Intersections Between National and Global, Public and Private Sites of Discursive Production: Private Non Profit Institutes of Culture and the Agenda of Diversity in Contemporary Brazil

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 12:52
Location: Hörsaal 50 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Miqueli MICHETTI, Fundacao Getulio Vargas - Escola de Administracao de Empresas de Sao Paulo - FGV, Brazil, Institute of Latin American Studies - Columbia University, USA
Nonprofit organizations have been part of an international order of discourse since the 20th century. Nowadays this phenomenon recrudesces in a more complex transnational scale. Powerful private foundations are playing a growing role in the current multiplication of global governance regimes. They are defining world problems and shaping public agendas around the planet. This process is worldwide, but it occurs differently depending on the specificity of the local and national realities. The paper to be presented analyses the agency of Brazilian private nonprofit cultural organizations, their close and ambiguous relations with public power in Brazil and also their connections and kinship with transnational discursive agencies, such as UNESCO. The Brazilian cultural “institutes” are often a branch of powerful companies in the finance and energy sectors. Nevertheless, they have been sharing responsibilities with public government as if they were spokesmen of public interest. Part of their nonconsensual legitimacy comes from the fact that they enunciate and enact global discourses, as the discourse of diversity. Since the Brazilian Ministry of Culture has recently elected diversity as its main value ( in an attempt to meet global standards enunciated by UNESCO - but also for local reasons), such private agencies gain discursive/practical power. For instance, a particular private institute is in charge of building a national encompassing database of the Brazilian cultural and artistic expressions. Diversity is named, shaped and constructed as such in this process. The same institute carries some important programs to foster art in Brazil and considerable amount of the funding for its activities is public money (tax breaks). Through the analysis of the discourse of these agents the paper seeks to bring lights to the discursive disputes and convergences between private and public, national and global players around the global and often conservative discourse of diversity.