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Doi / New images of pombagira in pop culture: current symbols, myths, and stereotypes 1 Novas imagens da pombagira na cultura pop: símbolos, mitos e estereótipos em circulação

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Doi / New images of pombagira in pop culture: current symbols, myths, and stereotypes 1 Novas imagens da pombagira na cultura pop: símbolos, mitos e estereótipos em circulação A R T I G O Florence Marie Dravet 2 Leandro Bessa Oliveira 3 Abstract This paper discusses ways in which the archetype of the wild woman survives and reappears in stereotypical constructions of the feminine in contemporary pop culture, especially in songs and music videos. To address this archetype, we approach the Brazilian image of pombagira, a symbol of a free, wild, sexy, and sexual feminine force. According to the theory of Warburg (2012), strong symbols reappear in art due to the recurring character of pathos, which he calls Pathosformel. Based on the study of three images of the feminine in the media star system as a free feminine, even though it has been ravaged by centuries of phallocentrism, we will show that it is resurging and manifesting itself in pop culture. Keywords: Pop culture; Pombagira; Valesca Popozuda; Lady Gaga; Azis Resumo Como o arquétipo da mulher selvagem sobrevive e ressurge dentro de construções estereotipadas do feminino na cultura pop contemporânea, especialmente na música e nos videoclipes? Para tratar desse arquétipo, partimos da figura brasileira da pombagira, símbolo de uma força feminina livre, selvagem, 1 This paper is a result of the research project The feminine from the Afro-Brazilian tradition to the Brazilian culture study of the pombagira image, its portraits and media imaginary (original title in Portuguese: O feminino da tradição afrobrasileira à cultura brasileira estudo da figura da pombagira, suas imagens e imaginários mediáticos ), supported by public notice MCTI/CNPq/ MEC/CAPES Nº 43/ Universidade Católica de Brasília UCB, Brasília, DF, Brazil. 3 Universidade Católica de Brasília UCB, Brasília, DF, Brazil. A R T I G O 50 new images of pombagira in pop culture sensual e sexual. De acordo com a teoria de Warburg (2012), símbolos fortes ressurgem na arte devido ao caráter recorrente do pathos, que ele denomina Pathosformel. Mostraremos, com o estudo de três figuras do feminino no star system mediático, como um feminino livre, embora tenha sido devastado por séculos de falocentrismo, está ressurgindo e se manifestando na cultura pop. Palavras-chave: Cultura pop; Pombagira; Valesca Popozuda; Lady Gaga; Azis florence marie dravet leandro bessa oliveira 51 Based on the principle of communication as a means of culture circulation (MORIN, 2007), this paper aims to show ways in which the archetype of the wild woman survives and resurges within stereotypical constructions of the woman and the feminine in contemporary pop culture. The discussion is based on the Brazilian image of the pombagira, a symbol of a free feminine force, which is sensual and sexual, prior to the male domination of the phallocentric culture and based on a type of rationality of the sensitive: the one regarding the nocturnal regime (DURAND, 2012); the rationality created out of a feminine present on the woman s body, whose vaginal emptiness does not constitute an absence, but its own strength. The strength of the one who contains, receives, understands; a continent strength, full of an emptiness that, far from being passive, constitutes a creative potentiality. The archetype (JUNG, 2011) an amorphous primordial image existing in the imaginary is the strength and power for the creative action of men, an image of the nebulous collective unconsciousness that takes shape in art and religion. The notion of Pathosformel (WARBURG, 2012) 4 allows understanding the way the symbols present in the images perpetuate through cultures, assuming different shapes, being original from the same passions. This way, it is not enough to identify the archetype, it is necessary to find the place of the pathos, which updates the archetype in art and perpetuates it into different, varied forms in several cultures. We will follow the trajectory from the archetype to the symbol in Brazilian Umbanda, through the way in which the primordial feminine strength is symbolized by Igbadu, the way it is present in the goddesses Yemanjá and Oxum, and the ways it is finally manifested in the pombagira. This trajectory will guide our comprehension of the presence of a media feminine that is stereotyped by pop culture, whose current discourse seems to recover the African archetype of the wild feminine: free, sensual and sexual. As Warburg in his Atlas Mnemosyne A R T I G O 4 On approximations and distinctions between the archetype, for Jung, and the Pathosformel, for Warburg, see SCARSO, Davide. Fórmulas e arquétipos, Aby Warburg e Carl Gustav Jung Enciclopédia e hipertexto. Available at: Access on: Jun 23, 2014. A R T I G O 52 new images of pombagira