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"The commons is what gives meaning to our existence"
Kum'tum Akroá-Gamella, from the  Akroá-Gamella people, state of Maranhão, northeast of Brazil.

 

We believe that the commons, in its multiple perspectives, is an essential kaleidoscope concept for facing this historic moment of hopelessness, in Brazil and in the world.

 

The Optics of the Commons series brings together sixteen short episodes featuring voices and ideas from young experts and activists. In the videos, they address different perspectives on living and making communities based on a diversity of studies, practices and experiences. Seen together, the approaches produce inspiring resonances.

 

Taking inspiration from these words, the Procomum Institute invites everyone to reflect and question our ways of existing, living and building relationships.

 

Watch and share! Let's talk about how together we can dream - and build- other possible futures. All videos have english subtitles. 

I look at the commons from the perspective of the black people, who have always been separated from the State and capital. ” Bianca Santana, writer, journalist and researcher defines the Commons as the goods shared by certain communities, their experiences and resistances.

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The occupation of public spaces, conflicts and the construction of public policies that prioritize cities for people are themes and strategies raised by Marcio Black, cultural producer, political scientist and member of the Black System Collective, to interpret the Commons.

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“The commons is what  gives meaning to our existence,” shares Kum'tum Akroá-Gamella, a member of the Akroá-Gamella people, indigenous from Northeast of Brazil. For him, we are living a crisis that endangers the very existence of the planet because of practices that are part of a certain ideology of progress. Ancestral knowledge and a new way of seeing and understanding nature defines the commons for Kum'tum.


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It is through the exchange, encounter and strengthening of autonomous experiences of traditional communities and spaces of resistance throughout Brazil and Latin America that the Collective Etinerâncias believes that the commons moves and is present.

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“The commons means a production focused on sharing and a permanent cycle of learning and distribution,” says João Brant, associate at the Procomum Institute and consultant in the areas of communication and cultural policies.

 
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Abundance of water, soil and fresh air are common natural goods, but there are limitations placed by private property, for example. These reflections accompany and define the commons for Cinthia Mendonça, artist, researcher and director of Silo - Arte e Latitude Rural.
 

What struggles, conflicts and constructions fit the definition of commons? Does natural goods define it in its complexity? The value of the commons to Jean Tible, professor of political science at USP- University of São Paulo.

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"The commons has to do with practices, relationships, territories and has to do with people, collective subjects," says Tica Moreno, a member of SOF (Sempreviva Feminist Organization), Master in Humanities and Social Sciences at the Federal University of ABC and PhD in Sociology by USP.

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The commons, for those who come from the peripheries, is in the daily encounter and the plurality of actions. It surpasses the limits, the margins and defies the walls that prevent the construction of a more democratic and fair city. This is one of the commons perspectives for Mariana Belmont, journalist and member of the Imargem collective.
 

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“You can't have the commons where there is inequality. You can't have the commons where there is oppression, ”says Juliana Gonçalves, journalist and human rights activist. For her, it is from the micro to the macro, from the margins to the center that practices and knowledges that make up the commons are constructed and replicated.

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What values do we exchange daily? How do they affect us? What connects us and what makes us divide spaces? How do we create cultures for the commons? Thiago Carrapatoso is a journalist and master of the Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS) at Bard College, and presents commons from other perspectives on the bodies, values and cultural impositions.

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How is the commons presented in contemporary struggles? In resistances, existences - in the countryside and in the city. In cooperative relations and the confrontation with capitalism. Alana Moraes, an anthropologist and doctoral student at the Museu Nacional-UFRJ, presents perspectives that define and confront the commons.

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“The commons is what endures, that is perpetuated for centuries. It is in the transversality between art, science, technology and ancestry ”. Ricardo Brazileiro, computer scientist, master in Media, Interaction and Creative Systems for the Internet of Things, defends living in networks, occupying territories, spaces, free technologies and the sacred as opportunities for the commons.

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Knowledge, culture and science belong to everyone and belong to no one at the same time. Henrique Parra, sociologist and activist, professor of social sciences at the Federal University of São Paulo, explains the set of distinct political principles, practices and meanings that define the commons.

 
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Constantly learning and unlearning, being with people and building with them, finding commonality in differences is what motivates Georgia Nicolau, director of the Procomum Institute.

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The commons is the place of the in between, it is the crossroads, the dialogue and the convergence. A political device of social transformation. Rodrigo Savazoni, from the Procomum Institute, sees the commons as construction, possibility and practice.

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