Being Negro in Recife Brazil: A Political Aesthetics Approach

L. van Leerzem, M.C.M. Nuijten, P.A. de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we explore the role of cultura negra and what it means to be negro for a particular segment of the population of Recife, Brazil. We zoom in on participants in Terça Negra (negro Tuesday), one of the foremost weekly events in the city. For these participants, self-identifying as negro refers not principally to skin colour but to an emancipatory project based on the consciência negra (negro consciousness), the awareness that poor people have in common a history of oppression and discrimination originating in times of slavery. Following the theoretical framing of Jacques Rancière, we argue that what is at stake in cultura negra and the assertion of negro identity is a political aesthetics formed through disagreement with the dominant order. We conclude by stressing the political significance of these zones of egalibertarian practices in the margins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-887
JournalEthnos : Journal of Anthropology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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