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Transcrição - Mesa de Debate - Intercontinental Academia

Mesa do ciclo de debates acerca da exposição About Academia do artista Antoni Muntadas - Martin Grossmann (moderado) / Mariko Muarata (Japão) / Nikki Moore (EUA) / David Gange (Reino Unido) / Erica Peçanha (Brasil) / Antoni Muntadas
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Martin Grossmann

I will start in English. Good morning here in Brazil. Good evening in Japan. And good afternoon in England. It's a pleasure being with you all here in this room. And also with the audience that... We don't know exactly who is watching us. We are in a Zoom room by the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of São Paulo. And on this occasion, we have four speakers from different parts of the world. And they are going to discuss the relationships between the proposal that the artist Muntadas has launched considering academia. So, it's a discussion about academia from the perspective of the visual arts. I normally say about the visual poetics. So it's an artist that has this trajectory of analyzing different systems. And of course, the system of the institutional art and how the arts relate to other fields of knowledge and fields of practice and action in the contemporary world. And in this particular work of his about academia, that started in 2011 in Harvard, and the Carpenter Center, Muntadas, since he has this experience of teaching in universities like the MIT, where he was since 1999 up to 2014... This relationship between being an artist, being active, and with a very interesting presence in the contemporary art scene.

But also as a professor and also as a researcher. So, about Academia, comes from this critical experience of being in this very interesting position, in a strategic position within that system. Or this system where we are, because we are talking from a university perspective. Muntadas then presents this exhibition that... Not, unfortunately, but due to the pandemic, we have decided to do it all virtually. So, this conference and the exhibition are fully transmitted, fully present in virtuality. So, it's a combination of different events that we are doing, to make it possible to have some sort of counterpoint to what he has brought forward with the participation of different intellectuals, professors and researchers from that scenario, from the North American context. In two different contexts such as this, in the first round table, we had a very interesting discussion about how people understand and how they project of future university.

And that was very much based on the Brazilian scenario and Brazilian context. And in this opportunity, with Nikki Moore, Mariko Murata, Érica Peçanha and David Gange, we have the opportunity to discuss if... Of course, there are the contextual scenarios of each of your conditions or situations or geopolitical relationship. But of course, this idea of still having some sort of universality, or this idea that university in itself is also a universal concept. So, the Intercontinental Academia, to be very short, because you're going to listen at least from David Gange and Nikki Moore this idea of the Intercontinental Academia. It's a project. And it is also an enterprise by UBS, University-Based Institute for Advanced Studies. A very young network that was established in 2010. And looking at a phenomenon that was going on and it's still going on, important universities in different parts of the world started to have in their own structure Institutes for advanced studies. So, this pattern and this phenomenon was discovered by Freiburg.

They have also an Institute for Advanced Studies there. They decided to organize the first conference of the University-Based Institute for Advanced Studies in Freiburg, in 2010. So now this network has around 40, 43 institutes around the world. And the most interesting and most prominent common project by this network is this new format, new platform called Intercontinental Academia. And the Intercontinental Academia, basically, is a relationship between two different institutes in different parts of the world, when each university organizes an event of two weeks bringing together senior professors, researchers, intellectuals... Not Junior, but mid-career, or those PostDocs, or those researchers that are finishing that PhD, where they can really have this very intense experience doing these two different weeks in each country. Discussing not only the university, of course, research, interdisciplinary research, but also being in contact with different minds and different contexts as well.

So it is a cultural experience indeed. But also a very interesting way of combining different experiences in those different contexts. So, from 2016, when this platform started, this project started, we had three Intercontinental Academia. The first one was São Paulo/Nagoya, the University of São Paulo and the University of Nagoya. The second one was Bielefeld in Germany and the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies. So Germany and Israel. The theme was "human dignity". And the first one was "time". And the third one happened in Birmingham and Singapore. Discussing "loss". All of them in a very interdisciplinary format, in a very interesting way of bringing these different knowledges together to discuss those different themes. And it's under preparation now the fourth Intercontinental Academia, between France, more than one Institute for Advanced Studies, they are doing this in a network, a local national network, and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Belo Horizonte. That's the state of Minas Gerais here in Brazil. The main focus is intelligence and artificial intelligence.


So, I will start this conversation. Of course, each of you, Nikky, Mariko, David and Érica will have some minutes to bring some ideas, to share with us your experience and your idea about what can be an Intercontinental Academia. But also remembering that the basis for this discussion is an artist's work that discussed the academia. But also that it's impossible to discuss the academia without discussing the university itself. I think that we are talking about values, important values that we all share worldwide regarding the academia. But also that we are related to systems and to structures such as universities that allow us even to be here, as people... Each one of us has a different career but has this common ground that is the university.


So, Mariko, I will briefly introduce you to our... Mariko is a professor at the Department of Sociology at Kansai University. She received her PhD from interdisciplinary formation studies at the University of Tokyo. She specializes in media and cultural studies, and museum studies. We met, especially... We know each other from Kyoto, when the International Council of Museums Congress was held there in Kyoto, with almost 5 thousand people. So It was a pleasure to meet Mariko there, and to discuss the museum. That is also my interest, my main academic interest. She has many publications on looking at museums and museums as media. So, that relationship is also very interesting regarding Muntadas work. And the last research that she was related to, or is still related to, is the studying of museums in New Zealand. So, Mariko, thank you once again for joining us in this occasion. You are very much ahead of time from us. And I thank you again for that, because it's night in Japan. But the floor or the screen is yours now.


Mariko Murata


Okay. Thank you, Martin. Hi everyone. I am connecting from Osaka, Japan. Which is where the Covid-19 state of emergency has just been extended again. And I'm really in the opposite side of the globe from São Paulo. So now it is 9:00 in the evening. I thank Martin, the translators, of course, and the people of the project. And the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of São Paulo for having me here. Since this project is about Intercontinental Academia, hopefully, I can contribute a little bit to this project. And because I wasn't very sure... This is my first time. I wasn't very sure what I should talk about. As I said, I'll just talk about three things as my first remark. And one will be my self-introduction, that would include a little bit about a bit of history of the universities in Japan. In the second, we might take on Muntadas' project. And then I'll talk a little bit about the Intercontinental Academia. But maybe really, really a first remark. And maybe Nikki and David could elaborate more on that. So, can I share my slide now? Okay. Can everyone see this? Can you see the slide? Okay.

So, this is where I am, or where I work, actually. I live in Kyoto and I commute to Osaka. So this is where my university is. It is in the western part of Japan, Osaka. And Osaka is close to Colbert and Kyoto. And most of the students here commute to the university. It's a private university, and probably one of the largest universities in Japan. Probably about 10th place out of 781 universities in size. And we have 28,000 students, 800 permanent academic steps and 12 departments. So, it's quite huge. Kansai University, actually, started as a law school in 1886, by judicial officers and businessmen of the time. And these founders were very much affected by the Western legal concepts, such as human rights, that didn't exist in Japan. And the history of Kansai University is typical of the foundation of the universities in Japan, at the end of the 19th century. And of course, we did have these learning institutions back in the feudal ages. But the universities as institutions were made as part of the nation-state building and modernization of Japan, in the end of the 19th century.

So, the objective of these universities was to train bureaucrats that could lead the modernization of Japan. So, many foreign scholars came to Japan. They were engaged by the ministry. And they taught the young students, which were naturally super elites of that time, that would make Japan a strong country, and modernized Japan. So, I know that in many Western countries, the foundation of universities actually proceed the nation. But in Japan, the universities were made to build the nation. So, if I'd be very precise, universities in Japan do not have an academic foundation in that sense. But, of course, I'm not saying that the academia does not exist today. And as one of the members of the academia, I feel very obliged to keep fighting against the administration. And also the invasion of whatever capitalism, populism and conservatism. So, I thought I should elaborate a little bit about the university in Japan, because of today's topic. But I think I'll get back to my self-introduction. Martin explained a little bit already, but I specialize in museum studies, from a media and cultural studies perspective. I often say my study is about museums as media. And areas of interest include museums and popular culture.


I've been doing that before. But not too much lately. Lately, I think I do a lot of study on museums and diversity, multiculturalism. And museums and decolonization, museums and representation. And of course, I'm always interested in the birth and history of museums in Japan. And so, basically, I see the museum as an apparatus to see and measure the culture in which they are situated. Or maybe you could say it's a "dispositif", which exercises a certain power within a certain domain. And, to say it may be in a more casual way, museums seem to explain a lot about our society, both culturally and economically. According to an article in The Economist in 2013... Sorry, it's a bit old. But it said there were more than double the number of museums there had been two decades ago. So, until the Covid-19, of course, museums had been increasing. And furthermore, Japan is said to be a country of museums, depending on how you count it. There are about 25,000 museums in Japan. And that's a lot when you think about the size of Japan. Both public museums and private museums are widespread across the country.

So my recent research, as I said, focus a lot on museums and diversity recently. For example, I've been doing workshops with an art museum in Okayama, Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art, in which university students create an audio guide of the artworks for the visually impaired. So, the students on the left picture, you can see that they're experiencing a blinded museum tour, in order to create an audio guide. And on the right, you can see that I've also made an exhibit for the visually impaired. I've also been doing research on ethnic museums in Japan. We have small museums that exhibit the culture of ethnic minorities. But they are basically run by individuals or small communities. So they are always short of money. For example, on the left, you can see the picture of the Kobe Overseas Chinese History Museum, and on the right is the Tamba Manganese Memorial Museum, which shows the remains of the Manganese mines, where Korean people were forced labor. It was opened by a second generation of Zainichi Koreans, who came over to Japan when Japan took over the Korean peninsula. And now one of his sons runs this museum. So, it is really family-run, and it could close down any minute.

This is said to be the oldest private museum of the Indigenous Ainu, in Hokkaido. Ainu people are Indigenous people in the northern part of Japan, Hokkaido. And perhaps it might be difficult for you to imagine, because you live with so many ethnic groups. But in Japan, diversity and multiculturalism is a new issue, brought about by the bidding of the Olympic and Paralympic games. Which is going nowhere now, but I'm not going to talk about that now. And until recently, Japan has long been identified as culturally homogeneous, because diversity was ignored and the indigenous people were assimilated. So, when you see these ethnic museums in Japan, you can see that the issue of colonialism, and also about decolonization is at stake. So, that was my brief self-introduction. Now, I want to talk a bit about Muntadas' work, especially focusing on academia, of course, and also Asian protocols. "Asian protocols" is a project that Muntadas exhibited in Japan, Korea and China. And let me quote a little bit from this webpage that I'm showing you now. It says: "This exhibition is an attempt to reveal visually some of the similarities and differences, as well as the conflicts that exist between three countries that are located so near to and yet so far away from each other, namely, Japan, China and Korea, by researching the protocols operating in each of these countries, and by creating installation works as a means of assembling images collected in various places within these countries". End quote.

Muntadas also says that the exhibition is a platform that can serve as a forum for discussion. Including members of the general public, students, teachers, etc. I think his works are generally research-based art projects. And historically, of course, museums are object-based all the time. And there's a strong object fetishism in the museum. But I guess Muntadas was aware that the core of the artworks were concepts. And media artists and contemporary artists today make a lot of research-based art, which is like half research and half art, I think. But I guess Muntadas was one of the earliest artists, a pioneer to do so. So then, what is the difference between research-based art projects and academic research? Or to say it more bluntly, why does it have to be art? Personally, I think the biggest difference is that art can always be subjective. And this is not a criticism. It's actually quite the opposite. I think this is very important, because art is about how you see the world and how you pose questions from your point of view. And, for example, Muntadas uses a lot of interviews for his projects. I saw Muntadas talk at the first round table, Martin, sent me the link.

