Knight Library Collaboration Center
1501 Kincaid St.
Visions of Social Difference: Race, Space, and Visuality in Rio de Janeiro
A discussion with Dr. Lorraine Leu, Associate Professor of Brazilian Studies, Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) & Department of Spanish & Portuguese, University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Leu’s talk centers around pictorial representations of blackness in a neighborhood destroyed in 1922 and unpacks the visions of social difference they produce. These images include paintings, lithographs, political cartoons, and photographs that mobilize ways of looking that help us to understand the spatial and cultural constructions of racialized others.
This work therefore analyzes the drama of racialized visuality—the tension between attempts to fix difference as part of a national project based on the subjugation and elimination of certain groups, and the ways in which the latter often manage to undermine this official visual rhetoric. This defiant “looking back” affords glimpses of alternative experiences of modernity that hint at the reality of inhabiting eliminable racialized spaces.