American Ethnologist, 33(3), 340-360. Graden, D. T. (2006). From slavery to freedom in Brazil: Bahia, 1835-1900. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press. Kent, R. K. (1965). Palmares: An African state in Brazil. The Journal of African History, 6(2), 161-175. Klein, H. S., & Luna, F. V. (2010). Slavery in Brazil. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mattos, H. (2008). 'Terras de Quilombo': Land rights, memory of slavery, and ethnic identification in contemporary Brazil. In B. Barry, E. A. Soumonni & L. Sansone (Eds.), Africa, Brazil, and the construction of trans-Atlantic Black identities (pp. 293-318). Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. Mattoso, K. M. d. Q. (1986). To be a slave in Brazil, 1550-1888. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.


Schwartz, S. B. (1970). The "Mocambo": Slave resistance in colonial Bahia. Journal of Social History, 3(4), 313-333. Schwartz, S. B. (1992). Slaves, peasants, and rebels: Reconsidering Brazilian slavery. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Silberling, L. S. (2003). Displacement and quilombos in Alc창ntara, Brazil: Modernity, identity, and place. International Social Science Journal, 55(1), 145156. Silva, E. (2007). Black abilitionists in the quilombo of Leblon, Rio de Janeiro: Symbols, organizers, and revolutionaries. In D. J. Davis (Ed.), Beyond slavery: The multilayered legacy of Africans in Latin America and the Caribbean (pp. 109-122). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Wright, A. L., & Wolford, W. (2003). To inherit the earth: The landless movement and the struggle for a new Brazil. Oakland, CA: Food First Books.


Illustration by: Madeline Craig

Una España amordazada en tiempos de reflexión Carlos Burgues Es difícil señalar exclusivamente una obra la cual mejor represente la situación española durante el franquismo en un dado momento. Dentro de este gran campo de autores altamente eruditos, se encuentran distinguidos nombres como los de Lauro Olmo, Carlos Muñiz, Antonio Buero Vallejo y Alfonso Sastre, todos que en algún punto de su vida, se dedicarían a pintar la situación actual del país a su propia manera. Es 72

particularmente interesante la peculiar manera en la cual Alfonso Sastre decide atacar o enfrentar esta descripción, en la que simultáneamente buscaba evadir cualquier tipo de restricción política mientras reflejaba acertadamente las condiciones de vida en España. En una de sus mas reconocidas obras, La mordaza, estrenada por primera vez en Madrid a mediados de 1954, Sastre consigue apelar a esta realidad de un modo exclusivo. Él insiste en el hecho de que esta obra esta “vagamente fundada en los sucesos de Lurs” pero que “la disposición y los motivos del crimen, así como la personalidad de las víctimas pertenecen al dominio de la invención dramática.” (Lm: 10) Aquí el autor propone una especie de ficción construida sobre un suelo de orígenes reales y finalmente añade que “la ‘realidad’ de este drama hay que buscarla por otros caminos.” (Lm: 10) Es posible que acuda a esto y a la idea de buscar la verdad en un modo diverso para así poder temporalmente esquivar la censura del régimen 73

y al mismo tiempo mostrarle al público una reflexión de ellos mismos, exigiéndoles una toma de conciencia. Fernández Cambria comenta que a principios de los 40, Alfonso Sastre tan sólo siendo un universitario, ya se empezaría a preocupar por “problemas del teatro español a la deriva” y en como dirigirse a este público burgués. (185) Describe a Sastre como un “hombre de acción” y recuenta que aunque “fue fundador de varios movimientos teatrales” fue notable la frustración del autor al fracasar en la fundación del “Teatro de Agitación Social en 1950.” (Fernández Cambria: 186) Siendo apenas un joven ya eran trascendentales los rasgos en la apreciación hacia el teatro social y político en Alfonso Sastre. Similarmente, Fernández Cambria añade que Sastre trataba su teatro como “una función social-política y social-realista” y que “en varios trabajos opinaría que lo social es una categoría superior a lo artístico.” (187) Esto dicho, haciendo referencia a lo que Sastre llama “la 74

invención dramática” en La mordaza, queda claro que muy probablemente exista una crítica social escondida detrás de esta supuesta ficción, ya que podría ser fácilmente interpretada como una clara imagen de España durante el franquismo. Y en efecto, a continuación se discutirá la posible manera en como Sastre lo construye. Cabe notar que la presentación de tanto los eventos ocurridos en Lurs como la posible fantasía adaptada a estos hechos reales en la que Sastre establece en su nota del autor previa a La mordaza, no están yuxtapuestos por mera coincidencia. El diario inglés, The Guardian, recuenta brevemente la historia de este acontecido evento. Lastimosamente recuerda como el renombrado científico británico, Jack Drummond, conocido por su gran trabajo nutricionista, estaba acampando en las orillas del río Durance con su esposa Ann y su hija de diez años, cuando fueron brutalmente acuchillados y asesinados a balazos. Gastón Dominici fue acusado del asesinato y condenado a 75

