Conviviality in Berlin’s Forró community
– An abstract from the master’s thesis of Ramona Markmiller
(from ForróLetters #2)
Aiming to understand how the diverse and international community of forró works, how forrozeirxs interact with each other and how (or whether) they are able to overcome social inequality mechanisms and racism that are present in our society, Ramona’s research looked at the idea of conviviality in the forró scene in Berlin. The concept of conviviality helps reveal interaction patterns within social spaces. While previous studies of conviviality focused on racism, this research expanded the concept to gender inequality, specifically within the forró environment. The findings of this thesis showed that ethnic identity hardly impacted interaction on and off the dance floor and if it did, it followed positive discrimination patterns. It was mostly the individuals’ level in forró which seemed to orientate social interactions in Berlin’s forró community. However, regarding gender inequality, gender roles in the dance are still very rigid, even if Berlin’s forró community emphasizes the openness of non-gendered leading and following. Furthermore, sexism, homophobia and “male privilege” are still problems that many forrozeirxs face. Here there is much more convivial potential in the forró community that is not (yet) exhausted. This study provides a basis for further research, for example to examine the intersection between cultural stereotypes of Brazil and sexualization patterns of forró.
Do you want to know more about Ramona’s research?
Ramona is a social scientist who completed her master’s in Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies, focusing on migration and diversity studies. Currently she is leading a program with a focus on inter-generational, integration, inclusion and anti-discrimination projects in the department of social welfare at the city government of Königsbrunn (Germany). While her thesis is in German, she is looking for help translating it to English as she would like to share her work with the wider forró community! If you are interested in helping translate her thesis you can email her at at email@example.com.