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Negotiating with the Border: Cultural Networks in the Brazil-Uruguay Borderlands, Between Institutionalization and Informality

Négociations avec la frontière : les réseaux culturels dans les espaces frontaliers Brésil-Uruguay, entre institutionnalisation et informalité
Negociaciones con la frontera: las redes culturales en los espacios fronterizos Brasil-Uruguay, entre institucionalización e informalidad
Verhandlungen mit der Grenze: Kulturelle Netzwerke in den Grenzräumen Brasilien-Uruguay zwischen Institutionalisierung und Informalität
Solène Marié
Traduction de Jean-Yves Bart
Cet article est une traduction de :
Négociations avec la frontière : les réseaux culturels dans les espaces frontaliers Brésil-Uruguay, entre institutionnalisation et informalité [fr]

Résumés

À l’intersection entre l’étude des politiques et productions culturelles et celle des espaces frontaliers, cet article s’intéresse aux processus à l’œuvre dans le développement d’actions culturelles transfrontalières, prenant en compte le cadre à la fois formel et informel. Le cas des espaces frontaliers entre le Brésil et l’Uruguay est exploré afin d’apporter une analyse provenant d’un cas moins étudié dans la littérature sur les politiques culturelles comme sur les espaces frontaliers. L’analyse développée met en lumière, simultanément avec l’institutionnalisation, l’importance de l’action publique de nature informelle s’exprimant à travers des réseaux d’acteurs ainsi que des stratégies de contournement. La frontière est dépassée par les acteurs, mais elle occupe néanmoins un rôle central, que ce soit en tant que barrière, en tant que justification de son franchissement ou même en tant que lien. Au-delà de son existence tangible, la frontière joue un rôle paradoxal entre présence et absence, limite et lieu d’expression d’un entre-deux, règle et espace de liberté.

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Texte intégral

As we traversed a large swath of Eurasia, the colours, contours, and textures of culture changed, but we didn’t step from one hermetically sealed cultural unit to another and we crossed no civilizational border posts. Culture had a topography but no territoriality (Reus-Smit 2018: Preface, p. x)

1In the fields of international relations and political science, borders tend to be conceived simply as objects through which international relations occur (Moraczewska 2010; Rosenau 1997). The very concepts of integration and cooperation come from the idea of separation: the two phenomena can only happen between two distinct units. The literature has also tended to naturalize borders and to discuss them as abstractions that are present in space but have a very limited effect on it (Walker 2016). They are considered as the outer layer of the State as a system: they mark the end of its territory and constitute its point of contact with the international sphere. Doing research on borderlands, however, requires looking at the border as the centre of another system, composed of the neighbouring borderlands.

2Borderlands are transition zones, or even hybrid spaces (Newman 2011). They are areas where several types of flows converge, sometimes in the form of intense local flows between both sides of the border that characterize them as territorial systems. They display a combination of international, national (between the capital and borderlands) and regional flows. Life there is shaped by the constant crossing of physical and social borders as well as by the manipulation of existing political, economic and cultural structures (Machado 1998). It is also deeply marked by relational aspects which can be observed, for instance, in the coexistence of converging and diverging practices between the two spaces across the border (Albuquerque 2005; Carneiro Filho & Lemos 2014). Consequently, it is more relevant to analyse borders in terms of processes (‘bordering’) than as fixed objects (Van Houtum & Van Naerssen 2002).

3Situated at the intersection of the study of cultural policy and productions and of the study of borderlands, this article focuses specifically on the analysis of the development of cultural actions spanning both sides of the Brazil-Uruguay borderline. First, the dominance of European analytical frameworks in the cultural policy field calls for drawing on other cases to nourish different theoretical developments. The approach implemented here consists in devising analytical frameworks that are adapted to this geographical and cultural context, to study them based on categories that are more relevant than those derived from the study of European cultural and institutional settings. Second, this article coincides with the emergence of a body of research on South American borderlands, which have so far remained under-discussed in the global literature. The emerging scholarship offers a different perspective on a phenomenon that has been mainly theorized based on European and North American case studies. Even books on lesser-studied or Southern borders include few studies of South American borders (Brunet-Jailly 2010; Staudt 2017). As Newman and Paasi argue (1998: 201), it is important that border narratives emerge from different regions in the world in order to contrast with the literature produced based on the study of European borders:

It is […] fallacious to suggest that the removal of boundaries, if indeed that is what is happening in Western society, is taking place in the same way, or is having the same effect, within other cultural traditions. We require new and alternative boundary narratives to emerge from those societies that hold different representations of space and social identities. It is important to encourage scholars from these societies to present their own narratives unapologetically, even, and perhaps especially, where such narratives contrast with our own Euro-centred notions of territorial and spatial fixation.

  • 1 For more information on the region’s history, see Fernando Cacciatore de Garcia (2011); Isabel Cle (...)

4The Brazil-Uruguay borderlands have historical specificities in that they have acted as buffer zones between two regional powers (Amilhat Szary 2010; Simi 2018), but also contemporary specificities as they currently display cultural networks and circulations (Amilhat Szary 2010; Carneiro Filho & Lemos 2014). These borderlands were shaped by a history of changes in political and territorial affiliations, deriving from conflicts between the Spanish and Portuguese empires and then between Brazil, Argentina and local armed groups. These ended in 1828 when the border was stabilised in its current location.1 Beyond its political effects, this historical trajectory has had far-reaching impacts on the area in demographic, social and cultural terms. Local history retains the memory of alternating national ties, as the area was successively made part of the two neighbouring states, and of intense population movements. They are interstitial spaces, where the local prevails over the national and multiple political, economic and social networks cross the border.

5The primacy of the local level over the national is due first to the considerable distance from the capitals. This distance is particularly palpable vis-à-vis the Brazilian government, especially considering the size of the country, which is bigger than all of its South American neighbours. Uruguay is a much smaller country but the capital, Montevideo, is located at the southern tip of the country, opposite the borderlands under study.

  • 2 Field notes from a phone interview with Ricardo Almeida, borderland policy officer in the culture, (...)

6Additionally, an “institutional distance between these regions and the state” (Mercher, Bernardo & Silva 2018) is superimposed on the geographical distance. It manifests itself differently in Brazil, a federal country divided into twenty-six states and a federal district, and in Uruguay, a centralized state divided into departments led by intendents who are accountable to the central authorities. Yet, the Brazil-Uruguay borderlands are generally speaking marginal spaces, in low-density areas where the state has historically coexisted with a range of other actors who pursue initiatives that remain outside of its control (Amilhat Szary 2010). As Ricardo Almeida points out, neglect is valuable and brings freedom2: the actors find spaces for action in the gaps opened by the State’s inaction or inattentiveness.

  • 3 “those expressions that result from the creativity of individuals, groups and societies, and that (...)
  • 4 Cultural content “refers to the symbolic meaning, artistic dimension and cultural values that orig (...)

