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Educação & Realidade

versão impressa ISSN 0100-3143versão On-line ISSN 2175-6236

Educ. Real. vol.44 no.2 Porto Alegre  2019  Epub 10-Jul-2019 


Between Cracks and Bridges: childhood, ethno-racial marks and formation1

Nancy Lamenza Sholl da SilvaI

Antonio PaoliII

IUniversidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Volta Redonda/RJ - Brazil

IIUniversidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), Xochimilco/Mexico City - Mexico


Considering the dialogicity proposed by Paulo Freire, we will develop a reflexive dialogue through an exchange of letters between a Brazilian psychologist and a Mexican social scientist. Through the concepts of narrative, mark and place of speech we intend to answer two questions: What transformations and displacements have produced the debate on ethnic-racial relations and the issue of childhood in the formations in psychology and social sciences? What strategies and care should we have as educators in a training process in order not to reproduce structural violence?

Keywords: Childhoods; Narrative; Ethnic-Racial Mark; Place of Speech; Formation


Considerando la dialogicidad planteada por Paulo Freire desarrollaremos un diálogo-reflexivo a través de un intercambio de cartas entre una psicóloga brasileña y un científico social mexicano. A través de los conceptos de narrativa, de marca y lugar del habla pretendemos responder a dos cuestiones: ¿Qué transformaciones y desplazamientos ha producido el debate sobre las relaciones étnico-raciales y la cuestión de la infancia en las formaciones en psicología y ciencias sociales? ¿Qué estrategias y cuidados debemos tener como educadores en un proceso de formación a fin de no reproducir violencias estructurales?

Palabras-clave: Infancias; Narrativa; Marca Étnico-Racial; Lugar del Habla; Formación

Introduction: pronounce the world

To exist, humanly speaking, is to pronounce the world [...] Men do not act in silence, but in words, in work, in action, in reflection [...] The act of saying the word referring to the world that has to be transformed, implies a meeting of men for this transformation [...] Dialogue is this meeting of men [...] Dialogue is an existential demand (Freire, 1983, p. 100-101).

Paulo Freire has constituted a method of conceptual work based on dialogicity. That is, the dialogicity goes through the practice of education and academic production. In Freire (1987; 2011; 2013a; 2013b; 2014; Freire; Guimarães, 2011) we identify that some of his books are made of letters and dialogues. In these productions, we observe that the letters do not prevent his texts from finding a conjunction of theoretical references, case studies, stories of experiences, conceptual work supported by a dialogical text where memories and biographies are interwoven with scientific writings.

The writer Conceição Evaristo, affirms that the basis of the narrative of her book Becos da memória would be the experience, which she had and at the same time that of those who were in her environment. The author uses the concept of escrivivencia to maintain that '[...] between the event and the narration of the fact, there is a space in depth, and it is there that the invention exploits" (Evaristo, 2017, p. 11). Her goal is to find the voice, the voice of who tells, to mix it with her own voice. The power of the word for these authors is a creative act.

Djamila Ribeiro reinforces these ideas arguing that "[...] not being able to access certain spaces, causes the lack of productions and epistemologies of those groups (subaltern and colonized) in those spaces [...] Speaking is not restricted to the act of emitting words, but also the possibility of existing" (Ribeiro, 2017, p. 64). Existing is an act of creation and real life conditions. The word as knowledge must be constituted of this same commitment. By structuring in these premises, the questions that guide this work to be answered require, besides an adequate content, also a methodological strategy. We argue that the letters favor this dialogicity, escrivivencia and existences. The letters have some characteristics that indicate an exercise of otherness in reading and writing, such as: the exercise of dialogue, addressing, associations between interlocutors, connections, contact areas, areas of conflict and tensions. The letter breaks with the solipsism, with the monologue and introduces the other into the discourse. The letter suggests the act of communication itself.

The questions that guide us would be: What transformations and displacements have produced the debate on ethnic-racial relations and the question of childhood in the formations in psychology and social sciences? What strategies and care should we have as educators in a formation process in order not to reproduce structural violence?

We propose attempting to answer these questions through letters exchanged between two educators from different fields: the field of psychology and that of political science. In the Brazilian context, a master psychologist from the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF) - Volta Redonda Unit will speak, which will privilege the black-white relationship based on the problematization of whiteness and the educator's place of speech. The reflexive dialogue will have as its field of analysis the pedagogical task in a formation in psychology crossed by ethnic-racial issues produced by the obligatory nature of the teaching of the African and indigenous culture and history supported by Law 11.645 (Brasil, 2008); the demand produced by the black students who enter the university space from the quota system and the experiences lived in the obligatory discipline of Introduction to Social Psychology and the optional discipline of Human Rights and Social Movements. In the Mexican context, a political science teacher from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) - Xochimilco Unit will speak, which will focus on the analysis of the Jugar y Vivir Ciencia y Valores (Play and Live Science and Values, JVCV) system, previously called Jugar y Vivir los valores (Playing and Living Values, JVLV) whose objective is to think peace in the conflict zone of the Chiapas-Mexico State region through a program based on the formulations and expressions of the constituent values of the Tzeltales' wisdom, an indigenous society that resides in the south of Mexico. This program, developed in the period from 2000 to 2010, began in 16 primary schools of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and was later adopted by the government of the State of Chiapas. These experiences generated several unfolding impacts: 280 songs referred to more than 200 stories; 8 guides for teachers; two technical books on JVLC and JVCV; 60 videos available through the YouTube system2; two pages with didactic materials3. We can affirm that in the first case, the path starts from the problematization of the teacher from two public policies that generate consequences in the method and institutional relations. In the second case, the argumentations begin by means of the presentation of a method that proposes other paradigms for the relations between teacher-student and student-student up to the possibility of construction of public educational policies.

