8 unmissable debates at the Paraty 2021 International Literary Festival

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A 19th Paraty International Literary Festival, which starts this weekend and runs until December 5th, will have an intense and diversified virtual program with great writers and intellectuals from Brazil and the world discussing the relationship between literature and the environment.

From Margaret Atwood a Itamar Vieira Junior, CNN made a selection of the highlights of this edition.

11/27 at 4 pm
Opening table: Nhe’éry Jerá
With Carlos Papa

To mark the beginning of Flip 2021, which celebrates indigenous knowledge and debates other possibilities of relating to nature, the filmmaker and indigenous leader Carlos Papá will lead a ceremony with representatives of the Guarani people in the region of Paraty.

With prayers and songs, they will open the way for the literary event to enter the symbolic territory of Praça da Matriz, where there was an indigenous village before the foundation of the city. The ceremony is also an essential opportunity to connect and understand the Guarani Nhe’éry term, which guided the development of the entire Flip program.

The name is used as a reference to the Atlantic Forest and its multiple universes, and also indicates the place “where souls bathe. The word “Jerah”, which accompanies the term in the title of the table, means to blossom.

11/27 at 6pm
Table 2: Literature and Plants
With Stefano Mancuso and Evando Nascimento
Mediation by Prisca Agustoni

The Italian botanist and neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso, author of “The revolution of plants” and “The plant of the world”, is an unavoidable reference in the perspective of the “vegetable turn”, an approach that studies and recognizes in plants their own intelligence and sensibility, situating them I like more than food or ornamental items.

He talks with the essayist and writer Evando Nascimento, a pioneer in the study of the relationship between literary text and the vegetal universe and also one of Flip’s curators. In the book “Vegetal thought: literature and plants”, Nascimento dialogues with Mancuso, with philosophers such as Jacques Derrida and Emanuele Coccia, and also celebrates names in modern and contemporary literature, such as Fernando Pessoa, Clarice Lispector, Leonardo Fróes and Ana Martins Marques. The debate will be mediated by the poet, translator and teacher Prisca Agustoni.

11/29 at 8 pm
Table 6: Trees and Writing
With Paulina Chiziane and Itamar Vieira Jr.
Mediation by Ligia Ferreira

Winner of the Camões Literature Award 2021, Paulina Chiziane is considered one of the most important Portuguese-language writers today. In her books, she explores the theme of female emancipation in Mozambique, the country where she was born.

Her debut book, “Balada de amor ao vento” (1990), was the first novel written by a Mozambican woman to be published in the country. The 66-year-old writer, who claims to have learned to write under a tree, talks with Bahian Itamar Vieira Junior, author of “Torto Arado” (2019), winner of the Jabuti 2020 and an internationally successful work.

Each in their own way, both write about the violence of societies structurally marked by colonialism and address the memory of plants in these contradictory scenarios. The panel will be mediated by Ligia Ferreira, researcher and professor of the postgraduate program in Letters at Unifesp.

12/01 at 8 pm
Table 10: Utopia and Dystopia
With Margaret Atwood and Antonio Nobre
Mediation by Anabela Mota Ribeiro

Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, author of “O Conto da Aia”, created the term “ustopia”, a combination of utopia and dystopia, definitions that account for the “imagined perfect society and its opposite – because, in my opinion, each one it contains a latent version of the other”.

At this table, Atwood discusses ways to differentiate dystopian from utopian with scientist Antonio Nobre, responsible for some of the main studies on threats against Brazilian forests.

How can literary imaginations and plant teachings help us escape dystopia? The conversation will be mediated by writer, journalist and cultural programmer Anabela Mota Ribeiro.

12/04 at 6 pm
Table 16: In search of the garden
With Alice Walker and Conceição Evaristo
Mediation by Djamila Ribeiro

Perhaps one of the most anticipated tables at Flip 2021, the meeting between the American writer Alice Walker and the Conceição Evaristo from Minas Gerais will take place around the themes of literature, politics and gardens.

One of the most influential writers in contemporary Brazilian literature, Conceição Evaristo spent the period of the pandemic in seclusion in a place where she could follow the slow growth of plants.

In the book “In search of our mothers’ gardens: Womanist prose”, Alice Walker recalls her mother’s careful cultivation of flowers in a journey of reflection on black culture, identity and personal struggles. Who will mediate the conversation is the philosopher and writer Djamila Ribeiro.

12/5 at 4 pm
Table 18: Metamorphoses
With Emanuele Coccia and Adriana Calcanhoto
Mediation by Cecilia Cavalieri

In the books “The life of plants and Metamorphoses”, the Italian philosopher Emanuele Coccia, also a strong reference in the concept of “vegetable turn”, explores the intelligence and sensitivity of plants, relating the survival of humans and animals with the existence and functioning of the plant kingdom.

In this meeting, he dialogues with the singer and composer Adriana Calcanhotto, creator of the show “A Mulher do Pau-Brasil”, the result of her artistic residency at the University of Coimbra.

The concert presents the idea of ​​transforming life into life, in full dialogue with the intelligence of forests. The chat will be mediated by Cecilia Cavalieri, visual artist and researcher.

12/5 at 6pm
Table 19: Cartographies to postpone the end of the world
With Ailton Krenak and Muniz Sodré
Mediation by Vagner Amaro

The last table at Flip 2021 is also an unprecedented and historic meeting: sociologist, professor and essayist Muniz Sodré talks with indigenous leader and writer Ailton Krenak.

Sodré, in a wide and diverse scientific and literary production, structures his criticism in relation to contemporary social, economic and political dilemmas, rescuing the tradition of Afro-Brazilian thought and defending “essential and non-violent ways of life”.

Krenak, author of “Ideas to postpone the end of the world” and “Life is not useful”, sees solutions for such dilemmas through the connection with the knowledge of the original peoples. The two seek to chart paths to face the increasingly complex challenges of Brazil and the world. The panel will be mediated by Vagner Amaro, editor and founder of Malê, specialized in Brazilian literature.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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