7These spaces are also home to cultural expressions3 which manifest hybrid cultural content.4 As such, they fit the definition of borderlands laid out in Newman (2011: 37): “areas in proximity to the border which constitute a transition zone between two distinct categories, rather than a clear cut-off line.”

8It is important to note a fundamental difference between the South American subcontinent and the European continent in terms of development of borders. Indeed, the colonization of the former created a chronological and causal relationship between nation and borders that is the opposite of the latter’s. Whereas in Europe, national construction led to a territorial occupation that subsequently defined the delineation of state borders, in South America, the delineation of borders defined territories in which nations’ political and social projects were elaborated (Amilhat Szary 2010). This process also influenced the region’s urbanization in the nineteenth century, as the two States created the border municipalities for the purpose of consolidating the territory and of organizing customs controls. The location of these cities is no accident: the border preceded their creation and they are intrinsically related to it (Dorfman 2009). A concrete illustration of this prevalence of territory over nation is the decision, based on what the Uruguayan General Artigas referred to as a Portuguese expansionist project in the northern strip of Uruguay (Palermo 2001), to take measures to “orientalize” the region. One of them consisted in encouraging European immigration to reduce the proportion of people of Brazilian descent in the population (Dorfman 2009).

9This article examines the processes which underlie the cultural actions implemented in these borderlands by looking at the input of institutions and institutional mechanisms, as well as of informal networks, strategies and processes. The questions which guide our analysis are the following: how and by whom is the border bypassed to allow for the existence of cross-border cultural actions? What relationships to the border (as a boundary to be complied with or bypassed) can be observed in borderlands?

10In borderland contexts, looking at cultural action in its transnational dimensions can take us in several directions. In the International Relations field, debates on culture focus mainly on questions relating to identities, norms and values. However, in this article, culture is analysed as practice. As Walker puts it (1990: 12), “To understand the concept of culture as the product of specific historical transformations is thus to understand that to attempt to come to terms with culture now is to engage with questions of political practice.”

11As it investigates the networks that support cultural activity, this research approaches culture as a product of human intellect and creativity rather than as a set of patterns of meanings that affect the way in which human groups live and interact with their environment, according to a broader anthropological conception (Geertz 1973). Additionally, the term “cultural actions” is used in the broader sense, to refer both to cultural policies, which are deliberate, well thought-out governmental actions aimed at supporting and regulating the cultural expressions produced by individuals in a given society; and to cultural expressions themselves: cultural practices, products and processes. All modes of creation, transmission and management (public or private) and degrees of institutionalization (formal or informal frameworks) are included, in accordance with the UNESCO’s framework and definitions.5

12In order to explore the topic of the making of borderlands in their cultural aspects, a multi-sited ethnography (Marcus 1995) was conducted in July 2018 in the Brazil-Uruguay borderlands to identify the practices and relationships through which public policy is made (Dubois 2012). This ethnographic study focused on the human relationships and institutional connections that underpin these networks, identified through interviews. The study includes both formal and informal cross-border public policy frameworks and adopts a multi-level approach, meaning that vertically, it takes multiple levels of governance into account and horizontally, it considers the contributions of public institutions as well as NGOs and local activists.

13A first exploratory field study was conducted in July 2018, spanning the widest possible area in the borderlands, extending to two cities that are not located on the border but are connected to the borderlands: Porto Alegre and Pelotas. An acquaintance with the space, the research questions and the people was developed through asystematic observation. This involved the collection of audio-visual material, visits to cultural sites and five non-directive interviews. Contacts with interviewees were made through fellow academics and exchanges with local actors regarding my previous publications. The observations made during the first field study corroborated elements from the literature that suggested that border culture, cultural actions and cross-border cultural networks were particularly rooted in towns located along the borderline.

14Therefore, the second field study conducted in September 2018, with the aim of collecting data took place in cities along the borderline: a continuous cross-border urban centre, Santana do Livramento (Brazil)/Rivera (Uruguay); and another one made up of two discontinuous towns separated by a river, Jaguarão (Brazil)/Río Branco (Uruguay).

Figure 1

Figure 1

Santana do Livramento-Rivera, Jaguarão-Río Branco and other cities at the Brazil-Uruguay border

Source: Author’s work, cartography by André Vieira Freitas.

15This second field study included archival work; participant observation at an event that brought together artists and producers from the Brazil-Uruguay borderlands; 34 semi-directive interviews with public sector agents involved in cultural policy, local development and international relations at different levels of government, directors of cultural institutions, artists, cultural producers and administrators, and academics. Following initial contacts with a small number of actors during the first field study, the snowball sampling method was used for subsequent interviews. Lastly, categories were created in an inductive manner based on data extracted from directly and indirectly observed elements in the field study (Schreier 2012), in order to consider each case under study for its intrinsic characteristics rather than as an illustration of a pre-existing theory.

16This second field study enabled the gathering of data in order to analyze the emergence of cross-border cultural actions, to identify the actors who manage, formally or informally, to develop cultural actions across the political borderline, and to highlight various characteristics of relations to the border which can be observed in these spaces. I will first discuss cross-border cultural actions initiated by public authorities, starting at the international level, and moving on to the national, regional and local levels. Secondly, I will examine cross-border cultural actions led by private actors and activists and show that both categories of actions are based on networks.

1. Institutional Framework and Political Networks in the Borderlands

1. 1. The International Level: Silence and Symbolic Recognition from the MERCOSUR

  • 6 Southern Common Market, abbreviated as MERCOSUR (from the Spanish Mercado Común del Sur) or MERCOS (...)
  • 7 Sistema de Información Cultural del MERCOSUR / Sistema de Informação Cultural do MERCOSUL.
  • 8 Fondo MERCOSUR Cultural / Fundo MERCOSUL Cultural.
  • 9 Programa MERCOSUR Audiovisual / Programa MERCOSUL Audiovisual.

17Starting with the MERCOSUR6, an intergovernmental international organisation that brings together Southern Cone countries including Brazil and Uruguay, the study of the place granted to culture in the organization’s agenda reveals a growing gap between discourse and action over the years. Still, a number of programmes were launched, mainly after 2003, including MERCOSUR’s Cultural Information System (SICSUR7), the MERCOSUR Cultural Fund8 and the MERCOSUR Audiovisual Programme.9 However, despite multiple meetings, actions and initiatives, these programmes have so far yielded very few actual results (Borja 2011).

  • 10 Fondo para la Convergencia Estructural del MERCOSUR / Fundo para a Convergência Estrutural do MERC (...)
  • 11 Grupo Ad Hoc sobre Integración Fronteriza / Grupo Ad Hoc sobre Integração Fronteiriça.

18Regarding MERCOSUR’s contribution to public policy for borderlands between its Member States, although Brazil shares borders with all other MERCOSUR member countries, in effect, existing initiatives are based on bilateral agreements, not multilateral ones (Carneiro Filho & Lemos 2014; Soares 2008). The only two borderland-related initiatives implemented within the framework of MERCOSUR have been the Structural Convergence Fund (FOCEM10) and the Ad-Hoc Border Integration Group (GAHIF11), which brings together bilateral actions developed within the bloc. However, MERCOSUR does not have specific fora or multilateral policies for its borderlands.