In this article, the reflections produce cracks in the educator's place of speech, cracks in the processes of formation because it demands that we reconfigure these places and processes from that which has been the central actor of the pedagogical violence: the teacher and the method. In this sense, here our effort is to put the childhoods and ethnic-racial relationships as active subjects that interpellate teachers and their methods. This displacement is one of the central axes to change the adult-centered and racialized relationships: It is necessary to problematize the adult and the white as a universal reference. It is from these premises and from the method of the letters that we will develop our reflections on the processes of formation in psychology and primary education, since, without cracks there are no bridges.

Letter to Antonio Paoli

Reading a book by Paulo Freire (2013a, p. 36) I find the term meninizar-me (to become a child), which in Spanish I think we could translate as: niñezarme. I remained evaluating the possibility of becoming a girl, of considering childhood as a verb as opposed to conceiving it as a noun. The experiences with the children that I accompanied in my office came to my memory and at the same time came the stories of childhood shared in my classes at the university. Three superimposed times: the reading-study, the therapist and the teacher. These coexistent times suggest that history as a time frame is not linear. In addition, the coexistence of times makes us think: In what place of speech are we, when we speak of childhood? Do we speak from the experience we had when we were children? Do we speak from the possibility of always being children? Do we talk about a shared experience of childhood? It matters who talks about childhood, but what childhood talks about is also important. To evoke the place of childhood speech it is necessary to affirm that childhood speaks. At the same time, it is also important to ask: Who listens to children? I would like to believe that the psychologist and the teacher would be those professionals trained to listen to children and childhood, but this has not been the dominant history of education, nor of psychology. Education has transformed the child into a student whereas the psychology turned it into a patient. In this context, the child and childhood are spoken. They are listened in order to be translated. These translators talk about childhood, but they do not talk to or with it. How to open cracks in these silencing strategies that affirm giving voice to the child and childhood?

I see myself and identify with what I live in the discussions we have here, in this class. I live and when I become aware of what I live I can understand and give meaning to what I have lived. Generally, when I study at school, what I read and write seems to be separate from my life. But, I perceive that reflecting on life is producing a form of knowledge (Verbal information)4.

This phrase, with the distortions of my memory, was said by a black student. Is it that seeing and identifying oneself in the things we study or in the knowledge we produce can be a crack? It is as if I said, here I experience my life knowing. Adriano Nogueira would say, "Reading and pronouncing the word is recognizing oneself within the engendering of reality" (Freire, 2013a, p. 17). This is how children know. This is the logic of childhood. What does the childhood speak? It speaks from experimentation, from curiosity, from what to do. It speaks from the pedagogy of the question and the indignation. Here the childhood meets the lived experience of the black, described by Fanon (2008, p. 116-117), "I am the world! The white wants the world; [...] He considers himself the predestined lord of this world. He submits it, establishes between it and the world a relation of appropriation [...] Between the world and I, I establish a relationship of coexistence".

Meanwhile, when I think about what the student said, I become aware that this coexistence is not the predominant pedagogical reality, to the extent that the student highlights this moment, this is an exception. I begin to realize that the potency of my childhood and the education I experienced has produced the possibility of being an educator who makes childhood a verb, but the whiteness of my epidermis makes the educational act take exclusion into account. Why does my whiteness reveal the exclusion produced in this narrative? Very recently I understood that in my country the childhood of a little girl is very different from a white girl. The experience of the white girl is represented in the books of the school, in the friends of the school, in the stories that are told in the school. I never lived school as a strange space in my life. Therefore, in order to listen to what my student talks about, I must at first perceive myself as white and recognize the privilege of having a schooling where I could and I can recognize myself. In the same way, I have to recognize that the potency of the black childhood is crossed by the violence of racism.

Is it an ethical responsibility in the process of formation to understand the effects of racism and adult centrism? As Rosana Borges says in the subject O que é lugar de fala e como ele é aplicado no debate público (Moreira; Dias, 2017), to think the place of speech is an ethical position, because knowing the place from where we speak is fundamental to think in the hierarchies, the issues of inequality, poverty, racism and sexism. Is it a political responsibility in the process of formation to affirm the legacy of the African matrices and the native people? As Jota Mombaça (2017) affirms, if the concept of place of speech becomes a tool of interruption of hegemonic voices, it is because the place of speech disallows the matrix of authority that constructed the world as an epistemicidal event. But how to do it? To these questions many others that accompany my daily life as a psychology teacher are added. Questions that bring as a priori the question of psychic suffering, of the legacy to humanity that these matrices represent and of the affirmative actions. How to translate these issues into pedagogical work? Should we include content on racism and on the history and culture of Africa and the native people? Should we adopt black and indigenous authors? Should we question our eurocentric, patriarchal, racist and western referents? Should we recognize other epistemes, African and indigenous, and consequently work with other forms of knowledge production and other methodologies? How to work racism without reproducing it being a white teacher? How to use didactic materials based on African matrices and native people without reproducing an undue appropriation and without creating new forms of reification while being a white teacher? How to deal with the effects of the discussion of racism in the classroom, when the student is black and has no awareness of racism, when the student is black and is aware of racism, when the student is white and is not aware of racism and when the student is white and is aware of racism?

