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  • Yoga as the Decolonial Attitude of the Human Body

    By Mirna-Wabi-Sabi Read this article in English at: A Beautiful Resistance “Perdemos a ioga para o oeste, tudo bem. Ioga era uma atividade chata e passiva que as pessoas faziam de pijama. E aí os americanos se envolveram. E se tornou um esporte brutal.” (Zarna Garg) É verdade, parte da minha prática de ioga é abordar minha tendência de transformá-la num desafio radical ou numa competição acirrada contra mim mesma. Como ela disse, porém, está tudo bem. Os indianos sabem que não é do interesse de ninguém guardar a ioga ao ponto de ninguém no exterior poder praticá-la. Eles sabem que o ioga tem valor para a humanidade. Não é a única coisa de valor. Mas tem um imenso potencial para nutrir corpos e mentes. Me fascina como a ioga pode alcançar até as pessoas menos espirituais. Ainda estou para conhecer alguém que pense que ioga e meditação são uma farsa. Ou que tratar a mente e o corpo dessa forma é errado. No entanto, ela foi proibida em vários lugares (como no Alabama), mas suspeito que isso seja um sinal da sua eficácia, e não do contrário. Para quem não sabe, provavelmente não será uma surpresa descobrir que no período colonial britânico na Índia a ioga foi proibida. No primeiro encontro com os iogues, os europeus sentiram bastante repulsa pelo que não entendiam – como os iogues eram vistos pelos habitantes locais como iluminados, enquanto para eles parecia que essa condição era o resultado de algum tipo de ilusão. Não os comparar com os bruxos europeus da época foi, contudo, um sinal de respeito. (Página 36 de “Yoga Body” de Singleton, 2010.) Para os britânicos, cuja forma de exercício era trabalhar, cavar buracos, brincar com armas e assim por diante, a Índia deve ter sido um espetáculo e tanto. Um cara nu, de cabelos compridos, coberto de cinzas, meditando com os braços erguidos debaixo de uma árvore. Outro em parada de mão por horas a fio, e alguns carregando correntes. Todos sendo elogiados pelos colegas. Chocante foi o quão doloroso deve ter sido ficar fixado naquelas posições nada naturais. Era uma forma de loucura, certamente. “[O faquir-iogue] assume posições totalmente contrárias à atitude natural do corpo humano” (38). De acordo com a tradição supremacista europeia, presumia-se que os iogues eram tudo menos “seres racionais” (37). Nenhuma distinção foi feita entre as diferentes “ordens mendicantes” (37), pois, aos olhos do britânico, todas eram vegetativas, vagabundas, preguiçosas ou mesmo vaidosas. Como tal, para os cristãos, as posturas de ioga tornaram-se símbolos de quão absurda era a espiritualidade indiana. À medida que a perspectiva ocidental era insidiosamente injetada na sociedade indiana, os iogues eram marginalizados e muitas vezes forçados a fazer de si próprios um espetáculo para a sua subsistência, o que consolidou ainda mais o estigma. Mas nem todos foram subjugados por essa artimanha dos protestantes. “Bandos altamente organizados de iogues militarizados” tornaram-se uma ameaça espetacular à ordem colonial, causando danos financeiros significativos à Companhia das Índias Orientais. “A antipatia europeia pelos iogues não se devia apenas a sensibilidades morais ofendidas: os iogues também eram pessoas difíceis de pôr em ordem.” (39) E foi então que a lei foi usada para acelerar a mudança cultural ocidentalizante que os britânicos precisavam para continuar a lucrar na região. A ioga foi proibida. Além de andar nu e portar