in pop culture (2012), we approximate images that are apparently disperse in various cultures. We know the archetype is amorphous and it starts to take shape through mythical narratives, and thus it becomes a symbolic image. As they are determined by culture, those images are the object of several variations. We defend that the media representation, with the excess and the speed of images generated by the iconophagic system (BAITELLO Jr, 2005), produces stereotypes, means of degradation of the symbols and depletion of meaning of the images. However, the circularity of the signification process in the culture is complete when the archetypical force that has given rise to the stereotypes is rediscovered and reformulated. This is what Durand defends, as he asserts that: Representation cannot constantly have weapons at hand in a surveillance state, under penalty of alienation. Plato himself knows it is necessary to go back to the cave, to take into consideration the act of our mortal condition and to have a good use of time as much as we can. Similarly, the psychotherapist recommends, in the ascending practice of waking dream, not to leave the dreamer on the peak of his ascension, but to bring him back progressively to his starting level, bringing him gently to his usual mental altitude. (DURAND, 2012, p. 193) [Own translation from original text in Portuguese]. Some of these stereotypes will be approached, and we will see how, within a media universe of symbols which are degraded by excessive light, strong symbols reappear, as nocturnal resurgences. According to the Warburguian theory 5, those strong symbols reappear due to the atavistic character of the pathos, which he calls Pathosformel 6. This is 5 Aby Warburg has conducted comparative procedures of pictures without worrying about geographical and chronological boundaries, his model of analysis was carried out through nonlinear, not representative / not symbolic traces of the image, a model that is expressed in the obsession and the survival, in reminiscence and reappearances of forms, namely, by not knowing, by non-reflections, by unconscious time as defined by Georges Didi-Huberman (2013, p. 25). For Charbel (2010), his method of working is opposed to purely formal analysis, he refused to address the images from a hermeneutics characterized by the interpretation of pictorial records of the past from keys found exclusively in paintings and / or the subjectivity of the analyst. 6 According to Roland Recht, in the opening essay of Atlas Mnemosyne (2012), the term Pathosformel was used for the first time in 1905, at a conference on Albrecht Dürer - Dürer and florence marie dravet leandro bessa oliveira 53 what we will show with the study of three images of the feminine of the media star system: the North American, Lady Gaga; the Brazilian, Valesca Popozuda; and the Bulgarian, Azis. Three pop stars. Three symbols of the pombagira force in contemporary culture. A recovery of the feminine discourse in contemporary society, located in distinct cultural and geographical spaces. In the pursuit, therefore, of the trajectory of the feminine archetype of the wild woman and of the Pathosformel that expresses it, we will start out by the trajectory of the feminine in the umbanda cosmology and in the creation of the pombagira myth. We will discuss the way the phallocentric culture has transformed this archetypical myth into the one of the whore and the way the media culture has produced images of those feminine symbols reduced to stereotypes of women as object. Lastly, we analyze how Lady Gaga, Valesca Popozuda and Azis recover the creative power of the Wild Woman. We identify the return of the pombagira in them, as an archetypical figure, as well as the return of the nocturnal regime of images. A R T I G O 1. From the archetype to the Afro-Brazilian myth In the Afro-Brazilian symbology, Senhoras dos Pássaros (Ladies of birds, in free translation) or Grandes Mães (Main Mothers, in free translation) are the entity of maximum representation of feminine strength. They are represented by a large calabash formed by two halves, the so-called Igbadu or the universe calabash (OXALÁ, 1998; SANTOS, 2001). The lower half the receptacle represents the feminine, whereas the upper half represents the masculine. What lies inside shall not be revealed. To separate both halves would mean to break the order of the mystery. Apart from the mystery of the Senhoras dos Pássaros in the closed calabash, the Orixás manifest some of their aspects in the apparitions and actions in the world, with men and with nature. We have seen, in Italian Antiquity to designate a figurative pattern that the Renaissance has taken from Antiquity as well as superlative form of expression of passions. For Didi-Huberman (2013), the Pathosformel would be a significant feature, traced in the act of anthropomorphic images of ancient and modern West, something through which, and by which the image pulses, moves, and flounders on the polarity of things. A R T I G O 54 new images of