I believe that in this letter it will not be possible to answer all these questions, but they bring up some parameters: explaining the mechanisms and effects of racism; using black and native authors; presenting the legacy of the african and indigenous matrices; legitimizing other epistemologies. In the meantime, none of these resources are effective if we do not assume the last three questions oriented by the questioning of whiteness. We must sustain a relationship that affirms the difference, but does not maintain the inequality; that affirms the horizontality, but does not reproduce the homogenization that the nullity generates. It is necessary to guarantee the presence of the black and native actors as propositive subjects, as a reference of knowledge, as a representative of a culture and a history that should be treated as a contribution towards humanity. In this sense, in addition to having more black and indigenous teachers, we must in a predominantly white environment give up our space to be occupied by ethnic-racial difference and representation. It is from this place that the black and indigenous authors, that the didactic materials with ethnic-racial contents must inhabit the process of formation: of the place of speech. I am not the savior of the enslaved and primitive, I am a white woman who, conscious of the privilege of her place of speech, must stop talking and learn to listen. In this way we can start to build a process of formation where it is possible to recognize our own life as being part of the production of knowledge.

The teacher's silence meets the silence of the psychologist. The psychologist is taught to remain silent so that the analysis work is done by the analysand. The psychologist is told that his main instrument of work is listening. But, to what extent does listening as a method, when crossed by racism and adult centrism, make one rethink one's own method instead of thinking about the object of analysis as the problem?

The place of speech overflows in a work between narrative and memory. According to Tzvetan Todorov (2000), the narrative and the uses of memory must surpass what happened as insurmountable, intransitive and transform into an exemplary memory, which is used to act in the present, in situations in which we are not necessarily the actors that are subjected to the violence in question, but travelers of a dirty history which we recognize by analogy or from the outside. Exemplary memory speaks from justice, not only from pain; speaks from the potential, not just the denunciation or resistance. Memory and narrative is a work that in itself refers us to the reconfiguration, restoration, resignification, elaboration and affirmation. This work of elaboration and redefinition of whiteness would be established from the deconstruction of the universality of white as a synonym of being human; of the universality of the adult as a subject of rights and synonymous with autonomy. This means that turning to the South would be a task of looking towards other civilizing projects beyond the eurocentric-western-racist-patriarchal project. In this sense, it is necessary to include in this discussion the devices that make education work: classrooms, schedules, disciplines, curricula, evaluation systems, academic production formats, sources. Time, place and form, as the processes of formation, integrate constitutively the production of knowledge. Rooms where the body does not exist; production rules based on a certain way of writing and reading; reflections structured in readings and writings, exclusion of other forms of narratives; what to do is not considered as a form of knowledge - characteristics of a way of educating based on a certain civilizational project. Could we say that these characteristics reveal where does the difficult task of raising the discussion about racism, sexism, eurocentrism, the occidentalism of the formations pass through?

My color, the knowledge that I bring as an inheritance, my age, my supposed universality, the life devoted for work, the school outside of life, life in the school that seems to be a factory. These are the marks that I carry when I enter a class. These marks as metaphors of power produce social distinctions. These marks speak of a social place, "[...] we are not talking about the experiences of individuals necessarily, but about the social conditions that allow or not these groups access to places of citizenship. It would be a structural debate" (Collins, 1997, p. 9). When we acquire awareness of the place of speech, that is, of the social place, the possibility of opening cracks in the universal view arises.

We believe that there can be no lack of responsibility of the subject of power [...] to speak from places is also to break with this logic that only the subordinates talk about their locations, making those who are inserted in the hegemonic norm do not even think (Ribeiro, 2017, p. 84).

In this context, we delve into the need for self-definition as a basic strategy of confronting the colonial project, since by asking who could speak, what can we talk about and what happens when we speak, we identify that there are mechanisms of legitimacy associated with epistemicide. There is a fear imposed, where talking could mean reprisals, punishments and loss of privileges. "[...] There is an apprehensive fear that, if the colonial subject speaks, the colonizer will have to listen. He / She would be forced into an uncomfortable confrontation with the truths of the 'Others'" (Kilomba, 2012, p. 20). Meanwhile, in this work the fear we are going to problematize is the white fear. Fear is an element found in the genesis of racism, since it reveals what Freud (1927-31) called cannibal love: to incorporate or devour the other. These are verbs that structure the strategies of assimilation and whitening. "The silence, the omission, the distortion of the place of the white in the situation of racial inequalities in Brazil have a strong narcissistic component, of self-preservation" (Bento, 2002, p. 30). The other emerges as the different, a stranger which places the white as normal and universal in question. In the narratives of the whites we often observe an invisibility of the black in his life, the white does not live, does not see, does not know any blacks. The invisibility of the black means not perceiving it as another with whom it constitutes otherness. Its existence arises barely to confirm its whiteness. In counterpoint, there is a high visibility of the white marked by its neutrality, constituted by being a paradigmatic model of appearance and human condition. Using the points identified by Edith Piza (2002), we also believe that the capacity to apprehend and learn with the other, as equal/different, is dull. This author highlights a neuralgic point of racism, racial neutrality and transparency corresponds to the mark of the construction of a white identity generating a direct effect on the experience of otherness. In the constitution of oneself the measure of comparison is with itself. I understand and name myself based on logics by similarities. To what extent not naming oneself as a white and not recognizing their raciality excludes and prevents one from understanding oneself and the other from the same-equal terms, such as horizontality; or equal-different, as a singularity? "In the context of an identity in which the 'other' can only be similar, the discourse of 'equality in difference' can not be understood since the different does not exist as 'other'" (Piza, 2002, p. 87). This, according to the author, may be one of the most complex causes to develop the listening and decoding of the experiences of racism of black children, mainly in the school space.

