Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Arte Despertar: the first decade


Published on

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Arte Despertar: the first decade

  3. 3. 0 event the publication of a book that recounts ten Caring for or about oneself does not mean one can- years of activities of an organization that shows us not look at others. On the contrary, it is only fromINDISPENSABLE UTOPIANS day after day that solidarity is possible and that the and with others that we become what we are from perspectives proposed are achievable is always en- birth onward: social human beings.Eduardo Montechi Valladares couraging news. For Jean-Paul Sartre, another French philosopher, man The raison d’être of Associação Arte Despertar is to is condemned to be free, meaning each of us is alonein me awaken (despertar) – to wake people up, to try to make responsible for choosing our goals and the way toi see the other sure every individual has the opportunity to access his achieve them. Because we are absolutely free to makeand other or her creative potential. Perhaps its most important our own choices, we can modify an initial project at anyand other role is to remind us all the time of something of which time. We are whatever we decide to be.dozens everyone should already have been convinced: thetrains passing Other should never be treated as an inanimate object We all continuously experience problematical or absurdcarriages full of people that can be manipulated at will. The wishes and needs situations. Our finitude makes it important that wehundreds of others should always be taken into consideration, choose our own pathways. The discovery that we are along with their characteristics and peculiarities. free is inevitably disturbing because it means we arethe other responsible for all the consequences of our choices. Try-who is me The fundamental ethical question for each of us is : ing to escape freedom means accepting that someoneis you How should I live? In a late interview, French phi- else is responsible for our lives. Attributing ouryou losopher Michel Foucault said this: “What strikes successes and failures to others may make us feel me is the fact that in our society, art has become comfortable or secure, but it shows we have chosenPaulo Leminski – Contranarciso (1980) something which is related only to objects and not to live the life of a slave. By choosing freedom and to individuals, or to life. (...) But couldn’t everyone’s facing up to the anguish of being free, we assume life become a work of art? Why should a lamp or a the risk of living an adventure in unmapped territory.This is an invitation. Dear reader, read this book at- house be an art object, but not our life?” The an- In sum, risk is synonymous with freedom. Perhapstentively. Its chapters, written by different people, tell swers to the questions posed by Foucault may point nothing is more contemptible than a person who isthe ten-year story of Associação Arte Despertar. A the way to all those who wonder how they should “always a cautious little take-your-time” (Mário destory that certainly deserves to be known. live their lives. Andrade). So we can choose to make our lives a work of art. Suffice it to dare.Decades are arbitrary milestones, of course, but Foucault’s “aesthetics of existence” is an invitation tothey have symbolic significance for most people. us to take responsibility for the beauty of our own Producing art involves the use of the real and theIn the history of mankind, this predilection for the lives. This is achievable by anyone capable of asking imaginary, the subjective and the objective, the non-number ten has not been fortuitous. In antiquity themselves ethical questions and creating a lifestyle utilitarian and the practical. Works of art, like peoplesome primitive peoples used base-ten numbering based on values such as generosity, solidarity and cour- who dare make the break with conformism, alwayssystems because ten symbolized the idea of an end- age. The idea that we should see ourselves as subjects have several layers of meaning. They not only por-ing, of consummation. This idea is probably linked undergoing constant self-fashioning also demands tray a world but enable a variety of readings as wideto the fact that counting on your fingers can get large doses of creativity. Accepting this openness to as the imagination of those who produce them. It isyou no farther than ten. Even today, when we pre- the new means not recognizing labeling, stereotyping precisely this possibility of the emergence of suchtend we are already civilized, we remain imprisoned or compartmentalization of any kind, rejecting all at- an immense diversity of gazes that can make art anin the ancient beliefs of our ancestors. But in any tempts at normalization. agent that facilitates relations among human beings.
  4. 4. Another key point is that art can produce moments Our identity can often be diminished by the per- Another important activity is the education and train-of catharsis (from the Greek katharsis; translatable formance of repetitive and monotonous work. ing of young people who live in the communitiesas purging, cleansing or purification) – a powerful Activities that leave no room for the expression of where the programs and projects are located. This isdischarge of emotion that gives us relief from tension desires and individuality are stultifying and corrode not limited to vocational or multiplier training, butthrough communal experience. It is also important our self-esteem. also aims to enable them to exercise their citizen-to recall that for Aristotle, an Athenian philosopher ship more completely. Meetings include discussionin the fourth century B.C., catharsis had a clear mor- Daily life can be either a space and time of tedious of issues and situations involving interpersonal rela-al and political connotation. Its significance for the repetition or an essential condition for creating the tionships, limits, self-discipline, teamwork, belonging,moral enhancement of the polis, the city-state of an- bonds of solidarity needed for a more enjoyable life. identity, inclusion-exclusion, and other motivationscient Greece, resided in its potential to allow citizens It is up to each person to choose what he or she wants for the development of life find solutions to conflicts of interest and opinion. in the knowledge that this choice can contributeAn active citizenry is one where the citizens actively to the creation of collective ventures. This concern with continuing education is not limitedparticipate in the political decisions that affect them. to the people involved in the programs and projects.There are two preconditions for this: equality before The struggle for recognition of each person’s It is also obsessively shared by the technical staff andthe law (isonomia), and genuine freedom of speech uniqueness is a hallmark of Associação Arte Des- board of governors.