Communication strategies drive black activism across Brazil

Communication strategies drive black activism across Brazil

The Brazilian population is made up of approx. 54% of black people, While 51.1% are female . In addition, approx. 23% correspond to young people between 15 and 29 years old , according to data from IBrazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE)

In recent years, the participation of black and indigenous youth in politics, social movements and activism has been growing, especially with the use of social networks.

In this way, the term cyber activism, what it represents the union and organization of groups to transmit ideas and carry out demonstrations, it makes everyone protagonists of a single theme.

Within this concept, fundamental pieces such as the different networks are used to raise awareness, provide information and promote support. A new generation emerges from this tool.

For political scientist and Electoral Intelligence consultant Nailah Neves Velici , “cyberactivism is an adaptation of a communication technology”. “Black activists have used drawings, music, architecture and clothing to communicate and convey ideas. We are now adapting these strategies to the new technologies available.”

One example of the consolidation of this facet of activismwith exceptional use of hashtags, was the movement Black Lives Matter (Black Lives Matter, in Portuguese) that marked a moment of revolt and demonstration in the United States, reverberating around the world, especially in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nailah who is also a youth ambassador for UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UN), recalls that, before this movement, there were several events and complaints that had no repercussion until the world was stuck at home and more connected. “Whiteness was forced to watch what they pretended not to see. It was forced to stop to look at that secular reality.”

Black activism in the world has always been very connected. There have always been exchanges of strategies, studies and news among black activists in the African diaspora. But now this exchange is much faster and more connected and young people who are more comfortable with new technologies contribute a lot to this exchange.

Nailah Neves Velici, political scientist and Electoral Intelligence consultant

“The activism of my father’s time was an activism that had to explain that racism existed. Who needed to explain what feminism was. And they had to do that by printing papers out of their own pockets and passing them from hand to hand. Today’s youth can exchange PDFs and share them with the world in one click”, adds the political scientist.

The activism of the youth today is only possible through the struggle of the youth of the past and my expectation is that we leave a less violent legacy for the youth of the future to fight.

Nailah Neves Velici, political scientist and Electoral Intelligence consultant

THE female presence has always played a leading role in social struggles in Brazil and today is no different. In both social and environmental issues, there are several activists and leaders of movements throughout the country.

In an interview with CNN , the internationalist Mahryan Sampaio quotes the words of the writer Juliana Borges: “a happy black woman is a revolutionary act”. And she adds: “I often say that we young black women are increasingly positioning ourselves as the voices of the revolution.”

So we, young black people – especially women – are the ones who take advantage of the vocalization potential of current society to raise our voice, seeking to also influence a generation that will come after us.

Mahryan Sampaio, internationalist

Mahryan is a Youth Ambassador at the UN and has always considered it important that throughout her training she develops knowledge about the social, diversity and inclusion area. “Being sensitive to these issues makes all the difference.”

During my trajectory, I occupied many places in which I was the only black woman. I’ve never had a black boss and it took years for me to have a coworker like me.

Mahryan Sampaio, internationalist

Based on these experiences, the internationalist conceived a project to create a safe space of resistance and sharing for black women, in which she teaches female entrepreneurship, sustainability, ancestry and economic development.

“O ‘Yalodê Project is my response to structural racism and sexism, in which I assert that black excellence is no exception and I will no longer be the only young black woman to occupy these spaces.”

At COP26, several young Brazilian activists were present in a space that they would not have imagined long ago.

Mahryan and other young people discussed and brought important issues to the international meeting and reinforced environmental racism, a term that, according to her, explains environmental injustice. “Environmental injustice in Brazil has the color of black and indigenous people, who have race as a social marker of difference, which ends up oppressing bodies, minds and decreasing our quality of life.”

The consequences reach everyone, but black, indigenous and peripheral people already experience this scenario first.

Mahryan Sampaio, internationalist

to the communicator Cristian Wari’u , these international means would be a way of denouncing what was happening in the country. “ANDu believe in the importance of taking these voices abroad as well, for a more global product because of not getting this dialogue so much here in Brazil.”

Cristian understands that indigenous struggles that take place in different regions of the country are related to issues around rights that are increasingly violated in recent years.

He highlights that the positioning of young people like him comes from digital empowerment, using tools to promote debates and reduce indigenous invisibility and recalls past movements.

The indigenous movement already carried out, through other leaders, which, no matter how old they are, still bring a lot of knowledge, a lot of wisdom around our activities, within what we end up having as essence.

Cristian Wari’u, communicator

The communicator puts as main expectations for the future: demarcating spaces, discussion about indigenous peoples and viability.

Creator of the popular action that originated the project of lHey Foot Amazon, which aims to allocate public forests in the Amazon to protect indigenous peoples, Cristian has collected 1.5 million signatures and is expected to take them to the Senate.

the NGO OUR Its mission is to strengthen movements and people who are organizing to fight for rights and better public policies, and it seeks to boost activists such as Mahryan and Cristian.

Daniela Orofino director of mobilization of the NGO, highlights that “the NOSSA also trains new activists from its program Mobilizers , which is a training program for activists designed to help them develop communication skills, mobilization skills and advocacy skills. The mobilizers program encourages a new generation of activists to be strengthened in Brazil”.

For NOSSAS, youth participation in politics is essential for them to be protagonists of decisions that will impact their lives and the lives of their children, their grandchildren.

Daniela Orofino, director of Mobilization at the NGO NOSSAS

The NGO claims that it uses cyberactivism to strengthen its campaigns such as online and offline mobilization.

Social networks are a new form of communication and what we have to do is focus on it.

Daniela Orofino, director of Mobilization at the NGO NOSSAS

Source: CNN Brasil