muerte, pero hasta el día de hoy, esta ocurrencia sigue siendo un gran misterio, en cuanto al porque de los hechos. (Henley: pp 1-2) Alfonso Sastre decide basar su obra en este misterio y amoldar algunos de sus personajes a los posibles intricados en este asesinato, aunque él explícitamente menciona que estos “personajes no pretenden ser el traslado de los personajes reales.” (Lm: 10) Una vez más, es deducible que hace esto de forma audaz para poder así presentarle al público una imagen de carácter social y a su vez disfrazarla en lo que el llamaría ficción. Pero efectivamente, su disfraz no se sostendría por mucho tiempo, y esta obra vendría a ser censurada tan sólo un par de días luego de su estreno. Sastre toma el personaje de Gastón Dominici y lo adapta a la figura de Isaías Krappo en La mordaza. Aragonés similarmente opina y explica que entre “el drama que protagonizó Gastón Dominici en los campos de Lurs y éste de la ficción dramática en el que es 76

protagonista Isaías Krappo hay un nexo circunstancial.” (28) Analizando a este interesantísimo personaje, no es de dejar pasar por alto el curioso nombre que posee. Oximorónico en su naturaleza, ya que el nombre del profeta “Isaías” es asociado con la llegada de las buenas noticias mientras que su apellido, “Krappo,” es un simple derivado de la vulgar palabra “crap” en inglés, o “mierda” en español. Sastre utiliza este juego de palabras para crear una ironía sobre el personaje de mayor autoridad en su obra. Krappo es la cabeza de una pequeña familia que vive en el campo español, constituida por su esposa, Antonia, su hijo mayor con su respectiva esposa, Juan y Luisa, su segundo hijo, Teo y su chico menor, Jandro. Isaías, ya probablemente en sus sesenta, le exige a sus dos hijos mayores que se encarguen del trabajo en el cultivo, mientras él se queda tranquilamente en casa. El personaje del forastero sería el que vendría a revolucionar esta obra y le otorgaría la clara imagen de 77

dictador a Krappo. Krappo lo asesina a sangre fría después de que este hombre lo había amenazado con vengarse por lo sucedido en Lurs. Lamentablemente, Luisa es testigo del homicidio. Al fijarse de esto, inmediatamente, Isaías la amenazaría y crudamente le diría: “Tú no has visto nada. ¡O te mato! … ¡Silencio! ¡Tú no has visto nada!” (Lm: 19) Aquí ya se empezarían a ver los rasgos violentos y las relaciones destacables al silencio, algo que dominará toda la obra, y eventualmente sería la fuente de la crítica de Sastre. Aunque Isaías es respetado en todo momento, es un respeto cuyo origen proviene meramente del miedo que le tienen. Schevill y Ponce de León afirman que La mordaza presenta a Isaías Krappo como un tirante el cual gobierna a su familia a través del miedo y demanda la más estricta lealtad hacia él. (393) Eventualmente se podrían crear nexos comparativos entre el gobierno de este temible Krappo a la del mismísimo general Francisco Franco.


Teo sería el que vendría a enfatizar el temor a lo largo de la obra, dando a conocer la función y el rol que tendrá la mordaza, tanto aquí, como en la sociedad española. En el cuadro quinto, ambos Teo y Juan hacen referencias a esto. Mientras discutían el porque ellos se quedaban callados y no confesaban a las autoridades la verdad acerca de su padre, una que ya todos conocían, Teo explica que el no confiesa “por miedo… Siento como una mordaza en la boca.” (Lm: 43) Similarmente, Juan entiende que su esposa no habla porque sabe que lo heriría a él, y menciona que esa “es otra mordaza…” y también revela el hecho que él no habla porque tiene piedad de su padre. (Lm: 43) Independientemente de los diferentes motivos que cada uno guarda, es fácil concluir que a su modo, todos están amordazados. Es muy posible que Sastre haya decidido incluir esta imagen para que la audiencia pudiese conectar esta situación con la de sus propias vidas. Cada quien tendría un motivo diferente para 79

callar y no hablar en contra del régimen y la situación actual. Al fin de al cabo, todos apelarían al silencio y no a la acción, cosa perteneciente sólo a Isaías, el cual es el único que toma decisiones a lo largo de la obra. En el último cuadro, luego de Luisa haber confesado al comisario Roch y de haberse llevado a Isaías a prisión donde eventualmente sería asesinado, Juan trae esta turbante noticia a casa. Hay un largo silencio justo después de que explica la brutal manera de cómo su padre fue “acribillado a balazos” pero poco después, la madre, Antonia vendría a romper el hielo y concluir la obra al explicar que “no hay que llorar… porque es como si la vida hubiera empezado hoy… y todo lo demás hubiera sido un triste sueño.” (Lm: 60-61) Es interesante la manera en la que Sastre decide ponerle fin a La mordaza ya que busca una reacción en el público. En el buen visto de la obra, tiene dos objetivos primordiales. Primero, busca exigirle al público una toma de conciencia y 80

segundo, intenta que se den cuenta que el verdadero problema que existe en España es el silencio. Al proveer este reflejo de ellos mismos, una España totalmente amordazada, expone el hecho de que la sociedad se halla con un problema colectivo. Cuando alguien tenga el valor de expresar sus verdaderas opiniones, eventualmente sucedería lo que menciona Antonia: el punto donde todos pudiesen vivir una nueva vida, una vida tranquila, totalmente diferente a la de la triste realidad.