(isegoria, freedom of public address, i.e. equality of pertar. In ten years of existence it has developedthe right to address the sovereign assembly of the countless projects in poor communities. The tens of Associação Arte Despertar has also devoted itself topeople on public policy, on what the city should or thousands of children and adults who have benefited working in hospitals, using art as a component ofshould not do). throughout this period have always been treated as the healing process to benefit not only the patients individuals endowed with original qualities and spe- but also the medical staff and other health workers.In the twenty-first century blatant inequality still exists cific needs. Thus its greatest merit may be the way In these interventions it uses artistic and humaniza-despite a series of victories that have extended individual it strives to bring about the cultural inclusion of the tion-related activities to awaken people’s capacity forrights. Everyone living in poverty or precarious condi- poor and underprivileged while respecting each and reflection, to help them experience situations far re-tions suffers relative but perceptible loss of citizenship. every individual. moved from the stress of day-to-day life in a hospital,This is like being deprived of memory, reason, voice. from pain and suffering, and from strictly professionalThe tutelage to which these people are subjected may This means that at the same time as it strives to trans- relationships, motivating them to turn their attentionbe intended to protect them but nevertheless weakens form an environment characterized by several lacks, it to the establishment of human dignity.their subjectivity. Hence the importance of a consis- recognizes and valorizes the identity, roots and socio-tently attentive stance on the part of professionals who cultural context of every single beneficiary. By valorizing the uniqueness of each patient throughwork in programs for the poor and underprivileged. art, it is possible to revitalize an exercise of imagina- The activities its projects bring into play are artistic as tion and freedom denied by a hospital culture in whichIt is vitally important to ensure that the silenced can well as educational, involving the visual and perform- super-specialization reigns supreme. Art, especially inspeak. The silenced are all those who are not heard ing arts, music and literature. Storytellers encourage this context, is a form of perception and human expres-even when they scream in pain and suffering. This of- reading, while enchanting and extending the cultural sion capable of bringing out the best in people whileten happens because their cries fall on deaf ears that are repertoire of all the participants. helping them see external reality differently. It fostersincapable of awakening to hear the voice of the other. different readings of the world, creates opportunitiesTreated like puppets whose strings can be manipulated Visits to exhibitions and museums, plays, musicals, for questioning, and can help humanize relationshipsarbitrarily, they are not seen as human beings but as lectures and so on are organized to broaden the so that everyone realizes that sickness does not deprivemere animated objects in the production process. It is participants’ mental horizons and enable them to ex- patients of their rights and that the patient is a personeveryone’s job to give them their voices back. perience new ways of seeing and thinking. rather than one more case to be resolved as quickly 2 I 3
  5. 5. as possible. In addition, a dialogue about art and art ated. Therefore it can also be understood as relating to demands have not lost their freshness even all theseappreciation can be established, potentially comple- any generous dream of social renewal. years later. For example: “All power to the imagina-menting the medical treatment provided. tion” and “Be realistic: demand the impossible”. In To call the people who work at Associação Arte Des- any event, a utopian is a realist who pursues the im-Illness is not just biology. Sometimes the most ex- pertar dreamers or utopians is not at all to accuse possible, because intuitively he knows there is no suchcruciating pain is that which even the most powerful them of having an ingenuous vision of the role of art. thing as the true or final solution. This is a goal thatsedatives cannot ease. Hospital patients are not al- It is not a matter of confusing the encouragement of cannot be achieved because mankind is always on theways treated as subjects with desires, apprehensions creative processes with some lunatic search for an im- move and constantly creating new needs. But the uto-and uncertainties. More often they are treated as pas- possible ideal or panacea. pian, the realist who dreams of the impossible, alsosive observers of their own lives. In these situations knows that conspiring is breathing together or playingthe stimulus of art can help construct a new mode of Art is obviously not a cure for all ills. What is more, music in unison, and that happiness is possible only ifexisting in the world that encompasses expressions we cannot forget the utilitarian and manipulative it is a collective project.of solicitude as a way of trying to relate to the sick vision of art adopted by totalitarian regimes in theperson as a complete human being. twentieth century. In totalitarianism, the law was in- Liberty, equality and fraternity have not yet been won, distinguishable from the will of the Führer (Nazism) but it is still vital to pursue them. Utopia has not beenSome words are used so often they become mean- or the “genial guide” of the world proletariat (Stalin- reached but at least it can be glimpsed from afar. And itingless, like jargon. This is a shame, since many such ism), identified with the will of party and state. The is incredibly beautiful.terms that have become empty represent the best of final goal was complete abolition of individual wills,mankind’s dreams. Liberty, equality and fraternity, for the end of the distinction between public and private Meanwhile, the grave and sober realists, eternally withexample, inaugurated the program of modernity and life. Like all forms of dogmatism, Nazism and Stalin- their feet on the ground, have lost the elegance theyhave not yet been achieved, but their realization re- ism were essentially manicheistic. Good and evil were thought they had and have become bureaucrats who hidemains a pressing need. very clear-cut. Nuances were not taken into con- behind their desks (real or metaphorical). Their apparent sideration. Neither criticism nor questioning were pragmatism is merely a means of disseminating cynicism.How often have those who try to organize activities tolerated in any form. Both regimes had lists of artistsin which caring about and for oneself entails caring who were to be politically and ideologically execrated. The grayer the sky becomes, the more important it is tofor others been treated as utopian dreamers? The The only art was the art approved by the regime. Of- have dreamers in the world. Fundamental change canso-called realists love to label utopian those who ficial artists were mere pamphleteers for an ideology arise only from passionate hearts and minds. After all,have not relinquished the possibility of dreaming established by the leaders. By banning debate of any only people who are imbued with passion are capableand implementing transformational projects. People kind, imposing rigid recipes to be followed by every- of changing their lives radically, giving up projects theywho claim to have their “feet on the ground” say we one, they imposed a repugnant tutelage on literary have planned for a long time, and risking all for theshould stick to whatever is possible. The problem is and artistic creation. new and unknown. Only they, the utopian dreamers,that their “possible” is too little. The apologists of a can truly awaken us from slumber. For all these reasons,rationalized society driven by consumption and the The goals of Associação Arte Despertar have nothing they are more and more indispensable.most selfish form of individualism renounce the life to do with all this. I would even go so far as to say thatdrives and see themselves as modern. They are neither in various ways the people who work there are the heirs Common sense says you are useful only if you createmore nor less than conservatives. to several generations of generous idealists. wealth, prestige and power. If we remain imprisoned by this meaning of the world alone, the activities of Asso-It is worth recalling that the word utopia means literally In the turbulent year of 1968, Paris was taken over ciação Arte Despertar have no utility. But if we translate“nowhere” or “a place that does not exist”. But the fact by dreamers who filled the streets and squares of the utility into whatever can benefit human beings, the “use- that it does not exist does not mean it cannot be cre- city with their desire-laden slogans. Some of their less” men and women who work there are indispensable.