19MERCOSUR’s role in the development of cultural actions in the Brazil-Uruguay borderlands is ultimately limited and it is “hard […] to claim that the momentum for cross-border regional development observed along many Latin American borders is the direct consequence of ongoing integration processes” (Amilhat-Szary 2010: 11-12).

20Yet, the organization does offer some support to bilateral initiatives and generally contributes to fostering an environment of cooperation between member countries, which is conducive to increasingly open borders (Carneiro Filho & Lemos 2014). Also, MERCOSUR can be said to have played a role in giving its symbolic recognition to border initiatives developed by other actors.

  • 12 Title granted by the federal Brazilian State per Act no. 12.095 of 19th November 2009.
  • 13 Interview with Dionéia de Macedo, Professor of Arts at the Instituto Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (...)

21A first example of this symbolic role is the awarding in 2009 of the title of “emblem of Brazilian integration with other MERCOSUR countries”12 to the border town of Santana do Livramento. This was an initiative of the Brazilian State, not of MERCOSUR, but it was made more significant by the organization’s symbolic weight. Local cultural actors and administrative agents say this gesture called attention to the existence of specific cross-border cultural dynamics between Santana do Livramento and Rivera and fostered ties between the local populations and MERCOSUR.13

  • 14 Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional.

22The second example relates to the international Barón de Mauá bridge that connects the twin cities of Jaguarão and Río Branco. The bridge had been made a national historical monument by Uruguay in 1977. In 2011, it became the first binational monument to be designated a national historical monument by Brazil’s National Institute for Historical and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN14) and later, it became the first historical monument to be listed by MERCOSUR Cultural.

Figure 2

Figure 2

Ponte Internacional Barão de Mauá, connecting Jaguarão (Brazil) and Río Branco (Uruguay).

Source: Author’s photograph, July 2018.

1. 2. The National Level: Between Institutional Presence and Distance

23Let us now move on to the national level, focusing on initiatives led by the Brazilian federal government. First, it should be mentioned that border issues were given more space in the Brazilian legislative debates between 1999 and 2009, as demonstrated by the significant increase in the number of bills submitted on the subject, which reflects the greater attention given to this theme compared to the preceding and following periods (Marié 2017a).

  • 15 Programa de Desenvolvimento da Faixa de Fronteira.
  • 16 Comissão Permanente para o Desenvolvimento e a Integração da Faixa de Fronteira.
  • 17 Ministério da Integração Nacional. Secretaria de Programas Regionais (2005). Programa de Desenvolv (...)
  • 18 Cartilha do Programa de Desenvolvimento da Faixa de Fronteira (PDFF). Brasília.

24Additionally, new themes that had until then been entirely absent from borderland policies emerged during President Lula da Silva’s two terms in office (2003-2010). This manifested in particular through the creation of the Brazilian Border Strip Development Programme (PDFF15), which, after programmes that were marred by discontinuity and had limited effects, expanded the scope of borderland policies while diversifying approaches to the question (Carneiro Filho & Camara 2019). This programme, which was launched in 2004 and then recast as the Permanent Committee for Border Strip Development and Integration (CDIF16) was geared towards the area’s development in three domains: border security, economic and social development, and border cooperation and integration17. This policy’s approach was innovative both in that it included the theme of cross-border integration and through the importance it gave to local development, drawing on the strategic role of twin border cities and on local cross-border economies.18

  • 19  The population was 27,931 in 2010 according to the most recent census. Source: Brazilian Institute (...)

25Despite the interest in the subject shown at the federal level and the ensuing reflection, federal action came up against a number of hurdles. This is illustrated by Silva and Caldeirão’s study (2018) on the projects developed within the framework of this programme in the Jaguarão area, in the fields of tourism, culture and heritage, amounting to 5 per cent of the total of projects. Out of six municipal employees of this town of 28,000 inhabitants19 who took part in semi-directive interviews, only one was aware of the PDFF. Whereas 67 per cent of these employees recognised PDFF actions in their everyday work and in the municipal budget, they identified them as municipal actions with no relation to a national borderland development programme. Also, none of them had attended presentations or training sessions on the programme’s implementation. These findings evidence a lack of knowledge of the processes and funding sources for locally implemented programmes, as well as a likely lack of training and communication on the subject from the institutions in charge. They point to a disconnect between the municipal staff and the federal programmes geared towards their regions, which is consistent with the institutional distance towards central authorities, against a broader backdrop of defiance, among the local population, regarding decisions taken in the country’s capital.

  • 20 Interview with Mangela Britos, president of Jaguarão’s cultural municipal council, conducted by th (...)

26This gap between the elaboration of a federal programme for borderlands and its effective implementation is vividly described by Mangela Britos20, an activist from Tacuarembó (Uruguay) who lives in Jaguarão where she presides the “cultural municipal council” (a local informal consultative body made up of civil society actors involved in setting up local cultural projects and interfacing with local authorities):

Mangela Britos: On the one hand there are policies in place, we have the border policy and rights, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the cross-border cultural policies. […] There’s a specific law for events here.

“— No crossing the bridge without the ministry’s authorization in Montevideo.

— Wait though, you told me there was a law on border policies. […] You talk about twin cities.

— I don’t think we’re there yet, don’t think about it.”

Well, people who come from Uruguay to participate in events here get to the bridge, and to cross it it’s a whole bureaucracy for them […] So they get annoyed and they carry their instrument over the border […] Border policies are pointless because they’re not implemented. They debate and talk for nothing because people end up crossing the bridge on foot anyway.

  • 21 Field notes from an interview with a Receita Federal employee.

27According to a Brazilian employee of the tax authorities at the border,21 the problem is twofold. Firstly, there is a lack of knowledge of the procedures that can be used to cross the border for cultural events; secondly, these procedures are so complex that only large organizations are able to comply with them. For smaller actors, bypassing strategies prevail.

1. 3. The Regional Level: Discontinuous Policies

28At the regional level, it is the role of the Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Sul (RS) in these cultural actions through its “paradiplomacy” that needs to be analyzed. This portmanteau term for “parallel diplomacy” is used to refer to the involvement of infranational governments in the international relations sphere, be it formal or informal, temporary or permanent, and using public or private organizations (Prieto 2004).

29A study on the evolution of Rio Grande do Sul’s cultural paradiplomacy between 1987 and 2014 (Marié 2018) shows that, since the first initiatives, it has been characterised by ad hoc projects (Nunes 2005) that reflect short-term government policies rather than a genuine state-level development policy (Ferreira 2015). This is illustrated by the frequent changes which can be observed throughout the period under study (Salomón & Nunes 2007). This instability also demonstrates the strong influence of each governor’s interests, vision and actions on RS‘s paradiplomacy. This makes the long-term development of a coherent international cultural policy difficult, in the borderlands and beyond.

