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The Sacred and the Spectacular: Diasporic Consciousness through the Material Culture of Brazilian Candomblé

English title The Sacred and the Spectacular: Diasporic Consciousness through the Material Culture of Brazilian Candomblé
Applicant Jallo Zainabu
Number 178504
Funding scheme Doc.CH
Research institution Institut für Sozialanthropologie Philosophisch-historische Fakultät Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Ethnology
Start/End 01.03.2018 - 31.12.2021
Approved amount 231'652.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Ethnology
Visual arts and Art history

Keywords (4)

Iconic Criticism ; Diasporic Consciousness; Visual Culture; Cultural Performance Theory

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Das Projekt beleuchtet die parallele, und zugleich antipodale Entwicklung, die sich aus den visuellen Darstellungen von Candombles Kultpraxis in der Untersuchung der Grenzbereiche zwischen esoterischen und exoterischen Interventionen in einem einst bedrohten homogenen Volk und einem Kult ergibt. Diese Studie baut auf fruheren Forschungsergebnissen und neuen Ansatzen auf, um signifikante Einblicke in die Dynamik und den Fortschritt von Candomble durch visuellen Darstellungen des Kults zu ermoglichen.
Lay summary

Die Praxis des Candomble hat eine Verschiebung von einem geschlossenen heiligen Kult, der von Diskriminierung und Verfolgung gepragt war, hin zu seiner Einbeziehung in den Aufbau eines neuen nationalen Charakters in Brasilien erfahren. Im Laufe der Jahre hat sich die Candomble-Arena in eine Kosmopolis verwandelt, eine Folge lebendiger und sich entwickelnder visueller Darstellungen. Kuriositaten zum Kult sind aus akademischen Bereichen wie der Anthropologie und den Kulturwissenschaften mit unterschiedlichen Interessen und Wahrnehmungen hervorgegangen. Paradoxerweise haben die folgenden Jahrzehnte angesichts der Verfolgung von Candomble-Praktizierenden in der fruhen zu Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts die Intensivierung der afro-brasilianischen Religionen als durchdringende Darstellung brasilianischer Pragung erlebt. Candomble als religiose Kulturpraxis hat sich weiterentwickelt und uberschreitet durch seine materiellen Reprasentationen im offentlichen Raum seine rassischen Merkmale und heiligen traditionellen Rituale. Diese interdisziplinare Forschung basiert auf den Gebieten der Sozialanthropologie und der Kunstgeschichte. Ihr ubergeordnetes Ziel ist es, (a) die Parallelentwicklungen von visuellen Darstellungen des brasilianischen Candomble zu verfolgen, die zu zwei antipodalen Behauptungen gefuhrt hat die Vorstellungen von diasporischem Bewusstsein und nationaler Identitat in Brasilien (b) die geschichtliche Entwicklung und Sichtbarkeit der Praxis der Candomble-Malerei und der Bildhauerei zu skizzieren und ihre Auswirkungen auf die Kulturpolitik Brasiliens zu untersuchen. (c) eine vergleichende ikonographische Untersuchung ausgewahlter ritueller Artefakte anzunehmen und ihre Modi und Kontraindikationen aus den Prozessen der Deritualisierung zu ermitteln, die auftreten, wenn sie aus ihrem religiosen Umfeld entfernt werden. 

