SIEF2021 15th Congress

Helsinki, Finland
19-24 June 2021

Breaking the rules? Power, participation, transgression

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SIEF2021 - Audio/visual programme

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Convenors: Anna Lisa Ramella (University of Cologne), Roger Norum (University of Oulu)

Audio/Visual Programme Selection Committee: Peter Crawford (University of Tromsø), Tom Dubois (University of Wisconsin Madison), Lotta Petronella (Independent filmmaker), Itsushi Kawase (National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka), Steffen Köhn (Freie Universität Berlin), Andy Lawrence (University of Manchester and, Fabian Lüke (University of Cologne), Moira Marklewitz (University of Cologne), Martin Saxer (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich), Anna-Céline Schäfer (University of Cologne), Theo Zerries (University of Cologne)

SESSION: Body and Senses as Subject/Resistance

Monday 21 June
Roundtable discussion on this topic: 16:15-18:00

The Body Won't Close

2021 | 74’ | Brazil
Mattijs Van de Port

Besouro Mangangá was a capoeira player from Bahia. In songs and legends, he is being remembered as a black hero who magically 'closed' his body so as to become invincible. No bullets, no knives no daggers could pierce his skin. Besouro died when his enemies discovered his weak spot: the sexual act would revoke all the magic performed on his body and leave it wide open Tales about doomed heroes and failed magic are found the world over. They highlight the porosity and vulnerability of the human body and cast this condition in a tragic light: we need to shield ourselves to shut out the evils of the world, but the body won’t close. In Santo Amaro, the small town where Besouro lived and died, ‘closing’ one’s body is part and parcel of the process through which bodies become masculine. The filmmaker engages a number of men to discuss what is to be gained by closing one’s body – as well as what it costs -- and how these practices make sense in the precarious and violent lifeworld they inhabit. Soon, however, the filmmaker realizes that his topic cannot be neatly kept on the side of his Bahian interlocutors. As he finds himself drawn into these intimate conversations, he is forced to consider the intricate ways in which his own body has been trained to shut the world out and let the world in.



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Other films/multimedia in this session