pombagira in pop culture a previous study 7, the way the powers kept and symbolized by the feminine Orixás are synthetized in original matrix power (Nanã), as wild and warrior power (Obá and Iansã), generation power (Iemanjá and Oxum), seduction power (Oxum and Iansã), and magic power (Iewá). [...] Even though we can determine the type of power that corresponds to each Orixá, it is a fact also that all are present in all feminine Orixás, constituting, maybe, one feminine strength in the universe, which gives life, generates it, transforms it, loves and creates. Iemanjá maybe the most popular of the Orixás in Brazil, due to the importance of the sea in the occupation of the land in the country is the goddess of sea, syncretized with the Virgin Mary. She is also the mother of all fish, or the spiritual mother of all men. Oxum, her daughter, equally popular in Brazil, is the major generator. Her element is the water of rivers, which represents the amniotic fluid where babies are generated. Her strength is love. It is necessary to explain that the African Orixás have gone through a process of adaptation and transformation to the local cultural conditions. This way, gradually, the sexual and lecherous character has been removed from Iemanjá and Oxum, due to their approximation with the Virgin Mary, as this character has been channeled towards the image of the pombagira. In Brazil, there are few studies about pombagiras; however, a field research with people that are not adept reveals that the figure is present in the collective imaginary. Everyone has heard about it or knows something about it. In general, references to pombagira create astonishment reactions on people, who express themselves through laughter and mockery, or through monosyllabic responses or an uncomfortable silence. The name is immediately associated to the image of a prostitute, a woman of a free life, who is seductive and dangerous. By rule, all women have a moça [a young woman] (another denomination of 7 See the article A formação das imagens do feminino na cosmologia da umbanda e sua manifestação no imaginário brasileiro [The formation of images of the feminine in the cosmology of Umbanda and its manifestation in the Brazilian imaginary, in Portuguese], presented to the Work Group Imaginário e Imagens Midiáticas, at the XXII Encontro Anual da Compós, Salvador, in June, 2013. florence marie dravet leandro bessa oliveira 55 pombagiras), some feminine men also have it. She is a type of companion who ensures femininity. Whereas some fear pombagira, thinking of her as dangerous, influent, evil, able of spells and witchcraft, other are fascinated by her seduction power by her witching knowledge which allows her to obtain anything is terms of love and relationship. It is necessary to highlight that the experience of pombagira by Umbanda adepts is done through incorporation and concerns the emotional aspects of the lives of men and women at the worship site: their feelings, their relationships, their sexuality, their verbal and body expression. Some men do not like the incorporation of pombagira because she leads them to their feminine side, which they tend to deny. Other men, however, report they enjoy the opportunity of exteriorizing their feminine side, smile, speaking, laughing, and gesticulating as a woman. Indeed, pombagira laughs, sings, yells, curses, sometimes using vulgar language, she breaks all barriers, taboos, she expresses something that cannot be expressed, and she dances, and turns around to take her body out of immobility, inciting movement and action. In this sense, she can be considered a Dionysian type of the feminine. She likes mocking, laughing at everything that is imposed as a limitation to men and women. Her favorite field of action is the one of love relationships, and more specifically, the one concerning men and women s sexuality. The pombagira acts, therefore, on the regions of the social life where the main taboos are located: love and sexuality. It may be possible to assert that the simplifying clichés that make pombagira a negative figure associated to the prostitute, to the hysterical woman, and the dangerous witch are the masks under which the feminine loves to hide to better preserve its creative, intuitive and caring power. Whereas she likes laughing and playing, she disregards civilities and prefers the freedom, if she is movement and action, it is not surprising that the pombagira plays and laughs with what destabilizes men the most: her sexuality; with what might be the main spiritual and material challenge of men: love. We will see now the way our culture, dominated by patriarchal values has interpreted and transformed pombagira in some stereotypical images A R T I G O A R T I G O 56 new images of pombagira in pop culture of the whore, whose lust transforms it into a malign figure. Moreover, we analyze the way some feminine figures of the contemporary media pop culture make use of such stereotypes to create a discourse on the feminine that comes very close to the archetypical force of the pombagira. 