It is very common in the school space, at different levels, teachers do not recognize racist practices, do not know how to deal and justify their attitude saying that they feel very uncomfortable. In this sense, the first task is to create conditions to support the uncomfortable in order to transform it into a crack that breaks with the absence of contact or contact based on stereotypes.

Following the stages of the non-racist white racial identity of Janet Helms (1990), one must first come into contact, then realize how uncomfortable it is to know the advantages that the white condition provides. This is called the stage of disintegration. In this stage there is shame and guilt, but also the denial of racism, the blaming of the victims, the rage against the blacks and the paralysis. The reintegration would come from some catalyzing situation that allows the continuity of the reflection process. This reintegration requires an immersion and an emersion, where through the active search for information about racism from the whiteness it is possible to reconfigure its social place. Some authors call this racial literacy. From this racial literacy, a new perception of what it is to be white would emerge that allows a confrontation to oppression and racism in everyday life. How to present these references in the formation processes? How to create bridges?

How to create this contact? How to produce disintegration and reintegration processes? How to favor a racial literacy and another perception of oneself as a white? At this moment, I think it would be important to take up other references, that of the devices of the formation process: a selection process for monitoring and an evaluation process.

The monitoring project in question was set up for a discipline of Introduction to Social Psychology that establishes the objective of constructing a methodology that favors the formation of a psychologist associated with Law 11.645 (Brasil, 2008). This Law determines, in Brazil, the obligatory nature of the contents associated with african and indigenous matrices. In this semester of 2018-1, a selection based on consensus was experienced. The construction of the selection criteria was made jointly by the teacher and registered students. At this time, in addition to criteria related to the objectives of the discipline, the contents and the project itself, the need to present a racial and financial condition quota was discussed. The students decided that these fees could be considered as tiebreaker criteria. Little by little we found relations between the obligatory nature of african and indigenous matrix contents with Social Psychology, the function of Social Psychology in the field of psychology, the methods to work on these relationships. When we started to think about the role of the monitor, the question arises: To what extent does having a black monitor would be important to work on the project? Since the teacher is white, having a black monitor can fulfill the function of guaranteeing the place of speech from the black voice? The importance of having a strong figure in a place of reference arises, in this case reference of power in the field of knowledge production and in the field of formation-education. In addition, to include productions of black authors, videos with black intellectuals and materials that legitimize African and indigenous culture, history and episteme; it is evaluated that this presence could contribute in some way to favor relationships where racialized hierarchies would be relativized and problematized. But, this conclusion was not without tensions. The students who participated in the selection were militants from different collectives and at the same time people who were aware of ethnic-racial, sexist, eurocentric-western issues. I believe that this composition created conditions to support the disintegration produced by the breakdown of the universalized characteristics and considered neutral for a selection of monitor, also contributed to create bridges between the cracks in order to affirm characteristics that should in fact guide the role of the monitor. There was a climate that revealed a disappointment of white people mixed with an awareness. But, there was no paralysis. Finally, it was decided that the black student should be the monitor. Meanwhile, there was also great interest in occupying voluntary monitoring. Today the project has a group of three monitors: an official monitor who is black and two volunteers, also black. The selection was a space to work ethnic-racial relationships without necessarily being taught a content. In this experience we learned through the construction of criteria that would break with institutional racism. This rupture and bridge was structured from two points: legitimacy of the place of speech of the black and consciousness and displacement of the place of speech of the white. But, this experience also makes visible other educational dimensions that constitute the daily life of a school space.

How can an evaluation process allow contents and ethnic-racial relationships to work? In an optional discipline where you work with the contents: racism, blackness, whiteness, whitening, literacy, legacy of african matrices; the constructions of letters that are publicly read in class were used. In these letters the student must relate a concept, an experience and the reference text. There were two remarkable moments: The first moment was the class in which the students could talk about the racisms to which they were subjected and accompanied by the silent and respectful listening of the white students. In the faces of the white students there was shame and guilt and in the faces of the black students there was anger and pain. The second moment was the class where the white students read their letters talking about whiteness. At this time, the questions and challenges imposed by white students on themselves spoke of a quest to overcome guilt and shame and build an Us. In a fragment, the white student demonstrates her contradictions:

How can I talk about what I hate, but in a way I help to maintain it? Am I an oppressor while I do not want to? I'm on their side, but I'm not one of them? How to speak? How not to talk? [...] Today I am not tied to the guilt anymore!5 (Verbal Information).

At another time, another white student perceives where she keeps the processes of whitening disguised by an act of permission:

[...] relationships were established [...] as if with our whiteness we did a favor to add value to them, because at last, we were allowing blacks to share the world of white superiority6 (Verbal information).

The same thing happens with another white student who reveals in his reflections the white invisibility:

The most disturbing of the whiteness (is) to hide practices that in no way displace or provoke who in fact is, or was, hidden in all that scenario. Dichotomies between the black passive to racism, the white active in being racist, hide the white, since it is only spoken in the first case7 (Verbal information).

