The (in)visibilities of gender violence: Brazil and Portugal in debate

“The (in)visibilities of gender violence: Brazil and Portugal in debate” was the title of an initiative held by CECS on April 5th, which was attended by a group of researchers from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UMFG), and which focused on the discussion of situations of gender violence and the role played by the media in the two countries.

Moderated by the CECS researcher Carla Cerqueira, the debate was attended by Bruno Souza Leal, Paulo Bernardo Vaz, Elton Antunes and Carlos Alberto de Carvalho, researchers who have studied the issues of gender violence and media in the Brazilian context. They are part of a team composed of more people, which have been committed to analyzing the discourses of victims and perpetrators of gender violence.

The session began with the viewing of two documentaries. “No devagar depressa dos tempos”, by the Brazilian journalist Eliza Capai, shows the reality lived in Guaribas, in a rural area, with a low development index, where asymmetrical gender roles remain very noticeable, with a constant association of women with Maternity and the notion of the traditional family, which is questioned by the younger generation.

The documentary “Partir do Zero”, directed by Margarida Cardoso, was filmed within the framework of a project of the ONG UMAR – Women’s Alternative and Response Union, brought to the debate the reality of domestic violence in the Portuguese context. Through the testimonies of women victims in a Shelter House, it raises the veil of violence occurring in relations of intimacy in the case of women from several generations and origins.

The film narratives gave motto for a discussion that approached the nearness and separations between Portugal and Brazil regarding gender violence and its complexities. The mediatisation of the phenomenon was also debated, as well as some projects that seek to bring to the public sphere other narratives and voices that allow for the awareness of this social scourge.

This was an initiative inscribed in the presence of UFMG researchers at the CECS, during the week of April 3-7 to participate in working meetings with the aim of establishing an understanding in order to develop a new possible partnership, similar to what took place between 2014 and 2015, in which both parties carried out the FCT-CAPES project entitled “Flow and death: theoretical and methodological challenges surrounding the ‘media event'”.

Carla Cerqueira