  6. 6. There are no guarantees of a happy ending. Nor will 1 for the human being. The idea of caring for our fel-there ever be. But it is worth betting on human reason- lows has always been part of human history in oneableness, on the possibility of joint elaboration of an THE NOTION OF SOCIAL form or another, but how this idea is elaboratedethical responsibility that aims to make a personal and changes from age to age, as does how we conceive ofcommunitarian world with less suffering and hence RESPONSIBILITY FROM EARLY society, the theater for these concerns.more happiness. Initiatives like Associação Arte Des- MODERNITY TO THE CONTEXTpertar may not have enough strength to change the For a long time a concern with the well-being ofcourse of history. But if they can at least help more IN WHICH ASSOCIAÇÃO ARTE other people, especially the vulnerable, went hand-and more people to realize the fundamental impor- in-hand with a static vision of society. To stay withintance of seeing the Other, that in itself is significant DESPERTAR EMERGED the confines of western civilization, we might takeand deserves to be celebrated. as an example the typical medieval attitude toward Rui Luis Rodrigues what are called social problems today. Lacking a gen-So let me repeat my invitation to read this book with uine understanding of the real causes of poverty, thecare. I hope it helps more people find out about the medieval mind had no alternative but to consider itwork of these dreamers and realize it is still possible A SLOW AWAKENING an expression of God’s will – divine grace was be-to make some utopias come true. May this reality in- lieved to save the poor through poverty, just as thespire new dreams, fresh utopias. And may this sharing Human beings constantly reinvent the way they live rich could be saved by giving alms. This perspec-of dreams enable each one of us readers to become together in society. In an always complex process, tive was more or less constant throughout the firstyet another companion in this venture. After all, who because it includes negotiating not only with the millennium of Christian civilization. By the sixteenthsaid the word accomplice applies only to people who concrete givens of reality but also with the mental century, however, Calvin was teaching his followersjoin others in performing malicious or illegal acts? As- structures and imaginary of each age, we humans seek that poverty was not the road to salvation, althoughsociação Arte Despertar, which is made up of a band of out ways of conferring meaning on the world around it continued to be an expression of divine sovereign-incorrigible idealists, is showing us exactly the reverse. us. Nothing could be more inadequate, therefore, ty. For Franciscan mysticism, on the other hand, the than to judge the actions and proceedings of another poor were the image of Christ. Poverty took on aWelcome to this adventure. age by our own values. When we think about social new theological and moral value, becoming a model responsibility, we find a perfect illustration of this fact. and a source of inspiration. The phrase “social responsibility” refers to the pur- To a large extent, conceiving of society as dynamic suit and valorization of human dignity, the mission is one of the salient features of modernity. The way of caring completely for other members of society people thought about the most vulnerable members and tending to people’s multiple dimensions. This is of society changed decisively in the sixteenth cen- achieved through an awareness that society as a whole tury: poverty in itself was no longer considered an is responsible for the solutions to social problems. evangelical virtue. The Spanish humanist Juan Luis Vives (1492-1540) even suggested in his De subventione Eliminating inequality, humanizing social relations, pauperum (“Concerning Assistance for the Poor”, valorizing the individual and his or her autonomy – 1526) that Christ would not “recognize such peo- all these concerns are recent, typical of our own age, ple as poor, who are so foreign to his principles of and expressed in a vocabulary that would not have morality and prescription”, i.e. the customs and holi- made sense a hundred years ago. This does not mean, ness of the good life according to His teachings. In however, that other historical periods cared nothing Catholic as well as Protestant environments, severe 4 I 5
  7. 7. measures began to be taken to repress mendicancy in analyze things objectively in this manner. His recom- state (such as taxation, a monopoly of violence via aan attempt to rid society of what had long been con- mendations on the elimination of poverty, however, standing army, or the subordination of a broad arraysidered necessary to the practice of Christian piety. reflect a clear perception of its causes. He sees idle- of forums to a central authority). Roughly speaking, ness as one of the key roots of poverty, for example, this process was irreversibly established in the late six-This was a time, however, in which new ways of ad- and argues that laws imposed by the civil authorities teenth and early seventeenth century, after which itdressing issues relating to poverty were found. The are not sufficient to stamp it out. It may be neces- continued to develop until fully consolidated nation-great rural exodus that took place in the first two de- sary to train the poor to practice a trade or relocate states emerged in the nineteenth century.cades of the sixteenth century in the Low Countries them to areas where there is demand for their skills.and German territories led to the implementation of In reflecting on the benefits of combating poverty in On the other hand, European expansion to oth-measures designed to optimize poor relief. Vives’s this way, Vives also displays a refined understanding er continents, made possible by the technologicalbook is a product of this period, representing em- of social dynamics, intuitively sensing that one of the developments of the fifteenth century, graduallyblematically the solutions developed at the time. For positive results of poor relief will be to reduce the shaped a world economy characterized by the relationsVives, man becomes effectively human by learning: crime rate, for example. between center and periphery. As part of this process,thus Vives considers technical education and training the establishment of capitalism produced new mean-fundamental to the elimination of poverty. His book Human beings are more capable of bringing new tech- ings for the notion of the “market” during the coursedisplays a thorough familiarity with the textile