Keywords

Materielle Kultur | Kulturelle Leistungstheorie | Ikonenkritik | Diasporisches Bewusstsein 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 29.01.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Life of the Miniature Queen Idia Ivory Pendant Mask. In Conversation with Victor Ehikamenor
JalloZainabu (2021), Life of the Miniature Queen Idia Ivory Pendant Mask. In Conversation with Victor Ehikamenor, Hammann von Mier Verlag, Munich.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Museum Der Kulturen Basel Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
CERNe(Estudos de Religiosidades Contemporâneas e das Culturas Negras) University of São Paulo Brazil (South America)
- Research Infrastructure
Linden-Museum Stuttgart Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Museu Afro Brasil, São Paulo Brazil (South America)
- Research Infrastructure
Musée d'ethnographie, Genève Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Museu Afro Brasil, Salvador, Bahia Brazil (South America)
- Research Infrastructure
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of AnthropologyUniversity of California, Berkeley. United States of America (North America)
- Research Infrastructure
Völkerkundemuseum der Universität Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Materialities & Subjectivities Accounting for Complicated and Complicating Entanglements in the Humanities. Individual talk Presentation and discussions 06.10.2021 Kandersteg, Switzerland Jallo Zainabu;
Anthropology Talks:Crises at the border- The Dramaturgy of the Politics of Immigration Individual talk Workshop 3: Attacks on critical thinking 05.10.2021 University of Bern, Switzerland Jallo Zainabu;
Storytelling & Storyboarding Science. Individual talk Discussions 01.10.2021 University of Zurich, Switzerland Jallo Zainabu;
Crossing Borders, Pt 3: On the (Digital) Threshold/ Atravesando Fronteras, parte 3: En el umbral (digital) Talk given at a conference Panel Discussion: “The Diasporic Condition” 19.06.2021 Virtual, Mexico Jallo Zainabu;
Framing Ageing: A Clinical, Cultural, and Social Dialogue. Talk given at a conference Ageing in Diaspora 27.10.2020 University College Dublin , Ireland Jallo Zainabu;
Mit Trommeln Sprehchen Individual talk Three articles and contribution of visual materials to the exhibition. 29.08.2019 Völkerkundemuseum Zürich, Switzerland Jallo Zainabu;
Migrations session: Mellon School of Performance Research Individual talk Group discussions and presentations on border politics. 24.06.2019 Harvard University, United States of America Jallo Zainabu;
Techniques of Memory: Landscape, Iconoclasm, Medium and Power. Talk given at a conference "From Criminal Anthropology to Cultural Anthropology: Transitions of Candomble's Material Culture" 17.04.2019 University of California, Berkeley., United States of America Jallo Zainabu;
Global Traces: Art Practice, Ethnography, Contested Heritage. Individual talk In-depth discussions 07.02.2019 University of Oslo, Norway Jallo Zainabu;
Ethnographies in Motion: rethinking the Relation between Place and Mobilit. Individual talk Project presentation and group discussions. 10.12.2018 Cret Berard, Switzerland Jallo Zainabu;
Alterity Revisited - A Closer Look at Transpositions of a Traveling Concept in the Humanities. Talk given at a conference Candomblé and Otherness 07.12.2018 University of Lucerne, Switzerland Jallo Zainabu;
Mediatization of Culture: Constructing New Texts and Practices. Talk given at a conference Mediatization of Religious Imagination and Diasporic Consciousness in Bahian Candomblé 30.11.2018 Moscow, Russia Jallo Zainabu;
Ethnography as Exchange: Power, Money, Debt. Individual talk Archival research experiences 20.09.2018 Schlöss Ueberstorf , Switzerland Jallo Zainabu;
Image, Object, Text. Doctoral Workshop Talk given at a conference From the Sacred to the Spectacular: Performance of Diasporic Consciousness through Visual Representations in Brazilian Candomblé 19.04.2018 University of Bern, Switzerland Jallo Zainabu;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Material Culture in Transit 10.09.2020 online, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
“Home not Alone” Pro Helvetia Workshop 06.12.2021 Virtual, Switzerland Jallo Zainabu;
"Stories They Tell”, El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale Talk 17.10.2020 Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland Jallo Zainabu;
The Stranger and the City: Home in Times of COVID Talk 24.04.2020 Virtual, United States of America Jallo Zainabu;
Mit Trommeln Sprechen Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 29.08.2019 Völkerkunde Museum Zürich, Switzerland Jallo Zainabu;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Authoritarianism in Brazil (commentary) in “The Critical Self Processes for Reappraising a Cultural Weltkulturen News International 2021
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Between Anthropocentric Humanism and Critical Post Humanism. From the Sacred to the Spectacular International 2020
Talks/events/exhibitions Stories They Tell”, El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Ethnography as Gift Exchange. A critical workshop recapitulation THoR. Taking Humanities on the Road International 2019

Abstract

The dissertation focuses on the metamorphosis of the visual representation of Candomblé ritual performance,which has witnessed a shift from a closed, sacred cult fraught with discrimination and persecution, to its incorporation into the construction of a new national character in Brazil. I seek to investigate Candomblé’s resilience against affliction in the early years of its emergence and the contrivances adopted by its practitioners who have evolved into propagators of cultural wealth in Brazil.This PhD project adopts a mixed-methods, interdisciplinary approach towards outlining modes in which the visibility of the practice of Candomblé - mainly through painting and sculpture -enforce a continued impression of diasporic consciousness on the one hand and how on the other, these visual representations have supported the creation of a symbolic national identity of Brazil. The project emphasises on parallel, yet antipodal developments stemming from visual representations of the practice of Candomblé, while investigating the liminal spaces between esoteric and exoteric enactments of a once threatened homogenous people and cult.
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