(Italiano) Ruoli, identità e partecipazione

” width=”300″ height=”400″ />Seconda riflessione: Cittadinanza Attiva ha un’esperienza decennale nel monitoraggio delle politiche socio-sanitarie. Credo che sia quanto mai necessario un impegno nel monitoraggio dal basso delle politiche di assistenza già presenti nel nostro paese e quelle che saranno a breve introdotte (sostegno all’inclusione attiva – SIA per il 2016/17 e sua evoluzione negli anni successivi). La SIA si propone oggi come “spina dorsale” intorno alla quale far ruotare tutti gli interventi di contrasto alla povertà ed è pertanto ancora più importante che i beneficiari di questa misura possano contribuire con la loro voce a renderla più efficace. La partecipazione dei beneficiari alla valutazione delle misure che li riguardano è ad esempio una prassi consolidata in Francia 1. A mio avviso c’è una specie di barriera mentale nel pensare che le persone che ricevono un sussidio possano valutare la politica che lo prevede; questa barriera deriva da un giudizio morale, secondo il quale chi è aiutato non è autorizzato a esprimere un parere sull’aiuto ricevuto. Tra tutti i servizi pubblici, quelli più resistenti all’idea di valutazione dal basso sono quindi quelli indirizzati alle persone in situazione di difficoltà economica. Questo concetto, però, oltre ad essere discutibile — il sussidio non è un aiuto caritatevole, ma è una giusta misura per garantire a tutti una vita dignitosa — è anche pernicioso, in quanto la condizione di povertà implica una serie di meccanismi cognitivi che le persone che non la sperimentano hanno difficoltà a comprendere 2.

Terza riflessione: Nel vostro documento CittadinanzAttiva e comunità locali scrivete: “Le politiche di contenimento della spesa trattano le comunità come puri ‘centri di costo’ e trascurano o, addirittura, ostacolano le miriadi di esperienze che dimostrano la capacità di cittadini di produrre autonomamente risorse preziose (e non sostituibili) per il miglioramento dei servizi e per la salvaguardua del territorio”. Condivido pienamente questa affermazione ed essa è il cuore di un progetto che stiamo portando avanti insieme a più di 15 enti gestori delle funzioni socio-assistenziali dell’area della Città Metropolitana di Torino 3. In questo progetto stiamo costruendo insieme ai direttori, alle assistenti sociali e alle operatrici degli enti gestori delle possibili nuove pratiche di intervento che prevedano, in un’ottica di welfare generativo, la restituzione e rigenerazione di risorse, nel quadro della collaborazione tra enti gestori e beneficiari dei servizi di questi.

Quarta riflessione: nelle #pistedilavoro vi proponete di operare per il riconoscimento di nuovi diritti. A questo proposito vorrei portare qui una delle lezioni apprese nel corso del nostro lavoro pluriennale in percorsi di riflessione sull’uso del denaro con persone in situazione di difficoltà economica (una “nostra” versione di educazione finanziaria): oggi è sempre più importante ragionare sui diritti concernenti le scelte economiche delle persone. I cittadini hanno diritto di fare scelte consapevoli in campo economico e devono essere messi nelle condizioni per farlo. In questo senso si deve trovare un giusto bilanciamento tra azioni di empowerment e formazione delle persone e un’attività normativa e regolatoria che, nell’alveo di quello che nel linguaggio anglosassone si chiama liberal paternalism, possa garantire che l’opzione di default, la scelta che non è scelta, sia comunque favorevole e non pregiudiziale per il cittadino.

Questo testo è una versione rivista del mio intervento al Congresso di CittadinanzAttiva del 9 aprile 2016. Sono stato invitato ad esprimere un punto di vista sui documenti congressuali in quanto rappresentante di un’associazione “amica” di CittadinanzAttiva, ActionAid.

  1. Cfr. la guida Participation des personnes bénéficiaires du revenu de solidarité active au dispositif.
  2. Cfr. in questo senso le illuminanti ricerche di Sendhil Mullainathan ed è interessante leggere la descrizione del progetto Poor for the poor a p. 13 del report The contribution of meaningful Social Innovation to reducing poverty and social exclusion in Europe dell’European Anti-Poverty Network.
  3. Il progetto ha come capofila il Consorzio IN.RETE di Ivrea ed è finanziato dalla Città Metropolitana di Torino; lo realizziamo in partnership con l’associazione Art. 47.

Interesting issues emerged in the session Quilombos and maroons of the Americas

The session Quilombos and maroons of the Americas: mirror of differences held at the XXXVIII International Americanistic Studies Congress was very good. The panelists’ contributions were diverse and complementary and shed light on different facets of the matter, with different approach and point of view.