Bibliografía Aragonés, Juan Emilio. Teatro español de posguerra. Madrid: 1971 Fernández Cambria, Elisa. Teatro español del siglo XX para la infancia y la juventud. Madrid: Móstoles, 1987. Sastre, Alfonso. La mordaza. Madrid: Escelicer, 1965. Nota: La mordaza = (LM) Ponce de León, J. L. and Schevill, I. M. “La mordaza” in “Hispania" (Vol. 57, No.2) Web. New York: 1972. << able/339870?seq=1>>. 81

Henley, Jon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Spy theory revives French murder mystery.â&#x20AC;? The Guardian. Web. Paris: July 2002. << humanities.artsandhumanities>>


Gender Roles in Biography of a Runaway Slave Gabriel Proulx Biography of a Runaway Slave is the autobiography of a cimarrón named Esteban Montejo, cimarrón being the name given to runaway slaves in Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America before the abolition of slavery. It was transcribed by Miguel Barnet, since Montejo himself was illiterate. The book tells Montejo’s life from his birth in 1860 to the Cuban War of Independence. This includes the part of his life where he lived by himself in the woods after escaping from his owner’s plantation, as well as the abolition of slavery and the period that surrounded it. Throughout the text, Montejo makes several references to gender roles during his life on the plantations, after the abolition of slavery and during the War for Independence. In this essay, we will explore how female and male roles are portrayed in this book, more







professional responsibilities, and social activities. First of all, this book contains several references to the sexuality of men and women of African descent during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Cuba. We have to bear in mind, however, that the only perspective that the book offers us is that of Montejo, a very macho man. The main thing that can be shocking at first is to see how women are described as submissive and instrumental to menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own sexual needs and desires. Indeed, Montejo repeatedly states that men simply had to look for a woman whenever they felt the need to have sexual intercourse, and take her to the bushes. This gives a rather crude image of women as sexual objects who do not normally oppose to any manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s request to have sex. However, Montejoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s depiction of the sexual norms of his time becomes more complex and multidimensional through the different chapters. In fact, while we might be tempted to think at 84

first that women’s sexuality was repressed and solely depended on men’s sexual habits, we quickly realize that black women were in truth almost as liberated as men. For instance, in the first chapter, Montejo explains how some women decided to bathe outside with the men, knowing that this would most likely lead to sexual contact, whereas others chose to bathe in bathtubs located inside the barracoons. 46 This personal choice that women had to either go outside with the men or stay inside with their children and other women proves that they actually had the freedom to decide whether or not they wanted to have sexual intercourse. Consequently, the first impression that we get from reading Montejo’s depiction of women as sexual objects changes as we read through the book, since he also implies that women enjoyed their sexual freedom 46

Miguel Barnet, Biography of a Runaway Slave (Willimantic, CT : Curbstone Press, 2003), p. 32. All subsequent references in this paper are to this edition of the book. 85

and were in control of their bodies and their desires, as men would not go looking for the women who preferred to bathe in private. Nevertheless, other passages demonstrate that female sexuality was still seen as lesser than male sexuality. For example, Montejo says that white men would sometimes contract a “sickness of the veins and of [the] private parts”, which could only be cured by sleeping with a black woman.47 This quote clearly shows that white men would use black women to rid themselves of what seems to be sexually transmitted diseases. As we know, this “treatment” is not viable, which means that either white men used this argument to have sexual intercourse with female slaves, or that they actually spread their venereal diseases by contaminating these black women. Besides, when Montejo discusses how the lack of sexual activity affected him while he was living in the woods, he 47

p. 41 86

concludes by saying that he would have liked to have sex with mares to evacuate his sexual frustration, but that the only thing that held him back was the fear of being caught by someone who would return him to his owner.48 In this episode, he actually openly says that the absence of women in his life led him to consider the option of having sexual intercourse with a mare, which somehow shows that he mostly thinks of women as means to satisfy his own fantasies and needs. Secondly, Montejo’s account of the daily tasks that had to be performed on the plantations shows that some jobs were strictly for men, and others strictly for women. For instance, he explains how it was the women’s responsibility to wash their family’s clothes in the central place of the barracoon, and not the men’s.49 He also often implies that it was the women’s job to raise the children, 48 49

