When we met a few weeks ago, Susan Yelavich suggested I read Cornel West’s essay “The New Cultural Politics of Difference” (October, Vol. 53, Summer 1990, pp. 93-109), as part of the research for my Master Thesis on contemporary Brazilian product design. I found it truly inspiring, especially this paragraph:
The time has come for critics and artists of the new cultural politics of difference to cast their nets widely, flex their muscles broadly, and thereby refuse to limit their visions, analyses, and praxis to their particular terrains. The aim is to dare to recast, redefine, and revise the very notions of “modernity,” “main-stream,” “margins,” “difference,” “otherness.” We have now reached a new stage in the perennial struggle for freedom and dignity. And while much of the First World intelligentsia adopts retrospective and conservative outlooks that defend the crisis-ridden present, we promote a prospective and prophetic vision with a sense of possibility and potential, especially for those who bear the social costs of the present. We look to the past for strength, not solace; we look at the present and see people perishing, not profits mounting; we look toward the future and vow to make it different and better.
More “Alvorada” (the working title of my thesis) thoughts and notes will be coming to this space regularly from now on.