indus- nology into being than changing the longstanding and of a long and complex history that unfolded in stagestry of his time and even remarks on the need for a deeply rooted conceptions that make up their men- (mercantile, industrial and financial capitalism) and wasbalance between the supply of labor and the manufac- tal universe. The slow transition from a static idea of punctuated by crises. It is worth noting, however, thatturer’s need for workers. society to a different, more dynamic conception, in all the great ideological clashes of the modern era re- which society responds to material causes and there- volved around these two magnitudes, from classicalBut Vives’s contribution proved decisive less for the fore is susceptible to change, is a good example of this economic liberalism with Adam Smith (for whom thepractical details of his program of poor relief than for complex process of transforming the imaginary. As state should be overshadowed by the “invisible hand”a contribution that would now be called ideological. far as social responsibility is concerned, the advent of of the market) to socialism with its objective of control-He showed how wrong was the traditional interpreta- modernity was a key turning-point in the construction ling and eliminating the market, which was eventuallytion of the words of Christ in Mark 14:7 (“For ye have of such conceptions. to lead to the withering away of the state.the poor with you always”, in the King James Version),in taking them to suggest resignation or acceptance, as In the nineteenth century, the triumph of liberalif poverty were a natural part of the social order. Vives FROM PHILANTHROPY TO ideology enshrined as a “fact” the ideological no-also disparaged the deeply entrenched habit of con- TRANSFORMING ACTION tion of an absolute separation between three distinctsidering the poor to be sacred objects, sancti pauperes, spheres: the political, the economic, and a spherewho by their poverty contributed to their own salva- The transition to the modern era also involved the considered socio-cultural in nature. It is not hard totion and that of other members of the social body. At emergence of two highly important factors in the see in this tripartite division the presence of the statethe same time, Vives was very humane toward those changes that gave rise to the perspective of social re- and market relations, augmented by another spherewho were really in need. sponsibility. They were the modern state and modern that was then emerging – that of civil society. The market relations. compartmentalization of academic disciplines thatWe can summarize Vives’s position by saying that became predominant in the late nineteenth centuryit represents an acknowledgment, albeit embryonic, The modern state came into being through political represented the officialization of this perspective, toof the complex nature of social relations. Poverty and administrative centralization, which entailed the the extent that it incorporated the idea that social, po-has real causes, grounded not in God’s will but in necessity of creating a bureaucratic apparatus capable litical and economic phenomena could be studied inconcrete social dynamics. Of course, Vives does not of absorbing the many functions taken over by the isolation from each other.
  8. 8. Both this compartmentalization and its matrix, gigantic proportions, and to the pressure for social gence of social movements on the periphery of thethe tripartite division, were sharply criticized by change fueled by socialists. Whereas in the United global economy, especially in the context of decolo-the social sciences throughout the twentieth cen- States the main motivation, at least as far as ideo- nization in Africa and Asia and insurgencies in Latintury. These spheres are not and have never been logical discourse was concerned, continued to be the America: all these factors forced a reconfigurationautonomous. From their inception, capitalist market revitalization of capitalism, in Europe social democ- of the terms of the debate, which had centered toorelations were interwoven with the political, while racy used the concept to foster income distribution simplistically on the roles of state and life cannot be lived outside the economy or and go some way toward meeting demands for socialpolitical relations. What interests us here, however, change. It is important to note that the welfare state Whereas philanthropy had always been motivated byis to recognize the extent to which these magnitudes represented a significant change in the way social the urge to provide assistance to the poor and needy,– especially the state and the market – were crucial problems were addressed compared with the previ- the consciousness that emerged in the second half offor western society to understand itself and the key ous emphasis on philanthropy: its key innovation the twentieth century was moving closer to a recogni-role they have played in the development of thinking was the recognition of the state’s responsibility in tion of the need for action to bring about social change.about social responsibility. resolving these problems. It was not enough to mitigate the evils of inequality. What really mattered was to eliminate these problemsWhile industrial capitalism was in full flood, espe- The crisis of the welfare state is a complex phe- on several fronts. On the other hand, even the state’scially during the nineteenth century, social problems nomenon that is made even harder to analyze by actions to address structural issues was no longer con-were either ignored or treated via philanthropy, with ideological passions. Nevertheless, it can be argued sidered sufficient. Instead of being passive objects,some big capitalists coming to the fore in this regard that the financial crisis of the 1970s, combined with whether of philanthropic initiatives governed by capitalalongside institutions that had traditionally carried out the excessive weight of state bureaucratic structures, to a greater or lesser extent, or of the state in its effortsphilanthropic activities, such as the churches. The profoundly impaired the state’s ability to intervene to provide welfare for society, human beings should bestate was minimally involved, in accordance with lib- in a regulatory manner in the social sphere. To this active subjects and agents of change in a world that waseral ideology. The situation changed radically in the combination of factors must be added the colossal theirs by rights. This was the melting-pot from which1920s as a result of the global crisis of financial capital- differences