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The conclusion returns to issues of temporality, and thus proper historicity, via a piece of the Banderia/Andrade correspondence and a statement from Dandinha, both of which illustrate an acceptance of noninterpretation or a wallowing in the artifactuality of data. This acceptance suggests that the experience of serving as a living laboratory for the alienation of everyday habits as culture has been remarkably transformative and should be considered as one particular site of shifting racial politics in a nation in which a variety of related projects are occurring at the same time. Thus a recognition on the part of what the author calls “properly historical subjects” of both the experience and the effects of passing from being spectators to being the objects of someone else’s surveillance is basic to understanding the iconoclastic forms of belonging that have developed as the Pelourinho and its frequenters participate in rather momentous shifts in Brazilian racial politics today. This suggests in turn that much of this book is an attempt to explore its epigraph, the observation by Jorge Luis Borges that “if the characters in a story can be readers or spectators, then we, their readers or spectators, can be fictitious.”

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