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Everyday subaltern

June 1, 2009

At the film stacks of the CCBB library, a woman stopped to ask me what my work is about. When I mentioned Brazilian cinema, she asked with a shade of doubt, ‘Is it really that rich?’ We talked some more, and I told her the research involves violence. ‘Oh, in that case, you’ll have a lot to work with.’ I don’t put too much stock in the subaltern, because as academic jargon it feels quite dated, but I think this is one way it gets manifested. People are reluctant to affirm the productive, fruitful aspects of their culture, and quick to believe the destructive elements.

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