  • 22 Brazilian Democratic Movement (Partido do Movimento Democrático do Brasil).
  • 23 Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores).

30The diachronic analysis of the institutions dedicated to the state of Rio Grande do Sul’s paradiplomatic action and of the key themes in the governors’ international policies shows that, after including teams dedicated to international and cross-border cultural actions during the term of Pedro Simon (1987-1991), who was affiliated with the PMDB,22 the state only put these themes front and centre again during the term of Tarso Genro (2011-2015), a member of the PT23. This shows that the importance afforded to international cultural policy during the governors’ terms did not relate to their political affiliation or to a long-term strategy; it depended on their priorities and personality (Marié 2018).

31The existence of an institutional apparatus plays a key role in an infranational government’s ability to support cultural development at its level and to develop a cultural paradiplomacy (Zamorano & Morató 2014). A study on the cultural internationalization and paradiplomacy of towns in Brazil has evidenced five factors which contribute to the development of an effective paradiplomacy: the town’s segmentation, skilled public administration personnel, harmonious relations between central and municipal governments, autonomy for municipalities, and the town’s interdependence (De Jesus 2017). The study of cultural paradiplomacy in RS demonstrates a lack of autonomy and of skilled public administration employees at state level, hindering its ability to support the development of cultural production in the borderlands.

32This lack of autonomy and continuity at state level, combined with a disconnect between the federal and the municipal levels, in a context of defiance towards central authorities among border populations, weakens formal cross-border cooperation institutions. This is evidenced in the aforementioned study by Silva and Caldeirão (2018), who found that, when asked to list steps that would support the development of the border strip, Jaguarão municipal employees cited: 1) providing training for municipal employees; 2) elaborating binational agreements for the twin cities of Jaguarão and Río Branco; 3) providing information on heritage (included in the PDFF). Even though they are on the frontline when it comes to implementing programmes and passing on requests to the higher levels of government, municipal employees lack both knowledge on the programmes in which they participate and information on ways to sign up for other existing programmes.

1. 4. Windows of Opportunity Between Levels of Government

33Yet, the cross-referencing of data on national, regional and municipal governments, and grassroots cultural initiatives shows that a window of opportunity (Kingdon 2014) opened between 2008 and 2014 for the creation of cultural projects in the Brazil-Uruguay borderlands, in connection with the existence of political networks.

  • 24 Diretoria de Relações Internacionais.
  • 25 Ministério das Relações Exteriores.

34Chronologically, in 2008, the intensity of parliamentary activity around the topic of borders peaked in Brazil (Marié 2017a). This was also the year of the creation of the Ministry of Culture’s Directorate of International Relations (DRI24), which officialized the Ministry’s participation in international cultural actions alongside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE25) (Marié 2017b). This broadened the thematical and geographical scope of the Brazilian government’s international cultural actions. Additionally, as a reminder, Santana do Livramento was awarded the title of emblem of Brazilian integration with other MERCOSUR countries in 2009.

  • 26 José Alberto ‘Pepe’ Mujica Cordano, widely known as Pepe Mujica, President of Uruguay between 2010 (...)
  • 27 Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, widely known as Lula, President of Brazil between 2003 and 2011.

35Then, at the international level, the year 2010 marked the beginning of a period of strong convergence of visions and personalities between two left-wing presidents with the election of Pepe Mujica26 in Uruguay during Lula da Silva’s27 second presidential term in Brazil.

36Finally, on the local level, 2011 saw the beginning of a political convergence with PT members in national, regional and municipal office in border towns. The table below details this political convergence that opened a window of opportunity.

 

 

 

 

Table 1

Year Brazilian President Uruguayan President RS state Governor Jaguarão Mayor
2003 Lula, PT* (first term) Jorge Luis Battle Ibáñez, Partido Colorado Germano Rigotto, PMDB Henrique Edmar Knorr Filho, PMDB
2004
2005 Tabaré Vázquez, Frente Amplio*
2006
2007 Lula, PT* (second term) Yeda Crusius, PSDB
2008
2009 Claudio Martins, PT*
2010 Pepe Mujica, Frente Amplio*
2011 Dilma Rousseff, PT* (first term) Tarso Genro, PT*
2012
2013
2014
2015 Dilma Rousseff, PT* (second term) José Ivo Sartori, PMDB
2016 Michel Temer, PMDB Tabaré Vázquez, Frente Amplio*

Left-wing governments (*) at national, regional and municipal level and window of opportunity (in italics)

Source: Solène Marié

  • 28 Breakdown of the years mentioned in the interviews (conducted in 2018) and number of mentions: 200 (...)

37This window of opportunity materialized with the development of multiple cultural actions by local cultural activists, which I will examine in the next section. 2010 saw both the creation of the Fronteras Culturales/Fronteiras Culturais movement and the first edition of Santana do Livramento’s binational book fair. Then, after the election of a PT Governor in Rio Grande do Sul in 2011, Jussara Dutra was recruited as chef of the Piratini Palace restaurant and launched the research project that ultimately led to the creation of Santana do Livramento’s binational festival of oenogastronomy and Pampa products. Lastly, an analysis of the interviews conducted for the purposes of this study shows a vast majority of mentions of the years 2009 to 2014,28 which indicates a surge of cross-border cultural activity during that period.

2. Activist-Led Cultural Action and Informal Networks

2. 1. Cross-Border Flows and Individual Initiatives

38As detailed previously, this analysis was conducted mainly in cities located along the borderline. Indeed, beyond formal public policy, border cities are the main sites where cross-border culture is expressed, for factual and material reasons that relate to everyday life, or survival, in these spaces. Bento (2015: 51) argues that:

[This kind of cross-border integration] is not the consequence of (idealised) integration projects; it is not the result of a metaphysics of integration. Rather, it derives from the absence of geographical accidents which allows for a continuous flow of people and goods, and results from the effective need for economic survival in the binational populations of these border towns, which are far from the administrative centres of their respective states.

39Other material aspects also inform local cultural practices, such as access to the neighbouring country’s radio stations (Moraes 2002) and television channels, which is cited by many actors in these borderlands as a source of familiarity with the other country’s media and as a reason why they are accustomed to listening to its traditional music forms. Beyond these material aspects, individual and collective initiatives, which are facilitated by the proximity between individuals that may exist in cross-border urban areas, have spawned a number of cultural actions in the borderlands.

40Three such cultural actions are presented below. They will enable us to highlight the actors and strategies at the root of cross-border cultural actions and to unveil relations to the border based on the practices described: the Fronteras Culturales/Fronteiras Culturais movement (2010-today), Santana do Livramento’s binational festival of oenogastronomy and Pampa products (2014-today) and Santana do Livramento’s binational book fair (2010-2013).

  • 29 The name literally means “Cultural Borders Movement” but could also be translated as “Borderlands (...)
  • 30 Corredores de integração cultural.

