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2022 | OriginalPaper | Buchkapitel

23. Association of Brazilian Geographers (AGB): The Construction of a Geography of Struggle

verfasst von : Charlles da França Antunes, Paulo Alentejano

Erschienen in: Brazilian Geography

Verlag: Springer Nature Singapore

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Abstract

The history of science is necessary for the process of doing science. The history of science is not just the result of strictly scientific processes. In this regard, our intention with this text is to look at the Association of Brazilian Geographers (AGB) and its role in professional training, its importance in the elaboration, appropriation, and dissemination of ideas of/in geographical science in Brazil, and in the definition of the agenda of struggles of the geographical community itself in Brazil. These processes are the result of what the history of geography itself has handed down to us: the great proximity between the AGB and the transformations perceived in the science of geography and Brazilian society in the years subsequent to 1934. In this regard, we discuss the ways, means, and processes which have given the AGB a prominent role within this scientific community in Brazil, and thereby attempt to understand to what extent and in what way the AGB and the movement surrounding it have been responsible for consolidating Brazilian geography, for a geography of struggle. It can also be asserted that without the existence, ideas, practices, interventions, and transformations of the AGB, since 1934, upon its creation; since 1946, with the holding of its assemblies in different parts of the country; since 1972, with the holding of its first mass event; since 1979, with its more radical and democratic transformation, the history of geography in Brazil would have been very different. The AGB, born in the previous century, is an expression of the phenomenon of the social history of geography in Brazil. Its emergence and subsequent development are the result of a specific conception of geography, of a long institutional history within Brazilian geography. The AGB is not only the bearer of a certain professional institutionality, it is a moving entity, but also a space where science is developed as knowledge in the service of the transformation of society and the geographical space, in line with the philosophy of praxis. This is why in recent years the AGB has been a growing space with an active and vibrant presence of social movements which, in dialogue with the geographies, day by day are constructing more committed geography, a geography of struggle.

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Fußnoten
1
Geography societies are institutions of the nineteenth century and are inextricably linked to the colonialist and imperialist action that took place during this period, even more markedly between the last quarter of the 1800s and the first two decades of the twentieth century, with a strong European predominance and among European countries with notable hegemony such as France, Germany and England. The first of these societies was founded in 1821 in Paris, followed by Berlin in 1828 and London in 1830. The first among the Latin American societies were that of Mexico, in 1833, and that of Brazil, in 1838 (Rio de Janeiro Geography Society—SGRJ). In Brazil, the Brazilian Historic and Geographic Institute (IHGB) and the Rio de Janeiro Geography Institute (SGRJ) can be understood as the beginning of the associative history of geography. They are understood as institutions that brought together, at first, scholars and those interested in geography, whether bearing the title and denomination of geographers or not (Zusman 1996).
 
2
The University of São Paulo, in 1934, with its Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Literature, as well as the University of the Federal District, in 1935, transformed shortly afterwards into the National Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Brazil, in 1938, and today the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
 
3
The elitist character is seen in focus. Lucchesi (2015:7) reinforces our position regarding the elitist character of this training when he states that “(…) It should be noted that, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the elitist character prevailed even in Europe, which had already had higher education since the beginning of the thirteenth century. From Antiquity to the mid-twentieth century, higher education was intended only for the social, economic, and intellectual elite”.
 
4
For Zusman (2001:19–20), geography “sheltered in its epistemological particularity (as a globalising knowledge) and supported by the scientificity guaranteed by the ascription to the French School (as a conceptual framework with legitimacy supported by the disciplinary tradition) presents itself as a knowledge with potentiality to give legitimacy to the process of territorial enhancement and regional development”.
 
5
In 1936, there was a small reform of the Statute, but it did not introduce significant changes in the entity’s institutionality. Throughout its history, the AGB has carried out seven statutory reforms.
 
6
Revista de Geografia (Geography Journal) (1935–1936), Revista da AGB (AGB Journal) (1941–1944).
 
7
Revista Brasileira de Geografia (Brazilian Journal of Geography), from the IBGE, for example.
 
8
“(…) from 1800 to 1889, 14 higher education establishments were created, which is 0.16 per year; 64 more from 1890 to 1929, which is 1.6 per year; and 338 more from 1930 to 1960, which is 11.3 per year” (Fernandes 2020: 89).
 
9
In the 1945–1970 period, 6 (six) regional sections and 8 (eight) local centres were created in 11 (eleven) different states of Brazil.
 