p. 51 p. 24 87

and that the black nannies who took care of the slave children were all female.50 Yet, this division between the responsibilities of men and women does not imply that women were inferior to men. In fact, Montejo clearly says that â&#x20AC;&#x153;women in those days were worth as much as the menâ&#x20AC;? and that they worked as hard as them.51 This means that, even though the tasks that men and women performed were of a different nature, both were considered equal, since they worked as much. Montejo even goes as far as explaining that women, contrarily to men, did not even have a fallow season, which means that they had to work all year round, and that they were very hard workers, unlike their contemporaries.52 Therefore, we can say that there was no hierarchy that made some jobs more important than others, or that made women inferior to men in terms of job 50

p. 38 p. 68 52 p. 92 51


opportunities or responsibilities. Besides, it is extremely surprising to learn that some men would openly be in homosexual relationships, and that the “female” of the couple would perform the daily tasks of a woman: Others had sex with each other and didn’t want to have anything to do with women. Sodomy, that was their life. Those men washed clothes, and if they had a husband, they also cooked for him. They were good workers and were busy tending their conucos.53 This description supports the idea that the women’s work had as much value as the men’s, since even men who would perform tasks that were normally reserved for women were considered good, useful workers. Finally, Montejo makes it clear that not all social activities were mixed, but rather that some were reserved for women and others for men. He also gives some information about the cultural role 53

p. 40 89

of women, such as their place in African religions and so on. Firstly, women are practically absent from his descriptions when he talks about the taverns, the cockfights and the gambling. Indeed, Montejo seems to imply that women did not participate much in these social events. However, he explains that women were normally present at carnivals and festivals. For example, when he describes the fiestas of San Juan, he explains that women were dancing and drinking alcohol just like the men, and he does not suggest that they were excluded






festivities.54 He also explains that everyone would dance the zapateo and the tumbandera, which were popular dances of the time, and he makes a comment about the fact that the African dances were more indecent than these two Cuban 54

pp. 72-73 90

dances.55 This passage not only indicates that both men and women celebrated in similar ways during the big festivals, but it also reiterates the fact that sexual freedom and openness was common to most people of African ancestry irrespective of their gender, since it was even present in their dances. As for witchcraft, Montejo proposes that it was mainly performed by women. Indeed, he often discusses the importance of magic and witchcraft in the plantations, but most of the time he tells stories about women who practiced it, even though he sometimes uses the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;witchâ&#x20AC;? to describe men. Nevertheless, in the first chapter, Montejo tells a Congo religious legend in which the sun is said to be the celestial body that represents men, and the moon is said to be the one that represents women. In this story, the moon is said to depend 55

p. 73 91

on the sun, which â&#x20AC;&#x153;gives [her] lifeâ&#x20AC;?.56 Therefore, we can assume that this legend reflects, in part, what the Congos believe to be the role of women in relation to men. Furthermore, Montejo does not limit himself to social activities when he describes the role of women after the abolition of slavery; he also discusses the importance of women as business owners. In fact, he explains that some women started making a lot of money by launching their own businesses of chucherĂ­as and sweet beverages, which they would sell on the street








entrepreneurship in women at the time is quite surprising, especially when we consider that it followed right after the abolition of slavery. 56 57

p. 34 p. 141 92

Therefore, some women literally went from slaves to free individuals, and from unemployed, free individuals to businesspersons. Nonetheless, despite all the positive aspects that Montejo shares about the women of his time, he does not mention one single woman who had influence or power in the Cuban War of Independence. This leads us to think that the systematic division between manly and feminine activities that existed in Cuba during that period actually had a great impact on the role that women played during the war: since women were not used to fighting and using weapons of any kind, their role was considerably reduced. In





autobiography depicts women as free and strong individuals when it comes to their sexuality. Even though he describes sexual intercourse with them 93

as though they were sexual objects, he still demonstrates that they were actually very open about their sexuality and that they enjoyed this freedom of sleeping with anyone at any time as much as men did. He also explains how the fact that men and women had different tasks on the plantations did not make men superior, since women






demanding jobs for long periods of time. Finally, he describes the different activities that men and women took part in, and concludes that, again, even though some of these activities were extremely different, the womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities were not lesser than the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Work Cited Barnet, Miguel. Biography of a Runaway Slave. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2003.


Photo by: Conrad Richardsom

The Limits of Development: Coloniality of Power, Imperial Globality, and the Continuing Struggle for Decolonization in Latin America Camila Rivas-Garrido Nosotros no sabemos si somos españoles, si somos mestizos y sin embargo seguimos rindiendo un tributo y un respeto a esa clase alta dueña del poder. Fíjese cómo estamos de extraviados de nuestra realidad, cómo es de absurda nuestra lógica. -Jaime Garzón (Garzon)

Much of the existing literature on the politics of Latin America have centered on citizens' support (or lack thereof) for democracy and the varying levels of 95

legitimacy the liberal democratic governments hold within the region (Carlin and Singer; Power; Booth and Seligson). A common finding of the studies conducted on support for democracy in the region is that, despite the continuing stability and improvement of its democratic institutions, everyday citizens are still dissatisfied with their government's democratic and overall performance (Power; Booth and Seligson 213; "The Discontents of Progress"). According to a survey by Latinobarometro using data compiled between 1996 and 2000, although the majority (60%) of Latin Americans preferred democracy over alternative regime types, only 37% of Latin Americans were actually satisfied with their nation's democracy (Latinobarometro). Latin Americans equally expressed particularly low levels of confidence, from 20% to 38 %, in their nation's various democratic political institutions (i.e. president, courts, political parties and parliament) (Latinobarometro). 96