uma arma, o que, segundo o autor de Yoga Body, era a estética desses soldados iogues. (40) Apesar da marginalização e das proibições, durante os dois milênios e meio que os humanos praticam ioga (pelo menos), a prática continua a espalhar-se e a prosperar, compreensivelmente. Há uma ciência antiga nisso, que a ciência ocidental ainda está tentando compreender ou sistematizar. Quando uma conexão entre ioga e medicina começou a ser feita no campo médico, possivelmente em 1850 pela publicação A Treatise on the Yoga Philosophy, irrompeu uma resistência desenfreada a ela, com queima de livros e tudo (52). De alguma forma, foi considerado ofensivo sugerir que a filosofia da ioga realmente correspondia à realidade da anatomia humana. No entanto, a colonização deu origem a um estudo da ioga a partir de uma perspectiva miscigenada, literal e figurativamente, e já no primeiro encontro. Os anglo-indianos e os britânicos “indianizados” serviram de ponte entre a Índia e o Ocidente, e a influência fluiu em ambos os sentidos. Poucos povos colonizados podem dizer isso sobre sua experiência com seu principal colonizador. A influência que o Brasil teve sobre Portugal, por exemplo, é incalculavelmente pequena em comparação com a influência deles sobre nós. Embora eu saiba que os poderes constituídos na Índia provavelmente adotaram algumas das piores características do modus operandi europeu, nomeadamente a intolerância étnica e religiosa, não posso deixar de observar com admiração a resistência da civilização indiana. Apesar de ter uma prática espiritual distinta, tomo medidas para expressar meu respeito aos porta-vozes indianos do legado do ioga. Porque, sem eles, eu não estaria aqui colhendo os enormes benefícios desse conhecimento. É um pouco como citar suas fontes, em vez de plagiar. A simbiose entre corpo e mente é destacada pelo ioga de uma forma que revela muito sobre quem somos, e também sobre o que estamos passando nesse momento – é filosófico porque é físico, e vice-versa. Aqui estão alguns insights do dia a dia que a ioga me deu nas últimas semanas: Aceitação. De si, dos outros e do mundo. Mesmo que as pessoas e as situações possam nos irritar, ainda precisamos aceitar o que está acontecendo para lidar com isso de forma eficaz. Poder. É uma questão de disciplina e força. Não vamos tirar o poder de alguém ou de alguma coisa, vamos construí-lo para nós mesmos. Paciência. Apenas seja paciente. Algumas coisas levam tempo e melhoram com o tempo. Outras só precisam ser feitas, e a impaciência não ajudará a realizá-las. Combata a hiperestimulação. O tédio não é seu problema. Nessa era digital, somos constantemente bombardeados com conteúdo. A verdadeira ameaça à nossa satisfação não é o tédio. A necessidade de se entreter constantemente com conteúdo aleatório é a ameaça. Você pode ser honesto sem ser cruel. É o que é. Qual a diferença entre “é o que é” e aceitação? Aceitação é abraçar situações, pessoas, onde você está e com quem. “É o que é” é uma aceitação da Verdade, num sentido amplo. Aceite o fato de que a Verdade será e deve ser revelada. O amor é mais importante que a independência. Ser financeiramente independente é um ótimo objetivo. Mas não à custa da formação de laços de amor, onde é natural confiar e contar um com o outro. Não busque a perfeição. Se esforce para melhorar. Não há problema em cometer erros. Então, também não há problema em cometer erros em público. Não leve para o lado pessoal. Mesmo que seja pessoal. Nada existe no vácuo e nada é para sempre.