I summarize here some of the most interesting issues emerged in the session. What follows is drawn from the panelists speeches, but it’s my personal re-interpretation and thus it doesn’t express the view or the opinion of the panelists themselves 1.

1) The Brazilian Government stance toward the quilombola issue is insufficient: the pace of the quilombo recognition is too slow, too few quilombo gained the land title from the time where this law was established (three of four paper were about Brazilian quilombo; this point refers to Brasil, while the other one also to maroons in other Latin American countries) 2.

2) The people who recognise themselves as indio, or quilombola, or one of the the different kind of “traditional peoples” (povos tradicionais), do not feel fitting “strictly” in this definition (as the law states and sometime the academic characterization wants). In fact, historically, and even today, there is a circulation between these different categories, and many people think to belong to more than one of these ones. That doesn’t means that these categories are insignificant os specious, but that could be useful, both in the research and in the policies, to take account of the very permeable boundaries, and the intertwining of these sets.

3) The dialogue between research on the contemporary and on the historical quilombo could shed new light in both the fields. This is not true in the most predictable form of cooperation: finding the historical roots of the contemporary quilombo, because in most of the cases the ancient traces of the historical quilombo were wiped out by emargination, displacement, migration. On the contrary, the relation between the two field of research could focus on comparison; indeed, many issues at stake in the ancient quilombo are also present in the contemporary ones, as, for example, the conflict and the intertwining with indigenous people.

4) The relationship between quilombola, on one part, and the black movement, on the other, is a complex one. Most quilombola doesn’t identify themselves with the black movement – or event they aren’t fully aware of it; at the same time, the black movement, although it recognises the quilombola to be part of a common root, it reproaches them the moderation and the non identification to some cultural standards.

  1. Some or all of the paper presented will be published in the proceedings of the Congress.
  2. The new government, lead by the interim president Michel Temer, will be very likely significantly worse than the previous one. For example, the quilombo matters will be in charge of the Ministry of Culture, with far less relevance than within the Instituto Nacional de Colonizaçao Agraria (the body in charge of the land matters); the Ministry of Culture, José Mendonça Bezerra Filho, belongs to the DEM party, traditionally adverse to quilombola territory recognition. Beside that, the new government abolished the Ministério das Mulheres, da Igualdade Racial e dos Direitos Humanos (Ministry of Women, Racial Equality and Human Rights).

“Quilombo e maroons of America” session programme

Within the XXXVIII INTERNATIONAL AMERICANISTIC STUDIES CONGRESS

Friday, May the 6th, 8.30 am

Sala del Consiglio Comunale, Palazzo dei Priori, Corso Vannucci 19 – Perugia, Italy

Session “Quilombos and maroons of the Americas: mirror of differences”

Véronique Boyer (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France)
presents Os antropólogos e os quilombolas: discursos eruditos, intervenções práticas, interpretações locais

Charles Beatty-Medina (Department of History, University of Toledo, United States)
presents Africans in Native Garb, the legacy of marronage in the early Spanish Americas

Eliane Cantarino O’Dwyer (Departamento de Antropologia, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brasil)
presents Profetismos e práticas de cura: saber tradicional dos remanescentes de quilombo de Oriximiná-PA

Aderval Costa Filho (Departamento de Antropologia e Arqueologia, Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brasil)
presents Quilombos no Brasil: processos identitários, territoriais, políticas de desenvolvimento e proteção/ omissão do Estado

Mary Kenny (Eastern Connecticut State University, United States)
presents Identity, place and minor narratives: quilombolas in the sertão of northeast Brazil

Congress programme here.

Credible Rights Based Alternative VS Economic Alternative

I wrote this text as an answer to some questions Nazmul Ahsan (Senior Program Officer at ActionAid Bangladesh) asked to the colleagues. Maybe it could be useful to clarify some issue at stake in our program work.

Does Economic Alternative can create credible rights based alternative? it is complementary or supplementary?

First of all, I think is necessary to agree about the terms. In the ActionAid Human Right Based Approach manual, People’s Action In Practice (available here: http://bit.ly/1QQxCaQ) only feminist economic alternatives is defined, as “innovative solutions that seek to address the gender biases in the present economic system (at both micro and macro levels) and that recognise the significance of unpaid care work”, while alternatives are defined as “ideas which stretch the scope of our existing interventions or frameworks – promising something different for the future, something positive, something that changes systems”.

Whithin this framework, we must consider as economic alternative only a structural change, as, for instance, a more fair fiscal system? Maybe not: further in the handbook the scope of economic alternative is narrowed a little bit; we read “A lot of our work in promoting economic alternatives for women will focus on young women, reducing the multiple responsibilities of care work they juggle and helping them find new forms of sustainable income“.

Holding that true, we can say that economic and right based alternative are intertwined and complementary.

