Revolt of the Saints: Memory and Redemption in the Twilight of Brazilian Racial Democracy
“But Madame, What If I Should Need to Defecate in Your Neighborhood?”
2015. "“But Madame, What If I Should Need to Defecate in Your Neighborhood?”", Revolt of the Saints: Memory and Redemption in the Twilight of Brazilian Racial Democracy, John F. Collins
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This chapter develops the concept of “properly historical populations” around residents’ subversion of the street theater intended to educate them about AIDS. Residents, by following the public health script to the letter, bring to light the contradictions that occasioned to play, confounding the health professionals and leaving them speechless. Here the author presents more of the ways that the state-directed changes and divisions of the Pelourinho have made residents keenly aware of their special roles in the neighborhood’s sacralization, their places in shifting definitions of historical truth, and thus their importance to the nation as a political project. This struggle for everyday inclusion threatens to expand existing definitions of the Afro-Brazilian, the modern, and the moral even as middle- and upper-class Bahians continue to define themselves in opposition to the Pelourinho and to its residents, whom the state seeks to define as problematic, with origins located in the nation’s past but not its present or future.