41The Fronteras Culturales/Fronteiras Culturais29 movement is a network that brings together researchers, public agents, artists, producers and cultural collectives around the goal of creating “cultural integration corridors”30 in Brazilian borderlands. The movement considers cultural integration projects in the borderlands as those that meet the three following conditions: 1) they address the theme of cultural integration; 2) they create jobs and income on both sides of an international border; 3) they involve binational civil society participation (Almeida & Dorfman 2017). Even though the movement was created in Santana do Livramento-Rivera and is rooted in the Brazil-Uruguay borderlands, its activity extends to all of Brazil’s borderlands. In addition to being the largest network in this space, it is also the densest and the most agile in terms of coordination between the actors from the twin cities under study.

  • 31 Author’s phone interview, 10th September 2018.

42It was officially created in 2010, a year after the group launched its activities on the initiative of Ricardo Almeida, a project manager from Santana do Livramento in the culture, information and technology sector. The movement’s goal was to “think Latin-American [culture] from the border,”31 including all borderlands and rooting its activities in empirical actions while promoting pre-existing projects.

43The movement’s main contributions to actions in support of culture and cultural networks in the borderlands are presented concisely in the following table:

Table 2

Year Name of document/ event Role played by Fronteras culturales/Fronteiras Culturais Main results
12 July 2010 Letter from the border Participated in the conception alongside local mayors and governors. Letter sent to the Uruguayan and Brazilian presidents. Affirmed that culture is “one of the central pillars of sustainable development, as it aims at promoting self-esteem and a sense of belonging, the recognition and appreciation of the historical and cultural heritage of border communities.”; affirmed that “it is important and urgent to reinforce the cultural actions of border communities and to broaden and democratize access to services as well as material and immaterial goods, cultural policies and actions, and to strengthen cultural economy, local capacities and knowledge.”
2011 Protocol of cultural intentions Document signed by the Uruguayan and Brazilian presidents in recognition of the demands listed in the Letter from the border. Document recognised in MERCOSUR forums; more explicit recognition from the Uruguayan federal institutions than from their Brazilian counterparts.
2013 Brazil-Uruguay border cultural integration calendar Elaborated the calendar in collaboration with local universities and consulates and border committees. Issued a calendar highlighting events celebrating border culture or involving cooperation between cultural actors from the borderlands.
23 January 2016 Participation in the World Social Forum (Porto Alegre) Organized an event on cross-border cultural integration featuring artists, producers, collectives and researchers. Participated in a major international event; increased visibility for the topic.

Main contributions of the Fronteras Culturales/Fronteiras Culturais movement to political actions in support of cultural production, networks and policies in the borderlands.

Source: Solène Marié.

  • 32 Festival Binacional de Enogastronomia e produtos do Pampa.

44Santana do Livramento’s binational festival of oenogastronomy and Pampa products32 is a cultural action spearheaded by Jussara Dutra, former chef of the Piratini Palace which houses the Rio Grande do Sul state government in Porto Alegre. In 2011, Dutra was named chef there by PT-affiliated state governor Tarso Genro (2011-2015). This position had previously always been filled by military cooks and the food wasn’t particularly rooted in regional cuisine. Dutra suggested that Piratini Palace should become a place for the promotion of Rio Grande do Sul’s gastronomy as intangible heritage. Due to the absence of existing research or actions on the theme, she initiated a large-scale research project involving historians, nutritionists and an anthropologist to collect data from elderly people, restaurant owners and food producers. This three-year project (2011-2014) and the first edition of the festival (2014) were funded exclusively by the Rio Grande do Sul state government.

  • 33 Phone interview conducted by the author with Jussara Dutra, director of Santana do Livramento’s bi (...)

45The cross-border urban area of Santana do Livramento-Rivera was picked to host the festival, with an emphasis on regional cuisine and on the project’s cross-border dimension. As Dutra33 says, “it was impossible to conceive a project here on the border that wouldn’t be binational”; “everything we do in the festival must be binational.” In addition to the food-related activities, the festival also includes a film and photography programme as well as social activities all revolving around local and binational border themes.

  • 34 Intendencia de Rivera in Spanish.

46The initial objective of disseminating the findings of the research project in various forms and through various means could not be met, as funding for the project was cut when the state government of Rio Grande do Sul changed hands in 2015. The 2015 and 2016 editions of the festival were nevertheless funded thanks to infranational funding on the Uruguayan side, from the Rivera municipality and department34. Beginning in 2017, additional funding was secured from local businesses and unions. Finally, in 2018, the festival received support for the first time through Lei Rouanet, a Brazilian tax incentive scheme for the funding of cultural projects. Despite funding cuts resulting from changes in political leadership, this festival has managed to endure thanks to a combination of Brazilian and Uruguyan, local and regional, public and private networks and funding sources.

47Santana do Livramento’s binational book fair was created in 2010 by the Marco Zero bookshop, which is in Santana do Livramento, and led by its co-manager Artur Montanari. The first edition took place at Santana do Livramento’s Casa de Cultura, as the location initially picked out in the international park straddling the two cities across the borderline did not work out. In 2011, thanks to the support of the local Brazilian consul in Rivera, Ana Lélia Benincá Beltrame, the festival was allowed to use that space for the fair. The fair also took place in 2012 and 2013 thanks to significant help from the subsequent local consul, Eliana da Costa. However, in 2014, as the local consulate withdrew its support and internal conflict grew in the organizing team, the fair was cancelled and has since then never taken place again. As Montanari puts it:

It depends largely on the initiative of the few people who steer certain processes. If these people are no longer there […] things tend to stop working, to start to slow down and they eventually collapse.

48As the short history of Santana do Livramento’s binational book fair exemplifies, the study of the configuration of cultural projects in the Brazil-Uruguay borderlands highlights the important role played by personal initiative and the activism of local actors, especially in the cross-border urban area of Santana do Livramento-Rivera. Therefore, the first group of actors who play a key role in the development of cross-border cultural network is that of local activists. Most of the cross-border projects under study here depended on the strong leadership of an individual who was eager to create a cross-border project and had the vision to implement it. Ricardo Almeida is the central figure who gave the impetus needed to make the Fronteras Culturales/Fronteiras Culturais movement emerge and to forge the political ties needed for it to exist. Jussara Dutra played a similar role for the festival she created; she clearly formulates the importance of the vision and leadership she says she brought to the project:

Solène Marié: What made it possible to overcome this challenge? What were the key elements in implementing the project’s binational aspect?

Jussara Dutra: I think that… First, I would say, the fact that I coordinated it and that I had this imperative as a guiding principle, the importance of cultural integration at the border. I think that it’s fundamental to always have someone running the project who doesn’t stray from that guiding principle.

  • 35 Santana do Livramento for Ricardo Almeida; the Brazil-Argentina borderlands for Jussara Dutra.