This student reinforces that the white discourse also maintains its invisibility in discourses that speak of the suffering of the black, insofar as the discourse of a white person remains on a black one. Finally, this student after the process of disintegration and integration proposes a path to autonomy:

It is imperative to change the senses of whiteness (blanquitud) in favor of a whiteness (blanquidad), without hierarchies and that does not distort the speech and discourses with the idea of 'I authorize the speech' and 'Now I want to hear'8 (Verbal information)9.

It is evident that writing and reading the letters publicly produces effects on the white students who exercise another way of being white, but as significant as the listening of the black students who affirmed how important it was for them to hear the white recognizing the mechanisms of reproduction of the racism and at the same time live the possibility of establishing other ways of relating from other parameters. It is in this sense that narratives and memories should serve as a subject for education, insofar as, when apart from the I, we walk in the direction of the other. We must "[...] use the past with a view to the present, take advantage of the lessons of the injustices suffered to fight against those that occur today [...] How to affirm that a phenomenon is unique if I have never compared it with anything? Who compares speaks about similarities and differences" (Todorov, 2000, p. 32-36).

The relationships in the school and the different educational dimensions are privileged spaces to concretize strategies of recognition, self-definition, identification; but at the same time they are also part of an entanglement where the contradictions and tensions between narcissistic self-preservation and coexistence traversed by racism produce precarized and vulnerable childhoods insofar as relations themselves do not provide a legitimization of lived experiences. That is, it does not offer a knowledge validation field of oneself, of the other and of the world. Ethnic-racial relationships should provide an enrichment of life through coexistence with difference, while racism has been educating bodies and minds through an alteration of the meaning of reality, where it is impossible to objectively validate one's experiences and knowledge.

I believe that the guiding questions of this work actually open up the possibility of conceiving the educational act as an original-viable, utopian concept by Paulo Freire (2011). For Freire, in our lives there are barriers that show the limits, the ruptures, the impossible, the oppression, but also the possible paths and that which does not exist, although we wish that it exists. He calls the barriers the limit-situations and he refers to the possible as original-viable. In this context, there is a highlighted perceived aspect of everyday life that can not and should not remain as something impenetrable, but rather as a problem-issue that must be transposed through limit-acts that do not accept passively or docilely reality as something determined. The bridges are only constructed from a possible one that is in seed. If there is an oppression, it is that there is something that wants to exist. It is these other possibilities that make life not only struggle and resistance, but an act of being. Be more, Paulo Freire would say. Here I finish my letter, going through a question that pursues me: "A life of resistance is a fulfilling life?" (Ramos, 2017, p. 143).

Letter to Nancy Lamenza

You begin the introduction with beautiful sentences of our Freire (1983, p. 100-101): "To exist, humanly, is to pronounce the world". How can we not agree? However, this act of pronouncing the world assumes patterns, patterns of behavior and thought learned from experience and exchanges of words, different reasonings.

We propose to start at school precisely because of the diverse and concatenated aesthetic emotions that fascinate girls and boys, who display their hormones of happiness. From this bodily emotion, which generates aesthetic emotions, positive psychic movements, where, before rationally elucidating, there is a deep admiration achieved with different games and arts: the story, the song constructed from the story, the drawing and the crafts, theater, dance and choreography. Allow me to give an example based on our teacher's guide to Jugar y Vivir los Valores de segundo de primaria, and theorized in our Pedagogy of Mutual Appreciation book (Paoli, 2014b).

Children fly together in the school yard. They are pigeons, they run away wrapped in the hunter's net. All together. They had fallen into the trap. Hunger made them go down to eat some grains. That was the bait. Now they escape: they fly tight, painfully in a net. They have to fly very close together. The rhythm marks the movement of the wings, from song 29 of the compact disc of the second year of primary school of Jugar y Vivir los Valores (JVLV). The singer is accompanied by a chorus of perfectly toned girls. Listen to the first verse:

The pigeons have already fled.

The hunter lost his net

then together the pigeons

have already escaped him

They already escaped him ... freed (Paoli, 2014a, p. 120-123).

One of the fundamental objectives of JVLV is to create and constantly recreate constructive experiences that sow content in our hearts and in all the educational communities with which we work, and promote the dissemination of the seeds of happiness to spread and sponsor the development of resilient characters. According to Vanistendael (2013), we seek to develop a resilience associated with good humor, in such a way that, although we face problems, we do not lack hope and gratitude.

But how do we seek to constitute the seed of happiness? First, for the seed to be effective it can not be based on mockery or contempt [...] the mechanism to be happy is not to laugh at anyone's weakness, but to adopt a new integrating rhythm. From activities such as these we will understand deeply, that the other, the 'Thou', my companions are worshipped, hotbeds of my own exaltation10.

None of the [...] didactic situations [...] implies a humiliating irony [...] against another because he or she has committed a clumsiness; nor does it mix the supposed superiority of an 'I' over a 'Thou' because it fell or did something foolish, and much less includes sarcasm with its rejection, with the mockery that reduces the other (Paoli, 2014a, p. 21-22).

We start from vitalizing and positive stories, then go to dialogues originated from questions from the teacher to the children. Of course, women and men do not act in silence. But with what words are we going to vitalize their lives? Not with its tragedies of the past, but with new emotions, which will come with a new language and new reflections. Questions such as: How did they collaborate? Could the pigeons be free individually? What did they gain by flying together? What would they have lost if they did not organize as a team?