And he emphasizes how interviews would reveal what's hidden. And he said that interviewing students raised up issues of racism, discrimination and hierarchy. Interviews in academic research usually require objectivity, and can sometimes become very formalist. The outcomes need to eliminate contradiction and certain procedures are necessary for analysis. But since methods differ according to discipline, it cannot escape sectionalism. So academic research can erase or cut off a lot of things. A lot of small things, which are important, or even... Contradictions are important. And moreover, this transfer of mode from interviews to visual image, opens up the question or topic to a different audience. Another question, and this is closely related to the first one: why are museums and gallery spaces necessary for this kind of work? This is a question that can be posed to many of the contemporary artworks today. I brought two examples. This one is a work by Mónica Mayer, who's a Mexican artist and activist and feminist. She's been doing this project, "The clothesline", from 1978.

And what she does is: basically, she asks people in town about gender issues. Such as: have you ever felt discriminated as women? Or have you ever experienced sexual harassment? Etc. And she asks them to write them down and she exhibits them in a museum. So these are the questions, papers. And she also does that inside the museum as well. But she does it beforehand outside. So, in other words, the project itself is perhaps finished outside the museum wall. But to exhibit it in the museum space makes it an art project, which invites a different audience and questions the issue in a different manner. Another example, this was a work... There was an exhibition in Arts Maebashi, a small contemporary art gallery, an art museum: "The ecology of expression". And in that exhibition, there is this work called Akatsuki Village Walking Tour by artist Akira Takayama. And this is what the work looks like. So it's a simple paper on a wall, showing a tour map of Akatsuki Village. Like this. And so this artwork is a designed village tour to a very tiny community called Akatsuki at the foothill of a mountain. And this community was created by a Catholic priest in 1979 as part of the Emmaus movement, which aims to support the destitute members of the society.

And the community... Historically, they accepted refugees from Vietnam. And after that, they accepted refugees and other people with mental illness. And today, only a few but some still live here. So the artwork is like the promotion in design of the tour itself. Meaning that the visitors who saw this simple tour map in the museum space, will have to visit on their own this place. Which, mind you, is quite far away. So, in the museum, the work is presented as this very simple map. So again, it questions what museums and galleries are. And we can say that today, museums are spaces for questioning or for dialogue. So, it questions society using different kinds of media. And I think Muntadas' work does that. Okay, so I will finish my slide. And lastly, just a simple note about the Intercontinental Academia. I hesitate to elaborate a lot because I'm very pessimistic about it. And I told Martin that I would sound very pessimistic. Because Japan is in a different situation, I think. Martin mentioned about a mobile university or floating university. Which I totally agree. Especially in this pandemic crisis, which we are obliged to stay inside the country in our home.

Really, the one really good thing is that the internet allows researchers and students to communicate globally. And we can invite other lecturers from around the world so easily, and students can listen to it. And the academic network that we've been building plays a vital role. But in terms of classes offered, it isn't the case in Japan. And the reason is quite simple, it's the issue of language, the big barrier of language. And the mindset barrier that follows that. So, as you can see from the map, Japan is surrounded by the sea. We often say that Japan is a Galapagos, meaning it's a very closed environment. So, a very unique culture can evolve inside. Which is interesting. But at the same time, even with the internet that, you know... The seas cannot block us. I think the situation hasn't changed much. And I feel that students have such limited access to a lot of information and communication outside. I hope I don't sound too pessimistic, but I feel that one good thing, perhaps, is that students are now so appreciative of having a normal class in person. In Muntadas' work about academia too... I read them. And students have much to say about how classes are run. And for us, the situation is really a challenge. So I'll stop here, and thank you for listening.


Martin Grossmann

Mariko, thank you so much for introducing us to Japan, to the university. And also by showing your interest in Muntadas' work. You went on to research this exhibition that was shown in Japan, in China and Korea. So, I think it's a quite, I will say, courageous work by Muntadas to set those questions. And to question the similarities and the differences between those different cultures. And different civilization processes, I would say, as well. But Japan, as you mentioned, is an isolated country on the globe. But after returning from Japan, by staying two months in Tokyo, researching on museums, as you know, I came with this idea that Brazil also is a quite isolated country in the world. So, it's bigger in size. It's of continental size. But we are quite isolated. And we have strange relationships with different parts of the world. So we normally would turn our backs to Latin America and look more to relationships in Europe, and the United States, rather than relating to this quite complex situation that is Latin America, with all the differences. I will not extend on that. But I think it's interesting that you have mentioned Muntadas, trying to already start a discussion on the differences between an academic-based research and an arts-based research.

They differ. And I think this is something that we probably might come back when we open the floor for debate or for questionings and so forth. I forgot that we don't have the sequence. I don't know if Érica wants to... Maybe we can finish with the two intercontinental researchers that we have here. Or Nikki and David, they have this experience of being with us in São Paulo and Nagoya. And also somehow participating in different results of the intercontinental project. So, Érica, would you like to be the next one? And we finish with Nikki and David? Okay. Let me introduce you, Érica. Érica Peçanha, as I said in the beginning, is in the Institute for Advanced Study in, I would say, an amazing project that is coordinated by Eliana Souza Silva. Eleana, from seven years on, moved her family, moved from Paraiba, that is a northeast state, to Rio De Janeiro. And the family was set in this Favela. We call it a Shantytown, a Favela. Also, another way of describing it is a community. But this Favela, actually, today is the biggest complex of Favelas in Rio de Janeiro: the Maré Favela. So we are talking about 140,000 people living under such conditions. Unfortunately, we've had murder, and the police, three days ago... They entered another Favela and killed 25 people.

So the favelas in Brazil are tension areas or a zone of conflict. And this very awkward and displaced way of dealing with the Favelas in an urban situation like Rio, shows clearly that we have structural racism. Being in the state structure, being in the societal structure. So, once again, unfortunately, we had a crime occurring in these settings. And Eliana is an activist. She has a very interesting profile. And together with quite an interesting group at Maré, towards the end of the last century, they started to really bring a different energy and a different way of looking at Favelas as potentials. As places for different ideas, for different ways of acting in society. So, they have been doing quite interesting works being social, but also works where artists are involved. So, Eliana came to us in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the context of a chair on Art, Culture and Science, that has the name of Olavo Setúbal. And Olavo was a statesman, was a banker, but he was also a mayor of the city of São Paulo. And a very interesting figure during the Military Coupe that we had from 64 to 84.


Very much also related to the arts and culture, and to university. His family studied at USP as well. So, there is a very interesting relationship between Olavo Setúbal and also the Itau bank, and the university. And this chair, since 2015, has helped very much the Intercontinental Academy to be. Since we had the opportunity to bring resources to that. But also bringing different minds, with different projects to the university. So, Eliana brought what we call the "periferia", the periphery, to the university. And how the university could or should develop a relationship with these communities. Because our campus, for example, in São Paulo... As neighbors, we have two Favelas: Sem Terra and São Remo. And they are there. And they started, in a way, with the university, because the university had this workplace. And people came from different parts of Brazil to work at the campus, the construction of the campus. So, they stayed close to the campus. And it's still a very tense relationship between the university and this community. In the project that Érica is involved in, she supervises 74 young students being trained. And most of them come from Favelas. It's important for you to know, since we are also talking about context, that 70% of São Paulo city is informal, in a way. It's not like Tokyo that, I would say, 99% of the Tokyo urban context is formal. Or even, I would say... New York is a bit different. But most of these big cities differ quite a lot.

So, São Paulo has this particularity: just 30% is where all the urban structure really is available. 70% don't receive all the necessary urban structure. And our university lives this contradiction fully. So, inequality, different values are also related to projects like this. So, Érica supervises the different fronts of Eliana Souza Silva's project. But one of them is very interesting, is the Census of those communities that are our neighbors, in two different campuses. And also, she led the construction of a platform that brings together all the research produced related to periphery, or "periferia", at USP. Being that PhDs or disciplines or whatever. So that will be launched on the 27th of May, now. And Eliana has also, during her 10 years as a chairholder, brought a very interesting discussion about the production of art in the periphery. So, that will produce... The book is under... Now, it's nearly finished. So all the debates that we had about the art productions in the periphery will come out as a book as well. So, Érica, a brief introduction to you. She's a Cultural Anthropologist. I would also say that she is a literary critic. So she's very much into discussing this production that is bringing quite a very interesting debate. Not only at the university, outside the university. So, Érica the floor is yours.


Érica Peçanha

Obrigada, Martin. Bom dia para quem está aqui no Brasil, boa tarde para quem está na Inglaterra, boa noite para quem está no Japão! Eu quero começar agradecendo ao Fórum Permanente de Cultura, a pessoa do Martin Grossmann pelo convite para esse diálogo sobre academia. Quero também cumprimentar e agradecer a audiência que nos acompanha e cumprimentar meus colegas pesquisadores e profissionais do IA que também estão participando dessa mesa e nos ajudando nessa manhã.

O exercício que me propus para pensar universidade e academia sobre o ponto de vista dos estudantes foi bastante inspirado não apenas pela exposição do Muntadas disponível no site do IA USP, mas pelo próprio projeto desse artista de refletir sobre universidade. Parte desse projeto, como já foi falado aqui, foi a realização de entrevistas com 150 professores pesquisadores do MIT e da Universidade de Harvard. São variadas e instigantes as questões, que buscam traçar, entre outros aspectos, semelhanças e diferenças entre as universidades públicas e privadas, valores internos e externos da academia, composição dos departamentos acadêmicos e atuação docente.


Ao ler algumas dessas entrevistas, pensei que o melhor jeito de dialogar com esse trabalho seria responder as mesmas questões sobre o meu ponto de vista. Ao final, eu escolhi apenas uma delas, a que considerei que melhor poderia responder com meu olhar específico. Ou melhor, a partir da minha própria trajetória, já que eu não sou uma especialista na temática da universidade ou do campo acadêmico.


É importante dizer que a minha trajetória passa pela graduação em uma faculdade particular, pela pós-graduação e o pós-doutorado em uma universidade pública e inclui também a atuação como professora de três universidades públicas. Eu responderei a essa questão, então, considerando ainda os lugares que eu ocupo atualmente como pesquisadora de pós-doc do IA, como pesquisadora do grupo de pesquisa nPeriferias e como supervisora do projeto Democracia, Artes e Saberes Plurais, protagonizado por estudantes negros e moradores das periferias.


A pergunta que eu escolhi responder foi: "Historicamente, o que a academia e a universidade representam?" Para mim, mulher negra, originária das camadas populares e moradora de um bairro de periferia, a universidade sempre representou uma instituição de prestígio, de produção e circulação de conhecimento, mas também de ampliação das possibilidades. Inclusive, da ampliação das minhas possibilidades de ser e estar no mundo, a partir do diploma que ela fornece e que faz toda a diferença não apenas na disputa por um lugar no mercado de trabalho, mas, sobretudo, no conjunto das relações sociais.