between economic center and periphery the concept of the Third Sector emerged in the closingism. The social chaos triggered by this crisis had to be so characteristic of today’s global economy. In this decades of the twentieth century.addressed using the instruments of the state. The the- sense, it is legitimate to ask whether and to whatoretical foundations for state action had been laid not extent peripheral countries such as Brazil have ef-long before by the British economist John Maynard fectively experienced the welfare state. THE THIRD SECTOR: GENESIS OF A CONCEPTKeynes, for whom the functions of the state includ-ed the establishment of public policies for the social However, the second half of the twentieth cen- In the late twentieth century, the process of formationsphere. Indeed, their creation legitimated the state’s tury prepared the necessary conditions for some of the global economy, which the great navigationsdirect intervention in the economy. The logic pursued important changes in the way social problems were of the fifteenth century can be emblematically consid-by Keynes was that such policies, including the adop- addressed, especially in the idea of social responsi- ered to have begun, reached its apogee with absolutetion of measures to promote full employment and the bility. The dissemination of widely shared ideals of world domination by the west. At the same time, ourintroduction of a safety net (social security, a mini- social justice; developments in philosophy, such as societies became especially complex, to such an extentmum wage etc.), would stimulate consumption by the valorization of human freedom and autonomy; that it became difficult to explain the new social realityboosting the population’s purchasing power. the perception not only of the predatory nature in terms of the two typical magnitudes of the modern of capitalism, but above all of the damage done to era, state and market, or even in terms of the old tri-The doctrine of the welfare state, as it became known, nature and social relations by indiscriminate applica- partite structure advocated by liberalism. On the otherresponded both to capitalism’s specific need to over- tion of “instrumental reason”, i.e. reason understood hand, critical thought on the part of many western in-come a cyclical crisis, albeit one destined to reach merely as a means to technical progress; the emer- tellectuals appeared to be seeking an alternative route 6 I 7
  9. 9. quite different from the traditional answers offered low. However, there is practically a consensus that industry associations. These entities, which were alsoby liberal laissez-faire and the statist solutions proposed Habermas’s theory can be considered its wellspring, independent of government structures, began as or-both by socialism and the welfare state. especially in two crucial respects: the identification of gans of international cooperation that represented an a third sphere in society with a different logic from alternative opposition to dictatorial groups or sup-In the 1920s, 1930s and thereafter, a “critical theory both the market and the state; and the idea that con- porters of colonialist policies in the context of theof society” developed by the Frankfurt School, a temporary societies are too complex for solutions anti-colonial struggle of the 1960s. The great meritgroup of intellectuals who set out to reformulate based on the old polarizations. of these initial non-governmental organizations layMarxism with the help of contributions from other precisely in the fact that they offered civil society asocial sciences, played a key role in enabling west- For Habermas, state and market constitute a “system” way to begin thinking about the most pressing socialern thought to transcend the polarizations in which grounded in instrumental reason and characterized by problems and to address them without the traditionalit had become trapped (especially the polarizations the relations typical of capitalism, especially control of mediation of government, parties and unions.state/market and capital/labor). One of its merits the individual in accordance with the requirements ofwas to show how instrumental reason, the Enlight- capital. In opposition to the system is the “lifeworld”, These traditional forms of intervention to addressenment concept of reason applied to the technical the sphere of society and culture, grounded in lan- social problems were hypertrophied and incapablegoals of industrial civilization, had established a guage and characterized by the pursuit of consensus of permitting participation by broader segments offoothold even in orthodox Marxism. The negative among individuals through dialogue. The lifeworld is society in the transformation of reality. On the otherresults of this application of instrumental reason, a sphere of autonomy and is always struggling against hand, countless social actors were emerging, commit-such as utter disregard for the environment in in- colonization by the system. The fundamental political ted to humanitarian perspectives and imbued with adustrial societies and banalization of the human clash in contemporary societies is this confrontation strong awareness of the need to cement social rela-being culminating in totalitarianism, could there- between system and lifeworld, according to Haber- tions through solidarity. These actors, who camefore be found in all societies and not just those mas. At the same time, contemporary societies are so from different social segments, reflected in practicealigned with one of the ideological poles character- complex that they can no longer be explained by re- Habermas’s concept of the necessary autonomy of in-istic of the twentieth century. course to Marx’s historical materialism, with its notion dividuals and their ability to interact through dialogue. of a specific social group as speaking on behalf of all Joining forces in groups and organizations set up toHighly efficient and inspiring though it was in its the oppressed. The lifeworld is the world of interaction, give shape to their social concerns, these actors wereanalysis of a society dominated by technical reason, marked by a dialogue between individuals who are responsible for the emergence of the Third Sector.the Critical Theory exemplified by Max Horkheimer different in terms of the old idea of class but have be-and Theodor Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment come autonomous and capable of opposing state and The term “Third Sector”, which originated in thenevertheless did not offer the prospect of a way out market through solidarity and shared