Of course, dialogue is an existential demand, and that existential demand must start with new experiences of vitalizing aesthetic emotions, in which we will certainly incorporate their families and their communities. We will look for proverbs and anecdotes that speak to us of the edifying actions of their communities to generate a meaningful language, referring to the vitalizing stories along with all their chain of different arts, that is to talk about aesthetic emotions that strengthen the psyche.

With dialogue we will open ourselves to plurality, to the opposites that are found or faced, but that are there, as perspectives, as horizons that will be found in the exchange. The word is not vitalized by itself. As in the poem, language is the great garment that dresses a longing, an energetic eagerness.

In our system, which we now call JVCV (Playing and Living Science and Values), we do not start from the bitter experiences of our real past, we bring the ill-fated, racist and unfortunate past to find the dimensions of its community authenticity, when compared with the examples of friendship, solidarity and courage experienced thanks to the arts provided by the school. Then yes, the dialogicity will cross the educating practice of academic production. Here the memory of the families, recovered thanks to family tasks, will bring us historical-cultural references, memories, documents, biographies and grandiose dreams, or miserable ones that we will turn into great for their heroism, for their possibility of being above the tragedy.

And now, that memory will be confronted and also referred to exemplary and fascinating attitudes that caused aesthetic emotions and plotted new patterns in the group. The aesthetic emotions referred to positive values are a new ferment for the thinking of girls, boys and their families. We are talking here about what they name the new conception of feeling and thinking to generate new forms of relationship. Because you are right, boys and girls speak from the experimentation, the curiosity, the task. They also speak from the question and the indignation. Childhood, that childhood described by you and referred to Fanon (2008, p. 116-117), meets the lived experience of the black, and now will have new vitalizing experiences, which do not eliminate the bitter experience of discrimination, but that is indeed a new heritage of their psyche.

It is like the case of that girl, narrated in the stories of 3rd, of the program JVCV (2016): she had to carry, by chance, a very heavy car with school food. She thought it was too much. Her great teacher, full of moral authority, led her notice her bravery and courage: you could with everything, the obstacles are little things for you. And what was an excess and lived by her as humiliation, became one of the glories of her life. Overcoming tragedies is one of the greatest capabilities of human beings. Not only to establish a relationship of coexistence, but of dignity, that is, to be aware of one's own value, of the equality of all and of service to the human race.

This perspective is the possibility of creating a new ethic and a new policy, where the pride of having african or native matrices, allows us to be beyond the racist and classist humiliation, which combine and multiply within the framework of infamy. Each person, whether teacher, father or mother, girl or boy has potential. We must evidence and awaken them, make them aware, through identification and experimenting its own flavor, making use of the always positive characters of the stories, the songs and the many exalting games of the program. Discovering one's greatness in multiple games is edifying and deeply satisfying. This is the central function of the school. We seek, through various methods, that the potentialities that each person discovers in oneself, aided by the didactic games, strongly show the potentialities as an individual issue won thanks to the group, or rather to the educational community.

The potentialities discovered in oneself must have a weight even greater than the classifications where society wants to pigeonhole us. We can not escape the roles and, nevertheless, we can be above them. We can be above them thanks to the awareness of our own strengths and efficiencies.

The value of each person in the educational community will also be a social value and, by doing it, it should reflect the awareness of self-respect, of one's own self-esteem. Their virtues are not the work of a social plan, but of their own potentialities and the awareness of these potentialities. That is called dignity.

Of course, this process can be interrupted by hegemonic voices, that is why we need to influence the creation of public policies that prevent these authoritarian and epistemicidal interruptions, enemies of the self-recognition of each person's own greatness. Political surveillance is indispensable, yes, but before political surveillance is required, it is a sine qua non condition for the presence of a method where the educational community experiences, daily, different aesthetic emotions, integrating and edifying as part of the daily life .

The materials referring to the life and traditions of the natives or of african origin will be presented with the respect of a white teacher and will be then symbol of the importance they have for the race and class of that teacher. She will present them gladly or fascinated. In these conditions, what was difficult can become ease, in identification, to some extent with the values of the families and communities that surround the school.

The ideals presented by the school will be a valuable reference for it to reach the families as family tasks. The teacher will have carefully and methodically listened the reviewed family tasks with news from the community. The teacher will be prepared to present stories, imaginary of equity for all. Those stories that she presents will be enriched by the idiosyncrasies of the community and the community will be improved with the vitality of the school materials.

As teachers, we will contribute with didactic sequences. Each sequence will start out of a vitalized narrative, regarding different arts and arts concatenated in the same theme. Each of the artistic games will be referred to the same story.

As Todorov (2000) points out in the quote you make, the narrative and the uses of memory must surpass what happened. Because the different aesthetic emotions will become so significant that, when followed by dialogue, they will influence the perception and the forms of judgment of the educational community. And, unlike the dirty history pointed out by this author, this will be an exemplary memory, which will speak of justice, from the power that resists the ill-fated customs of racism and classism. This is the resignification that screams for our society and where education can provide a great service and, as you say, look towards other civilizing projects beyond the eurocentric-western-racist-patriarchal project.