A universidade que eu conheci na graduação, no final dos anos 90, pouco dialogava com as marcas sociais que eu carregava. O debate sobre ações afirmativas para populações historicamente marginalizadas no ensino superior ainda não havia aflorado no Brasil, e a única iniciativa de apoio para a permanência de pobres na universidade privada era o modelo de financiamento estudantil semelhante ao oferecido por algumas universidades dos Estados Unidos, em que se paga com juros os valores das mensalidades após a conclusão do curso.

Além disso, a perspectiva decolonial na produção de conhecimento não fez parte do currículo da minha graduação, de modo que os autores que estiveram na base da minha formação são aqueles ligados às tradições europeias, francesa e inglesa, sobretudo, e norte-americana. Eu passei por toda a graduação na Escola de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo tendo poucos colegas negros e nenhum professor ou professora que não fosse branco ou branca.

Por ser uma faculdade privada e, na época, de pequeno porte, com apenas dois cursos, o foco era o ensino. Não existiam grupos de pesquisa consolidados, nem oportunidades de intercâmbio ou de participação em projetos acadêmicos. Faculdades ou universidades com esse número reduzido de oportunidades de aprendizagem existem aos montes no Brasil ainda hoje, especialmente aquelas que atendem à população de mais baixa renda.


Já a universidade que eu conheci na pós-graduação, em 2004, e onde eu estou até os dias de hoje, a Universidade de São Paulo, representou um marco na minha família, cujas gerações anteriores à minha, considerando tanto o lado paterno como o materno, tinha apenas um membro graduado: o meu pai. Todos os outros eram analfabetos ou semialfabetizados.

No contexto da pós-graduação, eu tive um colega negro que ingressou comigo no mestrado e um colega negro que ingressou comigo na mesma seleção de doutorado, sendo que o colega de mestrado desistiu após um ano de curso porque não conseguiu uma bolsa de estudos. O critério de distribuição de bolsas no meu departamento considerava apenas a classificação no processo seletivo e não as condições sociais de cada estudante.

Nesse departamento de Antropologia onde eu estudava, com cerca de 15 professores na época, havia apenas um professor negro. Hoje, esse mesmo departamento tem 24 professores, sendo uma negra. Considerando a oferta desse departamento de Antropologia e da unidade a que esse departamento é ligado, a FFLCH-USP, minha formação teve quase nada de autores latino-americanos, nada de perspectiva decolonial. Nós paramos ali na discussão do pós-colonial e nos estudos culturais. Esse departamento não me ofereceu nada de ensino interdisciplinar e muito pouco de incentivo à pesquisa interdisciplinar.


Na pós-graduação na USP, no entanto, eu descobri a diferença que faz estar na universidade pública no Brasil, onde os professores são também as referências bibliográficas de alguns dos temas estudados, onde há um número expressivo de grupos de estudos, projetos de pesquisa, ensino e extensão sendo desenvolvidos em diferentes áreas, onde há oferta de cursos de idiomas e extensão universitária de muita qualidade oferecidos gratuitamente ou a baixo custo para estudantes e pessoas de fora da universidade, onde há oportunidades de intercâmbio ou contato com professores de diferentes partes do mundo.

Essa estrutura da universidade pública brasileira tende a fazer toda a diferença na vida de jovens estudantes, especialmente aqueles que tiveram poucos recursos ao longo de suas trajetórias para investir em uma formação extracurricular, no aprendizado de outros idiomas ou em viagens internacionais.

Foi na pós-graduação, também, que efetivamente a universidade passou a significar para mim também a experimentação da vida acadêmica. Ali, ao mesmo tempo em que eu aprendi a ser pesquisadora e a produzir uma dissertação, eu aprendia também certo ethos da chamada academia. Um jeito de falar específico, o modo de me portar como intelectual, a dinâmica de participação em eventos como ouvinte e autora, um conjunto de relações a serem estabelecidas com professores e pesquisadores, a disputa pela atenção, pelas oportunidades e projetos oferecidos por professores e pesquisadores.

Com o olhar distanciado de hoje, eu penso que eu e os meus colegas fomos pouco encorajados a problematizar essa socialização para a vida acadêmica, que é formada também por competições, por dificuldades para a escrita, por pressões e frustrações de ordem pessoal, teórica e profissional.

Já a USP que eu conheci como professora, cargo que exerci entre 2015 e 2018 na Faculdade de Saúde Pública, continuava bastante eurocêntrica e norte-americana no seu currículo. Eu não tive nenhum colega negro ou negra nos diferentes departamentos da instituição, mas algumas mudanças muito positivas se anunciavam. A USP havia adotado a bonificação no vestibular para estudantes negros em 2016 e alguns estudantes com esse perfil circulavam pelas salas de aulas. Mas esses eram também os estudantes trabalhadores, os que menos eram absorvidos pelos grupos de pesquisa e pela participação em projetos acadêmicos e que, por vezes, passavam pelo constrangimento de ouvir que o nível da instituição estava caindo muito nos últimos anos.

É penoso para mim saber que hoje essa universidade que tem quase metade de seus estudantes originários de escolas públicas e negros, ainda tem limites nas suas políticas de permanência, e penso que a precariedade de infraestrutura da moradia estudantil é emblemática disso, que essa universidade não contempla na composição do seu quadro docente a diversidade de perfis sociais e raciais no Brasil e ainda tem um currículo eurocêntrico.

Foi ali também, nessa unidade da USP voltada para a área da saúde, que eu me dei conta como o chamado "produtivismo" havia adentrado com força na universidade pública, ou, mais propriamente, na academia. A cobrança pela quantidade de artigos, em detrimento do impacto que uma boa pesquisa pode suscitar, gerava um sem-número de trabalhos lidos por meia dúzia de pessoas. Eu percebi como professora que o produtivismo e o carreirismo acadêmico podem levar também a um expressivo número de eventos que não se relacionam com os anseios e interesses de estudantes e a projetos de pesquisa que podem inclusive receber financiamento empresarial, mas que pouco dialogam com as demandas sociais.

Eu quero finalizar dizendo que universidade e academia, além de serem idéias e além de serem instituições emblemáticas do saber ocidental, com o projeto de serem instituições universais, são também instâncias de socialização formadoras das classes dirigentes e intelectuais. Mas essas instituições são instituições vivas, marcadas por uma intensa produção de conhecimentos e de formas de representação da realidade, muitas vezes contraditórias.

São instituições que formam sujeitos muito concretos. Eu sou uma pesquisadora muito concreta. Formam sujeitos que vão atuar dentro e fora de espaços acadêmicos e são sujeitos que são atravessados, entre outras, por marcas sociais de classe, de raça, de território, de gênero e sexualidade. Marcas essas que eu entendo que não podem continuar sendo negligenciadas na estrutura universitária, sobretudo na universidade pública brasileira. Era isso, obrigada.

Martin Grossmann


Érica, eu vou falar em português porque ela fez a sua fala em português, e eu comecei em inglês, Érica, mas eu queria muito agradecer a sua colocação. A sua colocação está baseada na sua experiência na universidade, e também nessa situação que eu reforço. A USP, sendo a primeira e mais importante universidade brasileira, no seu quadro de docentes, ela só tem 2,7% de professores que se autointitulam negros. Então, por uma realidade brasileira que a população brasileira é formada por 60% de negros, dentro dessa diversidade que o Brasil ainda é conhecido.

Apesar de estarmos em um momento muito difícil da nossa história, ainda o Brasil é visto como esse país da miscigenação, da relação, às vezes, muito mais amigável do que conflituosa entre sua formação de uma jovem nação. Não é como o Japão, Mariko, ou talvez até como a Inglaterra do David, mas a nossa história, aí sim como República, como um país moderno, tem algumas semelhanças com o Japão, mas é ainda uma nação em formação. Mas com todas essas contradições, com todos esses paradoxos claramente colocados nesse âmbito da academia.

Então, esse projeto da Eliana é interessante, que ele é chamado de DASP. DASP seria Democracia, Artes e Saberes Plurais, justamente é um dos primeiros projetos. Não que a periferia... Como a pesquisa que a Érica e sua equipe desenvolveram na USP, a USP sim considera essa pesquisa há muito tempo, está em diferentes trabalhos e em diferentes níveis do trabalho da pesquisa acadêmica, mas a periferia mesmo como realidade ainda não está introjetada na universidade. A Universidade de São Paulo ainda tem essa relação muito mais com valores, com relações internacionais universais da universidade, do que dessas relações locais, contextuais ou até mesmo regionais.

Isso não é... Essa equação não é fácil de você manter o nível internacional, estando nos rankings com uma participação, com uma importância, mas, ao mesmo tempo, atuando na realidade na qual essa universidade se encontra. Então, esses níveis eu acho que, de certa maneira, eu estou curioso para escutar tanto a Nikki Moore, como o David, a Intercontinental Academy está nesse mundo, talvez, mais da utopia, ou ainda essa possibilidade dos institutos de estudos avançados de desenvolverem atividades interdisciplinares, olhando para esse planeta que é pequeno, mas que é muito complexo, que é muito diverso, ao mesmo tempo que olha para a sua situação local e fazendo essas negociações entre essas diferentes realidades.

Mas eu, ao pensar essa mesa juntamente com o Muntadas, que nos deu, ao Fórum Permanente, essa liberdade de composição, eu pensei mesmo em trazer essas diferentes perspectivas para justamente nós tentarmos debater isso nessa manhã e levantar outras questões. Mas de qualquer maneira, eu agora agradeço mais uma vez a Érica Peçanha por nos dar essa contribuição e brevemente apresento a Nikki Moore, que a conheci até um pouco antes da Academia Intercontinental, do projeto, por seu envolvimento em pesquisas na área de arte contemporânea.

Esse seu interesse pela produção, não só, talvez, mais localizada, da produção artística norte-americana ou do hemisfério norte, mas esse interesse também de fazer, como historiadora da arte que ela é, de criar relações entre diferentes situações, de uma geopolítica de um momento no mundo que foi unido com uma força também universal, que era o modernismo. O modernismo tende essa ideia de continuidade de valores que vieram do Iluminismo, mas buscando uma padronização, buscando, talvez, até uma homogeneização de um processo civilizatório que estaria em todas as partes.

Me impressionou, por exemplo, muito, no Japão, a presença dos museus modernistas e de coleções de artes modernistas que ali estão em diferentes cidades, grandes cidades do Japão. Então, o trabalho da Nikki se relaciona a esse momento de uma geopolítica comandada pelos Estados Unidos, que a gente relaciona isso a um imperialismo norte-americano, mas como a arte tem um papel central também nessa relação entre uma grande centralidade, como é a dos Estados Unidos, em relação a esses diferentes países e diferentes formações também políticas culturais da América Latina.

E Nikki Moore, também, no ambiente da Academia Intercontinental se destacou porque ela realmente se envolveu, juntamente com alguns outros colegas da Academia Intercontinental, em levar adiante um projeto que foi lançado logo no início das nossas atividades em São Paulo, em 2016, da criação de um MOOC, de um Massive Open Online Course. É um nome grande para uma coisa que tem uma dimensão relacionada a essa nossa experiência de hoje na virtualidade, é um curso... Esse MOOC que foi produzido está na plataforma Coursera, que é uma das principais plataformas de cursos online. E de fato isso... Depois de cinco anos, quase seis anos, esse MOOC foi finalizado e recentemente lançado mundialmente e está disponível, então, na plataforma Coursera, como eu já disse.


