Collective health, coloniality, and subalternities - an (absent) agenda?

Leandro Augusto Pires Gonçalves Roberta Gondim de Oliveira Ana Giselle dos Santos Gadelha Thamires Monteiro de Medeiros About the authors


In this essay we consider that the field of Collective Health in Brazil has been composed by new social actors in the last few years. From this statement, we propose that this change in composition has produced tensions in the Collective Health institutions, because this ‘new actors’ have questioned the matrix of thoughts that sustains this field of knowledge. Subsequently, we present the bases that support our institutions: coloniality, as a predactory matrix which re-updates itself in contemporaneity; and modernity, as a program of thought which separates, determines, and constitutes a civilizational hierarchy. We show that these bases express themselves through the racism and sexism that structures the Brazilian State, and consequently, composes science and public health and its practices. Considering that the field of Collective Health does not escape from this structural Brazilian character, we discuss some problems that such field has had difficulty to recognize. Finally, we point to the Collective Health institutions five proposals which contribute towards the reception of these ‘new actors’ in the field, as well as the discussions that they have brought up, which has been historically subordinate and unseen.

Racism; Public Health; Colonialism; Coloniality; Subalternity; Necropolitics

Centro Brasileiro de Estudos de Saúde Av. Brasil, 4036, sala 802, 21040-361 Rio de Janeiro - RJ Brasil, Tel. 55 21-3882-9140, Fax.55 21-2260-3782 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil