Hybridity and the Aesthetics of Garbage: the Case of Brazilian Cinema

How to Cite

Stam, R. (1998). Hybridity and the Aesthetics of Garbage: the Case of Brazilian Cinema. Estudios Interdisciplinarios De América Latina Y El Caribe, 9(1). Retrieved from http://eial.tau.ac.il/index.php/eial/article/view/1091


Cultural discourse in Latin America and the Caribbean has been fecund in neologistic aesthetics, both literary and cinematic: "lo real maravilloso americano" (Carpentier), the "aesthetics of hunger" (Glauber Rocha), "Cine imperfecto" (Julio García Espinosa), "the creative incapacity for copying" (Paulo Emilio Salles Gomes), the "aesthetics of garbage", (Rogerio Sganzerla), the "salamander" (as opposed to the Hollywood dinosaur) aesthetic (Paul Leduc), "termite terrorism" (Gilhermo del Toro), "anthropophagy" (the Brazilian Modernists), "Tropicalia" (Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso), "rasquachismo" (Tomás-Ibarra Frausto), and santería aesthetics (Arturo Lindsay). Most of these alternative aesthetics revalorize, by inversion, what had formerly been seen as negative, especially within colonialist discourse. Thus ritual cannibalism, for centuries the very name of the savage, abject other, becomes with the Brazilian modernistas an anti-colonialist trope and a term of value. (Even "magic realism" inverts the colonial view of magic as irrational superstition.) At the same time, these aesthetics share the jujitsu trait of turning strategic weakness into tactical strength. By appropriating an existing discourse for their own ends, they deploy the force of the dominant against domination.

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Editores:  Ori Preuss; Nahuel Ribke
Instituto Sverdlin de Historia y Cultura de América Latina, Escuela de Historia
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