49The project leader’s connection to the spatial and symbolic dimensions of the borderlands is also key. The two aforementioned project leaders come from the borderlands,35 which appears to have been an important factor in ensuring access to this role of initiators of a cultural action. On the one hand, it allowed them to secure the respect and support needed for their project, and on the other, it gave them the personal relationships and knowledge of local issues that are essential for the development of projects in these peripheral spaces.

2. 2. Relationships and Circumvention Strategies

50Also, as noted previously, the Brazil-Uruguay borderlands are marginal spaces, with a weak institutional and political presence of the federal government, which has historically cohabited with a range of other actors whose projects are outside of its control (Amilhat Szary 2010). In addition, the MERCOSUR’s contribution to cultural actions in the borderlands is a token. This means the actions that do emerge depend on strategic connections made by individuals from the social elite or on social relationships between local actors, as in the case of border committees.

  • 36 Interview with Artur Montanari, one of the managers of the Marco Zero bookshop (Santana do Livrame (...)

51This is particularly visible in the cultural sector in Santana do Livramento-Rivera, which relies primarily on activism. Discussing the actors in charge of cultural initiatives in the Santana do Livramento borderlands, Montanari36 stresses that:

[They are] essentially civil society and the agents themselves. There are few governmental initiatives. You have the question of the Farroupilha week, which concerns the entire state, the roots of the gaúcho. […] One of the few people doing cultural production here who successfully raises funds is the person working on folk culture. […] Because it’s about the gaúcho theme, he can do it. But for the others, it’s difficult.

52Thus, the only actor who is cited as securing support from public authorities is the one whose cultural actions relate to a theme whose scope extends beyond the borderlands, and accordingly involves outside networks and spaces.

  • 37 Interview with Eduardo Palermo, Director of Rivera’s Regional Heritage Museum (Museo del Patrimoni (...)

53Social elites are mentioned for their key role as both project managers and audiences. Indeed, these elites are singled out for their connection to the hybrid culture of the borderlands and its cultural events as audience members. Eduardo Palermo37, the Director of Rivera’s Regional Heritage Museum and a history professor, notes the following paradox: although “border culture is a popular culture, not an elite culture,” its audience tends to be elite:

Nobody comes into my museum, but at concerts […] there are 5,000, 6,000, 7,000 people. […] Some themes attract elite consumption rather than popular consumption, even if the people you’re watching in these cultural expressions are from the masses. Those who enjoy that are not from the masses, they’re the elite.

  • 38 Interview with Artur Montanari, op. cit.
  • 39 Field notes from the author’s observation of an event bringing together visual artists from Santan (...)
  • 40 Interview with Dionéia de Macedo, op. cit.

54Indeed, due both to these cultural preferences and to the concentration of cultural events in downtown areas, the audiences tend to be the same at all the events, made up of downtown residents with higher incomes.38 There is also a strong dependence on relationships between local artists. While they are still trying to structure their actions in the form of professional networks, we can observe networks of relationships and a knowledge of the work of the region’s main artistic figures.39 As visual artist and arts professor Dionéia de Macedo puts it40:

We have to fight to create something that attracts an audience, you know? […] Us artists, we meet more, we talk more, for instance, if they have an exhibit over there, all the Brazilians go, if a Brazilian has one here, all the Uruguayans come; we support each other.

  • 41 Comitês de fronteira de cidades gêmeas.
  • 42 These funds are known as Emenda Parlamentar.

55Furthermore, local elites have historically played a role in the communication around borderland issues, due to their peripheral location, to weaknesses in institutional and political representation in the area and to a history of regionalization of politics (Clemente 2010). In the 1980s and 1990s, projects emerged on the initiative of local groups that were influential across the entire South American subcontinent, characterized by a bottom-up dynamic drawing on local resources and the pragmatic need for survival (Amilhat-Szary 2010). These groups, called “twin city border committees”,41 were made up of municipal employees and actors involved in local social, economic and cultural activities. They became the driving forces for crucial representation and political action at the local level in the 1990s, and although their activity has not been constant, they remain important actors in local political networks, in part due to the challenges of passing on political demands from the borderlands to the higher levels of government. In 2009, for instance, 90 per cent of the PDFF’s budget came from funding allocated to members of Parliament for honouring campaign commitments,42 which is generally spent in their constituencies. While some larger municipalities located further away from the border manage to secure this kind of funding, it is more difficult for small border municipalities to apply for such federal programmes for reasons that relate to institutional weaknesses (Carneiro & Camara 2019) and distance from the centres of power. In these circumstances, it is the collective action by members of the social elite that has given a voice to the demands of local populations, through the border committees or collectives such as Fronteras Culturales/Fronteiras Culturais, which led to the emergence of a number of cultural policies and actions.

  • 43 Interview with Mangela Britos, op. cit.
  • 44 Interview with Rodrigo Segovia, Secretary of culture and tourism working in Jaguarão town hall, co (...)

56In the Brazil-Uruguay borderlands, cultural actions develop in a spatial and institutional in-between, which sometimes creates a legal in-between as regulations are prohibitively complex and as a result, are circumvented or flouted by most actors. Such cases are particularly frequent in Jaguarão and Río Branco, two towns separated by a bridge. The administrative processes for the transit of goods on the bridge are so complex that books, musical instruments and other equipment used for cultural actions are generally transported covertly, by walking across the bridge or crossing on horseback below. Another means of bypassing the rules consists in securing support from strategic individuals, particularly in local consulates. According to Mangela Britos, president of the municipal cultural council, gaining support from a local consul allows cultural actors to “skip a few steps” in order to “get something”.43 She notes in that respect that for some time she made the “mistake” of interacting with ministries rather than consulates. Rodrigo Segovia,44 the deputy mayor for culture and tourism in Jaguarão from 2017 to 2019, puts this clearly:

As I’ve found, to make life on the border easier from a bureaucratic point of view, you have to use the consulates. This is because… you know, the consulate is politically neutral, and I’ve used that political move in the past and it works. […] I’ve never been in touch with the ones in Porto Alegre or Montevideo. We deal directly with the border consulates, but the Uruguayan consulate in Brazil is the most active, in 99 per cent of cases.

  • 45 Written communication from Arthur Montanari: “de atuação excelente na área cultural.

57However, this relationship with border consulates does not appear to be rooted in institutional or political connections. Rather, it is dependent on the consul’s personality and eagerness to work on cultural actions. This is supported by Segovia’s assertion that one of the two border consuls is much more active than the other. Likewise, budget cuts in the history of Santana do Livramento-Rivera’s binational book fair appear to have been largely related to the existence or absence of support from the consul, depending on that person’s interest in cultural actions. That particular event was supported by two successive consuls who were open-minded and receptive and who demonstrated an “excellent involvement in the cultural sector”,45 according to the creator of the fair.

  • 46 MERCOSUR Cities Network.