  • Eco-barriers and the rescue of balance between species on the planet

    Leia esse artigo em português aqui. Ocean pollution threatens the survival of all marine animals, and ours too. It’s difficult to understand the magnitude of the impact that litter has on our lives when we don’t see where it’s going, and how the path that leads to the extinction of so many aquatic species affects human life. Indigenous civilizations, that once survived in symbiosis with the fauna and flora of their regions, now don’t see the same diversity of life and mutualism between existences. The world is not the same. The question is how to move forward in this paradigm. A tool to understand which garbage travels which way towards the ocean makes it possible to identify the source and path of the problem of garbage pollution – the eco-barrier. This understanding helps us to act on the source and symptom of the problem caused by floating waste discarded by the urban population. Eco-barriers are barriers at the mouth of rivers, or outflow points in megacities. A 2011 study by Marcos Freitas points out that the accelerated growth of urban centers, increased consumption, inadequate municipal water management systems and garbage collection contribute to an exorbitant amount of garbage being discarded in rivers. In the context of Rio de Janeiro, only 3 eco-barriers in 2008 collected more than 100 tons of plastic, metal, wood and cardboard (M. Freitas 2011). Data like these are expected, but the interesting thing about this research was that it identified the source of the problem as not being so much “the increase in the production of household solid waste” but the increase in the municipal Gross Domestic Product. That is, increased consumption by individuals does not cause pollution in rivers as much as increased imports and exports, government spending and business investments. Government institutions and businesses are more environmentally irresponsible than individual consumers, and this has only become more evident since 2011. Today, there is an eco-barrier at the mouth of the João Mendes river, in the oceanic region of Niterói, maintained by a group of volunteers. It was funded by ecoponte, a company that manages the Rio-Niterói bridge, and is interested in offsetting its carbon footprint. And the barrier is managed by members of the AmaDarcy organization, whose objective is to protect the natural and urban environment through the preservation of ecologically important areas in the Serra da Tiririca region. According to a report developed by the group in February 2023, “The João Mendes (JM) is a polluted river, despite its crystalline source within the Serra da Tiririca State Park (PESET). Although a significant part of the sewage from the JM hydrographic basin is collected and sent to the Itaipu Sewage Treatment Station (ETE Itaipu), which operates with a nominal flow of 164 liters per second, there is a significant amount of sewage that is not yet directed to the ETE Itaipu and flows directly or indirectly into the João Mendes river and, consequently, into the Itaipu lagoon (Marine Extractive Reserve of Itaipu-RESEX Itaipu), generating its pollution.” “The amount of solid waste (garbage) that has been thrown into the João Mendes river weekly (about 250 kg) also contributes significantly to its pollution, evidencing precarious sanitary conditions. Since September 2022, the NGO AmaDarcy has been collecting garbage weekly at the eco-barrier implanted in the João Mendes river, located near the mouth of this river in the Itaipu lagoon. The total amount of garbage collected and bagged by AmaDarcy between September 2022 and January 2023 was more than 6 tons (more than one and a half tons per month), thus avoiding its disposal in the Itaipu lagoon and in the sea (RESEX Itaipu). The garbage is then removed and taken by the Cleaning Company of Niterói (CLIN) to an appropriate final destination.” The relationship between sewage and garbage pollution is evident when we consider uncontrolled urban expansion, without infrastructure and institutions effective enough to deal with this growth. As volunteers, the group's focus on floating litter makes sense when considering the distance this litter travels, and the difficulty of controlling that flow without these barriers – which don't impede the flow of the river, but fix surface debris in place until a team can collect it. This collection takes place weekly, and when possible, waste is sorted by material and weighed, despite sewage pollution in the area posing a threat to volunteers and instigating the need for cautious hygiene. The recorded data includes not only the type and weight of the garbage, but also the brands of discarded products, the height of the river, and the amount of rain on the day before and during the week of collection. Pluviometric Volume or Index is measured by millimeter of rain per square meter in a certain place and time. Source: (A627, from INMET) The materials found are plastic, glass, metal, fabric (plástico, vidro, metal, tecido), among others. Microtrash (Microlixo) is registered as a separate category, and means a mixture of small waste such as cigarette butts, microtubes of narcotics, fragmented Styrofoam, other plastics and plant parts that become entangled with this waste. Tetra pak is also registered separately, because they are those packages with a mixed composition of metal, paper and plastic, often used for products such as milk, juice and tomato sauce. There are other materials identified (outros), but not individually categorized, such as occasional toys, electronic waste, light bulbs, tires, mattresses, etc. While unidentified waste (não identificados) is the closed bags found at the barrier that are not opened because they may contain materials that pose a risk to the health of volunteers – such as syringes, razors, diapers, condoms, used toilet paper, etc. This data helps us identify the source of water pollution, and makes us aware of our own consumption and waste disposal. According to the 2011 research by Marcos Freitas, there is a correlation between the increase in family income and the increase in public waste, while domestic waste remains in the same range. This could mean that the increase in Gross Domestic Product (and perhaps climatic contexts) leads to "greater consumption in public areas". What does this mean for us and our consumption practices in public areas? What do we know about the waste disposal practices of the businesses we visit and the waste collection on behalf of our municipalities? The problem of waste disposal and ocean pollution has many facets. There is an issue of institutional administration, which reflects on the political decisions of a municipality—to overinvest in one thing while neglecting another. Urban expansion becomes harmful because of the failure of these political administrations, and financial interests which are far greater than each family's home. This is why the municipal Gross Domestic Product generates more environmental problems than the accumulation of individual consumption. On the other hand, community awareness and access to information about the environmental situation in our neighborhoods can not only improve personal consumption practices and waste disposal, but can also encourage the population to demand more responsibility from public administrations and more effective use of public funds. In the meantime, preventing literal tons of garbage from ending up in the ocean helps kick-start a rescue of biodiversity and the balance between species on this planet. _____ By Mirna Wabi-Sabi

