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Farewell Lecture Dieter Gawora: "Brazil. Land of the Future or of the Past"

In 1941, the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, in exile in Brazil, wrote the book "Brazil. A Land of the Future. For decades, the people of Brazil felt that the title of the book was a fitting epithet for their country. This was justified by the fact that, despite massive problems, the population always radiated hope - i.e. future - even to foreign visitors. Often the melancholic-ironic addition was added ... a future we will never reach.

But in 2003, with Lula coming to power, the people of Brazil and the social movements seemed to have reached the future.

Nearly 20 later, the thoughtful question must be asked whether Brazil is still the country of the future or now one of the past. The country is more divided today than it has ever been in its history. The decades of seemingly unshakable hope that kept the country dreaming of the future for so long can hardly be felt anymore. The great classical (class) movements of the unions and the landless are looking for strategies. The Catholic Church, which socialized so many young people for social justice, is losing influence. At the same time, new movements of black people, women, indigenous people, LGBT people, and even traditional communities have emerged, defined less by the class question and more by questions of race, gender, ethnicity, traditionality, or sexual orientation. Can these heterogeneous movements and the people of Brazil overcome the multiple social divisions and create new overarching visions for the future of the country? The only thing that is certain is that a continuation of current policies would inevitably catapult Brazil into a dark past.

Dieter Gawora will address these questions. He has conducted research on and in Brazil for almost 40 years at the University of Kassel. Collaboration with traditional peoples and communities, social movements, non-governmental organizations and colleagues at universities, especially in the Cerrado and Amazonia, shaped his academic life.

In his farewell lecture at the University of Kassel, he will reflect on these years of research and possible vision for the future. The event at the same time the conclusion of the public lecture series "Brazil. Land of the Future or the Past".


Participation is open to a maximum of 100 people in attendance.

Participation via Zoom:
The farewell lecture can also be attended online via Zoom. If you are interested in participating via Zoom, please send a message to p.klein[at]uni-kassel[dot]de.

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