Following in the footsteps of modernization theory, some first world scholars attribute Latin Americans' failures at democratization and low support for liberal democracy to everyday citizens' lack of education and wealth and their resulting undemocratic and traditional ('indigenous') political culture and ideologies (Carlin and Singer 1501-1514; Valenzuela and Valenzuela 538; Wynia 14). However, to dismiss Latin America's tumultuous relationship with democracy as a matter of economic development and modernity in reforming a peoples' 'backward' and autocratic traditions and history not only masks a Latin Americanist and Eurocentric prejudice but also completely disregards the power asymmetry within the international system today due to the persistent legacy of colonialism affecting much of the third world, especially Latin America. This paper will use an international unit of analysis (similar to dependency theory) to argue how the 97

continuing legacy of colonialism and Eurocentric hegemony over Latin American culture, politics and economy, referred to as Coloniality of Power by Anibal Quijano, is impeding the growth of true democracy in the region. It will then explain how this coloniality of power manifests today through neoliberal globalization, referred to as Imperial Globality by Arturo Escobar, further marginalizing and excluding the Latin American subaltern from democracy within its own nation as well as within the international sphere. It will conclude with a discussion on ways to counter Eurocentric/western hegemony in the international system through counter-hegemonic globalization and by locating the voice of the subaltern in rising counter-hegemonic, social movements like the MST in Bazil. In his article "Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America," Anibal Quijano describes today's globally hegemonic model of power as coloniality (533). 98

It is a global power that was established with the colonization of much of the world by Europe where capitalism, the "idea of race" as the social classification of the global population and, primarily, Eurocentrism as a rationality and ideology remain the hegemonic status quo of the international system (Quijano 533). Quijano outlines the historical perspective of this coloniality of power, crucial in understanding the particular culturally, politically and economically asymmetrical context in which the nation-states of Latin America rose as a colonized and socially stratified region. Following the conquest of Hispanic America, the European colonizers imposed a racial division of labor restricting indigenous peoples to serfdom while reducing blacks to slavery (Quijano 536). While dominant whites occupied powerful political and economic positions and paid labor, indigenous peoples, blacks and mestizos, considered of 'inferior' race, were forced to perform unwaged labor to 99

the benefit of what Quijano calls the "Eurocentrification of world capitalism" (537). The extraction of the primary resources of Latin America as well as the exploitation of unwaged labor in the region ultimately catalyzed the rise of global capitalism under the control and domination of Europe (Quijano 540; 550). This European dominance went beyond world markets and involved the European hegemonic control of global subjectivity, culture, and, particularly, knowledge and the production of knowledge (Quijano 540). Thus, a "global cultural order revolving around European or Western hegemony" was born and remains to this day (Quijano 540). Europe's hegemony over the politics, economy and, especially, culture of Latin America involved the total repression of "colonized forms of knowledge production," dismissing and erasing them as inferior, traditional and backwards epistemologies of the past (similar to much of the arguments in the modernization 100

theory of 'development') (Quijano 541; 549). Europe and its predecessors of the west succeeded (and continue to succeed) in codifying their ideologies and views regarding modernity, rationality, development and capitalism as the most advanced and superior of all, thereby depicting these views as "natural (racial) differences and not consequences of a history of power" (Quijano 542). The extent of this economic, political and, most importantly, cultural imperialism of Europe over Latin America has dominated and distorted Latin Americans' self-identity, self-image and, most importantly, historical experience as the "Eurocentric mirror" continuously fools us into believing that we are as western as the many European traits we posses and yet, "we are profoundly different" (Quijano 556). This Eurocentric mirror blinds us from identifying, and much less resolving, our true problems (Quijano 556). Nowhere is this domination and distortion


more evident than in the problematic past and present of the 'democratic' Latin American nation-state. Whereas the United States completely excluded and dispossessed indigenous peoples from its new society, Latin American white elites (except for the southern cone region which succeeded in exterminating indigenous peoples in its quest to create a modern nation-state "'a la europea'") incorporated (by exploiting and marginalizing) indigenous peoples and even racially mixed with them, creating an indigenous, black and mestizo majority in the region (Quijano 560-564). Unlike the Unites States where a uniform national identity and notable democratic inclusion, participation and consensus was possible due to the large white majority (at the exclusion of the non-white minority), Latin America faced an "impossibility" in the creation of democratic nation-states due to the vast differences in consciousness and national interests between the white minority in power and the exploited 102

