The cosmopolitan aspect of Brazilian cinema: encountering the other, forging vernacular worlds

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Saldanha, Humberto
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University College Cork
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In this thesis, I investigate the cosmopolitan aspect of contemporary Brazilian cinema. Departing from the idea of cosmopolitanism as a project towards world conviviality, I propose a critical understanding of the concept, accounting for how vernacular perspectives imagine and address a set of challenges. These include the debates on migration and hospitality, the enactment of borders and in-betweenness, the persistence of neocolonial dynamics in the shape of world memories and the issue of strangeness and the otherisation of alterity, including human and non-human subjects. By framing cosmopolitanism as a critical and vernacular enterprise, my goal is to delink cosmopolitanism from its Western genealogy, while considering how localised epistemologies challenge and goes beyond universalist values. The emphasis on the vernacular does not imply the return of the national, but rather how the local provides a particular perspective on broader contexts, debates, projects, and transnational relations. Furthermore, this thesis situates cosmopolitanism as a relevant concept to reframe world cinema, dialoguing with a set of calls to consider the latter beyond its networks of global circulation. This implies embracing the world in world cinema as an entity foregrounded by cosmopolitan ethic-political dispositions. This is, ultimately, the basis to imagine alternative and vernacular worlds that include those excluded by globalisation and coloniality. In this regard, I suggest that contemporary Brazilian cinema not only is actively involved in the nurturing of cosmopolitan debates, but also, in doing so, unfolds cinematic worlds, whose vernacular epistemologies and alterity confront Eurocentric and imperial versions of cosmopolitanism, as well as their mode of organising and shaping the world.
Cosmopolitanism , Film studies , Brazilian cinema , World cinema
Saldanha, H. 2022. The cosmopolitan aspect of Brazilian cinema: encountering the other, forging vernacular worlds. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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