E Nikki foi... Aqueles que têm interesse, por favor, entrem, "Off the Clock", que é o nome do curso. Vocês vão ver que ela está lá junto com David, como eles são professores, mas também organizadores desse MOOC que envolveu os 13 jovens, eu diria, pesquisadores que compuseram essa equipe de pesquisadores que participaram tanto das atividades de São Paulo, como de Nagoia. Então, Nikki, a tela, o chão é seu e estamos curiosos com a sua contribuição.


Nikki Moore

Martin, thank you so much for the invitation today. Thank you for that introduction. Thank you to Ary as well, and the rest of the IEA team, for putting this together for each of us. And thank you to my colleagues, Érica, Mariko, and David, for your time listening here this morning. I'd like to share my screen. What I am putting together today... Let's see. What I'm putting together today is not directly about Intercontinental Academia, but I would say that most of my work going forward after the experience of that project has been so largely informed by the interdisciplinarity, the multiple perspectives, the ways of looking at the world that were fostered by our very diverse group. So what I'm bringing to the table, what I'd like to offer, is a conversation of thinking about academia, taking Muntadas idea of his project as an artifact to be examined, as the university is an artifact to be examined. To think about academia, not through the lens of what is academia, but who is academia. We ask the question: what does academia, what should it be? And as Martin mentioned, as an art and architecture historian primarily working across the northern hemisphere of the Americas, from Central America through to the US, most of my examples and part of the artifacts I'm looking at, come from that widespread region. So this is going to happen in four quick parts. The first part is in honor of Muntadas own title for his exhibition, "Activating artifacts". Then I want to consider the "not what, but who". And then, looking at a few campus artifacts through the lens of Masai Evaristo's conversation as part of this project. Where she, in a very analytical but also confessional discourse, was talking about how she herself, the First Nations students that she is working with, don't see themselves in the architecture of the university or in the structures of academia.

So, I want to take that seriously for a minute. And then, finally, end with... In both the online and perhaps the physical iterations of Muntadas' "Activating artifacts", three modes of interpretation are offered: there's text, embodied speech and space. And the space comes through the film clips of the university, the embodied speech through the different interviews, and, of course, text through the scrolling text that's happening both online and in the physical form. Thinking about the structure of the university that Muntadas is offering us in that very setup, the idea that academia is text, embodied speech, and space emerges. There are other options. In looking at Muntadas' speech, the first thing that came to mind is an exhibition by Julian Rosenfeldt, where the viewer is taken through the form of art history. A very particular 20th century North American, with one or two South American additives or points of input. It's a very, very narrow and particular dialogue about what art should be, what it is and what it should do. As you move through Rosenfeldt's exhibition, the sound cones above each station only allow you do truly engage with the film in front of you, which is acting out one of these manifestos, whether it's the surrealist manifesto, or the futurist manifesto of what art should be, by standing directly in front of it. You have visual multiplicity, but you can only hear one thing. Until after about eight minutes of conversation, all of the voices, and you see them here acted out by Cate Blanchett, unite as one.

They read one key line of one of the manifestos together, and then the screens shift. In that setup, if we think about what sort of modality of knowledge is being offered in Manifesto, for example, there is a linearity: you move from one manifesto to the next screen, to the next. As you move through, you might walk away with an idea that you have an understanding of art history. Albeit a very particular and quite narrow one. Limited primarily to the sort of canonical white Western art historical points of view. Moving back to Muntadas' piece. What we have is the possibility, particularly in the online format, of multiplicity, of a multi-modal form of intake, right? If you are on that primary screen in the online exhibition, you can see six different events happening. You can hear at least two voices and you have exposure to a multitude of campuses, or campus images. And again, even in that multiplicity, we still have the embodiment of the university as text, embodied speech, and space. What's being offered in that embodied speech through the discourses of the students, particularly in academia too, are the viewpoints of the impact of capital in the university on the shape of academia, racism on the shape of academia, and hierarchy. And then, the faculty speech and conversation, we have a more analytical probing, even in a grammatical way, of what academia is. In each possible iteration, the question is still "What is Academia?". And again, as mentioned, I'd like to think not "What is academia?" but "Who is academia?". And I'd like to turn to an artist, Denilson Baniwa, who is asking the question, not about academia, but: what is Brazil? What are the spaces that make up Brazil?

What is it to, in his case, to be a Baniwa artist who is trying to show the world, not what it is, necessarily, or only to be an Indigenous or First Nations artist, but what that viewpoint with that lens offers everyone in Brazil. There's a specificity to his work that has a broader universality to it. What is it to reclaim territory? In the image we're seeing here, he stands in front of the Pinacoteca, which is the State Museum of São Paulo, it holds a very important contingent of Brazilian art. And here we see Baniwa reclaiming that territory in a very physical way. Growing something new from the very soil that has been colonized, on this colonized space, showing us another way of thinking about what art is, what academia is, in the sense of that rarefied knowledge of really thinking truly and deeply about what things are, thinking about research. And he shows that by a physical reembodiment of the soul. A very powerful work. And as an anthropophagic artist, or as part of the history of the Cannibalist Movement, he is digesting the world around him, digesting modern, contemporary, global, universal - any expanse you want to take - culture, and repositioning that. Bringing it back. Digesting it and bringing us into something new. It's not the take of the modernists, of Andrade and the other modernists, who, as largely white European descendants, saw themselves as taking on this role. In this case, we have a First Nations artist truly digesting and reclaiming it. The question of not "what" but "who" has sprung up, or has at least come to the fore, has certainly been there for, in the US, at least 300 years.

But front and center, in the middle of the media, taking over our mental, visual and emotional spaces for the last year, the Black Lives Matter Movement has transformed what happens on campuses, how we're thinking about campuses. And it needs... "We", not "it". The Black Lives Matter Movement is doing everything that can be done. We, as part of academia, are in a position where it's imperative on us to respond. It is imperative on us to transform, not what the university is, but who the university is. Who are the faculty? Who are the students? How do we further recognize the racial difference in staff? And how do we think particularly and explicitly about what texts we're reading? As Érica so poignantly pointed it out. What are the case studies the students are receiving? Who are the authors they're reading? Who are these scientists that they are looking to? So in thinking not about what academia is but who academia is, just reaches all the way down. And, of course, as an art and architectural historian, I want to see that for just a minute through architecture. I want to look at that in the reverse for a moment, to think about what has happened when the what of academia comes before the who. So bear with me for just a quick couple of case studies. The first one I want to look at is the National University of Colombia in Bogota. As well as my own current employer: Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

What I'm showing you here is a campus plan for the National University of Colombia, created by the architect Leopoldo Rother and an urban planner who supported the need for the university in Bogota. I don't think Freud could have even dreamt up this campus plan. So let's just walk through it really quickly. We are looking at a plan, so an aerial view of the campus itself. And if we begin with the image on the left, I pointed out to you here, we have something like an egg nestled in the middle of the campus. Kind of snuggled in by this landscape around it. As you begin to study the map of what the different buildings are on campus, as Rother has drawn them, the egg is hovering here above this plinth that is the school of zoology. This is the plan for a building, very simple, elegant plan for a building. And it's being fed by the lifeblood of the campus, these sports stadia down here. So the idea that this is the healthy exercised animal that is supporting the egg that hovers. We move to the second image and you see each of the different schools that would be built on campus. And they sort of open, surround, center: still that egg in the middle. And then, by the time we get to the third image, all of those different schools, mathematics, literary studies, etc., open to the school of philosophy at the top. This phallic-shaped building. I mean, it's not even subtle, right? The job of philosophy, the knowledge, the love of wisdom is going to penetrate the sort of origins of life or of nature here. As part of this... what goes on to be a quite explicit Eugenics scheme for transforming the Colombian populace into an ever more whitened group.

This horrible white supremacy that makes itself known in this bizarre plan. When the "what", the goal of academia, this sort of evermore westernizing, but we're probably saying northernizing, vision for what the country should be, takes this odd and bizarre form. This is not the final design for the campus. This was scratched. People looked at it and said: "No, it's just too weird". But it did exist and it was considered. Let's move on to my current employer here. So what I'm showing you is, first, an overview of Wake Forest campus, circa 1958, on the left, when the university was completed. Just keeping in mind it was built in the mid 20th century. In the middle, this is the steel and concrete set of our Armature for the building, which is Wait Chapel. A sort of central building for lectures and a variety of different services on campus. And then on the far right, we have the recent apology of President Hatch, apologizing to the campus for his involvement in the institution of slavery. An involvement that included the sale of 16 enslaved persons in order to purchase and build the campus itself. An involvement that included the four early presidents being enslavers themselves. And it's not as if that history wasn't already obvious in the look of the campus. Muntadas did this beautiful job of speaking to what we think of as the North American campus. And it often looks something like this: brick with all these different, very particular features. And those particular features come from the colonial history of the United States. But much like the...

We're currently in the midst of an ongoing discourse about whether or not Confederate monuments should be held, or enslavers from the Civil War, whether their monuments should still stand in public spaces. Those monuments, as well as these universities structures, weren't built when the US was founded. They weren't even built during the Civil War, most of these. They were built posthumously, as a form of white nationalism that was looking back to an idealized, a nostalgic era that didn't actually exist. But, in their minds, it was a time when America was white. Which of course it was not. This campus architecture draws on Georgian-style architecture that comes straight from the UK. You can see explicitly the ways in which it draws from Greco-Roman architecture, temple architecture in particular. All of which is to try to claim for these American universities, a very European historic lineage. The idea at the time was that these university structures would represent something truly American. There would be an architecture that was truly American. And, of course, as I'm showing you, that isn't the case. Unless you align "Americaness" with a very particular kind of white European trajectory. If we wanted to truly think about an American form of architecture, as other architectural historians have pointed out, we might look to the Pueblos *[inaudível]. We might look to some of the earlier indigenous forms that were here to truly think what is North American, right?

We might look to the Cherokee, the Lumbee, the Surah, the Catawba people, who lived on the land where Wake Forest has now settled and occupied. So, in thinking about not "what" but "who" of the university, part of what the campus does is create an advertisement for the school. It creates not just the logo or image, but it also creates the setting in which learning will be conducted. And how can we think about expanding the "who" of academia, if we don't interrogate the architecture in which we're structuring it? If we continue to create campuses that look like this very white colonial historical image, we're alienating a full body of students who have so much to bring to the campus. If we continue to think about physical architecture... This is something that Intercontinental Academia really probes: do we need a space? Do we need physical buildings, rooms, etc., to conduct the work in? And of course, this Covid has just blown up for us: is that really required? Can more be opened up if we don't require people to travel to one particular place to meet together in these historically alienating frameworks? So as we think about not "what" but "who", the question is always "when", right? If not now, when? And to this, I want to look again and give credit to this question to Ailton Krenak. Who was, again, part of the earlier series of talks.

He said, specifically, something that really stood out to me: "If we erase the 20th century, the university is a colonial structure". It doesn't interrupt or transform anything. And I agree with him. Except to say that even if we include the 20th century, it's still a colonial structure and it doesn't interrupt or transform anything yet. That is the extent of my conversation today. I look forward to talking about how Intercontinental Academia reshapes or offers alternatives to this setup that I have run through here. And I look forward to a conversation with you to follow.