non-white majority (Quijano 560; 564-566). White elites' distorted, privileged and Eurocentric self-image led to the perception (and reality) of their social, economic and political interests as the same as whites in Europe and the United States (Quijano 566). Therefore, white minority elites created the Latin American nation-state according to their own interests and reality at the expense and continuing marginalization of the indigenous, black and mestizo subaltern, thereby impeding the development of true democracy, political inclusion, citizenship and legitimacy in the region (Quijano 566-568). Quijano summarizes the extent to which coloniality has distorted Latin Americans' national interests, identity, and definitions of citizenship, hindering democratization in the region. He states: "the coloniality of power still exercises its dominance, in the greater part of Latin America, against democracy, citizenship, the nation, and the modern nation-state" (Quijano 568). Thus, 103

without decolonizing the Latin American nation-states that continue to exclude and exploit the colonized subaltern, the coloniality of power will remain, further hindering "a genuine nation-state" that is essential to the democratization of the region (Quijano 567-568; 569). The coloniality of power centering on a Eurocentric model of the nation-state continues to silence the Latin American, non-white subaltern and is further reinforced in the international system through neoliberal globalization or, what Arturo Escobar calls, Imperial Globality (Quijano 570; Escobar 207). Imperial globality involves an economic-military domination of the west, particularly U.S.- led, over the international system and ideological order that subordinates and suppresses the "knowledge and culture" as well as the economic and political autonomy of subaltern peoples in Latin America and in the third world more broadly (Escobar 207). Following the legacy of 104

coloniality of power, imperial globality reinforces the poverty, subjugation and exclusion of the Latin American subaltern through the increasing marketization and liberalization of the economic policies most Latin American nations have adopted under neoliberal globalization, thereby benefiting third world elites and first world nations (Escobar 208-209). Under this hegemonic neoliberal globalization, Escobar describes the rise of a new empire led by the U.S. which operates not through conquest as Europe had done during the original colonial era but through the international economy as well as the "imposition of norms" and values on the Third World that benefit first world nations of the west (Escobar 214). Vital to the socially fascistic agenda of the new global empire led by the U.S. benefiting western nations is the various economic and social international organizations that impose western values of free markets,


"US-style democracy," private property and mass consumption (Chimni 7-14; Escobar 214). In his manifesto exposing the Eurocentrism and imperialism behind international organizations furthering the "neoliberal capitalist project" of the west, Bhupinder Chimni describes the pivotal role the IMF, World Bank, WTO, and even the UN play in increasing inequality between the north and south as well as within the south, between elites and the subaltern, further impeding democracy between and within nations (Escobar 214; Chimni 10-14). For years, powerful financial institutions have compelled Latin American states to "accept monetary arrangements" that benefit first world economies to the detriment of third world economies (Chimni 8). Using what Escobar calls "deadly financial fascism," these institutions pressure Latin American states to further increase labor market deregulation which increases socio-economic inequality in the region while 106

deteriorating the living conditions of the subaltern (Escobar 213; Chimni 8). The coloniality of power impeding true democracy in Latin America and the international system is further reinforced through international social organizations such as the UN and the human rights discourse they have appropriated. Chimni identifies a recent trend within the UN called the "privatization of the United Nations system"(14). This refers to the UN enforcing western values of private property, free and open markets and consumption into the global order and status quo through the language of human rights (Chimni 9). First world nations of the west have therefore succeeded in appropriating international law and human rights discourse, through the UN, to further their neoliberal agenda and dominance in the international system while also undermining the economic and political sovereignty of third world nations (Chimni 9-14). In continuing the 107

colonial legacy, imperial globality has thus allowed first world-dominated international organizations and laws to penetrate the national spaces of Latin America, thereby increasing the exploitation and subalternization of the entire region within the international sphere as well as non-elites within the domestic sphere (Chimni 10; Escobar 218). Asef Bayat describes how imperial globality directly affects the subaltern in the global south and further impedes true democracy in the region due to the increasing marginalization of the subaltern in the domestic economic and political sphere. Due to increasing international pressure to adopt neoliberal policies as seen above, postcolonial nations of the third world have eroded "welfare state structures" and reduced considerably spending on social programs leaving most of the population in the global south who heavily depended on government aid to fend for themselves (Bayat 534). This 108

of course implies the increasing informalization of labor as the subaltern undergoes massive layoffs, reduced access to social programs such as health and education and, at the same time, removal of government subsidies on "bread, bus fares or petrol," further deteriorating the living standards of these non-elite groups of the third world (Bayat 534). All this, along with the development and rise in power of affluent elite groups in the third world, gives rise to an increasingly "marginalized and deinstitutionalized" subaltern group whose economic and political power has been more and more reduced with the rise of neoliberal globalization (Bayat 534). Thus, in our increasingly globalized and imperialistic world order, political, economic and social power is being taken away between as well as within nations, furthering the impossibility of democracy in Latin America and beyond. Imperial globality, however, is not restricted to the state-institutional domain. As Afef Benessaieh 109