Memory and narrative remind us to reconfigure, restore, resignify and affirm ourselves. However, not being enough with the memory of the lived facts and the narrative we have to emphasize our greatness. Neurolinguistic programming is necessary based on great desires, the desired transcendence and dressed in literary clothing enhanced by music, recreated by handicrafts, by choreography, by children and adult composition, by its theatrical representation.

Let us now dwell on the idea of aesthetic emotion, which we have been referring to as a central factor in the transformation of attitudes and learning processes. To do this I will support myself in chapter 2 of my book Educational community and equity, which shows as its title says, how to form an educational community to create equity in the program Play and Live Science and Values (JVCV) (Paoli, 2017, p. 43-44):

'Emotions', explains Efraín Bartolomé (2006, p. 19), were given to us by Mother Nature to be our motive, our driving force, what sets us in motion, what moves us, what drives us to action each time we have difficulties in life. That is why emotions exist: to push us to resolve conflicts [...] Thanks to them we restore balance, we satisfy needs, we return to the state of reciprocity between us and Nature or between ourselves and our neighbor.

And why do we call the experiences promoted by JVCV as aesthetic emotions? Because they are expressive impulses. The cordial effusion sponsors new configurations of our feelings, as well as unpublished representations of ideas and ideals.

Normally the ideas and ideals proposed by JVLV are playful and entertaining. It is played with ideas such as 'grace', 'wonder', 'flyingbatrachians', 'grand advisers' and many more. Recreation is guided by multiple factors such as rhyme, metrics, as well as all the resources of singing and musical performance. The set of ideas becomes an ideal representation. In this representation many components are coordinated with precision and create harmony that unfolds and is enjoyed. Girls, boys and teachers are integrated into that ideal and revel in it, then the entire educational community will be invited to create and live their own aesthetic emotions from these program materials.

With the aesthetic emotions, symbols are left in the environment and ways of being are affirmed, of wanting to be and of creating a new environment. The ideal is presented here as a playful dignity that enraptures the collective, invites them to play, to have fun and calls on each actor to freely confront their old symbols

New words are enjoyed and integrated into the life of the classroom and of the entire educational community, the group is happy, a context has been set up to discuss friendship with acceptance and the appreciation of girls and boys. They will also invite their families to participate in these aesthetic emotions, to enjoy and to dialogue, to combine their customs and traditions with the harmonizing activities carried out at school.

With the aerial game of the frog and hundreds of other games, proposed by JVLV, the generation of pleasant feelings is encouraged along with academy and reason.

Play times are created with different rhythms, recreational encouragement is generated and, from that zest, they are asked for modalities of the good, for mutual help forms, in such a way that they reason and discern with the group.

Experiences similar to this such as the solidary flight of the ducks and the frog are lived every day of class, with cadences, recesses and different themes. The didactic situations change, the rejoicings multiply. With them new sets and ways of moving arise, of releasing hidden impulses, of expressing oneself, of relating oneself with joy and projecting life with assertiveness.

It is very difficult to learn something well if you do not learn through one or several games. Music is a major factor in creating good balances oriented towards teaching and learning. It is a cooperative teaching-learning, where the group tends to establish relationships of sympathy and attention that vitalize the skills of thought.

The musical consonance prepares girls and boys to meet the virtuous reality of others and understand it. It is always about a I oriented towards a Thou horizon that looks at me as a horizon of authenticity, and towards another You horizon that looks at me as a horizon of authenticity until the group, the community and its neighbors are exhausted. The learned language offers support and illuminates new forms of edifying relationship, original ways of referring to the happy community, such as the ducks and the flying frog.

In this tenor it is possible to understand the other as a constituent of your own collective identity.

We think that public policies to transform racist attitudes require a systematic method, promoter of aesthetic emotions through a wide range of positive stories, music of varied rhythms and didactic sequences designed for the entire educational community. The responsibility of the states to oppose all forms of racism is not possible without these didactic instruments, where every game is didactic and every didactic is playful.

De-colonial work can only be efficient if it passes through aesthetic experiences that make self-respect vivid, where there is a bodily joy through which each subject, reinforced by the collectivity, passes to that aesthetic emotion, to that psychic movement in which one enjoys oneself's own greatness and feels the nutrition of happiness beyond words and reason. Each individual then is freed from the feeling of oppression for a moment. It is in that moment where the door opens to the possibility of reasoning and believing in its own greatness.

Rather than trying to decode the feelings of humiliation, it is necessary to affirm in the depth of being the self-image of one's own worth and the collective support for that value. If one starts with this decoding, one as a teacher reaffirms resentment and with it makes girls and boys resume and support an inferior position.

Only with the deep affirmation of one's greatness in its multiple dimensions, is that one can reason. Of course, this does not transform the structural conditions of an economy based on exploitation and multiple forms of alienation. However, it does open the psyche to self-value and from there look critically at social life.

Although it is true, following Caio Henrique Albuquerque Jardim11, that it is imperative to change the senses of whiteness (blanquitud) in favor of a whiteness (blanquidad)12, without hierarchies ... (Verbal information) This change can only be real if the children, whites and blacks, are deeply identified, through strong aesthetic emotions with the whole group. From that psychic movement sponsored by the educational community, they can initiate a language of equality. The neurolinguistic reprogramming will do its job and from then on, the conditions will be created to carry out dialogues that will install us in the sense horizon of the others.

There will have to be multiple chains of aesthetic emotions, with their subsequent respective dialogues; they will have to give themselves those experiences from different plots and themes; collective enterprises between girls and boys of different races will have to be carried out; the forms of collaboration and gratitude among them will have to be multiplied; They will have to emphasize their specialties, skills and virtues. With all this, shared emotional depth and integrating moral commitment will be created.

