periferias 3 | alternative experiences

Alternative experiences


Peripheries No. 3, our latest issue, is dedicated to the alternative experiences of the global peripheries, and gathers 21 contributions from 15 countries around the world. Published in four languages (Portuguese, English, Spanish, French) and divided into six editorial categories—interviews, articles, narratives, “born of the periphery,” book reviews, and features—Peripheries gives space to the differentiated processes of invention present in these territories. In their varied subjectivity and concrete transformations in the affirmation of rights for their subjects, the peripheries demonstrate non-hegemonic realities for our contemporary world. They achieve this in urban contexts of social inequality and disparities in access to rights, as well as in the realities of indigenous peoples of Latin America, in the tension imposed by deprivation and coercion, and in the midst of symbolic border disputes.

We believe deeply that the importance of recognizing the capacities of and spreading the word about the world’s peripheries—in their ability to create innovative forms of urban habitation and mobility; to engage in new forms of popular organization in communities and neighborhoods; to promote entrepreneurship and creative economies, culture, and art, all in the name of overcoming inequality; to mediate social conflict; and to affirm their own socio-political and symbolic significance—is self-evident.  These are experiences and potencies constructed amid difficult everyday conditions and in direct dispute with the hegemonic structures that have historically violated the rights of these populations. Spreading and amplifying these new representations, methodologies, concepts, and emancipatory practices, as well as giving greater visibility to subjects of these territories, is a fundamental strategy for strengthening both the political agenda and human potency of the peripheries.

The experiences presented here teach us that other paths exist. The intersection of these traditions and popular inventions speak to the mobilized transformations surging from the plural subjects of the peripheries. Collective, bold works present themselves here in this journal as practices with their sights set on human emancipation. These alternative experiences celebrate the potency present in actions of creation, of living, and of affirming the differences of our being.


PERIPHERIES No. 3 interviews Miguel de Barros, an intellectual and activist from Guinea-Bissau. Named one of the Confederation of West African Youth’s most influential people, Barros shares his historical analysis of the post-colonial condition of his country, reviving its history of female protagonism and explaining how today’s youth have reinvented their experience in search of expanding, affirming, and supporting democratic education, culture, and economy for their country as well as for the rest of Lusophone Africa and Brazil.

Similarly, Sofia Djama, the award-winning Algerian filmmaker, takes on the question of her country’s democracy, revisiting Algeria’s recent independence, civil war, and reconstruction in the context of building new paths for popular mobilization in 2019. Combining history and the current state of Algerian film, Djama challenges Arab-exclusive identity categories, proposing new types of recognition, exchange, and celebration for the culture and identity of the people of the Maghreb, where the women’s movement has gained new strength.


From Rojava, in northern Syria, the Kurdish experience has demonstrated the viability of new paths in their fight for democratic consolidation. Here we learn of a new governance model based in Democratic Confederalism, gender equality, sustainability, and what Kurdish women have called Jinealogy —undertaken despite the challenges and adversities of their militarized context and war in the region.  In the favelas of Maré, residents and civil society members confront the State’s violation of rights in the favelas, showcasing their use of community participation to spur new actions and methodologies for demanding the right to public security. Along the India-Pakistan border, subjects have taken on the symbolic hostility created with the 1947 partition, seeking to cure it with humanization. Establishing direct contact between people as a means to nourishing a more tolerant generation, Humanizing the Other provides a glimpse of hope for moderation and peace in the region.  Affirming the right to sports and leisure in resistance to coercive border control in Palestine, the Gaza Surf Club shows us how a group intent on surfing the Mediterranean succeeded in broadening possibilities and potencies for the youth of Gaza.


In Rio de Janeiro, Subversive popular modalities broaden access to mobility and the Right to the city in a context of territorial trust— enter the mototaxi.  Challenging conventional and idealized models of habitation, Women in temporary and provisional housing in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais (Brazil) demonstrate how subjective demands and desires become realities in alternative living arrangements.


In partnership with Imagens do Povo program and curated by Bira Carvalho, PERIPHERIES presents a Shot-Out to the Peripheries - The Periphery Narrated by its Own People, a photo essay compiled and produced exclusively for this edition. The essay features photographs from the Brazilian cities of Belém, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, and Rio de Janeiro.


The Wá, a women’s Collective in Cariri, Ceará (Brazil) redefines embroidery, sewing, knitting, and acts typically considered feminine pastimes, transforming them into urban art, inserting the feminine form into public spaces and growing Cariri’s culture of resistance. The Bakla, the Agi: Our Genders Which Are Not One addresses the ethnolinguistic premise of Philippine genders. A story and a poem originally written in Tagalog and Kinaray-a, languages characterized by ethnic and cultural distinction, form the heart of this essay. Our poetry collection unites three feminine voices in contemporary Latin American poetry in their expression of the experience of peripheral bodies.  In Lisbon, residents of the Cova da Moura and Talude neighborhoods work to redefine normative references through their own creative cultures, fighting for the right to a diverse and plural city.


Buen Vivir, an indigenous principle describing a harmonious and balanced relationship between humans and nature, is discussed in Creative and Critical language in a call to attention for the history and Autonomy of Latin America. This same concept is Challenged, in the light of the experience of Pioyá, Colombia, for its appropriation by neoliberal policies, and reaffirmed as a proposal for alternative paths. Finally, Buen Vivir meets Buen Migrar at the Migrant Museum (MuMi) from Chiapas, Mexico, where participants practice creative resistance and memory, including a participative cinema project with the indigenous peoples of Chiapas, home to ten different indigenous Mayan ethnicities and languages. In partnership with the Galpão Bela Maré creative space, MuMi travels to Rio de Janeiro.


 Our PERIPHERIES features section includes entries from Global Grace (United Kingdom) and La Garganta Poderosa (Argentina), both partners of UNIperiferias, on the topics of gender equality and community organization.


This edition’s “Born of the Periphery” section features Adriana Barbosa, founder of São Paulo’s Black Fair, as she discusses her trajectory as well as that of black economic innovation in Brazil. The Valor y Cambio project (Puerto Rico), shows off a community currency model grounded in the representation of artistic, cultural, and social figures from the island’s rich history.


We pay homage to the late Ecio Salles, poet, writer, and one of the creators of the Literary Festival of the Peripheries (FLUP), publishing our tribute in “Born of the Periphery”—a section proposed by Salles himself for our first edition. Ecio, we thank you.


Biographer Tom Farias discusses the life and legacy of the black favela author Carolina Maria de Jesus.


We republish here the “Letter from Maré - Manifesto from the Peripheries” in four new languages. In its first indigenous translation, we present our founding letter in Nheengatu, or modern Tupi. We also add Kurdish, Bengali and Polish to our ten existing translations.


The call for submissions to PERIPHERIES NO. 4, “Potencies and Challenges for Public Schools,” is now available. Please submit all contributions to revista@imja.org.br by September 2019.


PERIPHERIES has expanded its board, and proudly includes a diverse international membership, formed of partners from various segments of periphery organizations, civil society, academia, art/culture, and activism. Learn more here.


Find out more about the work of UNIperiferias on facebook and Instagram.


Peripheries Journal is a project of UNIperiferias and the Tide Setúbal Foundation. We would like to thank all contributors that participated in this edition, as well as our partners: Itaú Social, the Ford Foundation, Instituto Unibanco, Promundo, Observatório de Favelas, Redes da Maré, Ação Educativa, the University of Dundee, the Center for Social Studies and the University of Coimbra, Global Grace, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.


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