Flip 2021 Highlights
From left to right: Itamar Vieira Junior, Ailton Krenak and Alice Walker. Photo: Publicity Flip.

Nits 19th edition this year, Flip (Paraty International Literary Festival) brings nineteen meetings that will be broadcast by Party YouTube, as well as part of its programming – the weekend tables – will be shown by the Arte1 channel. The entire thematic axis of the 2021 Festival was outlined by the curatorial collective in the text “Nhe'éry, Plantas e Literatura”, which can be read in full. here. In charge of organizing the event are Hermano Vianna, anthropologist and coordinator of this edition; Anna Dantes, a collaborator of Escola Viva Huni Kuin for over ten years and one of the founders of Selvagem – Cycle of studies on life; Evando Nascimento, writer and philosopher, pioneer in the reflection on literature and plants in Brazil; João Paulo Lima Barreto, Tukano do Alto Rio Negro, doctor in social anthropology from the Federal University of Amazonas and founder of the Center for Indigenous Medicine in Manaus; and Pedro Meira Monteiro, professor at Princeton University and one of the organizers of the Amazonian Poetics workshop, at the University's Brazil LAB.

Check out some highlights of the Flip 2021 schedule below:

Saturday, November 27

16 pm | TABLE 1: Nhe'éry Jerá (Opening)

Guarani Ceremony, Carlos Papá and Cristine Takuá

Nhe'éry (pronounced nheeri) is what the Guarani people call the Atlantic Forest, a name that reveals the plurality of the forest. According to the teaching of the filmmaker and leader of the Guarani Mbya people, Carlos Papá, Nhe'éry means “where souls bathe”. And purify themselves. “Jerah” means, in this context, to blossom. Flip 2021 talks about the relationship between literature and plants from Nhe'éry. At its opening, representatives of the Guarani people of the region make a ceremony, with prayers and chants, opening and protecting the paths of Nhe'éry and giving permission for Flip to enter its sacred territory. All carried out in Praça da Matriz, where there was an indigenous village before the foundation of the city. The original peoples who lived there, and today resist in the region, return to occupy, with their words and rituals, the Historic Center.

Sunday, November 28

16 pm | Table 3: Naturalism and violence

David Diop and Micheliny Verunschk

Mediation: Milena Britto is a professor at the Institute of Letters of the Federal University of Bahia

There is much in common between the worlds created by Micheliny Verunschk and David Diop in their most recent novels. In The sound of the jaguar's roar, the writer from Pernambuco avoids hegemonic historiography and starts from the short life of Iñe-e and Juri, indigenous children torn from their lands by a European naturalist, to meditate on the voids left by exile and colonial violence. The gateway to the journey of no return, by Frenchman of Senegalese descent David Diop, does the opposite operation. In reference to the island of Gorée, one of the central points of the slave trade on the African continent, the writer reimagines the life of botanist Michel Adanson, a man of the Enlightenment moved by the project of formulating a great encyclopedia of living beings. In both books, the reader is faced with lives threatened by the dream of endless progress, which tears bodies apart, rips the memory and threatens to make people forget about themselves and who they are.

Monday, November 29

20h | Table 6: Trees and writing

Paulina Chiziane and Itamar Vieira Junior.

Mediation: Ligia Ferreira is a researcher and professor of the graduate program in Letters at Unifesp

One of the most important Portuguese-language writers today, Paulina Chiziane recently received the Camões Prize. She says she learned to write “under a tree”. In Brazil, only two of her novels have been published: The partridge's song rejoices (2008), and Niketche (2002), his best-known work. In Paulina's literature, generations of women assert themselves in the midst of the structures of a traditional society marked by colonialism. In this meeting, she talks with Itamar Vieira Junior, whose Crooked Plow is a huge international success and has snatched readers of all ages. As in some accounts by the Mozambican writer, the history of Bibiana and Belonísia in different times takes place in the midst of the violence of a society marked by the legacy of slavery, but always around backyards and herbs that keep secrets, memories and shared experiences.

Wednesday, December 01st

18 pm | Table 9: Threads of Words

Cecilia Vicuña, Júlia de Carvalho Hansen and Leonardo Fróes

Mediation: Ludmilla Lis é writer and master in ethnic-racial studies

In the 1970s, the poet from Rio de Janeiro, Leonardo Fróes, went to live on a farm in the region of Petrópolis, where he devoted himself to cultivating and reflecting on plants, and to writing poems related to the environmental theme, as well as to all-too-human problems, as can be attested in your Poetry gathered. The interest in plants, animals and the like also appears in the work of Júlia de Carvalho Hansen, a poet of a younger generation, in books such as Pomegranate e Poison sap or fruit. At this table, the Brazilian writer and writer meet Cecilia Vicuña, a Chilean artist and poet who turned her work into a platform for struggle, in defense of human rights or in denouncing environmental destruction. Her work won the Premio Velázquez and was exhibited in the most recent Documenta in Kassel. One of her proposals is inspired by the Andean quipus, objects made with yarn and knots, which were used for accounting and storytelling. The meeting of the three will help to displace the anthropocentrism that relegates non-human living beings, in particular plants, to the background. In this sense, the “threads of the word” (expression by Carlos Papá, a Guarani filmmaker and leader on the coast of São Paulo) of poetry intertwine with the threads of the artist’s installations, in a tangle that also refers to the vines and lianas of the forests. Thus, a verbal-vegetable fabric is formed to take care of planetary health.

