The year 2013 marked a turning point for Brazil. On one hand, it gave voice to a crisis involving the notion of development as a technocratic tool for achieving economic growth—in a “heated economy” at that. On the other hand, it signaled the rise of the Brazilian multitude and the paroxysm of a revolt that started at least as early as 2010 but that in reality can be traced to much more distant periods: the dictatorship that lasted from the sixties to the eighties back through to the core of Brazil’s racism and inequality, that is, the slavery period. In this sense, struggling against the country’s present and past, the multitude has needed to face the fact that there are not many tools available for understanding the moment in which we live. Thus, combining a lot of creativity and courage, poor people, who have experienced a newfound social mobility and who have affirmed themselves in the last decade, and an increasingly precarious middle class took over the streets in demonstrations that piggybacked on the subject of the World Cup to protest some of the most iniquitous conditions in contemporary Brazilian society (some of them aggravated by preparation for the mega-event). This article presents a brief genealogy of the amazing period known as the “June Days” in Brazil—but which has lasted even until now—and outlines some of the issues and problems it has brought to the surface.
Pedro B. Mendes; The Summer of the Multitude. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2014; 113 (4): 874–883. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2804223
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