values. Thus it is U.S., synthesizes the specific vision of society whosefrom the suffocating prison of a society that had a public sphere but one which seeks to transcend the formation we have been tracing. The “First Sector”reached its limits and was therefore verging on self- limits imposed by the polarization between the politi- refers to government and the public sector generally.destruction. This work of designing alternatives for cal and the economic, state and market. The “Second Sector” refers to the private sectorthe future was to be done later, by thinkers who can and for-profit activities. The Third Sector is a publicbe seen as the inheritors of Critical Theory. The Alongside the development of this theory, several or- sphere not to be confused either with government ormost relevant of these to an understanding of how ganizations that emerged in the years following world with the profitseeking that typically drives private en-the concept of a Third Sector emerged is undoubt- war two pursued objectives and forms of action, such terprise. For anthropologist Rubem César Fernandes,edly Jürgen Habermas. as the preservation and extension of human rights, the Third Sector can be considered a complex and cultural diffusion, the fight against hunger, and a con- unstable combination of opposition and complemen-Habermas did not formulate the concept of the Third cern with education, that did not match the typical tarity that operates in a public space independently ofSector. The origin of this concept is discussed be- configurations of political parties, labor unions and the state. Thus it stands between government and the
  10. 10. market, returning us to a triadic world that escapes most damaging precisely in assuming that social actors to survive without protectionist measures, wherebythe dichotomy between the public or state sphere can operate without the influence of class. The other the state sought to shield them from the competi-and the market or private sphere. The Third Sector main criticism is that the notion of a Third Sector is a tion typical of a globalized economy. These crises intherefore conceives of public life from the perspec- product of neoliberal ideology, and that in accordance turn had severely adverse social effects, such as antive of integration: public life is not limited to the state with that ideology it is an attack on the structures of the alarming rise in the rate of unemployment. Monetarysphere, and private actors do not necessarily have to state, which it is designed to demolish, while exempting stabilization had gradually been achieved since thebe bound to the particularistic interests of the market. the state from any responsibility for social problems middle of the decade, but in exchange the signs of and at the same time undermining social security and social destabilization were gathering apace.In this sense, it is possible to draw a parallel between other progressive benefits won by society as a whole bythe idea of public life that is central to the Third Sector converting them into mere services provided by private These were years of vigorous expansion by neolib-and the idea of vita activa advocated by civic human- enterprise instead of civic entitlements. eral ideology in ample segments of Brazilian society.ists in Italy in the early fifteenth century. They saw This ideology appeared to be corroborated by thepublic participation as the only way to avoid tyranny, These criticisms deserve consideration. The problem of bankruptcy of the state, asphyxiated as it was by athe worst of all the evils experienced by Italian neoliberalism and its role in the emergence of the Third bureaucratic apparatus that had grown to monstrouscity-states in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries Sector will be discussed in a moment. The question proportions during the military dictatorship, which– hence their concern to address in their writings of whether the state is or should be responsible for put in place the shadow of a welfare state shored upnot just rulers and magistrates but all their fellow- addressing social problems is a serious one and can- by foreign loans. The situation was made worse bycitizens, in an effort to encourage ordinary people not be treated as mere ideological argumentation. systemic corruption. The results of this failure of theto take an interest in public affairs. But the writings However, an important point must be emphasized state were felt especially in the social sphere, includingof these humanists contained an idea of public life here: what the Third Sector effectively seeks to bring a sharp fall in the quality of essential public servicesthat was not confined to the state and the state ap- about is a new paradigm for public action, a paradigm (mainly health and education), a crisis in social securityparatus – indeed, these elements were not yet fully better suited to the complex organization of society in and pensions, a rise in violent crime, and the socialformed at that time. The social forces that enabled today’s world and less bound up with the structures effects of deficient infrastructure.the centralized state to emerge in the modern era created during the modern era. Most criticisms of theundeniably limited the idea of public life by identify- Third Sector still focus on those structures and ignore The emergence of a great many initiatives aligneding the public sphere with the state, in an ideological the multiplicity of actors that have now been included with the Third Sector during this period, alongsidemove of key importance in making the new type of in the dynamics of social phenomena. the growth of non-governmental organizationssocial and political system viable. This identification whose activities were sustained in one way or an-has more recently been contested, as more people other by private enterprise in accordance with theand groups become aware of the increasingly evi- THE CONTEXT IN WHICH ASSOCIAÇÃO concept that became known as “Corporate Socialdent hypertrophy of the state and of how much has ARTE DESPERTAR EMERGED Responsibility”, or CSR, gave many critics an op-been lost owing to this constraint on participation by portunity to conclude that the activities of the Thirdbroader strata of society in public life. When Associação Arte Despertar began operating, Sector were a result of straightforward application of in 1997, Brazil was at a particularly complex juncture neoliberalism. For these critics, neoliberalism soughtAmong the main criticisms addressed to the idea of in its history. The external context was that of glo- to restructure production so as to make employmentthe Third Sector, two are especially relevant. The first balization, as already mentioned, in which economic precarious and maximize profit. It also wanted to re-contests the very existence of a third social sphere with relations were making the borders between the na- form the state so as to exclude it from the treatmentautonomy from the state and capital. For these critics, tional and the transnational increasingly tenuous. In of social problems, given the high cost of state-spon-this is an ideological construct designed to discourage negative terms, this situation caused crises in seg- sored solutions to such problems. The Third Sector,effective political participation. They argue that it is ments of domestic manufacturing that were unable they argued, served to supply these needs in areas 8 I 9
