Fellowship

Fellow 2018/2019

Thiago de Paula Souza

Curator and educator Thiago de Paula Souza is a member of the 10th Berlin Biennale curatorial team, titled We Don´t Need Another Hero, 2018. He has done an MA in Art History at The University of Campinas UNICAMP, Campinas, worked as an educator at Museu AfroBrasil, São Paulo (2014–2016), and co-curated the exhibition Living On – In Other Words on Living?, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Vienna, 2016. At the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo, De Paula Souza joined the Accra Study Days team, and was also part of the Bienal’s Oficina de Imaginação Política (political imagination workshop). He has collaborated with lanchonete.org, an artist-led cultural platform focused on daily life and progressive actions in contemporary cities with São Paulo as a reference point, and co-created We Cannot Build What We Cannot First Imagine, a visionary platform that gathers works and perspectives from racialized artists and thinkers. De Paula Souza is interested in how certain communities engage in the deconstruction of hegemonic readings of histories.

Fellowship Research Trajectory

The image of Brazil in the macropolitical sphere has been associated with utopian projections implied in notions of progress, geopolitical stabilization, economic growth, and social welfare. Faced with structural inequalities, institutionalized genocide, police violence, devastation of the environment, collapse in the micro- and macropolitical spheres, the rhetoric of the generalized crisis of Global Capitalism, among other conflicts, it seems possible that all promises of these utopian narratives about Brazil have failed or succeeded in masking the here-now, the conflicts and tensions inseparable from the country’s recent history as a postcolonial nation project.

Curator and educator Thiago de Paula Souza’s research asks: Could these be seen as signs of the end of a recent utopia, or did they only open the eternal dystopic cycle that dominates Brazilian history? How have these transformations, these discontinuities, accompanied by these repetitions, affected ways of perceiving reality or society? Were people producing new possible futures or are we still completely haunted by utopian cosplays of the past? What experiments from the past still have relevance or creative power today? Is the dream over again? This research attempts to activate spaces for critical thinking and collective action, digging some historical ghosts, dreaming, and building new narratives for now and then.

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