De ruas, bodegas e bares: um contínuum Africano em poéticas transaltânticas periféricas - San Juan, Nova York e São Paulo
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This dissertation establishes a transatlantic connection between Brazil, the United States and the Caribbean through the discussion of two contemporary literary movements: Sarau da Cooperifa, in São Paulo, and Nuyorican poetry, from the Puerto Rican poets living in New York City. Although these places share significant differences in terms of colonial and postcolonial history, they share similar experiences in terms of race and class representations. From similar oppressive realities, I argue that they also build similar strategies of resistance and urban discourse. By carrying a secondary citizenship status, Nuyorican poets and poets from the Brazilian periphery find in creative writing ways to reinvent themselves as subjects of their own history, a story written and reinvented in the streets, in the street corners, in barber shops, in the back yard, in bars and pubs. They take the street as epistemological locus in order to expand the concept of political intervention, be it while celebrating life or ritualizing death. In this sense, the street is the site for unrestricted access to poetry, and poetry is the element that fits these subjects in the history of the city. The work of Sergio Vaz, Ferrez, Allan da Rosa, Elizandra Souza, Willie Perdomo, Victor Hernandez Cruz, Miguel Algarín, Miguel Piñero and Sandra Maria Esteves is read through the lenses of African Diaspora theories and its relation to literary criticism, anthropology, history, discourse analysis, Black feminist theory and Latino studies. I share Edouard Glissant’s understanding that the Africans, who were forced to come to the Americas and the Caribbean upon slavery, did not bring only their body. They also brought with their body a worldview, a way of dealing with adversity, an epistemological understanding that has allowed them to outlive the physical death by overcoming the imputation of social death. Thus, this dissertation argues that cultural production is a political production, and that it has been used by racialized and impoverished minority individuals and groups across the globe as strategic tool in the struggle against oppression.