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Seminar – Collective Health in Dialogue with Epistemologies of the South

Collective Health in Dialogue with Epistemologies of the South
Marcelo Firpo de Souza Porto (CES/ENSP/FIOCRUZ)
João Arriscado Nunes (CES)
December 14, 2017

Brazilian Collective Health is the result of social struggles for health occurring since 1970 within the scope of Latin American Social Medicine and is mainly focused on the structuralist conception of social determination. That is, the health problems of populations are understood as consequences of social inequalities generated by capitalism, even if such a perspective wavers according to different theoretical and political standpoints. In 1979 the Brazilian Association of Collective Health (ABRASCO) was created, and especially after the so-called Citizen’s Constitution of 1988, advances were made with the creation of numerous public policies, academic institutions and the SUS, the Brazilian Unified Health System. The last decades have been extremely rich in terms of theoretical, methodological experiences and social practices related to several areas such as mental health; health and environment; popular education and health communication; health of rural populations, forests and water; basic health care and family health in conditions of extreme vulnerability, among others.
Numerous issues have stemmed from the recent dialogue between Collective Health and Epistemologies of the South, understood as a theoretical and methodological proposal that articulates the three axes (capitalism, colonialism and patriarchy) of domination of the modern Eurocentric matrix project. For instance, what is the specificity of health in the context of social struggles in Latin America? How to understand propositions such as the abyssal line, sociologies of absences and emergencies from the experiences of Collective Health? In this context, what tensions, limits, and challenges surface for the construction of postcolonial and post-abyssal societies in terms of emancipatory struggles?