Martin Grossmann

Thank you so much Nikki for this. So, I think, as I said, just before your talk, you were doing it quite well of opening up and bringing more questions to what we started with. So, we definitely have already quite an interesting material to look at and to come back to when we start the debate. But let's hear David Gange. I mistake myself. I always don't know exactly how to say your surname, David. So, you correct me when you start your presentation. But he, as Nikki, are the 13 researchers I met from early 2016 when we had all the curriculums and your proposal to join the Intercontinental Academia. So, we know each other quite well in that sense of being not only together, but also following your research, your different researches. So, David is a senior lecturer in modern history, in the History Department of Birmingham University. I don't know exactly how he's going to conduct his contributions today. But David has a very interesting way of also relating himself as an academic to the real world. He also is a sportsman. He likes to be in nature, being what nature might be nowadays, but he's out there. As an individual, but trying to bridge different situations and different conditions. He's a quite brave man, in that sense. Because, with his small kayak, he has been doing quite an interesting research about the relationship between the sea and the communities around the sea, or the landscapes and different environments in that relationship between earth and water. I think it's a brief introduction to you, David, but, I don't know exactly, but I see yourself as a quite complex man. Or human being, to be more exact. So please come forward. And we are very much looking forward to your talk.

David Gange

Thank you very much, Martin, for that introduction. And thank you so much for the invitation to be here. It's just a great honor for my name to be included here. I don't mind how it's pronounced. So I'm not going to provide any kind of correction. And it's also been a great privilege to be able to explore Muntadas' work over the last few days and begin to think about some of the really profound questions it raises. And also it's an enormous privilege to be here alongside the three speakers we've already heard, whose contributions were really profound and significant. And I have no idea how I'm supposed to follow them. So thank you very much, everyone. And also to the interpreters for making all this possible. It's been great to have access to talks in other languages and to have my talk available for people to hear through other languages, too. It's a wonderful thing. So, what I intend to do today is to try and give a kind of personal perspective on what Intercontinental Academia meant to my career. How it informed my relationship to the university structures that I work in, and why I think that open space to study in a truly International and transdisciplinary context is so important. And so I think it should indeed be part of the model for the future of the university. And also how it relates to the social roles of in particular the Arts and Humanities, as Muntadas' project illuminates for us.

So I took part in the first Intercontinental Academia at a point when my career was at a bit of a crossroads. When I was not as complicated as Martin has suggested I am. So I had just published two books that were firmly within my own discipline, with UK University Presses. And I was feeling quite equivocal about the process and experience of doing that. Feeling like the opportunity that offered to make any kind of difference, was not really all that great. And despite my relatively narrow experience, I'd just been given the role in my University Department of writing and running the teaching of theory and method to both undergraduate and graduate students. So yeah, the need to branch out intellectually, as well as in terms of engagement beyond the academy, felt really intense at that stage. I was thinking a lot about the purpose of doing history at all. And looking for approaches that could make sense of the kind of links between historical thinking, the academy, and the world. And I think it's really crucial to have outlets at that stage, beyond the next research paper or Grant proposal for that kind of wider reflection. And of course, some of those frustrations were born out of exactly the elements of the corporate university, that Muntadas' work is so unflinching and revelatory about. So the nature of the problems of our world isn't really kind of that obscure. It's clear that they've mostly been created by the growth-based economics and colonial politics that the Enlightenment and modern Western thought raised to the primacy. Those economic orthodoxies that are the source of both our vast inequality and of our rapacious destruction of our ecosystems. So, it's clear that it's not just Western politics, but Western science that has facilitated those things, or even created them. Those problems that Western science itself claims to be able to solve for us.

And the work of the corporate university, I think, has been to co-opt academic progression and intellectual production into that orthodoxy of growth, of progress, of conventional economic logic. And in so doing, university structures have worked to marginalize a key purpose of both visual art and the humanities. Which is the role of imagining alternatives to that. When we're tied to impact agendas and instrumental roles in national economies, the kind of wings that ought to allow us in creative, imaginative, alternative perspectives are clipped. And our potential plurality of worlds is diminished in service to a kind of singular growth-based path to the future. So I applied to Intercontinental Academia looking for some kind of intellectual rejuvenation. And both disciplinary and geographic expansion of horizons. And that really is what I felt I got from the experience. And it's through being based at USP and also at PUC briefly that I was introduced to several thinkers who have become crucial to all I've done later on, such as Eduardo Viveiros de Castro. And I remember, during the project, coming across a quote from Bruno Latour and thinking: "Yes, this is what the things we're doing should be about". So I'm going to share my screen for the rest of the talk. I just wanted to begin without the screen shared.

So this was the little quote: "In the end, the only thing that matters is not whether you're for or against globalization, for or against the local, but how to record, maintain and cherish the greatest possible number of ways of belonging in the world". And it was also while thinking through things for the project that I was exposed to the range of ways in which photographers and visual artists and indeed architects have approached the past, with the wildly different temporalities. Our project was about time that they've employed and the vast potential those have for informing our present. So those all spoke directly to that kind of role of the academy in imagining other ways of being, and in displacing Western thought. That I think are our only hope, not just as intellectuals but as a species. So, of these, the approach of the theorist of photography Ariella Azoulay seems to me the most powerful. Azoulay argues that the past is alive. That our traditional temporalities are just really all wrong. She says that when working with early photography, we don't have to relegate the things we work on to a foreclosed past, as she puts it. And she says: "Our approach to the archive cannot be guided by the imperial desire to unearth unknown hidden moments, it should rather be driven by the conviction that other political species were and continue to be real options". Which surely is a huge part of our project as universities.

So this overturns that usual sense of the relations of past present and future. And in this potential history, our entirely unsustainable present is kind of a dead thing. It's like a single toxic offshoot from a whole array of living pasts that Colonialism and Enlightenment, political economy crushed. So, the vestigial present is the product of wrong turns that began with the attempts to spread enlightenment, political economy to every inch of the earth, from the 17th, 18th century. And one thing the arts and humanities can contribute to our present is visions of alternatives drawn from the potential futures of the prematurely severed pasts. That new political economy made itself seem inevitable by aiming to discredit competition, so every other world view, dismissing all other cultures as backwards, by judging them only on its own terms. And as another advocate of this potential histories approach puts it: "If the work of modernity is, in effect, to obliterate both the memory and the present consciousness of its violence and to naturalize progress as the self-evident form of human time, then the ruin", the kind of ruined pasts, "stands as a kind of uneroded sill that both recalls destruction and comes into conjunction with the obstinate refusal in the present to accept that there are no alternatives". So this, I came to believe, partly thanks to Intercontinental Academia, is where the historical imagination finds its "métier". And there are obvious consequences of accepting these ideas.

One is that indigenous First Nation scholarship, Indigenous philosophies, and Indigenous science need to be elevated to the highest possible status in our academies. Not filtered through anthropology, but as knowledge systems themselves. Not just the really important thing of making sure that all our potential students can see themselves reflected in faculty and in the thinkers presented as authorities, but also the kind of opposite of that, too. So that all students are exposed to the full diversity of ways of being in the world. So, indigenous perspectives express ideas that are going to be crucial to the reinvention of self and society in the kind of necessary transition to new ways of living and of being. And overcoming those structural problems, the power dynamics of race and gender and social class that prevent that happening, are obviously our most urgent priorities, as university, as the academy. And with the increasingly diverse and activist student populations around us, processers of reverse mentorship are obviously a huge part of this. We can't allow the university structures and attitudes of the present to be replicated in the future through the persistence of hierarchies that currently exist. So, my own first response to the wealth of methods of perspectives that circulated around that Intercontinental Academia project was to try and produce some research-based works for a wider non-academic audience. To step as far out of my discipline as a dared, and to look at the island group that I come from from the perspective of its many marginalized indigenous small languages.

Such as Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Welsh and Shetland, rather than from the inland English-speaking city. So, like Martin says, my method... I don't know if you can actually see the boat because of where the pictures... People come here. But my method was to take this small kayak and to paddle 2,000 kilometers of Atlantic Coastline. Armed with a camera and the materials to conduct interviews, continuing to learn the languages of the coastlines and kind of spending time in archives. So, sleeping rough, outdoors, by or above the water, with no tent or anything, each night. And spending time in boat workshops, with people helping out in the construction of these deeply traditional vessels, and hearing stories of the ocean. So, collaborating with artists and poets as well as with boat builders, crafters and fishers. So this was the root of that. And its logic was simple, in that it could overturn the perspective conveyed by British national histories. So, 7 of the 12 legs were in Scotland, while only one, the very last, touched on England. And towns were barely a feature at all. So I'd done half the journey before I reach the second town that had more than 600 people. A large proportion of the journey was through regions where English wasn't a predominant first language, whether regions of Shetland, Gaelic, Irish or Welsh speakers. And, of course, regions that open to the ocean have been opened to a kind of vast geographical influence.

So, a lot of this coastline, for instance, of Ireland here, shows connections with China centuries before it shows connections with England, anthropologically speaking. Any of the languages of these coastlines have a two-century history of resisting standardization, national integration and extractive capitalism. They have vocabularies and philosophies that are much more entangled with place and environment. What Elizabeth Povinelli has called Geontologies. And I want to construct a history of the Irish and British Islands written from the perspectives of those language communities. That kind of marginalized, the kind of urban spaces, the kind of Southeast perspectives, and the English language. So I was conceptualizing if these counts as a successful encounter marginalized in modern history because that inland, Enlightenment, political economy had found them so difficult to integrate, and so it tried to wipe the languages and the cultures out of existence. So, like the 150 Indigenous languages of North America, or the 160 Indigenous languages of Brazil, the Celtic and Nordic languages of Irish and British islands, embody ways of being and traditions of opposition three or more centuries-old, of which the world is in desperate need. So a global turn integrating these perspectives is now increasingly widely advocated through concepts such as Ecolinguistics, as championed by Michael Cronin. He talks about situating the Irish language in the context of Indigenous ecological struggles.

So, in the book that resulted from this *[inaudível], the kayak and the camera speak to the significance of doing and being and living the importance of perceptual experience, elemental and interspecies entanglement, and to Geontologies as perspectives equally significant to the propositional knowledge that modernity has so profoundly privilege. So, the question ultimately, in a world where all of culture is being co-opted into this increasing enthusiasm for nation, and these kinds of myths of national identity that come with that, is how we make the case for approaches that are clear-eyed about the biggest problems ee confront, and aimed to imagine how things could be different. And so, in Britain, the press and government now increasingly conceptualize that decolonizing agenda as doing Britain down. The humanities are presented as unpatriotic because not exclusively celebratory of these myths of national past and present. And in putting measurable contribution to the national economy above the possibilities of freely imagining alternatives, the corporate university obviously aligns itself with that delimiting of academia's role. So it feels like we're remarkably quickly losing sight of the idea that imagining alternatives and exploring alterity is a public good. And it feels to me like our only hope in the arts and in the humanities and in the Sciences, is surely in making the case that a plurality of worlds, a diversity of perspectives is a fundamental underpinning of any healthy society. Only then, is there a potential for our funding models to be moved away from the crippling individualism and economic instrumentality of funding based purely, or mainly, on student fees.