2. From the Afro-Brazilian myth to the lights of the phallocentric culture In iconography and in the discourses of the Judeo-Christian culture, there are two manifested and opposed daytime patterns of the feminine. On the one hand, the pure Virgin Mary who, in the Revelation, is the the woman adorned with the sun, with the twelve stars on Her Head for a crown and Her feet standing on the moon. This Virgin Mary also takes other forms and she is the object of several versions of sanctity, perfection, and kindness. Above all, she serves as a moralizing model for women destined to be mothers, to see their sexual instincts repressed by the Christian notions of virginity and sanctity, to dedicate themselves to the education of their children, and to the good management of the home economy, etc. All Christian values that still nowadays dominate the reason and the moral of the patriarchal society. In the same Judeo-Christian iconography, we find, on the other hand, the sinful woman who causes all the vices of Babylon: the great prostitute, who sits by many waters of the biblical Revelation who has had other denominations and has taken different forms throughout history. At first and going through all times, she is the whore, the woman whose desire and enjoyment are at the service of the desire and joy of men, since he has the power to buy them with money and / or take them by force. At other times, she is chased as the witch, the one who bewitches men, the sinner, taken by evil; therefore, in the rationalization process of beliefs and scientific revolutions, she becomes the hysterical one, whose evil can be treated by medicine, with electroshocks and admissions to psychiatric hospitals. Here we approach the whore who permeates all times. florence marie dravet leandro bessa oliveira 57 a. The marginalized woman: the whore nocturnal regime It is worth to recover the trajectory of the whore in history, since she was relegated to the place of subordination and marginalization. The whore is an abject figure of society, placed in the space of moral condemnation and social exclusion; she is part of the excluded groups in society, such as the natives, the homeless people and the insane. However, there is also another contemporary validation of the whore imaginary: she is the voice of freedom; her activity is the solution to make way through a precarious situation of life. For sex workers, the whore may be the setting of freedom and independence, embodied in moral transgression. This is what we see with the story of Gabriela Leite, author of Filha, mãe, avó e puta [Daughter, mother, grandmother and slut, in free translation], (2009). To be a whore means to have the voice that disregards all oppressive discourses, a voice of resistance, incarnation and the subsequent purging of the oppressed sexual freedom. The decision to become a prostitute may represent a choice, to the extent that, in economic, sexual and emotional terms, the exercise of prostitution can make possible for a woman to experience an autonomous condition. In the article Sou feliz sendo prostituta: incidências de discursos governamentais e midiáticos sobre prostituição [I am happy being a whore: incidences on government and media discourses on prostitution, in free translation], Alles and Cogo show the clash between this type of work choice (supported and legitimized by various institutions such as the Brazilian Network of Prostitutes and the Association of Prostitutes in several states) and the dominant discourse within the government and media circles, as in the occasion of the episode that took place in 2013, between the Ministry of Health and the movement of the prostitutes: A R T I G O (...) in Brazil there is only one policy of tolerance regarding prostitution - even as a recognized occupation. The moral and police repression are frequent, as well as the intervention of agents and health authorities, but there is not really a choice between the abolition and regulation of the profession. (ALLES; COGO, 2013, p. 18) [Own translation from original text in Portuguese]. A R T I G O 58 new images of pombagira in pop culture Since the early colonization years to the present, there has been a maintenance, in Brazil, of a negative imagery of the whore because, due to a strong Christian family heritage, our dominant colonized culture has always valued virginity, monogamy and patriarchy. Interestingly, the word puta (Portuguese word for whore) can be approximated to the French verb puer, which means to stink, to extract an extremely unpleasant odor. The Latin verb putere means pourrir, to rotten, of which putois also originates, a French designation for an animal that exhales a strong odor, the skunk. This etymology only reinforces the idea that the image we have of the whore is strongly associated with the sinful woman who causes all vices, similarly to the whore of Babylon mentioned in the biblical Revelation. With this, we can understand why the s
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