10
The corporate and military dictatorship, resulting from a movement of conservative forces, among them the National Armed Forces, the Church and the bourgeoisie, was established through a coup d’état, on 31 March 1964, instituting a regime that lasted 21 years.
 
11
As a result of this policy, we would witness a surprising expansion of higher education institutions. In 1968, there were 41 universities and 397 isolated establishments and federations; in 1985, when the military government ended, 68 universities (20 of which were private) and 791 isolated establishments and federations (606 of which were private) were already in operation. In 1968, there were 1712 courses offered in Brazil, and in 1985, it jumped to 3923 courses offered (Lopes 1997).
 
12
From a legal point of view, the university reform process was sealed with the enactment of Law 5540, of 28 November 1968, which dealt with the organisation and functioning of universities in the country, and its content contains the rancidity of the conservative guidelines that surrounded the entire reform process (Fernandes 1978).
 
13
(…) Lastly, a third negative element was introduced in the universities: the conception that education is a commodity. The student would not know the value of education if they did not pay for the course. This idea germinated with the MEC-USAID agreements, with which it was intended to strangle public schools and allow for the expansion of commercialised education” (Fernandes 1978:106).
 
14
See Motta, Rodrigo Patto Sá. As universidades e o regime militar. Jorge Zahar Editor (2014).
 
15
For Moreira (2008), the three geographies are practice, theory and institutionality, respectively.
 
16
If there was any “miracle” in a relatively prolonged period of growth with little inflation, it was basically explained by: (a) the way in which the distribution of income was “disciplined” by replacing collective bargaining in the labour market with a “wage policy” that was rigid, centralised and—from the point of view of capital accumulation—perfectly effective, and (b) the increasing international integration of capitalist economies, causing changes in the global division of labour, which ended up providing a large influx of foreign capital into Brazil (Singer 1977:10).
 
17
The Institutional Acts (AI) were measures enacted by the corporate and military dictatorship instituted after the 1 April 1964 coup. In assuming constitutional power, the military junta or the indirectly elected presidents enacted 17 institutional acts, which determined the revocation of mandates, exiles, imprisonments, censorship and other arbitrary acts. The 1968 AI-5 was considered the most hard-hitting of all AIs.
 
18
Fernando Collor was the first president elected directly after the corporate and military dictatorship, in 1989. Itamar Franco was his vice president and took over after Collor’s resignation, on the eve of his impeachment, in 1992. And Fernando Henrique Cardoso (FHC) was the second directly elected president, in 1994.
 
19
The Lattes Platform, created in 1999, is a virtual curriculum system created and maintained by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq/MCT), through which it integrates curriculum databases, research groups and institutions into a single information system, in the areas of Science and Technology, operating in Brazil. The Lattes Curriculum has become a national standard for recording the academic and professional life of students and researchers across the country, and is now adopted by most development institutions, universities, and research institutes throughout the country.
 
20
The Brazilian Congresses of Geographers are events organised by the AGB, every ten years. The first was held in 1954, in the city of Ribeirão Preto—SP.
 
21
It is important, however, to consider the phenomenon in a broader political context, since NGO-isation has proved to be a way of reducing the autonomy of social movements and a possibility of expanding State control over these movements. In the words of ROY (2004:3) “in the long term, NGOs are accountable to their funders, and not to the people among whom they work.” Here, we are not talking about NGOs that were involved with social movements, such as, for example, in the process of opening the dictatorship and the redemocratisation of the country; we are referring to organisations that, in the most recent scenario, are linked to a more conservative, or even liberal, action, to the so-called corporate social responsibility, incorporating the strictest sense of the meaning of the third sector.
 
22
The Confea-Creas System is formed by Confea—Federal Council of Engineering and Agronomy and by Creas—Regional Councils of Engineering and Agronomy. It was created in 1933, and it is the official body responsible for the recognition and oversight of the professional practice of a series of professional categories, including geographers, who were legally recognised as a professional category in 1979 and included in the Confea-Creas System.
 
23
Activities included in the schedule of events that take place outside the boundaries of the universities where the meetings take place, taking to streets and squares of the cities where the events are being held, allow for interaction of the meeting and congress participants with the local population. Social movements that are partners of the AGB are often invited to join these activities, which can be marches, rallies, etc.
 
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Metadaten
Titel
Association of Brazilian Geographers (AGB): The Construction of a Geography of Struggle
verfasst von
Charlles da França Antunes
Paulo Alentejano
Copyright-Jahr
2022
Verlag
Springer Nature Singapore
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-3704-0_23