  11. 11. abandoned by the state, through localized activities fundamental ingredient, insofar as it determines the to display signs of exhaustion in the first decade ofinvolving direct assistance or projects designed to subject’s involvement with the goals of the organiza- the twenty-first century. Some of its limitations hadawaken the social creativity of the needy. Ultimately tion. At the same time as it enhances the efficiency already been exposed by Habermas, for whom latethe Third Sector collaborated with the endeavor of of the work offered, this leveraging of individual tal- capitalism requires frequent state intervention intaking social responsibility from the shoulders of the ent prevents the people involved from developing order to improve the conditions for capital accumu-state and depoliticizing society, they concluded. the bureaucratic attitude so frequent in state initia- lation, despite its ideological preference for “small tives where the individual practically disappears into government”, which seems to mean no governmentIt must be said that although these criticisms may be a forest of rules, regulations and procedures. at all in many situations. The ideological nature of thevalid inasmuch as they point to potential risks of ideo- neoliberal paradigm (its being much more a legitimat-logical instrumentalization, they fail to reflect either the Networking through partnerships and alliances brings ing discourse than a practical reality) was evidencedreal intentions of the movements that belong to the more satisfactory results within reach, while avoid- by two major crises: the emergence of fundamentalistThird Sector or the democratic conception of society ing a waste of resources. Experience in recent years violence, exemplified above all by 9/11, which rein-that informs its perspective. Such intentions include has shown these organizations the importance of forced the state’s role in guaranteeing public safety,neither the dismantling of the state nor contributing developing “social” or “appropriate” technology, reversing the tendency to eliminate borders (andto its abandonment of responsibility for meeting the characterized by simplicity, low cost, ease of under- hence the national basis of the modern state) that hadneeds of the socially deprived, much less any desire to standing and the propensity to be disseminated, as predominated in the previous decade; and the 2008 fi-undermine the population’s entitlements or acquired crucial tools for achieving their goals. nancial crisis, which brought to mind the need for therights. On the contrary, the Third Sector aims to create state to focus periodically on economic reality.multiple forums for political participation and dissemi- Associação Arte Despertar came into being and com-nate initiatives that assemble autonomous, conscious pleted its first decade, therefore, in the context of The overall analysis set out above shows that the state,individuals in projects of a social nature so as to enable increasing valorization of dialogue among different a superb construct bequeathed to us by modernity,dialogue, interaction, and more comprehensive action social forces with the aim of humanizing relations cannot possibly be eliminated in the immediate society to address its own problems. within society. The indiscriminate application of in- Nor is it feasible to do away with the supremacy of strumental reason led to a profound depreciation of capital in the ways proposed by orthodox Marxism.Such initiatives are born out of the growing aware- human beings, not only in capitalist societies but also However, today’s reality in no way reflects the struc-ness of social responsibility evident in multiple in societies that attempted to build socialism. With tures and system of the old liberalism. The situationsegments of society. Third Sector movements range the advent of the new millennium came a deepening is radically new and suggests a need for new mech-from institutions that have long been familiar with awareness of the need to react against this devalu- anisms of political intervention, new forms of civicphilanthropy and groups traditionally linked to hu- ation, reaffirm human dignity, and invest in ways participation, and a new approach to teaching andmanitarian militancy to business organizations that of helping people to become autonomous. Today it achieving citizenship.are increasingly concerned about the impossibil- can clearly be seen that the market economy mustity of continuing to operate solely with profit in be socially and environmentally domesticated: eco- In such a context, organizations like Associaçãomind. Their activities are developed on the basis of nomic values and the goals of political parties should Arte Despertar have a fundamental role to play –individual competencies. Their valorization of the be subordinated to the common interest, so as to a role that transcends the results obtained directlyindividual as a subject who can learn to see the social include not just unlimited respect for human beings, by their activities; a role that consists of their con-value of a personal talent or passion is highly benefi- but also respect for their hearth and home, the envi- tribution to the formation and autonomization ofcial. The work done by organizations like Associação ronment in which they live. individuals who, through initiatives like this, willArte Despertar would be truly impossible without discover their own way to exercise the oldest andthis ability to leverage the individual talent formed The temptation of oversimplified analysis is kept at most human of rights: the right to intervene posi-over time in each specific life story. Passion is also a bay by noting that the neoliberal paradigm began tively in the world we inhabit.
