A Book Talk With Christen Smith On "Afro Paradise: Blackness, Violence, And Performance In Brazil"

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A Book Talk With Christen Smith On "Afro Paradise: Blackness, Violence, And Performance In Brazil"
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MonkeyWrench Books says
Join us for a conversation with Dr. Christen Smith on her recent book, "Afro-Paradise: Blackness, Violence, and Performance in Brazil"!

Tourists exult in Bahia, Brazil as a tropical paradise infused with the black population's one-of-a-kind vitality. But the alluring images of smiling black faces and dancing black bodies masks an ugly reality of anti-black authoritarian violence.

Christen A. Smith argues that the dialectic of glorified representations of black bodies and subsequent state repression reinforces Brazil's racially hierarchal society. Interpreting the violence as both institutional and performative, Smith follows a grassroots movement and social protest theater troupe in their campaigns against racial violence. As Smith reveals, economies of black pain and suffering form the backdrop for the staged, scripted, and choreographed afro-paradise that dazzles visitors. The work of grassroots organizers exposes this relationship, exploding illusions and asking unwelcome questions about the impact of state violence performed against the still-marginalized mass of Afro-Brazilians.


Christen Smith is an assistant professor of Anthropology and African and African American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. She received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Princeton University and her Ph.D. in cultural and social anthropology from Stanford University. Her work focuses on gendered anti-Black state violence and Black communities' responses to it in Brazil and the Americas. She is particularly interested in the performative aspects of anti-Black violence, transnational Black liberation struggles and global racial formation. She also researches Black women’s experiences with state violence, anti-Black policing in the Americas, death squads, the paradoxical relationship between Black people and the nation-state in the Americas, and violence and racial representation.
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By: MonkeyWrench Books

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