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Research Colloquium: The Favoured Circle of Culture

4th December 2018 @ 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm GMT

This is a new initiative to facilitate engagement with Cemore visitors and fellows, as well as researchers at Lancaster who study mobilities or use the mobilities paradigm. Mainly aimed at PhD students, but staff and visitors are more than welcome,  it is an opportunity for us to discuss ideas in progress, develop concepts, methodologies, collaborations. It will run 2.30-4pm every other Tuesday until the end of Lent term (22nd March 2019). The focus is on work in progress, and ongoing research. Participants will have the opportunity to present aspects of their work or their thinking  in a very friendly environment in order to get critical constructive feedback. In each session, one person will present their work for up to 30 minutes followed by an hour of questions and discussion.

The next upcoming Cemore Research Colloquium will be held 2.30-4pm, 4th December in the Mobslab (B37, Bowland North, Lancaster University). Our presenter will be visiting researcher, Wescley Xavier, Professor at Federal University of Viçosa. He will discuss work in progress on the theme ‘The Favoured Circle of Culture’. Please see below for the abstract:

‘The Favoured Circle of Culture’

 In 2016, the main Brazilian News portal – Globo.com – published the findings from research conducted by the City Council of São Paulo. The data pointed out that 72.4% of residents in the biggest city in Brazil have never gone to an art exhibition or to a theatre show. Two years later, the Communication Science News Agency of the University of Buenos Aires revealed that Argentinian Government had closed the activities of the dance company Ballet Nacional de Danzas, which had been responsible for performing in several cities where residents had never seen a dance presentation.

Both cases may be linked not only by their Latin American roots but also by an elitist character of the culture that reveals some questions. Why are cultural spaces and performances still elitist? Why are some exhibitions, theatre shows and museums not attracting most of the citizens- even though they are free? The answers to such questions require a historic incursion into the cultural determination process, mainly on the ways that public and private organisations direct resources and policies to culture.

With this context in mind, I propose to discuss the development of a cultural favoured circle based on Cataguases, a Brazilian city, which begins with the introduction of modernist architecture, later elevating to the founding conditions of an avant-garde town, and continuing through to cultural policies established by foundations funded by capital. It is assumed that cultural domination is an extension of the power of capital over labour, reducing the possibility of transformation stemming from artistic elaborations.

The findings indicate that the modernist tradition imposed on the city is a result of a dispute over political control, in which one of the groups of participants consisted of industrialists. Thus, capital sees in modernist architecture not only the possibility of taking over political control, but also of defining the foundation of a new town, distinct from the one inherited from a coffee-based economy run by old oligarchies. A consequence of this confluence of capital and culture is the control of artistic manifestations by the elites, a process that intensifies with the emergence of cultural foundations. Here we can observe the cultural domination as an extension of economic domination whereby poverty can be also explained by “historical gaps” in many spheres.

The foundations become determinants of artistic activities by advancing their own projects. However, this evolution does not progress linearly. Several changes in the foundations’ policies were identified, directly influenced by their closeness to or remoteness from capital. Even with the changes, the restrictive nature of the cultural favoured circle is maintained, so that a recovery of the past is always used to justify the actions taken by the foundations.

Session Calendar:

10 October Monika Buscher ‘About Time: Changing mobilities and creative urbanism’

23 October Discussion of mobilities concepts

20 November Andrea Victoria Hernandez Bueno ‘Becoming a Passenger’

4 December Wescley Xavier ‘The Favoured Circle of Culture’

15 January Yulia Golovanova ‘Consumption of Emotions in Couch-surfing Practises’

29 January Wescley Xavier: “The Favoured Circle of Culture”

12 February Noel Cass: ‘Mobiles for Mobility- a Reflection and Proposal’

26 February CeMoRe Showcase more info

12 March Peter Fuzesi more info soon!

Please message Jessie at cemore@lancaster.ac.uk if you have any questions. Unfortunately, all of our spaces are fully booked for this year.


4th December 2018
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
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