20h | Table 10 – Utopia and dystopia

Margaret Atwood and Antonio Nobre

Mediation: Anabela Mota Ribeiro is a writer, journalist and cultural programmer; research the work of Machado de Assis

Margaret Atwood, author of The Tale of the Maid, has already written: “Ustopia is a world I created by combining utopia and dystopia – the imagined perfect society and its opposite – because, in my view, each contains a latent version of the other.” How, then, to differentiate the dystopian from the utopian? To answer this question, at this table Margaret Atwood talks to Antonio Nobre, a scientist who has developed some of the main studies on the threats against Brazilian forests and who, despite the frightening data, continues to fight for a “Utopian Matrix”. What can the best of the literary imagination learn from the teachings of plants to keep “dystopian latency” in check?

Thursday, December 02

18 pm | Table 11: Migrant botanists

Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida and Elif Shafak

Mediation: Mirna Queiroz is a journalist, editor and curator; she founded and is executive editor of Pessoa magazine

In your dense little romance the view of plants, one of the winners of the Oceans 2020 award, Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida rewrites the end of the life of Portuguese Captain Celestino. The character was a cruel pirate and slave trader who, upon retiring, returned to his hometown, living alone in his family's house and tending to the previously abandoned garden. It is in the tension between Celestino's cruelty and the delicate way he treats plants that the story proposes a review of ambivalent human actions. The Turkish Elif Shafak, in The Island of Missing Trees [The island of the missing trees], tells the story of forbidden love between Kostas and Defne Kazantzakis, the first Greek Christian, the second Turkish Muslim, and the conflicts that arise from that. One of the chapters is narrated from the perspective of a fig tree, exposing colonial violence and the prejudices conveyed and criticized in the text. Both in the novel by the Angolan Almeida and in the Turkish-British Shafak, the conflicts and traumas that colonialism entails are at stake, having as one of its narrative motivations the vegetal element: in the first case a Portuguese garden, in the second a fig tree of origin Cypriot.

20h | Table 12: Plant Policies

Kim Stanley Robinson and Eliane Brum

Mediation: lucia sa Professor of Brazilian Studies at Manchester University, England

Kim Stanley Robinson was invited by the organization of COP26 to follow, with a completely free pass, the negotiations that tried to establish a new international agreement to avoid climate catastrophe. It may seem a strange task for an established science fiction writer, but his latest literary work, The ministry for the future (the “book of the decade” according to musician/thinker Brian Eno), is already an unavoidable reference for many people who decide environmental policy around the world. At Flip, Kim Stanley Robinson talks to Eliane Brum, who has just published Banzeiro òkòtó: A trip to the Amazon Center of the World, his account of the ongoing battle against climate catastrophe in the Amazon. How can the plant policies of the present guide us towards the invention of other possible futures?

saturday december 04rd

18 pm | Table 16: In search of the garden

Alice Walker and Conceição Evaristo

Mediation: Djamila Ribeiro is a philosopher, writer and one of the leading voices in defense of women and black people.

In this historic meeting mediated by the philosopher Djamila Ribeiro, the American writer Alice Walker dialogues with the Minas Gerais-born Conceição Evaristo. One of the most important voices in contemporary Brazilian literature, the author of Poncia Vicencio collected during the pandemic in a place where it follows the slow development of plants. A great admirer of Walker, Conceição now meets the author of the color purple for a conversation about literature, politics and gardens. Alice Walker's latest book published in Brazil is In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose.

20h | Table 17: Listen to the green

Alejandro Zambra and Ana Martins Marques

Mediation: Rita Palmeira is a literary critic, editor and literary curator

Two early books by renowned Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra have plants as fictional catalysts: Bonsai e The private life of trees. In both, vegetables are metaphorically associated with stories of affective relationships, which also tell about the Pinochet dictatorship. In his latest book, Chilean poet, Zambra returns to the themes that marked his writing, including the plant metaphor and a map of all the aloe plants planted in the Maipú neighborhood, in Santiago. Ana Martins Marques has distinguished herself as the author of some of the most beautiful poems involving plants in the contemporary Brazilian poetry scene. One of her titles explicitly refers to this theme: the garden book, divided into two parts. In part I, the texts poetically describe and reflect on cactus, dandelion, rose and sunflower, among other subjects. Part II offers “textual gardens” to women poets, such as the Brazilian Orides Fontela, the North American Sylvia Plath and the Polish Wislawa Szymborska. In the literature of Zambra and Marques, listening to the green becomes a politically existential urgency.

sunday december 05th

18 pm | TABLE 19 – Cartographies to postpone the end of the world

Ailton Krenak and Muniz Sodré 

Mediation: Vagner Amaro is the editor and founder of Malê, specializing in Brazilian literature; he is also a writer and librarian 

To close this edition of Flip, the unprecedented meeting between Muniz Sodré and Ailton Krenak, who at the same time produce and comment on the maps that will guide us in facing the increasing Brazilian and global challenges. On the one hand, the author of think nago e the uncivil society, on the other the author of Ideas for postponing the end of the world e Tomorrow is not for sale. In Brazil, we also have the encounter between indigenous shamanisms and Afro-Brazilian religions, with plants as the main mediators for their respective technologies of ecstasy, healing, and knowledge about the world. Without leaves there is no party, there is no life, there is nothing. How to strengthen learning with the plant kingdom? How to build a network of forests and schools? Following the conversation, also bringing answers, in the videography, there will be a presentation of the maps created in the cartography workshops of the Maxakali and Guarani indigenous peoples. New maps for new worlds.

Videos curated by Flip on the Tamanduá streaming platform

On the Tamanduá streaming platform, Flip provides a list of documentaries, films and series that dialogue with its programming. The complete list contains 67 titles and Tamanduá offers 7 days free for new subscribers to discover the collection. click to watch.


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