I think your statement that the relationships in the school and the different educational dimensions are privileged spaces to concretize strategies of recognition and self-definition, identification... However, in order for this privileged space to take advantage of it, generation of enthusiasm and inclusive dialogue is essential.

Conclusion: between-letters, integrating dialogues and overflows

This epistolary dialogue looks for non-racialized or hierarchical forms of life and bets that the strength of art overflows possibilities, like the poetry of Luciane Nascimento (2017)The way you face life, everything in it is to love yourself. The black skin already comes from the belly entirely tattooed of history.

The cracks must interrupt the hegemonic, authoritarian and epistemicidal logics. Through the cracks new experiences of vitalizing aesthetic emotions are born. The bridges are not sustained by classifications, boxes, contempt, humiliating ironies, superiorities ruled by rejections and sarcasms. Bridges are made of dignity, plurality, good humor, happiness, hope. We agree with the premise that the new engendering of feeling and thinking must be constituted in order to generate new forms of relationship, which do not eliminate the bitter experience of discrimination, but they must encounter tensions that speak to us of perspectives and horizons, potentialities and new materialities.

Everything in it is to love yourself. It is to be considered that this strong thread emerged from inside your head, we must assume that what is inside of it, is not weakness. And if it appears weak, it is because it has not yet been given the opportunity of reconciliation with itself, because its nature is to be strong (Nascimento, 2017, online).

Through cracks and bridges we are slowly building a de-colonial work, which in principle demands a corporeity that is knowledge. You have to feel different, you have to live differently. A living that is not only a solitary and self-referential experience. A living among others and with others. This dimension that we call dignity and that refers us to a creation and recreation of living itself as a verb, and not life as something that was stolen or set aside. Knowing, learning and thinking should be synonymous with life. It is necessary to constitute another subjective territory that has a shared objectivity, collectively legitimized. There is a possible life without oppression, without inequality, without violence. One life only. Because we all dream of a time when we do not have to be so strong [...] because one can not face racism when you still hate yourself (Nascimento, 2017).

1This article is part of the Thematic Section, Childhood and Education of Ethnic-Racial Relations, organized by Renato Noguera (Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro), Míghian Danae Ferreira Nunes (Universidade da Integração Internacional da Lusofonia Afro-Brasileira), Luciana Pires Alves (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro) and Nancy Lamenza Sholl da Silva (Universidade Federal Fluminense).

2Available at: <>. Accessed on: Jun 3, 2018.

3Available at: <> and <>. Accessed on: Jun 3, 2018.

4Story of a student in the discipline class of introduction to social psychology, course of psychology of the Federal University of Fluminense (UFF), Unit of Volta Redonda, Rio de Janeiro, 2018-1.

5Text extracted from the letter read by the student Juliana Pinheiro da Silva of the optional discipline Human Rights and Social Movements, administered in the course of psychology of the Fluminense Federal University (UFF), Volta Redonda Unit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2018-1.

6Text extracted from the letter read by the student Paula Parada Oliveira of the optional discipline Human Rights and Social Movements, administered in the course of psychology of the Fluminense Federal University (UFF), Volta Redonda Unit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2018-1.

7Text extracted from the letter read by the student Caio Henrique Albuquerque Jardim of the optional discipline Human Rights and Social Movements, administered in the course of psychology of the Fluminense Federal University (UFF), Volta Redonda Unit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2018-1.

8Text extracted from the letter read by the student Caio Henrique Albuquerque Jardim of the optional discipline Human Rights and Social Movements, administered in the course of psychology of the Fluminense Federal University (UFF), Volta Redonda Unit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2018-1.

9Translator's Note: the word whiteness was used to denote both the concept of blanquitud and blanquidad due to the inexistence of a word equivalent to these different Spanish terms in the English language

10In relation to this point, we will closely follow the dialogical perspective of Martin Buber, for whom the primary experience is the I-Thou relationship. Human life is exalted thanks to the solidary response of anI to a Thou.

11Text extracted from the letter read by the student Caio Henrique Albuquerque Jardim of the optional discipline Human Rights and Social Movements, administered in the course of psychology of the Fluminense Federal University (UFF), Volta Redonda Unit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2018-1.

12Translator's Note: once more, the word whiteness was used to denote both the concept of blanquitud and blanquidad due to the inexistence of a word equivalent to these different terms in Spanish in the English language.


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Received: November 22, 2018; Accepted: March 07, 2019

Nancy Lamenza Sholl da Silva has a degree in Psychology from the Universidade Santa Úrsula (1987), specializing in Psychiatric Assistance at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), teacher in Psychiatry and Mental Health at the UFRJ (2000) and a PhD in Latin American Studies - Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (2008). He is currently an adjunct professor at the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF). ORCID: E-mail:

Antonio Paoli studied a degree in Communication, a Master's in Sociology and a Doctorate in Social Sciences from the Universidad Iberoamericana. He completed postdoctoral studies at the Lonergan Institute of Boston College, in the academic year 1996-1997. Since 1977 he is a full-time professor at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM, Xochimilco unit), in the Department of Education and Communication, as well as postgraduate programs in Rural Development, Master in Educational Planning and Development, Doctorate in Rural Development and in the Doctorate in Social Relations. ORCID: E-mail:

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