Interview by: Gaia Giuliani and Sílvia Roque
Edited by: Camilla Morello
Abstract by: Ana Cristina Pereira
Language editing by: Rita Santos
Este podcast faz parte da série de 28 podcasts realizados sobre o caso português e italiano no âmbito do projeto de investigação de 36 meses (2018-2021)
(De)Othering: Desconstruindo o Risco e a Alteridade: guiões hegemónicos e contra-narrativas sobre migrantes/refugiados e “Outros internos” nas paisagens mediáticas em Portugal e na Europa, que pretendeu analisar criticamente representações mediáticas de migrantes, refugiados e “outros internos” em Portugal e na Europa, mapeando as suas interconexões com narrativas produzidas no domínio da segurança e no quadro da Guerra ao Terrorismo. O seu foco, uma análise de Portugal à luz de estudos de caso europeus profundamente afetados por ameaças terroristas (Reino Unido e França) e por fluxos migratórios/de refugiados (Itália e Alemanha), pretende investigar a construção de narrativas transnacionais de risco que permeiam a Europa independentemente da sua exposição “diferenciada”.
O projeto foi financiado pelo pelo FEDER – Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional através do COMPETE 2020 – Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI) e por fundos nacionais através da FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Referencia Projeto: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029997)
----- English Version
This podcast is part of a series of 28 podcasts produced on the Portuguese and the Italian cases as outputs of the research undertaken in the 36 months project (2018-2021) (De)Othering: Deconstructing Risk and Otherness: hegemonic scripts and counter-narratives on migrants/refugees and ‘internal Others’ in Portuguese and European mediascapes that sets out to critically examine media representations on migrants, refugees and ‘internal Others’ in Portugal and across Europe while mapping out their interconnections with particular narratives in the field of security and within the War on Terror. Its focus – an analysis of Portugal in the light of other European cases affected by terrorist threats (United Kingdom and France) and by migrant/refugee flows (Italy and Germany) – aims to explore the construction of transnational narratives of risk pervading Europe regardless of the ‘differential’ exposure to them.
The project was funded by FEDER – European Regional Development Fund through the COMPETE 2020 – Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation (POCI), and by Portuguese funds through FCT in the framework of the project 029997 (Reference: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029997).
Raquel Lima is a poet, performer, and art educator. She was a INOV-ART Program scholarship holder, organized by the Directorate General for Arts/Ministry of Culture in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2009), and a Leonardo Da Vinci scholarship holder in Paris, France (2010). She co-founded the cultural association Pantalassa in 2011 and was the General Coordinator and Artistic Director of PortugalSLAM! since its creation until 2017. In October 2019 she launched her first book and audio-book of poetry entitled “Ingenuidade Inocência Ignorância.” She is a doctoral student in the Post-Colonialism and Global Citizenship Program at the Center for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra.
In this interview, Raquel reflects on her experience as a Black woman born in Portugal, who didn’t have access to Portuguese citizenship without fighting the foreign services, and how this experience marked her “natural” participation in the Portuguese anti-racist movement. Raquel’s path inside the anti-racist movement was never programmatic. It was the result of a need to find concrete solutions for concrete problems. This fight is built on encounters with those who suffer the same kind of oppression, and is above all a space where she feels comfortable to be. According to the interviewee, the absence of representativity of Black women in her field of work was also very instigating. As an academic, she is interested in understanding gender, orature on slavery, afro-descendant movements, and what is being produced by these groups. As an artist, Raquel tries to give access to artistic productions to those who usually don´t have it, and to inscribe Black women and their work in the art field. According to Raquel, publishing a book was not urgent during a 10-year journey of doing slam poetry. It became essential to do so precisely in the name of this inscription in time. And it was important for the poet to edit the book with an independent publisher, outside the logic of capital accumulation, and with women. Her poetry obeys a need over the years to ask collective questions but seeks to be fluid, metaphorical and to avoid being moralizing.
Furthermore, it is not limited to issues of race and gender; it has to do with linguistics, language, orality, and the violent process present in the language itself. The book has been open to various interpretations that add political possibilities. Raquel confesses the fear of seeing her poetry contaminated by forms of writing, including academic ones that take it away from her place of origin – and, therefore, she seeks different creative processes, in a kind of counter-counter-narrative.
Raquel has childhood memories about skinheads. The murder of Alcindo Monteiro was frightening, but she says that images and news are repeated over the years. It is surprising that only a couple of journalists are interested in addressing racism and that there is no structural interest in the subject. There are television channels that reproduce hate speech and receive elements from the far right in prime time, which is, in her opinion, extremely irresponsible.
The activist thinks that there is a frame of racial and spatial segregation - depicting peripheral zones as dangerous and unsafe zones. The stereotype of the irresponsibility of these people in not taking care of themselves is also present. And there is also a non-frame, which is the discrediting of the work that activists do, through the constant tendency of inferiorization of Black agents, racialized agents.
Enlarging the scope of her reflection, Raquel defends that fear is circular, and it is often produced with fake news, which leads us to question how European cities are built. Public space is public for whom?