A exchange, que ja' vai longa e parece prometer vir a desembocar em alguma conferencia internacional ou similar forum sobre o tema, teve inicio na semana passada com esta mensagem:
Would anyone be able to advise me of sources of information about the Marxist concept of the 'new man' and of its development in the ideology and literature of the MPLA between the 1960s and 1980s, please?
Any suggestions would be very deeply appreciated.
[Mark Sabine, Nottingham University]
Seguiram-se varios e valiosos contributos, embora a esmagadora maioria se refira a FRELIMO, dos quais, com a devida venia aos seus autores e aos editores da H-Net, tomo a liberdade de reproduzir aqui os que se seguem. Talvez alguns dos leitores deste blog possam possuir mais informacoes e referencias que queiram partilhar, com referencia particular ao caso de Angola.
De minha parte, gostaria de fazer referencia a este post em que me refiro, en passant, ao "homem novo que veio da mata", e tambem a este , a este e a este em relacao a algumas das questoes abordadas na primeira mensagem abaixo reproduzida. Relativamente a segunda mensagem, faria apenas breve referencia a um dos fundadores da UNAP, que foi amigo e pupilo de Viteix (infelizmente ambos ja' falecidos), o Tirso Amaral, que esteve tambem no Festival Mundial da Juventude e Estudantes de 1978 em Cuba, referido em algumas das mensagens dessa exchange (os quadros de Viteix aqui reproduzidos sao retirados do site da autora dessa mensagem, sendo que das 'margens' do segundo este blog ja' fez amplo uso na sua versao original...).
Whatever is the origin of the concept of "New Man" in the 1920s Soviet Revolution and fast moving to Stalinization, most important seems to be the social usefullness of such a concept in Frelimo politics. Obviously, "New man" was integrated into the "socialist" discourse, but it must be seen first as the ideological expression of the paradigm of authoritarian modernization process (locally called 'socialist transition'). Frelimo always feared (and still fears) all social milieus it does not control.
During the 'radical' period (1976-1986), the 'newmanness' was the wish to integrate quickly all the traditional and original social relationships into the 'modernity' as seen by the Frelimo elite: to transform the ethnicities into a fully new nation ('Uma só nação, um só povo, um só partido'), the peasants in inhabitants of 'rural cities' (alias 'aldeias comunais'), to transform all the informal sector of cities into officially registered workers ('Operação Produção' tried to expell from the cities this informal sector), to eradicate traditional religions ('obscurantismo'). 'Newmanness' was the expression of the habitus of assimilated rooted elite of Frelimo, whose radicality was far more to modernize than to socialize. Today, means have changed, but not the aim: the Guebuza's discourse about 'auto-estima' (self-pride) is to stigmatize anyone not able to become an entrepreneur and a rich man, and to raise as a model the big man. The guilty is no longer subalternity of Mozambique in capitalist world economy, but the lack of dignity of the ones who remain poor. They are not modern, not new.
[Michel Cahen, Centre d'étude d'Afrique noire, Université de Bordeaux]
The 'new man' is also mentioned in the inaugural proclamation of the União Nacional de Artistas Plásticos (Unap) in 1979- in terms of and art philosophy and pedagogy that uses indigeneity as a catalyst of the transformation of consciousness, or "mentality." The founding artists of Unap, like their counterparts in the Writers' Union, were very moved by Neto's claims that the superstructure of a society shape the consciousness of the individual within that society. I'm curious about this relationship between Latin American scholars' ideas of the new man with regards to indigeneity versus those writing from/about the African context- and what contingencies contribute to the differences.
This discussion is very exciting for me as I am currently writing an article on Angolan post-independence painter Viteix and his adaptation of socialist realism. One
particular painting, Construção Civil(1985), illustrates workers as integrated into machinery or a construction scene. However, the title refers to a poem by António Cardoso (also titled Construção Civil) in which he describes the rationalist built environment of the prison camp Tarrafal. He gives a visceral description of the walls as bathed in blood. Viteix use of this poem checks the notion of progress, an element of irony in the message of the painting that testifies to the complicated relationship thinkers had to international, or "scientific," socialist realism.Viteix was co-author of the Unap proclamation I mentioned earlier that uses the term "New Man." The painting is reproduced on my
website (with apologies for the clunky translation of Cardoso's poem there)
[Delinda Collier - School of the Art Institute of Chicago]