Associação Ylê Setí do Imaginário

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XV Cycle of Studies on the Imaginary

International Congress
07 - 10 October 2008
Park Hotel / Hotel Vila Rica - Recife - Brazil

As far as “anthropology” is concerned, Gilbert Durand believes that the tension existing between two poles is responsible for almost any socio-cultural dynamics. Therefore participation and development are here considered as poles between which you can find living dimensions regarding the various spheres, mainly the political one, but also that of the conscience of each person, regarding his own social responsibilities, such as ethical and moral matters, together with social inclusion/exclusion. Therefore it is not a case of establishing another dichotomy, but rather the interpretation of these dimensions as dynamic polarities.

The idea of the theme arose at the previous Cycle of Studies dealing with the imaginary dimensions of Nature, where the treatment given to Nature in development projects, among others, could be observed. Further, it was noted that governments had been proposing plans of sustained development and accelerated growth for some time. What do these proposals mean in terms of living and the future of the planet? There has been a great deal of criticism in the press and scientific publications about so-called sustained development. As a result, the book “Unsustained Development. For a social and ecological conscience” was published by Stéphane Bonnevault in 2003 in which he says “... if no-one escapes development, it is because, without previous warning, the West has involved the rest of the world in its aberrant crusade of economic growth at all costs, without the least concern for the future – which is far from brilliant, except for a few privileged individuals. Should we let the future of our planet be compromised so that some can, with impunity, ensure their delirious assertion of dominating Nature and satisfying their gigantic economic ego?”
When non-industrial societies are concerned, the leit motiv is development, says Virgilio M. Viana in his article about the caiçara “Sustainable involvement and the preservation of Brazilian forests”. For traditional populations, not just the caiçara, development means losing the economic, cultural, social and ecological involvement with ecosystems and their natural resources. Dignity and the prospect of constructing citizenship are also lost with involvement. Further, knowing and the knowledge of traditional systems of management are also lost which, contrary to what is generally considered, may preserve natural ecosystems more effectively than conventional technical systems. The process of environment degradation is accelerated with the expulsion – sometimes violently – of traditional populations from their land. Obviously those consequences of devastation are not coherent with the search for supportability of our planet. According to the Michaelis dictionary, to develop means to take off the wrapping, to discover what was covered; to envelop means to put in an envelope, to implicate. In this way, it can be said that developing a person or community means taking them out of their wrapping, away from their environmental context; uprooting them from their environment”.
Considering that the participation/development projects regard specific visions of the world together with the mythical bases of these visions, the basic objective of this Cycle of Studies on the Imaginary is that to discuss, starting from symbolic, archetypal and mythical aspects, the various possibilities of organization from a sociodynamic and environmental point of view.

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