And that's where a project about academia, which gives us both the data to analyze the problems we confront and the artistic interpretation to conceptualize it, makes for such a powerful complement to the project of Intercontinental Academia. So, spaces for thinking big outside of national frameworks and far outside our disciplines are far too rare. And spaces where academics are put into collaboration with a true diversity of perspectives are rare. So too are spaces where process rather than output is the point. And it's especially crucial, I think, that Intercontinental Academia gives early-career academics the opportunity to do something that's both prestigious and not career instrumental in the usual way. Allowing them to step outside a linear goal-oriented model of what a research and a teaching career actually mean. To reflect about purpose on a global scale. I'd obviously love to see the movement diversify its perspective still further, bringing Indigenous perspectives and institutions to its core, tackling directly the existential and eco-crisis of our age. But it's already a kind of modern manifestation of how we can hold true to the threat and values of Academia, without getting nostalgic for a past in which the benefits of greater freedom and time were outweighed by the problems of lack of diversity and of limitations to access. So, I think I will stop there and hand it back to Martin. But thank you very much.


Martin Grossmann

Thank you, David. It was great. And I'm very glad that we have finished this first stage of our encounter with brilliant performances of each of you. So, we have a diversity this morning of perspectives of different ways of seeing the possible relationship between an artist's work, like Muntadas', about academia, and you all on researches. But also some more straight and precise questions of what is the role of universities nowadays. Considering that you all have touched on those subjects, or those objects, or even the "who" are we talking about, why we have those structures, and who is related to this system of higher education, and the purposes of that. We have a lot of things to discuss. But rather than I directing the way that we should go forward, I really think that the first moment now... We still have some time. And I really open the floor for you four to bring forward questions to each other, or to go back to what you have said in relation to what the others have said. So, it's open. Now, in this first moment, between us. And then... So far, we haven't received any questions. There is an e-mail on the screen of our YouTube Station, where you can send your questions too. Most of them are going to come to forward to our speakers. So, please feel free to send them to us. So, Nikki, David, Érica, Mariko. Silence! Come on, no questions?

David Gange

I was particularly inspired by the idea of DASP. And I was wondering if Érica could tell us a little more about DASP itself.

Martin Grossmann

Você entendeu, Érica? Ele está querendo saber um pouco mais sobre o projeto do DASP.


Érica Peçanha


Bem, esse projeto foi iniciado em 2018, no Instituto de Estudos Avançados da USP. Ele foi idealizado, como o Martin comentou aqui, pela ativista social Eliana Souza Silva e ele está centrado em três ações principais. Uma ação é um ciclo de eventos chamado Centralidades Periféricas, que tem o objetivo de reunir artistas, ativistas e acadêmicos para pensar as produções artísticas e culturais das periferias.

A outra ação é a ação que eu desenhei, formei a equipe e coordenei, que é a plataforma Conexões USP Periferias, que é uma plataforma digital, uma base de dados multidisciplinar que sistematiza e dá visibilidade às ações da USP de ensino, pesquisa e extensão com foco nas periferias e favelas. Então é uma base de dados com a produção acadêmica, as disciplinas de graduação e pós-graduação, os projetos de extensão, os grupos de pesquisa e ensino, e os coletivos estudantis protagonizados por sujeitos das periferias, das favelas, sujeitos negros ou cujas atuações estão focadas também para pensar a presença desses sujeitos no contexto da universidade.


E a terceira ação que está sendo finalizada agora é um censo nas duas comunidades do entorno da USP, duas favelas. Esse censo tem objetivo, então, de levantar informações sobre as condições de vida dos moradores desses territórios e também as características dos seus domicílios. Esse censo foi realizado, começou a ser desenvolvido em 2019 e foi encerrado em março de 2020. Foram entrevistadas mais de 15 mil pessoas. E aí, então, a gente tem uma base de dados significativa para pensar, então, o entorno periférico da USP.

E além disso, desse levantamento das informações sobre os moradores e as suas casas, os seus domicílios, foram levantados também informações sobre os animais domésticos presentes nesse território, então também é uma inovação dessa pesquisa pensar a presença multiespécie no contexto das periferias. E além disso, levantamos também informações sobre a vida comunitária e associativa desses territórios, com um mapeamento dos atores locais, dos equipamentos públicos, dos coletivos, grupos artísticos, culturais e religiosos presentes nesses territórios.

Então, por esse projeto já passaram 72 estudantes da USP. Atualmente a gente tem uma equipe mais reduzida, mas esse projeto formou 72 estudantes de graduação e pós-graduação. E ele teve a felicidade de incluir também no corpo de pesquisadores, na equipe responsável pela realização do censo, alguns moradores dos próprios territórios pesquisados. Então, esses moradores contribuindo não só divulgando a pesquisa nesses territórios, mas atualmente contribuem também pensando a análise dos dados que foram produzidos, contribuindo para a crítica das análises que estamos fazendo e contribuindo também produzindo suas próprias análises dessa experiência de pesquisa nos seus territórios. O projeto é isso.


Mariko Murata


Can I ask a bit more about that? I think... Because Martin mentioned how the University of São Paulo is sort of next to this "favela" area, this really poor area. And because Érica did a project asking people around there. I was wondering how the residents reacted to this interview itself. Because, you know, from their point of view, Érica, you are sort of part of the elite system. And so, is there a tension, or are they happy to have the university there, which is the best university in Latin America? Could you elaborate a little bit about the relationship that you built or the tension that's there?


Érica Peçanha

Essa tensão esteve presente desde o início do projeto, até porque de fato essas favelas são vizinhas mesmo dos territórios da USP. Uma delas, a São Remo, ocupa um terreno da USP, inclusive. Então há uma relação histórica de tensão com a universidade. E para além disso, dada essa proximidade geográfica das comunidades e a universidade, esses territórios são usados ou são vistos há tempo também como laboratórios de pesquisa de estudantes, pesquisadores e professores da USP.

São alvos também de diferentes projetos acadêmicos para desenvolvimento local, projetos de extensão, projetos que visem a relação, a aproximação e as trocas entre universidades e o seu entorno. Mas também há uma série de pesquisas e projetos que são realizados que, sob o ponto de vista dos moradores, são projetos que pouco dialogam com a realidade local. E para além disso, alguns projetos... O questionamento é que alguns projetos não devolvem os seus resultados para a própria comunidade.

Então, muitas vezes esses moradores dizem que convivem com estudantes e professores por algum período, dão as suas contribuições, as suas perspectivas e não obtêm retorno, não sabem como aquelas falas, aqueles discursos e aquelas narrativas são utilizados, para que são utilizados, e também não veem esse conhecimento gerando algum tipo de desenvolvimento local. Então, sim, essa é uma crítica presente. Mas houve uma aposta, e eu entendo que foi inclusive de ordem metodológica, uma aposta desse projeto de que selecionar pesquisadores com perfil semelhante ao dos moradores desses territórios poderia gerar uma maior aproximação, poderia gerar também mais afinidade e com isso, com essa qualidade de relação estabelecida, consequentemente haveria também uma qualidade nos resultados obtidos.

Então por isso o projeto é protagonizado por estudantes negros e periféricos, que carregam também um conjunto de saberes específicos sobre território periféricos, que foram formados para pensar uma ética específica de produção de conhecimentos sobre esses territórios periféricos. Então foi importante também o projeto pensar essa formação específica, o modo de se produzir conhecimento com, para e sobre os territórios periféricos. Eu acho que essa foi uma outra dimensão importante do projeto também.

E para além disso, como eu falei anteriormente, a própria presença dos moradores na equipe de pesquisa. Esses moradores foram fundamentais não só para divulgar a pesquisa nos territórios, mas para formar os nossos pesquisadores, para compartilhar os seus saberes sobre os moradores, sobre aquele contexto local, sobre a própria relação da USP com seu entorno, e continuam contribuindo agora colocando o seu olhar sobre os resultados que foram produzidos.


Martin Grossmann

Érica, thank you so much. But I would just add something, Mariko, that is very interesting. And I think that really makes a difference in this case, from the previous researches. I think, first of all, is that sense that most of the people live in this community. They see themselves as guinea pigs for different projects of the university. So the university does not have a specific project regarding itself and its neighbors. There is a wall in both of the campuses that have this relationship, being study or that the census was applied to. They are a world, a community, as Nikki has shown in the example from Bogota in Colombia. In Castille or this community that really segregates itself from the others. But I think what is interesting about Iliana is that she is someone that comes from the "favela". And she is the one that is part of this new group. That we have in Brazil. They are very political. They are very active. They have developed a very interesting way of relating to the different centralities. So, to money, in a sense. Also to the elite society that is like me, white. And negotiating, and really sort of starting to change, not only the relationship but also the situation. And we, really, with this project, that also I'm engaged with, as an academic coordinator, is to change the university politics regarding not only its neighborhood but also the way that the university relates to society at large. I just want to know, and also to remind you all that we have Ary Plonski with us. So, the director of the Institute is also this morning, as he was in the first round table. So, I don't know if Ary wants to say something to us.


Guilherme Ary Plonski

Yes. Good morning. I'm extremely happy to... Should I talk in English or in Portuguese? I feel that if we are decolonizing, I should speak neither in English nor in Portuguese, but in some local language. But as I'm not familiar with the local languages of the original inhabitants, I'll continue in English. I'm extremely happy. I was so impressed by all of you that spoke. And each of you had a fantastic way of contributing to the subject provoked by Muntadas. And I think that just continues. And I have a meeting in an hour about ECA 4. So, particularly, seeing Nikki and David, and seeing the connection... And Martin, you were, I would say, the genius behind ECA 1. And now this activity. I'm very happy. Just continue, I'll be with you.

Martin Grossmann

So, between us here...

Nikki Moore

I suppose one question comes up for me in listening to your further explanation of this fascinating project, Érica. And in your response, Martin. But really, I guess it really originates from Muntadas' original project. Part of this discourse of center-periphery always needs to be deconstructed. If the percentage of the periphery is larger than the center... You know all that. But the thing that came up for me in Muntadas' video is: he's done Academia 1, he's done Academia 2. I think it would be fascinating to see a third channel of this. That is asking non-academics what academia... What are their ideal learning processes, right? If we ask about what academia is from inside academia, we get a very self-congratulatory response. Or critical, but still, you know? So I appreciate, Érica, that the project that you're engaging with is doing that work in a rigorous manner. And I think that might reflect back and into Muntada's project. If and as he continues to think about it. That's more of a statement than a question.


Martin Grossmann

I have a question to Mariko. Because as I said to you, regarding my research on museums, I was fascinated by this structure of museums in Japan. And you shared with us the importance of museums in Japan. But also questioning myself, asking myself, why the university in Japan? It's a complex story. We can't actually go deep into that now. But how do you see this modern Japan? Because I think in the museum scenario, I really thought, looking at the different museums, the different typology of museums in Japan, the museums started to be decolonized from the Occidental, from the European standards, by... As Nikki was mentioning in her talk: by really investing in different architectures. Of course, it's still a sort of capitalist architecture. It's very present. And also quite expensive architecture, I will say, of museums that stand up as singular spaces. But, in a way, I see this new museum architecture in Japan associated to temples. That's why, also, during my two-month stay in Japan, I re-visited Kyoto. And also visited Nara. And also Tokyo to see different... And also, I went to houses, Japanese houses, because I wanted to understand the basics of space. How Japanese relate to their own space, to their private space, in a sense. Not the modern space, I would say, but that space that has been your cultural standard for centuries. So, how do you see this relationship? Do you think that universities are changing in Japan? Like, maybe in a good willing and more utopic way, we are looking at Brazil. And even with the talk by Nikki and David, I can see that you, as a new generation, are bringing new ideas to the university in itself. Of course, maybe we are still a smaller part of that. But somehow, I really think that the university is in an interesting moment of questioning itself and looking at new possibilities. Is that happening in Japan?.


