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    When the (face)mask slips: politics, performance and crisis in urban Brazil

    Ikemura Amaral, A. and Jones, G.A. and Nogueira, Mara (2021) When the (face)mask slips: politics, performance and crisis in urban Brazil. City 25 (3-4), pp. 235-254. ISSN 1360-4813.

    When the (face)mask slips R&R.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

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    In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, masks and the act of masking have become emotive subjects for social and political debate. In Brazil, one of the countries most severely affected by the pandemic, the seemingly mundane act of mask-wearing has become part of a deep social, political and economic crisis at the centre of which is the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro. In this paper we explore the politics of (un)masking in Brazil from three vantage points in which the mask serves to dramatise the country’s current moment. Firstly, we trace the connections and disjunctions between the politics of mask-wearing and the genealogies of hygienist policies associated with the modern aspirations of the Brazilian republic. Secondly, we consider how masks are incorporated into the everyday life of the city through popular economies, which reveal the potentialities and limitations of work beyond the modern ideals of waged labour. Finally, we explore the incorporation of masks in urban street-art. We approach graffiti and murals as situated performances of symbolic resistance that contest and reveal the incoherences of Bolsonaro’s anti-science discourse. In tandem, these three perspectives foreground practices of (un)masking that expose long-standing tensions and new contemporary challenges that characterise the politics of a “crisis society.”


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies, Centre for (CILAVS)
    Depositing User: Mara Nogueira
    Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2021 08:01
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:11


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