58Another category of actors that plays a significant role in cross-border cultural networks is universities. Leonardo Mercher, Glaucia Bernardo and Evelise Silva (2018: 20) note that universities “played a decisive role” in the creation of the working group for border integration within the Mercocities network46. In the cultural sector, specifically, they appear to play an important role as institutions that are more secure and benefit from long-term funding policies: they keep initiatives alive, despite alternating phases of dormancy and others during which the actors are capable of securing support from a friendly government or a funding scheme.

  • 47 Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional.
  • 48 Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico do Estado.
  • 49 Interview with Alan Dutra de Melo, Professor at Unipampa-Jaguarão University and coordinator of th (...)
  • 50 Interview with Adriana Ança, architect, employee of the Jaguarão municipality’s urban and spatial (...)

59In Jaguarão, the designation of the city centre as a national historical monument by the IPHAN (National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage)47 in 2012, following a previous designation by the IPHAE (Rio Grande do Sul State Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage48), was based on the work of a Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at Pelotas Federal University, who, through the “Jaguar” project, led a long-term inventory of Jaguarão’s historical buildings.49 Adriana Ança,50 an employee of Jaguarão municipality’s urban and spatial planning department, highlights the role of universities and of their institutional connections:

I believe we’ve always been spurred on by the universities, universities discovered us […]. It was already the case in the 1990s […]. Pelotas Federal University came to Jaguarão, started doing this work. […] and that’s where it started […] I think it comes from the universities more because they have a special relationship with heritage organizations.

60Universities and researchers also played an important role in the Santana do Livramento-Rivera festival of oenogastronomy and Pampa products, by collecting data and producing knowledge on the borderlands, an under-documented area.

2. 3. Ambivalent Relation to the Border, Between Presence and Absence

61After highlighting the type of actors and strategies that make the development of cross-border cultural actions possible in the spaces under study, we are now able to analyse the relation to the border which is reflected in these actions.

62First, the cultural actions’ relation to the border is paradoxical in that the border is both present and absent. Even though the border is crossed by the actors, it still plays a central role, as a barrier, as a justification for crossing it, or even as connecting tissue.

Figure 3

Figure 3

Customs post on the bridge between Quaraí (Brazil) and Artigas (Uruguay)

Source: Author’s photograph, July 2018.

63The analysis of the communication material from the cultural actions studied in the Brazil-Uruguay borderlands reveals that, while they aim to promote cross-border integration, they give a central place to the border in their visual identity and accordingly in their organizational identity. The border is featured in the three images included in the figure below, through symbols of the borderline or border mark.

Figure 4

Figure 4

Communication material of the Fronteras Culturales/Fronteiras Culturais movement, of Santana do Livramento’s binational festival of oenogastronomy and Pampa products and of the binational book fair.

Sources: Fronteras Culturales Fronteiras Culturais, Festival Binacional de EnoGastronomia e Produtos do Pampa, Feira Binacional do Livro Livramento-Rivera.

The border has a strong symbolic presence in these events as it does in everyday life, since local residents and residents from other parts of Rio Grande do Sul refer to the zone as “the border.”

  • 51 Interview with Dionéia de Macedo, op. cit.
  • 52 Phone interview with Carlos José Machado, organiser of the Jaguararte festival, former president o (...)

64Additionally, our study of cultural networks in the Brazil-Uruguay borderlands demonstrates the importance of two dialectic processes through which the outside contributes to shaping the inside. First, outside perceptions of the borderlands’ specificities raise awareness among border residents of the peculiarities of their place of residence, which they may not necessarily perceive themselves without an outsider’s input.51 Institutional recognition also has an awareness-raising effect, as was the case when the award of emblem of Brazilian integration with other MERCOSUR countries was given to the city of Santana do Livramento in 2009, as mentioned previously. Also, many local actors leave their border town of origin permanently or temporarily before returning, a process that creates an engagement with the inside,52 suggesting that moving away from the border is an important step in later forging a closer relationship to it. This relationship may take the form of local engagement upon returning to the borderlands or of a remote engagement in networks. The two mechanisms can be observed amongst the cultural actors who were interviewed: engagement after a move, as in the case of students from Pelotas Federal University who worked to have the Jaguarão city centre designated as a historical monument when they returned, and remote engagement, exemplified by the creator of the Fronteras Culturales/Fronteiras Culturais, who steers the network from the town where he lives in the neighbouring state.

Conclusion: Cross-Border Cultural Networks, between Institutionalization and Informality

65In this study, the processes which underlie the cultural actions developed in the Brazil-Uruguay borderlands were examined by looking at the contribution of institutions and institutional mechanisms and that of informal networks and strategies. By analyzing the institutional framework of these actions, I have evidenced a context of institutional disconnection and distance between these spaces and the centres of power, but also institutional frameworks that are weakly consolidated at the international and regional levels. As a result, phases of political convergence and the existence of networks between different levels of governance open windows of opportunity for the development of cross-border cultural actions. Outside of the institutional framework, local activists also initiate their own cross-border cultural actions, seeking to circumvent the limitation of the border and in some cases the rules that come with it.

66The demonstration of the ways in which cultural actions aimed at the borderlands emerge in an institutional framework, mainly through political networks and informal channels led to the elaboration of a typology of the actors who play a key role in local cultural action outside of the institutional framework. Five main categories of actors were identified: activists from the borderlands, social elites, actors with connections outside the borderlands, individuals in strategic administrative positions and academics. Many interactions between these categories can be observed; some tend to play a long-term role (activists and academics), others a more occasional one (actors in strategic administrative positions), and yet others play both types of roles (social elites, actors with outside connections). Furthermore, the relationship to the border exhibited by these cultural actions is ambivalent: while the border is crossed by the actors, it continues to be central in their discourses, being alternatively described as a barrier, used as an argument to justify the development of cultural actions that cross it, or presented as a connecting tissue between the two countries it separates. Finally, an interaction between the inside and the outside of borderlands has also been highlighted in the cultural actions under study. These are characteristic features of the functioning of borderlands, where everyday life involves a constant contact with the line and with its crossing. Beyond an immediate, tangible relation to it, the border plays a paradoxical role, between presence and absence, limit and space for the expression of an in-between, regulation and space for experiencing freedom.

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Notes

1 For more information on the region’s history, see Fernando Cacciatore de Garcia (2011); Isabel Clemente (2010); Synesio Sampaio Goes Filho (2000); Eduardo Palermo (2001).

2 Field notes from a phone interview with Ricardo Almeida, borderland policy officer in the culture, information and technology sectors, 10th September 2018.

3 “those expressions that result from the creativity of individuals, groups and societies, and that have cultural content,” according to the UNESCO’s definition in Article 4 of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, Paris, 20th October.

4 Cultural content “refers to the symbolic meaning, artistic dimension and cultural values that originate from or express cultural identities,” per the definition given in Article 4 of the aforementioned Convention.

5 These are presented in the UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics, Montreal, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2009.

6 Southern Common Market, abbreviated as MERCOSUR (from the Spanish Mercado Común del Sur) or MERCOSUL (from the Portuguese Mercado Comum do Sul).

