Com Vandalismo

The invisible voice of a male narrator that generates a performance of objectivity. The filmmakers’ and editors’ roles in selecting footage and arranging the video. The organization and categorization of the protests and the decision of what to narrate and when. These are all important things to consider when watching this video.

Still, this documentary offers a representation of the protests that is significantly different than those I have so far seen on any news source.

I found this piece originally when reading the Portuguese version of the article “VIDEO: Brazil’s Vinegar Revolt Captured in Independent Film ‘Vandalism,'” on Global Voices.

International Positions

Another important aspect of international news media representation of the protests (such as that in Euronews that I discuss) is likely Brazil’s standing in economic and political and ‘cultural’ and social terms with the countries in which the representing journalists and newspapers are situated. If a country were an enemy of Brazil, then likely the news coverage would denounce police violence as a way of criticizing the state.<!–more–>

Overall, though, I get the impression that Brazil has had an overall positive impression on many countries around the world, and it has been called a “middle power” and a “rising power” as a member of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). This discussion of international perceptions is very important to my discussion, but it is beyond the scope of my time availability. Still, it is a question that merits consideration. Perhaps because Brazil has a ‘good’ or ‘neutral’ image, news sources like Euronews don’t have any especially good reasons to criticize the Brazilian government, for example.

Symbolic Violence

Here I will discuss briefly the article “From Public Sphere to Public Screen: Democracy, Activism, and the ‘Violence’ of Seattle” by DeLuca and Peeples. The article will primarily be useful for the what it describes as “symbolic violence” and the relation of this to news media. In this article, DeLuca and Peeples argue that networks of news and large-scale dissemination and other properties of a ‘wired’ society are changing the ways that citizens can participate in activism. . Continue reading

Estadão and not-so-dramatic shifts in coverage of violence

This page in Estadão (a newspaper based in São Paulo), which is titled “Em uma semana, quatro protestos contra aumenta da tarifa em São Paulo [In one week, four protests against transportation fare rises in São Paulo],” contains a short timeline with summaries and links to articles about what happened in each of the four days during the week of June 6th, 2013. Continue reading

James Holston, Insurgent Citizenship

In the first chapter of his book, Holston argues that democratization adn urbanization in the twentieth century have been accompanied by increased citizen conflicts. Thus, he says, “the worldwide insurgence of democractic citizenships in recent decades has disrupted established formulas of rule and privilege in the most diverse societies. The result is an entanglement of democracy with its counters, in which new kinds of citizens arise to expand democratic citizenship and new forms of violence and exclusion simultaneously erode it” (3). Continue reading

‘Violent’ Protests and the Illegitimacy of Symbolic Violence

(Before beginning to read this post, I recommend you refer to my post about symbolic violence, whose ideas were foundational for the questions I ask as I describe and analyze the contents of the text.)

In contrast to the Euronews video I discuss that highlights police presence and refers to protests as “peaceful,” this video from The Guardian on June 18th, 2013 frames the protests as violent but does not portray any police visually at any point in the video, except through text:

Continue reading

Weber and the State’s Territorial Monopoly on Legitimate Violence

Perhaps in order to talk about the state and violent dis/placement in relation to the police (as a state apparatus), it could be helpful to think for a moment about what the state is.

One scholar who is very often quoted regarding the state is Max Weber. In a lecture in the early twentieth century, Weber defined the state in relation to violence, saying that the state has a “monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force” (2). The definition seems simple enough, but I’ll discuss it briefly in this post to highlight a few other important concepts. Perhaps I will be completely misinterpreting Weber, but if that’s a problem for you, maybe you can just think of this section as “my” definition of the state, using Weber’s words. Continue reading