  13. 13. Regulation of 16th CENTURY mendicancy; poor relief laws in several European cities Inception of modern Transition from industrial 19th CENTURY 16th & 17th CENTURIES Poverty as Juan Luis Vives, centralized and to financial capitalismFIRST MILLENNIUM OF CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION: expression of De subventione pauperum bureaucratic state God’s will (1526): acknowledges Triumph of liberalism social causes of poverty Modern state John Calvin: poverty consolidated in form of nation-states 15th CENTURY no longer seen as form Technological of salvation but still Franciscan mysticism: Emergence of socialist 12th CENTURY developments expresses God’s will poverty as model, thought and Discoveries form of salvation and source of inspiration Social problems treated Emergence of Industrial 18th CENTURY via philanthropy “world economy”, capitalism as preparation for modern concept of “market” Development of mercantile capitalism KEY WORLD & BRAZIL: POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CONTEXT THIRD SECTOR IN BRAZIL ASSOCIAÇÃO ARTE DESPERTAR
  14. 14. 20th CENTURY 1920s: major crisis in financial capitalism Doctrine of “welfare state” Situation following WWII: creation of United Nations and development of first NGOs Outbreak of Gulf War 1991 Frankfurt School: critique of instrumental reason, present in both capitalism and socialism Promulgation of new 1988 Collapse of Soviet Union Brazilian Constitution 1960s: decolonization and emergence of social movements on periphery of “world economy” Maastricht Treaty, also known as Treaty on 1970s: crisis of “welfare state” European Union (TEU) Fall of Berlin Wall 1989 Development of neoliberal ideology Idea of Third Sector emerges End of apartheid in 1993 USA: emergence of black civil rights movements and Reunification of Germany South Africa 1990 leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. 1980s-1990s: proliferation of NGOs and Third Sector Monetary stabilization in Brazil, combined with social Agenda 21 for 1992 initiatives crises and exhaustion of sustainable development Third Sector seen as space for dialogue to transform reality public services and environment 1982 launched at Earth Summit (Rio de Janeiro) Promulgation of Federal Public Utility Law (Law 91/35) Creation of Legião Brasileira de Assistência (LBA) Promulgation of Child & Creation of Mata Atlântica Adolescent Statute NGOs engage in struggle for redemocratization (Atlantic Rainforest) (ECA, Law 8069/90) NGO network Creation of Unified Health System (SUS) Brazilian Association of Establishment of Non-Governmentail Fundação Abrinq Organizations (ABONG) established Amcham launches National Council for ECO Awards for Children’s Rights (CONANDA) Promulgation of Organic Corporate Citizenship established by Law 8242/91 Social Assistance Law (LOAS, Law 8742/93) Promulgation of Federal Law on Incentives for Culture, Campaign Against known as “Rouanet Law” Hunger launched by (Law 8313/91) Herbert José de Souza, known as Betinho
  15. 15. Passage of National 1996 Education Guidelines & Foundations Law (LDB) President Fernando 1998 Real Plan begins Henrique Cardoso1994 monetary stabilization Report to UNESCO re-elected of the International Fernando Henrique Cardoso Commission on Education for elected President of Brazil the Twenty-First Century European Union exemplifies 1999 tendency to relativize national borders Kyoto protocol 1997 1995 Municipal Social Assistance Information Network for the Third Promulgation of Voluntary Promulgation of Law on Civil Councils established Sector (RITS) founded Service Law (Law 9608) Society Organizations of Public (Law 2469/96) Interest (Law 9790/99) Center for Social Entrepreneurship & Instituto Ethos founded Instituto Ayrton Senna Third Sector Administration (CEATS) established established Concept of Municipal Public Utility São Paulo Center for Voluntary Incorporation of Associação Certificate granted Arte Despertar created Arte Despertar Service (CVSP) established Registration with Municipal Associação Arte Despertar First project approved by Council for Children’s Rights begins activities Ministry of Culture (MinC) (CMDCA) via Rouanet Law Partnership with Centro Infantil Partnership begins with Incorporation of GIFE da Aldeia SOS Rio Bonito begins Partnership begins with Institute of Pediatric Oncology (Group of Institutes, with pilot project Einstein in Paraisópolis (IOP) - Support Group for Children Foundations and Community Program (PECP) with Cancer (GRAACC) Enterprises) Partnership with Heart Institute (InCor) at Hospital das Clínicas Website created Comunidade Solidária begins with pilot project program established Catholic Church establishes Children’s Pastoral
  16. 16. 9/11/2001: attack on WTC in 2001 NY inaugurates preoccupation with Terror and signals weaknesses of neoliberal paradigm21st CENTURY - 2000 President George 2004 USA invades Afghanistan W. Bush re-elected USA and allies invade Iraq 2003 Second Intifada begins National Humanization Policy (PNH) established Growing environmental awareness Luiz Inácio Lula 2002 United Nations establishes da Silva elected 2005 Millennium Goals President of Brazil George W. Bush elected Euro adopted by President of USA 15 members of EU Ministry of Health Unified Social Assistance System launches National Proliferation of projects in (SUAS) established Hospital Care Humanization Third Sector due to monetary National Social Assistance PriceWaterhouseCoopers Program (PNHAH) stability and economic growth Launch of Zero Hunger Program, Policy (PNAS) established begins external auditing replacing Comunidade Solidária First project approved State Public Utility in public selection Launch of project approved Federal Public Utility Start of pro bono legal aid Certificate granted by Petrobras Zero under Rouanet Law to expand Certificate granted Registration with Municipal provided by De Goeye - Hunger Program activities by 40% Council for Social Assistance Advogados Associados law firm Registration with Partnership begins with (COMAS) Teacher training São Paulo State Council Institute of Orthopedics Production of art education projects begin for Social Assistance & Trauma at Hospital das Registration with National Council material begins Clínicas (IOT) and Institute for Social Assistance (CNAS) Partnership begins with Project approved by São Paulo of Infectology at Hospital Instituto Fonte retained as Projeto Viver in Jardim City Department of Culture Emílio Ribas Social Assistance Charity consultant on sustainability Colombo community (Mendonça Law) Certificate (CEBAS) granted Training project for Creation of slogan “Our art is student volunteers First project approved in awakening the best in human public selection by beings/in you” Corporate volunteering Petrobras Social Program project begins Partnership begins with Nossa Senhora de Lourdes Children’s Hospital