7 Sistema de Información Cultural del MERCOSUR / Sistema de Informação Cultural do MERCOSUL.

8 Fondo MERCOSUR Cultural / Fundo MERCOSUL Cultural.

9 Programa MERCOSUR Audiovisual / Programa MERCOSUL Audiovisual.

10 Fondo para la Convergencia Estructural del MERCOSUR / Fundo para a Convergência Estrutural do MERCOSUL.

11 Grupo Ad Hoc sobre Integración Fronteriza / Grupo Ad Hoc sobre Integração Fronteiriça.

12 Title granted by the federal Brazilian State per Act no. 12.095 of 19th November 2009.

13 Interview with Dionéia de Macedo, Professor of Arts at the Instituto Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (IFSUL) – Santana do Livramento, conducted by the author in Santana do Livramento, 9th July 2018.

14 Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional.

15 Programa de Desenvolvimento da Faixa de Fronteira.

16 Comissão Permanente para o Desenvolvimento e a Integração da Faixa de Fronteira.

17 Ministério da Integração Nacional. Secretaria de Programas Regionais (2005). Programa de Desenvolvimento da Faixa de Fronteira. Proposta de Reestruturação do Programa de Desenvolvimento da Faixa de Fronteira. Brasília ; Secretaria de Assuntos Estratégicos (2013). Políticas de fronteira como fator de integração. Diagnóstico das ações brasileiras nos espaços de fronteira. Brasília.

18 Cartilha do Programa de Desenvolvimento da Faixa de Fronteira (PDFF). Brasília.

19  The population was 27,931 in 2010 according to the most recent census. Source: Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

20 Interview with Mangela Britos, president of Jaguarão’s cultural municipal council, conducted by the author in Santana do Livramento, 13rd September 2018.

21 Field notes from an interview with a Receita Federal employee.

22 Brazilian Democratic Movement (Partido do Movimento Democrático do Brasil).

23 Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores).

24 Diretoria de Relações Internacionais.

25 Ministério das Relações Exteriores.

26 José Alberto ‘Pepe’ Mujica Cordano, widely known as Pepe Mujica, President of Uruguay between 2010 and 2015.

27 Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, widely known as Lula, President of Brazil between 2003 and 2011.

28 Breakdown of the years mentioned in the interviews (conducted in 2018) and number of mentions: 2007: 69 mentions; 2008: 82 mentions; 2009: 417 mentions; 2010: 165 mentions; 2011: 621 mentions; 2012: 301 mentions; 2013: 289 mentions; 2014: 600 mentions; 2015: 126 mentions. No mentions of other years. Author’s inventory made using NVivo 12.

29 The name literally means “Cultural Borders Movement” but could also be translated as “Borderlands Cultural Movement.”

30 Corredores de integração cultural.

31 Author’s phone interview, 10th September 2018.

32 Festival Binacional de Enogastronomia e produtos do Pampa.

33 Phone interview conducted by the author with Jussara Dutra, director of Santana do Livramento’s binational festival of oenogastronomy and Pampa products, conducted in Santana do Livramento, 19th September 2018.

34 Intendencia de Rivera in Spanish.

35 Santana do Livramento for Ricardo Almeida; the Brazil-Argentina borderlands for Jussara Dutra.

36 Interview with Artur Montanari, one of the managers of the Marco Zero bookshop (Santana do Livramento) and founder of Santana do Livramento-Rivera’s binational book fair, conducted by the author in Santana do Livramento, 22nd September 2018.

37 Interview with Eduardo Palermo, Director of Rivera’s Regional Heritage Museum (Museo del Patrimonio Regional de Rivera) and history professor, conducted by the author in Rivera, 18th September 2018.

38 Interview with Artur Montanari, op. cit.

39 Field notes from the author’s observation of an event bringing together visual artists from Santana do Livramento and Rivera, organised by the Curadoria de Artes Visuais at the Departmental Visual Arts Museum (Museo Departamental de Artes Plásticas), Rivera, 18th September 2018.

40 Interview with Dionéia de Macedo, op. cit.

41 Comitês de fronteira de cidades gêmeas.

42 These funds are known as Emenda Parlamentar.

43 Interview with Mangela Britos, op. cit.

44 Interview with Rodrigo Segovia, Secretary of culture and tourism working in Jaguarão town hall, conducted by the author in .Jaguarão, 11th September 2018.

45 Written communication from Arthur Montanari: “de atuação excelente na área cultural.

46 MERCOSUR Cities Network.

47 Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional.

48 Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico do Estado.

49 Interview with Alan Dutra de Melo, Professor at Unipampa-Jaguarão University and coordinator of the bachelor’s in cultural production and policies, formerly employed as cultural policies officer by the Jaguarão municipality (2009-2010), conducted by the author in Jaguarão, 10 September 2018.

50 Interview with Adriana Ança, architect, employee of the Jaguarão municipality’s urban and spatial planning department, conducted by the author in Jaguarão, 13th September 2018.

51 Interview with Dionéia de Macedo, op. cit.

52 Phone interview with Carlos José Machado, organiser of the Jaguararte festival, former president of Jaguarão’s ‘cultural municipal council’, conducted by the author, 17th June 2019.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1
Légende Santana do Livramento-Rivera, Jaguarão-Río Branco and other cities at the Brazil-Uruguay border
Crédits Source: Author’s work, cartography by André Vieira Freitas.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bssg/docannexe/image/3853/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 313k
Titre Figure 2
Légende Ponte Internacional Barão de Mauá, connecting Jaguarão (Brazil) and Río Branco (Uruguay).
Crédits Source: Author’s photograph, July 2018.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bssg/docannexe/image/3853/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 1,3M
Titre Figure 3
Légende Customs post on the bridge between Quaraí (Brazil) and Artigas (Uruguay)
Crédits Source: Author’s photograph, July 2018.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bssg/docannexe/image/3853/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 570k
Titre Figure 4
Légende Communication material of the Fronteras Culturales/Fronteiras Culturais movement, of Santana do Livramento’s binational festival of oenogastronomy and Pampa products and of the binational book fair.
Crédits Sources: Fronteras Culturales Fronteiras Culturais, Festival Binacional de EnoGastronomia e Produtos do Pampa, Feira Binacional do Livro Livramento-Rivera.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bssg/docannexe/image/3853/img-4.PNG
Fichier image/png, 398k
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Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Solène Marié, « Negotiating with the Border: Cultural Networks in the Brazil-Uruguay Borderlands, Between Institutionalization and Informality »Biens Symboliques / Symbolic Goods [En ligne], 13 | 2023, mis en ligne le 19 décembre 2023, consulté le 23 février 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/bssg/3853 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/bssg.3853

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Auteur

Solène Marié

Doctor of International Relations, Universidade de Brasília (Brazil), Department of International Relations, and Doctor of Political Science, Université Paris 8 (France), associate researcher at Cresppa-LabToP (UMR7217).

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Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-SA 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

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