  • The DNA of pollution in Rio's Guanabara Bay

    Text by Mirna Wabi-Sabi and photography by Fabio Teixeira Originally published August 2nd, 2023, in Brazilian Portuguese. Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara bay, July 1, 2023. The Brazilian Sanitation Panel states that more than 30% of the population of Rio de Janeiro does not have sewage collection (2021). Today, 18,000 liters (nearly 5 thousand gallons) of sewage per second are dumped into the Guanabara Bay, with state investment quadrupling in the last 3 years, reaching almost 1 billion reais. The expenditures are monumental, while the results are abysmal, and this fiasco would be easy to explain from the perspective of corruption and incompetence in the management of public resources. However, a cultural and historical analysis would better explain what causes these symptoms in the city's administrative processes. Data on costs and levels of pollution are evident, as well as the dangers of this pollution to public health. It has been known for at least 20 years, for example, the alarming rates of Hepatitis A in children in low-income regions of Rio de Janeiro. But these numbers do not lead to solutions by holders of governmental power. The problem is not a lack of money or awareness of the seriousness of the situation, but the legacy of the Hygienist model. The Hygienist movement was born in Brazil in the late 1800s and at the end of the Industrial Revolution. With the formation of urban-industrial centers during the Revolution, there was a massive increase in the population of Rio de Janeiro, and with it chaos, poverty, pollution and environmental destruction. This movement aimed to mitigate these metropolitan symptoms with the implementation of European urban models, which essentially manufactured ghettos. By utilizing the medical theories of European scientists, initiatives were promoted by hygienists which segregated poverty from wealth and destroyed natural environments through the 'beautification' of cities. The culture of European extractivism deals with the non-European environment as a source of resources for human beings, whether practical or aesthetic. It never promotes the balance of local ecosystems, it only promotes profit and high standards of living for those who profit. Therefore, the manufacturing of ghettos guarantees 'Hygiene', as defined by the movement in terms of education and health, in an insular way. The Hygienist model is the manifestation of the expression 'sweeping under the rug'. As long as urban insalubrity was not seen by elites in city centers, it would be as if it did not exist. In other words, it's as mature a system as a game of peek-a-boo. Since cities came to be, the conditions of urban insalubrity have been a class issue with disastrous environmental and human repercussions. In the article "The Hygienist Movement" on the history of private life in Brazil, Edivaldo Góis says that many of the hygienists saw "the lack of health and education of [Brazilian] people [as] responsible for our backwardness in relation to Europe." Being that numerous diseases, customs, and management models from Europe were responsible for this impropriety. A people that promotes class division does not accept the natural reality that the ecosystem does not respect social segregation. Sooner or later, the pollution of a portion of the ocean or of an urban body of water becomes pollution on prime beaches, and 18,000 liters of sewage per second in the Guanabara Bay is a worldwide problem. In the 1990s, 1 billion US dollars were spent on the Guanabara Bay Cleanup Program (PDBG) after alarming evidence of cases of Hepatitis A in children in Duque de Caxias. Even with massive funding from a global source, the results were horrifying. Sewage treatment centers were built but they were never functional, accountability and late payments pointed to poor financial management by the state, hundreds of millions of US dollars were wasted in interest rates, and this failure cannot be attributed to institutional stupidity alone. Now billions of reais are being spent again on infrastructure projects, which are already delayed, to solve this persistent pollution problem of the last century. Rio de Janeiro, entre 2015 e 2019. Sanitation in low-income regions is a challenge today because for more than a hundred years, the class divide fostered by the legacy of the Hygienist movement has disembodied these geographic spaces from "epidemiological surveillance activity" as well as individual provision of sanitation resources. The idea that what is private exists in symbiosis with the public, rather than resulting in the investment of public resources in improving the private environments of low-income individuals, has resulted in reactionary justifications for eugenics. That is why, instead of investing in improving the structures of family and individual homes in poor regions, they invest in a "belt" for collecting sewage around the bay. This means that the sewage that leaves these areas is captured and prevented from affecting noble areas, but the individual context of the residents remains the same. According to a "conceptual study" on this 'belt', the obstacle to "universal sanitation" is cost. The estimate in the report is 1900 reais per inhabitant, totaling more than 33 billion reais in Rio de Janeiro. Since the financing of 1 billion dollars in the 1990s was equivalent to just over 5 billion reais, the price "far exceeds the contribution of resources to the sector". However, 33 billion refers to the cost for the population of the whole state of Rio (not just the city), and the 1 billion dollar funding was specifically aimed at cleaning up the Guanabara Bay. The rivers that pollute the Guanabara Bay the most permeate the geography of the city of Duque de Caxias, called Sarapuí and Iguaçu. If 1900 reais per inhabitant is a reliable estimate, with less than 1.5 billion reais it would have been possible to bring sanitation to the entire population of Duque de Caxias, which between 1991 and 1994 was made up of less than 700 thousand people. But instead of proposing precise strategies, focusing on contextual and local needs, the report soon makes parallels with European and U.S. American models of sanitation. In doing so, it reveals itself to be a descendant of the Hygienist movement. The organization responsible for the report, FGV CERI, explicitly positions itself as interested in an infrastructural development centered on economic growth. For them, infrastructure regulation in the country, even when it involves the environment and public health, revolves around one objective only: "attracting investment". Thus, sustainability fosters the nation when it is economic and financial. Quantifying a socio-environmental problem such as pollution in the Guanabara Bay is not always easy. How many liters of sewage are being dumped illegally? How much does basic sanitation cost per person? How many children have become ill from polluted water bodies in their areas? In this case, the numbers are evident and the reality is inescapable. What is missing is the analysis of the historical and cultural, or genetic, context that leads to these alarming and persistent results. From the creation of the Hygienist movement in Rio de Janeiro, today we are at least the fifth generation to witness the disastrous development of the metropolis that leans over and suffocates this bay. It is necessary to know what was inherited from the DNA of this city, which was named after this magnificently unusual body of water – Guanabara. _ Text by Mirna Wabi-Sabi Photography by Fabio Teixeira