Mariko Murata

Right, okay. Difficult question, but thinking about museums and universities together, and referring to Nikki's presentation, I think in Japan all the universities and museums started out as a colonial architecture. But it didn't have a colonial meaning at all. So, that's very different. Meaning that they thought the colonial style was a symbol of modernization. So, when Japan occupied Korea and Taiwan, they made a lot of buildings, European buildings, colonial-style buildings, because they thought that was modernization. So, it has a completely different context or different meaning. And I think Japan is the only country which wasn't colonized, but wanted to make the same thing, wanted to copy the style. So it has, again, maybe you could call it Galapagos, but that sort of different meaning is at stake. And in terms of museums, Martin just said that he saw a lot of museums that used Japanese buildings, Japanese houses. So that would mean that the museum... In the context of architecture or space, I think the Japanese museums sort of indigenized the Western museums. For the universities, I'm not really sure. For example, a lot of the universities still use colonial-style architecture. And there were a lot of universities that were made in the 90s. And they have a more modern style of architecture. But that also comes from, I don't know the core base, or the western style, anyway. So I think in the university there is a strong image of Western ideology still now.


Martin Grossmann

So, we don't have questions from the floor or from our audience. So I don't know if maybe Ary has some questions now. Or if we continue on asking questions to each other.

Guilherme Ary Plonski

I have a question, Martin. And the question is easy. It's for whoever would like to address it. We talked a lot in a very important way about how we came to the situation, the consequences. If each one of you would like to provide a suggestion for a university in São Paulo. In this case, whoever knows the University of São Paulo, Érica knows, David knows, and Nikki knows. Mariko knows it also? No, he doesn't know it. But anyhow, if you would like to provide a concrete suggestion about how we could move forward... We are an Institute for Advanced Studies. So our motto is "advance". And we would like to advance in a better way or a different way, let's say, than maybe we advanced during our first 34 years. So a suggestion would be very much welcome.

Mariko Murata

This isn't a suggestion, but I think in São Paulo there are a lot of Japanese-origin people. Are there many Japanese-roots people in the University of São Paulo?

Guilherme Ary Plonski

I may answer you, Mariko: yes. I studied engineering. And the amount, for instance, of Japanese origin people, Nisei, Sansei, etc., particularly at the engineering school, at my time, made the school get the nickname, in a nice way, instead of Polytechnic, "Nippotechnic". So, the answer is yes, we have. Nowadays... It's traditional by immigrants to have first the more, let's say, basic professional careers such as engineering. But nowadays, you see descendants from, I would say, from East Asia, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans in all schools. And the percentage is very high proportionally, yes.

Nikki Moore

I appreciate your question. Rather than being able to speak to how USP might change, because I think we would need to spend a lot of time there, in order to have the insight on what's happening. But experiences so far have been fantastic, with, IAS and USP. One of the things I love about the work that I do is looking at the Mexican modernists, the Brazilian modernists, the Uruguayan modernists, right? And thinking about how, in order to set out a future, they looked to who they were before. Contact, right? And pre-contact area. Who were they before. In order to think about who they would become. And I think, speaking for the North American context, North Americans, we are far, far behind in this. We're far behind the Mexicans, for example. In thinking about who we are and then building a future from that base forward. So my suggestion to my own nation, I guess, I might say: I don't know if this is something you might consider as well, just thinking about who are we? And who are we, you know... Who was here in the past? Who is here, presently? In a real robust mode of thinking about that. Who should be here that is not? And then building from there. That's my point of view on it.

Martin Grossmann

Thank you, Nikki.

David Gange

I agree completely with everything Nikki just said. And I would also be extremely hesitant to give advice to USP in these terms. Because I think USP does create space for open discussion and reflection far better than most British universities currently do in that framework. So, I wouldn't want to provide any cut sense of direct advice like that. But I do think what is lacking in universities currently is space for people to think outside of frameworks that are specifically career instrumental. So those kinds of setups, those kinds of fora where people from very, very diverse backgrounds can be brought together just to discuss things without having to create any kind of output, without having to think about where this is going. I think putting funding into that kind of setup, is the kind of thing that would benefit every university at the moment.

Guilherme Ary Plonski

Thank you, David. I would say that it's obviously also my dream. Sometimes, financial agencies that support the research frequently are less, I would say, attemptive to such a proposal. But I agree, 100%. The Institute was created in 1986 by Professor Goldenberg, that you met. You heard him. And when I was really preparing to take over the directorship together with Rosalie... Parenthesis: for the first time in 34 years, we have a woman in the direction, in this case as a deputy director of the Institute. Until now, we were only men, not to say only white men. I would say that, in another context, you had also minorities, in the sense of persecuted minorities in history. We had one director before who was a Jew. And myself also. And Jewish history is also a history of suffering. Parentheses closed. I looked at what Professor Goldenberg wrote, and he wrote that he wants the Institute to be a place where different people with different ideas come together and they can talk about it, and they can confront the ideas. And I think that's what you're saying basically, is what Professor Goldenberg suggested since the beginning. So you're reinforcing it. So again, thank you again to Nikki, and thank you. And I would very much like to hear Érica. I was fascinated by your story Érica, in spite of we sharing... May we talk in Portuguese to Érica?


Érica, eu fiquei super tocado pelo teu relato. Eu não conhecia, enfim, a tua trajetória anterior à USP e eu achei muito importante que você, por um lado, valorizou a universidade pública em geral e a USP em particular, e por outro lado você criticou. Eu penso que esse é o olhar que a gente deve ter. Nem só ser patriótico e dizer que tudo está ótimo, e nem também ser destrutivo e dizer que nada de bom existe. Acho que você conseguiu fazer um equilíbrio notável. Então, dado isso, em particular, se você puder dar uma sugestão, duas sugestões... Enfim, se puder e sentir confortável, será mais do que bem-vinda.


Érica Peçanha


Eu penso até... Eu sou uma cientista social. Então, quando falo de trajetória, falo das minhas relações sociais no contexto em que vivo ou, em alguma medida, trago a tona o contexto a partir da minha biografia também. Então, o objetivo ou a estrutura da minha fala tem a ver com isso. Não à toa fui pensando diferentes momentos históricos e diferentes instituições pelas quais passei, assumindo ou ocupando diferentes posições, de estudante, de pesquisadora e de professora. Eu acho que isso é um ponto importante também.


E considerando tudo isso, eu fico pensando em apontamentos que estão aqui. Eu gostei de ouvir Nikki e Mariko pontuando, sobretudo, que é papel da arte colocar questões. Eu não sou um artista, nem uma pesquisadora de arte propriamente. Tomei a literatura para pensar o contexto de periferia, mas penso que o trabalho... Todo o projeto sobre a academia, para pensar a academia, me levou a pensar, então, que respostas eu daria. Eu acho que ao colocar minha trajetória e pontuar essas críticas, em alguma medida eu estava trazendo aqui respostas também para essa universidade que eu gostaria de ver.


Então, a universidade que eu gostaria de ver é uma universidade que escuta os estudantes. E penso, o mapeamento da plataforma trouxe à tona um número expressivo de coletivos de estudantes na universidade. Então, para além do centro acadêmico que já estava previsto nessa estrutura universitária, que é uma estrutura e que é um tipo de órgão mais formal de representação dos estudantes, a gente tem mais recentemente os coletivos estudantis. E vários coletivos assentados nas marcas de gênero, de raça, de sexualidade.


Então eu fico pensando na importância de se criar um canal de interação mais profícuo com esses coletivos, por exemplo. Vou citar aqui, por exemplo, o coletivo negro da Faculdade de Saúde Pública da USP. Quando fui professora lá, eu criei um evento que se tornou pioneiro na história da instituição, que é o Outubro Negro. Então, em 100 anos de história, a faculdade nunca tinha realizado um evento específico para discutir questões raciais. Esse foi um dos dados colocados pelo Centro de Documentação e Memória da instituição. Nós entramos para o livro que contava os 100 anos da instituição a partir da realização desse evento.


Saí de lá em 2018, e esse evento continua vivo. Se tornou um dos mais importantes da instituição porque esse coletivo negro tomou para si esse evento, se apropriou e o realiza com muita qualidade desde então. Além disso, o coletivo se tornou uma entidade expressiva das demandas que os estudantes carregam, das questões específicas que estudantes negros pobres carregam. Sobretudo, estudantes também que vieram de países africanos de língua portuguesa.


Então penso que eu estou dando esse exemplo para ressaltar a importância de dialogar com essas instâncias novas também, e que tem um outro tipo de atuação e um outro perfil de protagonistas. Eu acho que esse é um ponto. O segundo ponto que apareceu na minha fala também é pensar a própria forma de realização dos concursos docentes e também de progressão de carreira de alguns professores. Me parece que não há, por exemplo, uma professora negra titular entre os docentes da USP.


E eu não conheço também nenhum tipo de ação. A ação afirmativa é recente na graduação, ela é mais recente ainda na pós-graduação e ela é inexistente nos concursos docentes da USP. Então, esse discurso da diversidade não pode estar presente só quando se olha o perfil dos estudantes. Ele precisa estar presente também quando se pensa a composição do quadro docente. Isso para mim é fundamental, porque quando a gente pensa em perfis de funcionários, de docentes e de estudantes, a gente está pensando também em um conjunto de repertórios específicos que vão se desdobrar em currículos diversificados também, em temas de eventos que serão diversificados também, em projetos acadêmicos com outras preocupações.


É preciso valorizar os repertórios, as experiências de vida e os saberes que estão para além daqueles já cristalizados e consolidados na universidade. Então eu penso que a universidade que eu quero ver é essa universidade que incorpora nas suas práticas, nos seus concursos e nos seus projetos essa noção de diversidade e que dialoga não só com o momento que a gente está vivendo, mas com o próprio contexto desse país. Não dá para ser global dialogando só com contextos externos. É preciso ser global atentando também para um tema que faz sentido para todo mundo, que é a noção da diversidade ou que é a noção do multiculturalismo, porque essas noções, inclusive, apareceram nos discursos de todos os participantes desse diálogo de hoje.


Guilherme Ary Plonski


Muito obrigado, Érica. Vamos conversar mais.


Martin Grossmann


Érica, muito obrigado mesmo por esse complemento. E essa também... Eu acho que isso também teve um impulso com a curiosidade dos outros membros desse nosso encontro aqui. Mas eu acho que a gente poderia começar a amarrar um pouco esse nosso encontro. Não que a gente vá chegar a alguma conclusão, mas eu vou agora mudar para o inglês.


