curated by Yuri Firmeza and Uirá dos Reis
Adriele Freitas + Juliane Peixoto
Chico da Silva
Francisco de Almeida
Marina de Botas
Thiago Martins de Melo
Victor de Castro
Victor de Melo
Language in Delirium
Of the many definitions of the word Bângala, from the minority language of Bantu to the governor of Angola, the one that most interests us is the one highlighted by Ana Miranda in “Musa Praguejadora – A Vida de Gregório de Matos”, Bângala means a hard-on in the Bunda language. The same applies to Ayê, a word from the Yoruba language, which, amongst various different translations (and every translation is a transcreation) invites us to the think about the meaning of the earth and life. Yakã, perhaps the most accurate of the words, means river in Guarani. Bângala: Yakã Ayê is thus, far from being a tribute to phallocentrism, an ode to lives lived in a mighty stream. With the peculiarities of each language assured, we have created a situation where these languages touch each other in an operation that is critical of the regime of survival.
We are interested in thinking about the inaccuracy and lapse of this title as something that guided this curatorship. As if in a totalizing plan, the respect of grammar, laws and assertive outlines, the works oppose themselves in a kind of glossolalia. In other words, works and curatorship which privilege differential relationships in detriment of the actual terms; that say more about syntax than to lexical aspects.
And so, it makes the language rave in a kind of dismantling of the dominant traps that are registered right there, in the language, as Roland Barthes reminds us: “This object in which power is inscribed, for all of human eternity, is language, or to be more precise, its necessary expression: the language we speak and write. Language is legislation, speech is its code. We do not see the power which is in speech because we forget that all speech is a classification, and that all classifications are oppressive: ordo means both distribution and combining. Jakobson showed us that a language defines itself less by what it allows us to say, more by what it forces us to say (…) all language is slavery and power”.
The Geopolitical Language
In other words, it is impossible not to remember that there are around 500 languages in South America alone and more than 200 languages in addition to Portuguese, spoken in Brazil. Krenak reminds us of the shortage of indigenous literature published in Brazil, all depreciated by the Portuguese language. Moreover, following on with the words of Krenak, “Today I think there is almost no native village that does not have a public school in it (…) where Portuguese is one of the obligatory languages in the classroom, in some cases it is the only language. (…) We are experiencing multiple layers of colonization simultaneously. At the same time that you are invited to have a school inside your village you are also invited to forget the whole repertoire of your culture and start to update your repertoire to negotiate the conditions of your survival”
This caustic criticism extends to the institution that is commonly talked about as a saviour: education is the future of the world! In Krenak’s testimony, the proselytizing of an educational project appears as a maintenance of a supposed world order. A project of power, intolerance to difference and repetition of the modus operandi, these are the possible pitfalls of education and of course, art.
Which language do we speak?
The language that dance. Because dancing places everything that surrounds us into a glossolaliac cauldron, without pre-established forms, without names, without identities. A language that founds what it says while it says what it founds, like a performative act that invents worlds and produces vortices.