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Other Pages (16)

  • P9 | Podcast (English)

    PT Guest appearances Artigos, livros de bolso e alfabetização midiática ◣ Articles, bilingual pocket books, and media literacy

  • P9 | Podcast (Português)

    EN Colaborações Artigos, livros de bolso e alfabetização midiática ◣ Articles, bilingual pocket books, and media literacy

  • P9 | Team ◣ Time

    Time ◣ Tea m ​ Mirna W abi-Sabi fundadora • diretora • editora chefe ◣ founding member • director • editor-in-chief ​ ​ Fabio Teixeira fundador • fotojornalista ◣ founding member • photojournalist ​ ​ Cajú Media identidade visual • marketing ◣ visual identity • marketing ​ ​ Ana Botner editora ◣ editor ​ • • • • • • • • • ​ escritores ◣ writers ​ Donya Ahmadi Eduardo Barbosa Fabiana Faleiros Felipe Lott Fernanda Grigolin Jere Kuzmanić Patrick Farnsworth Silvia Federici ​ ​ artistas visuais ◣ visual artists ​ Alejandra Robles Iasmin Rios Izabela Moreira Karla Sampaio Riccardo Riccio Saide Jabani Sara Kovač Trovão Tropical Volodea Biri ​ ​ revisores ◣ revisers ​ Guilherme Ryuichi Nox Morningstar ​ ​ tradutores ◣ translators ​ Felipe Moretti Lilo Assenci ​ ​ ​

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