Intertwined because, for instance, a fairer tax system is both a right based and an economic alternative; the same is for a minimum income scheme.

Complementary, because, for example, strengthening small business held by people in poverty, is an economic alternative (to overcome poverty), that, along with other economic alternatives (as strengthening occupability), is necessary, but not sufficient to overcome poverty. For example, not all people could run a small business or find a decent work, because of illness, age, or discrimination.

In the same way, right based alternatives are necessaries, but not sufficient too. A minimum income it’s right to create a safety net for people in poverty, but it isn’t an answer for a young or adult women or man who would like to have a job. To put another example: a universal health system is a fundamental right based alternative, very useful to prevent people to fall in poverty, but it’s not sufficient to overcome poverty in itself.

Where the economic alternative hit to change the structural cause?

Somehow I’ve answered this question above, showing how right based and economic alternatives are intertwined.

It’s clear that the micro economic alternatives doesn’t change the system, but insert some people into the system; they are alternative because they change – or may change – the power relations.

I can add that, from an historical and empirical point of view, the two side have a circular feedback: people who are improving their economic position, will probably fight for their rights (not only economic), while universal civil, political and social rights give all opportunities to have economic alternatives.

What are the key aspects we need to ensure in our work on creating economic alternative?

I think this question deals with many many issues, but I try to answer with three points:

1) Economic alternatives (in the broad and narrow meaning) have to be effective. If a family starts a small business, it has to be sustainable in the long term, and give the family the very opportunity to escape poverty.

2) Economic alternatives has to be also environmental and social sound. This goal, of course, many times clashes with the first point, but an unjust economic activity is, by definition, not an alternative.

3) Said that, the “problem” of the economic alternatives (and, I think of most of the economic realm) is that many changes – not all, but many – are beneficial to someone and detrimental to others, at least in a comparative way. This point has to be kept in mind, notwithstanding it’s quite impossible to deal with it and, at the same time, do something in this field.

Invite to the session “Quilombo and maroons of America” of the International Americanistic Studies Congress

The sessions of the International Americanistic Studies Congress are published: among them, one regarding quilombo I proposed. Below the session abstract. The Circolo Amerindiano has organized the Congress for 38 years. This years will take place in Perugia (Italy), as usual, in May, 3rd to 10th.

The registration to the session is open and will close January the 20th. It could be done by this form.

Quilombo and maroons of America: mirror of differences

All America is characterized by the presence of afro-descendants communities today, peculiar for their collective nature and for their relation with the surrounding society, alternately of isolation or opposition- besides never absolute and definitive. These communities are called in different ways: quilombo, palenque, mocambo, etc..

These communities differ a lot, for exogenous reasons (for example the circumstances in which the slave-labour has been introduced in the region, the peculiarities of the national societies in which they are, the characters of pre-Colombian peoples) and for endogenous reasons (the circumstances of the community formation, their organisation, etc.).

Some questions are transversal to different contexts and they represent interesting points of reflection; we indicate, in particular:
– the tension that quilombo people have experienced between, at the one hand, the spur to the inclusion in the surrounding society, and, on the other hand, the differentiation from this society;
– the relation and the connections between the quilombo of the past and the quilombo of the present;
– the articulation between quilombo’s self-affirmation, access to resources (especially the land) and reparation;
– the relation between quilombo’s immaterial culture, the surrounding society’s one and the national society’s one.

In this session some case-studies are presented. They concern quilombo of various places in which they are present, and the above mentioned questions are discussed.

Women in her backyard. Cangume village, Itaóca municipality, Vale do Ribeira, São Paulo state, Brazil (c) Luca Fanelli/ ISA
Women in her backyard. Cangume village, Itaóca municipality, Vale do Ribeira, São Paulo state, Brazil (c) Luca Fanelli/ ISA

Tarubá production process

We wrote in another post about tarubá, a fermented beverage made with cassava.

How it’s done? The process isn’t easy and it’s worth a documentation. We present here how Maria do Socorro Oliveira produces it. Maria is from the Escrivão village, along the great Tapajós river, within the Aveiro municipality, in the Brazilian Amazon.

Maria explained us (me and my daughter Karen) the production process in detail and she consented to record it by pictures. These are taken by Adamor Cardoso.

As long as I know, this is the first comprehensive recording of the tarubá production process.

We tried to understand better also the issue of puçanga, a powder strewed on the cassava paste. This powder is made toasting and crumbling the leaves of a specific plant. The same plant is used to cover the paste, while it rests. This plant popular name is curumim; there aren’t reliable sources that identify it, but we deem that is Trema micrantha (L.) Blum.

Tarubá production process diagram

Tarubá production process diagram

Photographic record of the whole tarubá production process