the book » abstract
Women and Movement is a book that speaks through images and words. Bringing together 260 photographs by Claudia Ferreira and texts by Claudia Bonan, its chosen topics are the new democratic projects set into motion by Brazilian and Latin American women who are deeply involved in the political and cultural life of their countries and of the Latin-American region, as well as in the global arena. The photographs collected here cover the period from 1998 to 2002 and have been selected from the photographer's personal collection of over 4,000 pictures.
In the introduction, entitled "Women and movements: politics, culture and feminism in the turn of the century", we reflect on how democracy was increasingly foregrounded in women's struggle for equality, justice and citizenship over the course of the last century. In deconstructing a certain notion of equality that presupposes a single model for the holder of rights - that of the white male, the proprietor, the heterosexual and the Christian - and in refusing the idea of a history and a destiny which is common to all women, women's movements took up the challenge of constructing a democracy in diversity. The explosive creativity of women's movements wells up from a double spring: on the one hand, the acknowledgement of the shared experience of subordination as female subjects; on the other hand, the recognition of how different and singular they are in their life experiences, their class, education, race, ethnic background, age, religion, erotic, conjugal and motherhood experiences. Their projects inspire the utopia of a radical democracy - plural and multicultural; local, national and global; a democracy that is exercised in bed, at school, at work and in parliament - and a utopia of full citizenship, based on social and economic justice, on the universalization of human rights and on the recognition of individuals and collectivities in solidarity.
In the first chapter - "Moving in the spaces of politics, of the economy, of culture and private life" -, text and photos deal with the trajectory of Brazilian women movements since the welling up of feminism's second wave in the mid 70s to the end of the 20th century. We highlight emerging women movements in different public and institutional spaces, the creation of their various agendas and their participation in the democratic reconstruction of Brazil.
The second chapter in the book -"Including differences, pluralizing universality, politicizing solidarity" - furthers the debate about democracy in diversity, focusing on Encontros Feministas Brasileiros (Brazilian Feminist Meetings, literally Encounters) and Encuentros Feministas de América Latina y El Caribe (Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Meetings). These meetings are alternative public spaces in which women reinvent the politics of democratic interaction, experiment with new ways of dealing with difference/equality and conflict/solidarity, weave webs of sociability and negotiated identities, craft political and cultural agendas and make them available to the world.
In "From NGO to UN: daily life and visibility", the third chapter in the book, we draw attention to the capillary quality of Brazilian feminisms. They are woven as webs that comprise NGOs, universities, unions, parliaments, political parties, government agencies, international organizations, United Nations agencies and other social movements, making up a mass of individuals, groups and networks that bring together countless sectors of society. Between daily life and visibility, these movements link their agendas to the great themes of democracy and citizenship, leaving their marks on Brazilian, Latin American and worldwide institutions. The photos included in this chapter recount the participation of Brazilian and Latin American women in the UN World Conferences that dealt with topics such as development, peace, the environment, human rights, population, poverty and inequality, economic justice, women's rights, adult education, racism, xenophobia and discrimination. Bringing together feminists from the Southern and Northern hemispheres, these women have introduced new interpretations and proposals for each and every one of those great topics that challenge humanity in the eve of the new millennium and have registered, in international documents, the feminist perspective of anti-patriarchal, anti-racist, anti-homophobic and anti-poverty of world civilization.
"A non-sexist, non-racist, non-homophobic world, with economic and social justice is possible!" - is the theme that introduces the fourth part of the book. Text and photographs lead us through the II World Social Forum and through the National Conference of Brazilian Women, both of which were held in 2002. Crossing the threshold of the new millennium, women join the debate about social and globalization alternatives with greater energy. The issues related to the economy, trade, and the public budget; the means of production and consumption; the changes in the world of work; scientific and technological development; bioethics and biosafety; national and international migrations; war and peace; environmental protection, sustainable development and quality of life; the fight against corruption, organized crime and terrorism; the reformation of multilateral systems; governability, the redefinition of the role of national states and the forms of citizenship in a globalized world: all of these issues have gained greater momentum in feminist agendas that face the challenge of tuning them to the specific agendas of the rights and autonomy of women.