University of São Paulo: Book discusses structural racism and psychoanalysis from the stories of black women
THEThe book Os Many Names of Silvana – Clinical-political contributions of psychoanalysis on black women has just been launched , a work that is the result of the doctoral thesis of psychoanalyst Ana Paula Musatti-Braga at the Psychology Institute (IP) of USP. The research was carried out based on her experience with the mother of a student at a school in the Butantã neighborhood, in São Paulo: a poor black woman, and it is from her that “Silvana’s many names” emerge. The research was defended in February 2016, under the guidance of Professor Miriam Debieux Rosa, from IP.
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Ana Paula says that adjustments had to be made to make reading more accessible, but despite the adaptations to the format, she chose not to modify or update the thesis as a way of marking a work that was very important at a time when there were fewer studies about. “Important changes have taken place over these years in psychoanalysis, but it is also important to note that the subject, which is now more naturalized, was different at that time,” says Ana Paula to Jornal da USP .
Each chapter in the book is named after a different woman, but they all represent stories from the same person. The objective was to show that each woman has different characteristics and is entitled to different identities. They are: “Sandra: on the invisibility of black Brazilian women”; “Sônia: an enslaved history and its traces”; “Suzana and the return of the handcuffs”; “Selma: On Serfdom, Racism and Sexism”, and “Sofia and Becoming a Black Woman”.
“In the research it became clear that these black women suffered much greater social pressures than white women, and were always seen in a role of servitude. Putting different names served to show that they are multiple”, he says.
An important modification was the narrative of the events: the book is written in the first person, showing the author’s perspective beyond the research data.
Each chapter in the book is named after a different woman, but they all represent stories from the same person. The objective was to show that each woman has different characteristics and is entitled to different identities. Black women – Photo: Flickr – Photomontage Jornal da USP
Ana Paula says that her initial objective did not take into account the skin color of the women who would be part of the study, but as she went deeper into her experiences, she ended up realizing the importance of the racial issue in the form of socialization. “Probably, if I did this research today, the racial issue would have been part of the approach from the beginning, but, at the time, it wasn’t something I realized before starting it”, he says.
According to Ana Paula, within psychoanalysis there was an erasure of racial issues both in research and in the care of these racialized patients. She says that several analysts did not take this into account during the consultations for a socio-political and maintenance of privileges issue. But she is hopeful about the advancement of this theme within psychoanalysis.
The book The Many Names of Silvana – Clinical and Political Contributions of Psychoanalysis on Black Women (Editora Blucher, 390 pages) is available for purchase at this link .
Last Thursday (18), there was a live on YouTube for the launch of the book, which included the participation of Ana Paula Musatti-Braga and the doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychology at USP, Priscilla Santos de Souza, whose research addresses race relations and psychoanalysis. For about an hour of the event, they commented on the research process and each one’s perspectives on the development of psychoanalysis in relation to racial issues over the last few years. At the end of the live, the audience that accompanied her could ask the author questions.
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