demonstrates in his writings on 'global civil society' as an "imagined terrain of transnational social action," the coloniality model of power also applies to civil society in the international sphere and the many non-government organizations (NGOs) that form this 'imagined community' (69). In his article "Global Civil Society: Speaking in Northern Toungues?," Benessaieh exposes the asymmetry of power behind the relations between northern and southern actors of transnationally-active NGOs and the diversity of views between them (69-70). He states that, given the "resource -dependency" of southern NGOs on the funding of donors mostly based in the north, the views, priorities and values of southern actors are many times suppressed or outright erased by northern actors who coerce them to abide by their rules in identifying and resolving issues within the south (Benessaieh 70-74). This involves requiring southern actors to translate the priorities and concerns of their own 110

countries into "words preferred by Northern supporters" (Benessaieh 74). In other words, southern actors must 'fit' the issues of their nations into the "frameworks of their Northern-based interlocutors," thereby erasing and suppressing southern values and priorities in the process of conforming to the norms and values of hegemonic western-liberal societies (Benessaieh 74).This power asymmetry and hegemonic status of northern actors and ideas within NGOs, as part of an international, non-state community, lead Benessaieh to conclude that a 'global civil society' is an "imagined" and "highly asymmetric terrain of social action" where southern actors have restricted access and lack an equal voice (70; 84). Thus, coloniality not only furthers the impossibility of democracy in the institutional domestic and international sphere but also within the non-governmental, global community.


Given the modern, economic and cultural ways that the coloniality of power persists today further excluding the Latin American subaltern from democratic political participation, calls for an alternative, counterhegemonic globalization have arisen over the years by Latin American scholars to resist imperial globality. In his article "Law, Politics and the Subaltern in CounterHegemonic Globalization," Bouaventura de Sousa Santos stresses the importance of "amplifying the voice of those who have been victimized by neoliberal globalization" to effectively resist imperial globality while envisioning an alternative, counter-hegemonic globalization, one that does not marginalize, erase or impoverish the third world subaltern (1-4). He envisions a bottom-up approach in advancing "counter-hegemonic political struggles" through grassroots mobilization involving the subaltern classes of the south such as "landless peasants, subsistence farmers and indigenous peoples," who push for an 112

alternative framework concerning international law, trade and human rights (de Sousa Santos 2-4). This entails an alternative legal form that ensures subaltern groups' land and culture rights in the face of an ever-globalizing world "eroding state power" and decentralizing economic activities (de Sousa Santos 5). This bottom-up approach de Sousa Santos describes involves utilizing various "legal, illegal and non-legal" subaltern strategies as part of their grassroots movements to advance their cause, thus avoiding the formal, institutional domain of the Latin American nation-state which, as seen above, systematically and intrinsically lacks democratic consideration and recognition for the non-elite subaltern (de Sousa Santos 16). A perfect example of these counter-hegemonic movements amplifying the voice of the subaltern to counter Eurocentric elite hegemony in Latin America is the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) in 113

Brazil. In response to the rise of a powerful Brazilian triple alliance between national elites, the state and "global agro-food corporations" (as part of today's imperial globality), the MST rose as a significant grassroots movement seeking social equity and inclusion for landless workers using a variety of subaltern tactics and strategies while, for the most part, sidestepping the state and institutional measures for social change (Carter 186-190). According to Miguel Carter, it is this anti-institutional, radical subaltern edge of the MST that has allowed it to resist and challenge the "enduring powers" of agrarian elites and the nations' elite-dominated economy and politics that hinder true democracy in Brazil, and Latin America in general (189). Carter describes the MST's radical, subaltern edge as vital to improving Brazil's democratization process amidst an "apartheid-like society" through mobilizing the many non-elites excluded from politics and living in poverty while strengthening civil 114

society (186; 198; 202). In their struggles for true democracy, the MST's main mode of action is public activism to raise consciousness and draw public attention to their struggles while pressuring the government to hear and respond to their needs and demands (Carter 202-203). These tactics strengthen democracy by extending citizenship rights to the subaltern while keeping the government accountable to the people, particularly the most vulnerable groups of society (Carter 187; 209). Mainly, what the MST represents is a challenge to the "'natural' order of things," meaning the coloniality of power that continues to pervade Brazilian and all of Latin American society (Carter 211). The MST gives voice to the non-elite subaltern of Latin America for whom the terms 'citizenship,' 'democracy,' and 'equality' still do not apply given the historical context through which the nation-state rose as well as the modern global economic and cultural imperialism pervading the international 115

system under neoliberal globalization. As Carter and Quijano both depict in their writings on subaltern struggles in Latin America, democracy in the region rose by and for the elite class. In their Eurocentric and paternalistic view of their own nations and peoples, elites continue to deny democracy to the subaltern while dismissing the reality of classism and, particularly in the case of Brazil and Colombia, racism in their economic, political and, overall, ideological struggle to maintain power and privilege in Latin America in accordance with their friends of the north (Quijano 568). Given the importance of context in analyzing and critiquing the democracy (or lack thereof) of any nation in the third world, this paper outlined the colonial history and legacy of the coloniality of power in Latin America and how the nation-state rose (and remains today) under Eurocentric hegemony in the international system. As Quijano states, this coloniality of power contributed to the 116