Martin Grossmann

I think that we should, as Nikki also came up with, again, with Muntadas... And Érica as well has mentioned that relationship... And even Mariko with her talk that started the day. Making a sort of difference between what is an art research and an academic research. And it's interesting that, by being in an interdisciplinary platform like the Institute for Advanced Studies, of course, we look for these different ways of looking at the university, how the university is structured, and the power structure of the university as well. Because, as Ary was mentioning, regarding our Institute, it's the first time in its brief history, 36 years of history, that we have a woman as deputy director. Some of the times we didn't even have any women in the board. So now, it's something that really has changed the way that the institute sees itself. And we can see that it also reflects on how the university is being managed. But changes in universities are always a very delayed process. Sometimes I want to go back to this relationship between the arts within the university. And that's what Muntadas brings very clearly. And you have reacted to that in different ways. And David, for me, came up... He did not very much strengthen the art research base work, but he mentioned the interdisciplinary stance. And the importance of being at the intercontinental academia in that regard. How you see that in relation to a future model of universities. Are we on the right track? Art is as different from other researches or types of research? How do you see this relationship in a broader sense, like Nikki has also mentioned, that it's art and architecture of looking at this relationship with the planning of the university, the design of the university? How do you see this contribution of the arts? Is it as special as sometimes it also looks at itself and says: "No, we are different". Or are we talking more about an interdisciplinary context relationship?


David Gange

I would say that, of all the parts of the university, it's art that has the greatest potential for imagining a plurality of possible worlds. For imagining that role of the university in creating something different from the problematic thing that we have. Art is where the real power lies. Art is also the way in which we can most easily escape the obsession with propositional knowledge that western science brings to the table. So that we can most pluralize the kinds of approaches to the world we have. So art ought to be the driving force that the sciences, that the humanities come after. I would place art central in those terms. And I think it's a real problem with the instrumental nature of how we construct the university today, that that is not the case.


Martin Grossmann

Mariko? Érica? Nikki?


Nikki Moore

I would just second what David said. I think that if we think about art or architecture as ideas taking form in the world... It's the embodiment of sometimes an ideal, sometimes a question, sometimes a protest, sometimes just an observation or a delight, right? Then, putting these things into form, putting many of them into many forms. And giving us something like the former prime minister of Iceland used to talk about: politics as toys, right? Just get all the toys out of the toy box. Try them all out. Have a look, see what you've got. And I think, in the present, we don't have enough toys. We've got one or two very heavy-handed models. And we need to play but in a rigorous way. I don't mean that in a... A lot is at stake. But we need more toys to look at and examine. And art certainly can fulfill that role, architecture as well.


David Gange

Sticking diamonds onto the single toy that we have, instead of playing with all the possible toys.


Mariko Murata

I might answer this from a different angle. But I think... I teach students at art schools. And when I do, I always feel... And my university, Kansai university, doesn't have a department of art. And so, I feel that the way they function is very different. And I feel that the students that belong to the art school or department of art, they always have to produce something, they always have to make something, literally. So I think it's a very healthy thing, to have to create all the time. But then, at the same time, what they lack is theory, for example, or studying. Or learning the history, backgrounds, thinking about philosophy, etc. And vice versa. If you're just thinking about theory and not using your body or your hand, it's just really unhealthy again. So this balance is, I think, the most important. It's the most difficult, but I think it's the most important thing.


Martin Grossmann

Érica, you mentioned the importance of literature in your social base research. Why have you chosen literature?


Érica Peçanha


Porque a literatura produzida pelas periferias me apareceu como grande novidade para pensar o próprio contexto das periferias. Já na minha graduação, eu me inclinava para a formação nos estudos urbanos, já tinha desenvolvido uma pesquisa de iniciação com foco no território periférico a partir do movimento cultural hip-hop. E quando descobri que havia uma cena de sarau se organizando na cidade, centenas de publicações sendo produzidos por sujeitos que se afirmavam como periféricos ou que tomavam a periferia como referência para sua escrita criativa também e para sua atuação sociocultural, isso me pareceu uma novidade, um recorte importante para ser explorado com relação ao território periférico.


Isso me ajudava a pensar, de um lado, não só quais seriam as contribuições estéticas que esse sujeitos periféricos traziam para o campo literário a partir dos seus perfis sociais, mas também, por outro lado, me parecia muito significativo pensar o próprio território da periferia historicamente estudado na tradição de estudos urbanos a partir das suas precaridades materiais, da falta de serviços, da infraestrutura, ou às vezes em função da sua vida associativa, me parecia interessante pensar agora a partir dessa nova entrada em cena de sujeitos periféricos de atuação na cena pública a partir do foco na cultura, mais propriamente na literatura.


Então era uma aposta ali de novidade acadêmica mais propriamente que eu percebi em diferentes pesquisas. Primeiramente nessa pesquisa de 2004, pensando, então, o surgimento da produção literária da periferia a partir do contexto de São Paulo, depois ampliando para uma pesquisa de doutorado que focou as estratégias de produção e consumo cultural na periferia de São Paulo, a partir de um grupo bastante significativo para a história cultural da cidade, que é a Cooperifa, que, entre outras atividades, realizar saraus literarios semanais em um boteco da zona sul de São Paulo, em uma região bastante estigmatizada pela pobreza e pela violência.


E depois, em pesquisas de pós-doc. Uma que eu já conclui que pensava a perspectiva de profissionalização na área cultural para jovens de periferia a partir desses diferentes movimentos e diferentes linguagens artísticas. E atualmente, embora eu seja também a supervisora do projeto idealizado pela Eliana, eu sou uma pesquisadora de pós-doc do Instituto de Estudos Avançados com uma pesquisa autoral. E a minha pesquisa autoral é um estado da arte sobre as pesquisas de pós-graduação realizadas no Brasil com foco na literatura de periferia.


Então eu até queria responder a pergunta anterior dizendo que se olho também para a minha trajetória, eu penso... Inclusive, a minha primeira participação no projeto foi no Centralidades Periféricas, falando sobre minhas pesquisas sobre literatura da periferia. Então eu penso também que eu estou muito acostumada. Participar desse evento hoje foi importante para mim porque eu estou muito acostumada a pensar e a olhar como a academia olha para as produções artísticas e como a arte nos serve para pensar variadas questões, não apenas relacionadas ao campo da arte.


Então para mim foi um prazer pensar como um artista pode usar a sua produção e a sua atuação para questionar também o espaço acadêmico, o espaço da universidade, provocando os teóricos, os professores e pesquisadores a partir não só das suas questões, mas a partir também de todo... Não só a partir do processo, mas do produto que foi gerado, com uma série de vídeos, de imagens e de registros também dessas questões. Acho que é isso.


Martin Grossmann

Obrigado, Érica.

Muntadas is with us in the room. I don't know if he wants to say something. Muntadas?


Antoni Muntadas

Bueno, desgraciadamente no he podido seguir toda la charla porque estaba con unos Zooms para unas clases. Pero sí lo que quería comentar, como hice el primer día, que agradezco a todas las participaciones y contribuciones a este debate, que yo creo que es fundamental para la dirección del proyecto About Academia. Cuando este proyecto se realizó en Estados Unidos, yo pensaba en el contexto americano. Fuera del contexto americano, es muy importante que las mesas redondas y estas discusiones contribuyan a discutir otro modelo que el americano.

El americano sirve quizás para el contexto de Estados Unidos, ni siquiera sirve para Canadá. Es por ello que el hacer unas discusiones acompañando el proyecto es fundamental. Yo entendí y percibí que en la primera charla dos temas importantísimos eran acceso y contenidos. ¿Cuál es el acceso a la universidad latinoamericana? ¿Cómo se accede? ¿Cuáles las razones? Mayormente, económicas, la gran problemática. Y los contenidos, ¿qué es lo que se enseña? ¿Qué es lo que se recibe? Qué es lo que se difunde? ¿Cómo circula? Todo eso, creo que es importante debatirlo. Y cada contribución es un grano de arena a poder entender más estas discusiones. Nada más y muchas gracias por haber participado. Gracias.


Martin Grossmann

Thank you, Muntadas, for coming and bringing your last words. Unfortunately, you couldn't be with us from the start. But we are going to continue this discussion, for us here in Brazil, after lunch. So, at 2 p.m. BRT world time, we will continue on that. But I would like very much to each of us say our last words and last comments you have in relationship to this encounter. And Ary, please, feel free also to join in this closing moment of our morning here in Brazil.


Guilherme Ary Plonski

For my part, just to thank all of you, Mariko, Nikki, Dave, and Érica. But especially Muntadas and you, Martin, for putting this session together. I was very touched by all the words. And I think that Muntadas' question and artistic work, and your organization capability made it happen. And also obviously your dialogue with Muntadas about art. Thank you so much. I think it was really an event that enhances what the Institute for Advanced Studies came 35 years ago, 34, 36, 35 years ago, and gives us an idea also on how to move forward. Thank you so much.


Martin Grossmann

No more words?


Mariko Murata



Martin Grossmann



Mariko Murata

Thank you so much for this discussion. I'm really interested in your works. Today, I think maybe the key word would be "the art of the periphery", or "the peripheral". And I don't know if David's kayak is... I think it's a form of art as well. And I thought that was very interesting because, you know, going to the peripheral by the kayak, and using your body, and also a lot of imagination as well. And that sort of decolonizes or decontextualizes the context that we normally are in. So, maybe the kayak is everything. Thank you.


Nikki Moore

I want to thank all of you for sharing your work today. Érika, Mariko, David, and Muntadas particularly for setting this artifact into interaction, into consideration. It's been a pleasure. I leave with lots of questions, more than when I came in. And that's always a pleasure. So, thank you so much.


David Gange

I would say a very similar kind of thing. It's been a humbling privilege to be able to explore the world of these ideas over the last few days. And especially today, with such excellent speakers whose, like I said before, whose talks were really profound. And it's incredibly humbling to be alongside. I would maybe add that one thing we didn't discuss that much today and that I think is an important context for challenging the kind of colonial power structures and the knowledge systems that we have is the ecological question. The way of diversifying, or pluralizing what the university does precisely to get outside the destructive logics of the system that we currently live in. So that's the one thing I would add. But again, thank you very much to Muntadas and to Martin for putting this together, and to everyone involved.


Érica Peçanha


Quero também agradecer pelos aprendizados. Quero agradecer pelo tempo de vocês, pelas perguntas que foram colocadas. Como acadêmica, penso sempre que o bom dos debates e dos textos não são as respostas, são as perguntas que ficam, então aqui tivemos boas perguntas para seguir com os nossos projetos, para provocar os nossos colegas. E fico aqui com esse desejo que, para além dessa circulação no mundo virtual, que a gente possa ter a oportunidade de acompanhar essa exposição presencialmente também quando for possível. Muito obrigada!


Martin Grossmann


Last words in English. I will thank you all. Obrigado, Érica. Gracias, Muntadas, por inspirar-nos. Thank you Nikky, David, Mariko to be with us in Brazil. We are still in a sort of institute. Even though we are totally virtual at this moment, as Eric has mentioned. We really hope that we can be together in one of the next stages of your project, Muntadas. Be it anywhere. I don't know where it might be. But as you have seen, it has been provoking many questions and interesting responses. So, once again, thank you all for this moment. I would like to also thank the translators that have been with us this morning, all the Institute of Advanced Studies staff members, those that are here and those that are in the backstage supporting us. If you'd like to stay for a little while, Nikky, David, Mariko, Érica, Ary and Muntadas, we can talk in the backstage. Because I think we are now really finishing this session. Thank you again, the audience. And hopefully, this discussion will be with us for quite a while as an inspirational piece for those that think and have this critical relationship with the university. Bye-bye.