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Monday, September 06, 2004

Tariq Ali in Setubal this weekend!

The Bloco de Esquerda is running a summer school in conjunction at the Escola de Educação, IPS (II Escola de Verão do Bloco de Esquerda) with some great speakers.

Tariq Ali's dissenting voice has been important, especially his writings against the wars, and US presence in the Middle East. He's made the transition from being an activist to a writer. To what extent are they the same, different or overlapping roles, I ask myself?

Boaventura de Sousa Santos, a leading social scientist in Portugal, will also be there (para confirmar). Some of his writings availiable online in English are here. Sousa Santos has been important in helping rewrite a more up-to-date narrative about Portuguese identity that doesn't focus on (macho) myths and symbols of Portugal's importance as a maritime and colonial empire. His metaphor concept of fronteira (border) to describe both Portugal's geo-political position and also the effect of this location as a cultural "way of being" is fascinating and I suspect the principle reason why I live in Portugal. I "feel" that fronteira condition living in Portugal. And I feel at home in it. I see exactly what Santos is saying when he sees this fronteira condition as one of Portugal's most fluid and dynamic traits that makes it a bridge between cultures of "the centre" and its peripheries.

Fernando Rosas is another person I admire who will be there. His writings on the political history of Portugal, especially the Estado Nova have been important readings for me.


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