'impossibility' of a genuine nation-state and true democracy in the region (564). It is reinforced today through the international system under neoliberal globalization creating an imperial globality that further marginalizes and excludes the Latin American subaltern from democracy in the domestic as well as international sphere. Finally, this paper outlined some of the ways to resist and challenge the colonial legacy of western/Eurocentric elite hegemony in the international system through counter-hegemonic globalization. The MST is one of many subaltern social movements resisting first and third world elite control and vital to continuing democratization in Latin America. To fully grasp the issues with democracy and development in Latin America, one must fully account for the historical and international context in which nationstates were created and continue to exist in. As seen throughout this paper, colonialism is not just a thing of the 117

past that left Latin America in a subordinate economic position in the international sphere as dependency theory claims, but goes beyond economics and internally colonizes every aspect of human society and self-identity. Unlike colonized third world regions of the 'old world' like Asia, we, as Latin Americans, were robbed of our native ways of life and knowledge production. We were left with a racist, classist and brutal Eurocentric ideology and lifestyle, one that many in the region (particularly those with privileged interests) are quick to forget. Evidently, given the rise of imperial globality in the region, Eduardo Galeano's 1971 statement of Latin America as an "intimate land condemned to amnesia" still rings true today and will forever until we unlock the forgotten past and resume the internal decolonization process that has yet to be realized (Birnbaum).


Works Cited Bayat, Asef. "From 'Dangerous Classes' to 'Quiet Rebels': Politics of the Urban Subaltern in the Global South." International Sociology 15.3 (2000): 533557. SAGE. Web. 16 November 2013. Benessaieh, Afef. "Global Civil Society: Speaking in Northern Tongues?" Latin American Perspectives 38.6 (2011): 69-90. SAGE. Web. 6 September 2013. Birnbaum, Robert. "Author's Interview: Eduardo Galeano." Identity Theory. Identity Theory Online Magazine. 18 July 2006. Web. 30 November 2013. Booth, John A. and Mitchell A. Seligson. The Legitimacy Puzzle in Latin America: Political Support and Democracy in Eight Nations. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Print. Carlin, Ryan E. and Matthew M. Singer. "Support for Polyarchy in the Americas." Comparative Political Studies 44.1 (2011): 1500-1526. SAGE. Web. 29 September 2013. Carter, Miguel. "The Landless Rural Workers Movement and Democracy in Brazil." Latin American Research Review 45. Special issue (2010): 186217. Project MUSE. Web. 30 October 2013. Chimni, Bhupinder S. "Third World Approaches to International Law: A Manifesto." International Community Law Review 8.1 (2006): 3-27. ALPSP Learned Journal Collection. Web. 3 March 2013. 119

Escobar, Arturo. "Beyond the Third World: Imperial Globality, Global Coloniality and AntiGlobalization Social Movements." Third World Quarterly 25.1 (2004): 207-230. Routledge. Web. 4 November 2013. Garzon, Jaime. "'Somos Astutisimos' y 19 Otras Frases de Jaime Garzon." Terra. Terra Networks, S.A.13 August 2012. Web. 30 November 2013. Latinobarometro. "Latinobarometro Survey: Data 19962000." Latinobarometro 1995-2013. Corporacion Latinobarometro. 16 October 2000. Web. 10 November 2013. Power, Timothy J. "Brazilian Democracy as a Late Bloomer: Reevaluating the Regime in the Cardoso-Lula Era." Latin American Research Review 45, Special Issue (2010): 218-247. Project MUSE. Web. 30 October 2013. Quijano, Anibal and Michael Ennis. "Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America." Nepantla: Views from the South 1.3 (2000): 533580. Project MUSE. Web. 12 November 2013. de Sousa Santos, Bouaventura and Cesar A. RodriguezGaravito. "Law, Politics, and the Subaltern in Counter-Hegemonic Globalization." Law and Globalization From Below: Towards a Cosmopolitan Legality. New York: Cambridge University Press.2005. 1-28. Print. Valenzuela, J. Samuel and Arturo Valenzuela. "Modernization and Dependency: Alternative Perspectives in the Study of Latin American 120

Development." Comparative Politics 10.4 (1978): 535-557. JSTOR. Web. 17 September 2013. "The Discontents of Progress." The Economist. The Economist Newspaper Limited. 29 October 2011. Web. 10 November 2013. Wynia, G. "The Politics of Latin American Development." POLI 319 Politics of Latin America Course Pack. Ed. Dr Phillip Oxhorn. Montreal: McGill University, 2013. 1-23. Print.


Profile for CLASHSA McGill

Voces 2014 Volume 1, Issue 1  

We publish academic works in the world of Caribbean, Latin American and Hispanic studies. We publish from works from McGill University stude...

Voces 2014 Volume 1, Issue 1  

We publish academic works in the world of Caribbean, Latin American and Hispanic studies. We publish from works from McGill University stude...


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