Manifest

The contradictions, broad and deep, which marked the historical process of construction of brazilian society, denounce, currently, the structural character of the human rights violations committed against the traditional communities. Offering a pole of resistance to the slavery of the past, current quilombolas continue to fight for the titling and management of their territories, but who are the quilombolas of today? What does a quilombo represent in 2017? Sendo a space of sociability and care of subjects affected by social violence, as poor white people and indigenous, the quilombos are set as rural black communities, but not exclusively of black people, that is, a place of cultural, ethnic, and racial interrelationships.

The myth of brazilian racial democracy played a strategic role in the legitimization of the domination of black people in the period that succeeded the formal and inconclusive abolition of slavery. Promoting a false condition of the equality to black women and to black men, the situation of formal equality furthered the vision of natural inferiority and suppressed the true story of the struggle of thousands of people who, over centuries, have resisted and organized uprisings throughout the country in search of emancipation and freedom. Simulating that such formality would be able to end up with actions that structured the society for almost 400 years is, therefore, giving continuity to an historical experience where the racism of the past causes the social marginalisation of the present.

The adoption of Lei Áurea (the Law that decreed the end of slavery in Brazil), 129 years ago, does not eliminate the violence to which enslaved people were subjected to. It explains the appropriateness of capitalism in different stages and scenarios of exploitation which, with time, is improved in structural terms. The racism is not a transient condition, it is constitutive of the development of such a system that operates by producing the manifestations of the structural dynamics of the capitalist. This system relegates to the Americas, a peripheral structure where the oppression of black women and black men is part of the set of actions that focuses on sectors which are dominant in the economy at the expense of the implementation of the social rights conquered. That is, even with the legal condition changed, black people in Brazil are still segregated to conditions that cause the situation of oppression, violence, and deep social inequality.

The quilombola communities suffer human rights violations because they are historically subjected to a process of dispossession of their traditional territories, which follows the same itinerary of injustice as a function of the pressure exerted by the landowners and entrepreneurs related to agribusiness. The guidelines of the occupation and of the conformation of the Brazilian territory are transformed into spaces of denial of the means of material production of social life. The absence of structuring political democratization of the land, governed by the context of oppression against quilombolas, compose a set of actions of a society that is structurally unequal, and consequently marked by racism. Under this effect, the action of the State, combined with the financial institutions, perpetuates the subordinate condition of determined social groups in a process in which the forms of oppression do exist, but will be transformed. What should be discussed as an alternative, in this sense, it is not the dispute of this system, but rather its overcoming.

in This scenario of violations, it stands out the articulation of female quilombolas of the West of Pará , organized by the Federation of Quilombolas Organizations of Santarém (FOQS), promote a series of activities that aim to strengthen the struggle of their communities for the recognition and enforcement of their right to the territory and a life without violence. From the experiences of these women that progress in the debate on territorialities and strengthen the political processes of their communities through the perspective of the fight against racism and sexism, is born the project Na raça e na cor – In the race and in the colorname of the group of quilombola women of Santarém, organized by FOQS. This is a special series that will present in a period of two months a little of the history of these communities, illustrating the struggle and the quilombola resistance all over the country front the systematic violation of human rights.

By recognizing racism and sexism as aspects of the structuring aspects of social relations, the quilombolas incorporate analytical tools to the fight accumulated through the history of oppression marked by the racist and sexist colonial experience in Brazil. The consolidation of race and gender as structural elements and structuring aspects to the fields of debates in which they involve is essential to the construction of conceptions of human rights that do not reproduce racist and sexist oppression.

Having the mobilization of quilombola women from Santarém as a guiding, the series will discuss, through stories, articles, interviews, testimonials and graphic materials, the quilombola’s way of life, social organization, culture and politics through the discussion about territoriality. For this, the series aims to communicate from the four strategic axes: identity, in which information and important concepts for understanding the quilombola way of life and culture and its omnipresent and definitive relationship with the earth will be presented; racism, highlighting the offensive of the State against the recognition of the rights of quilombolas as more of a manifestation of structural oppression; gender, where it will be highlighted as the interconnection between gender and race brings the black woman to a context of dual oppression, and the struggle for land, in the matter of quilombola land is characterized as a movement of redress for everything that was denied to black people throughout history.

We consider that the initiative comes at an important time to the country, when the rights historically won have been attacked in favor of the interests of economic sectors, an arrangement that culminated in the coup in 2016, and has put at risk the democracy of the country, making attempts to dismantle rights. For quilombola communities, in addition to the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (ADI) 3239 who judges the Federal Decree 4887/03, that regulates the action of the State for the titling of the quilombola territories, there is the worsening of the gradual stoppage of the titling policies. According to calculations carried out before the coup of 2016, it would be needed more than 970 years for the Brazilian State to comply with the constitutional provision of titling all the quilombola territories. The simple evidence that the Brazilian State could take almost a thousand years for titling all quilombola territories in Brazil is a serious evidence of the deep institutional racism that persists in our society.

The transfers from the allocation of titling of these territories from the Ministries to the Civil House, during the government of Michel Temer, aim to hinder the application of the quilombola constitutional right to land. The position of the Federal Government demonstrates the latent expression of the racism that pervades the history of Brazilian society. While the Government says is necessary to adopt caution on the issue of the titling of the lands of the black people, on other topics of interest to the Executive, as in the case of the outsourcing of labor relations, the president of the Republic acts quickly to enact the law, even though the theme relies on the Supreme judgment. Facing so many challenges, the organization of the quilombola communities face this offensive and take their agenda to the international scenario, through articulated complaints by National Coordination of the Articulation of the Rural Quilombolas Black Communities (CONAQ) and partner organizations.

So, In the race and in the color aims to make visible the ethnic identity and gender, individual and collective, as well as the counter-hegemonic practices developed by the quilombolas through the re-categorizing of the history of territorial occupation of its ancestors. Establishing and expanding this discussion with the Brazilian society requires the rescue about any of the devices of oppression and subjection of slavery, where the displacement of enslaved bodies to their territories was essential to the functioning of the system. The remnants of this policy are easily found at the present time, when quilombolas are oppressed by racism and have the condition of slavery experienced by their forefathers ridiculed, including by representatives of the National Congress.

Although a series is not enough to eliminate the structures that historically violate the marginalized populations from north to south of Brazil, the purpose of this initiative is the confrontation to a political project that creates and feeds devices of inequality, threatening the territorial, economic, social and cultural rights of quilombola communities. By projecting itself in the direction of the public debate on the theme, In the race and in the color  wants to systematize elements that can contribute to the emancipatory fight of quilombola movements in the discussion of policies of democratization of the lands and its relationship with the rights of the quilombola communities in Brazil.

Cheers to the struggle of the quilombola communities!

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